Title: Letter from Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Conservation
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00051535/00001
 Material Information
Title: Letter from Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Conservation
Alternate Title: Letter from Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Conservation requesting Buddy Blain, Attorney, to review three preliminary drafts of proposals for operations of water management districts.
Physical Description: 11p.
Language: English
Publication Date: Oct. 22, 1975
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
General Note: Box 3, Folder 3D ( LEGISLATION - BOX 3, FOLDER 3 ), Item 154
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00051535
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

414 Senate Office Building
Tallahassee, Florida 32304
a 904/488-1710


October 22, 1975
Mr. Buddy Blain
Attorney at Law
P. O. Box 1363 By .. .. .. ...-'M- -m---
Tampa, Florida 33601

Dear Buddy:

I have enclosed some proposals Senator Spicola has asked me to so-
licit your opinion on. Two are very preliminary drafts he felt
needed your review before any further work was attempted.

Number 1 attempts to bring all the water management districts into
the business of overseeing the operations of water-management (drain-
age) districts. It amends chapter 373 as well as chapter 298 to
require a water management district to review the plans and opera-
tions of the drainage districts and to require changes.

Number 2 anticipates the future likelihood of inter-basin or inter-
district transfers of water and attempts, perhaps unsuccessfully,
to outline when such transfers can or cannot be made. (1) (c) may
be so vague as to be worthless. Or, it might be so broad as to
preclude any possibilities of transferring water. Many, if not
most, of the provisions in this proposal are included in recommen-
dations made in the National Water Commission's Water Policies for
the Future.

The third proposal, in memo form, represents some half-thought-out
efforts of mine to come up with some alternative funding scheme for
water management districts in the event the March referendum is a
fiasco. You will recall that someone suggested at the House Natural
Resources Committee meeting in West Palm Beach that a flat $1.50 a
month charge be added to everyone's water bill to supplant tax
funds. That, obviously, had some holes in it, but it got me to
thinking a bit.

This scheme has obvious problems, not the least of which is the cost
of monitoring all wells in order to compute the charges. Senator
Spicola also was concerned over the conflict between regulating a
resource and charging for its use when that charge is a district's

President President Pro Tempore Secretary Sergeant at Arms

Mr. Buddy Blain
October 22, 1975
page 2

only visible means of support. He related it to the "good old days"
when JPs worked on the fee system and had all the vagrants rounded
up at the end of the month to make up for any shortages -- and to
pay their bills.

At any rate, he would appreciate your confidential review of these
proposals so he can either scrap them or go ahead with them.



James K. Lewis
Staff Director

cc: Senator Spicola


1 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:


3 Section 1. Subsection (4) is added to section 373.083,

4 Florida Statutes, to read:

5 373.083 General powers and duties of the governing

6 board.--In addition to other powers and duties allowed it by

7 law, the governing board is authorized to:

8 /4) Review the water management plans, systems and

9 practices of each water-management district formed under chap-

10 ter 298, Florida Statutes, and of each district, by whatever

11 name known, including special improvement districts, created

12 by special act and provided with authority over water manage-

13 ment within the boundaries of the district served by the

14 governing board. The provisions of any statute or special act

15 to the contrary notwithstanding; when review by such governing

16 board indicates that changes in the management of water are

17 required to protect, conserve or provide for the maximum

18 utilization of the water resources of the state, such district

19 shall make any change requested by the governing board.

20 Section 2. Subsection (5) of section 298.02, Florida

21 Statutes, is amended to read:

22 298.02 Notice of application to form district.--

23 (5) Whe-eentra3:-and-Seathern-FerPada-Ped-eente-Bs-

24 trie67-i-f-the-wands--within-the-beendares-ef-the-pepesed--di-

25 t~iet- are-sItu~ted-In-sad~-distriet-eor-the-Sou~tehwes -FPei~da

26 Watee-Managemene-BistrieeT-if-the-3ands-within-the-boendares

27 ef-the-prepesed-dastaeet- are-suated-in-said-distaef7 The

28 water management district created pursuant to chapter 373,

29 Florida Statutes, within whose boundaries the proposed district

I 30 is located, shall be served with a copy of the petition and

31 1

CODING: Words underlined are additions; words in
strrek-Chrogh type are deletions from existing law.

_-__ _~-*


1 and attached map or plat and summons as provided in subsection

2 (4), and shall have the time allowed as provided for in said

3 subsection in which to file objections to the formation of the

4 district. Said districts shall file with the court their

5 objections, recommendations, or proposed amendments to the

6 petition.

7 Section 3. Subsection (6) of section 298.07, Florida

8 Statutes, is amended to read:

9 298.07 Amending former decreee incorporating district;

10 changing boundary lines and water-management plan; form of

11 notice; objections, hearing and determination on petition.--

12 (6) The-eentral- and-Southe rn-PFler ida-Foeed- een tre

13 Bastriet- y-f--he-lands-wifhin-the-beendaaries-ef-the-peposed

14 distaie$-are-s4~iuated-n-sad-distret7e-e-r-the-Soutihwes c-F-iea-

1.. dA0-W. te -4a sgemcie-iA-L.e- lndAs-w.h.in-fAh-bsunr -- i L-

16 ies-ef-ce-prepesed-distriet-are-situated-in-said-distriet-

17 The water management district created pursuant to chapter 373,

18 Florida Statutes, within whose boundaries the proposed district

19 is located, shall be served with a copy of the petition and

20 attached map or plat and summons as provided in subsection (5),

21 and shall have the time allowed as provided for in said subsec-

22 tion in which to file objections to the amendment of the former

23 decree. Said districts shall file with the court their objec-

24 tions, recommendations, or proposed amendments to the petition.

25 Section 4. Subsection (3) of section 298.09, Florida

26 Statutes, is amended to read:

27 298.09 Extending corporate life of district; meeting

28 of landowners; petition to court; proceedings, etc.--


30 2


CODING: Words underlined are additions; words in
struek-throtgh type are deletions from existing law.


1 (3) The-.entral -and-Seeuhern-Fleri da-Fl eed- eetreel

2 BDsitr et7 ft- t- e-lands-within-the-beundaries9-ef-the-prepesed

3 distPaefet-are-sietaetued-in-s aad-disfcyief-^e-c he-Sjethwes f-FleP-

4 4da-Water-Management-Bet e 7-i-the-ads-wh-he-bend-

5 aries-ef-fhe-paepesed-disefe-afe-e ated--eaid-d-sefe

6 The water management district created pursuant to chapter 373,

7 Florida Statutes, within whose boundaries the proposed district

8 is located, shall be served with a copy of the petition and

9 summons as provided in subsection (2) and shall have the time

10 allowed as provided in said subsection in which to file objec-

11 tions to the amendment of the former decree. Said districts

12 shall file with the court their objections, recommendations,

13 or proposed amendments to the petition.

14 Section 5. Subsection (7) of section 298.22, Florida

15 Statutes. is amended to read:

16 298.22 Powers given supervisors to effect reclamation

17 of land in district.--In order to effect the drainage, pro-

18 tection and reclamation of the land in the district subject to

19 tax, the board of supervisors may:

20 (7) The board of supervisors may, after review and

21 approval by the appropriate water management districts created

22 by chapter 373, Florida Statutes, implement and authorize

23 construction of only those improvements outlined in the plan

24 of reclamation- which are consistent with the state water use

25 plan adopted pursuant to s. 373.036, Florida Statutes.
26 Section 6. Section 298.26, Florida Statutes, is

27 amended to read:

28 298.26 Chief engineer to make annual reports to super-

29 visors; approval of reports; water-management plan.--The chief

30 engineer shall make a report in writing to the board of super-

31 visors once every twelve months and oftener, if said board


CODING: Words underlined are additions; words in
strnek-thrumgh type are deletions from existing law.

i-urrarsr~raau rau~ll ---~ar- ll .-~ i.-c r--. -1F ----


1 shall so require. Upon receipt of the final report of said

2 engineer concerning the surveys made of the lands contained in

3 the district organized and the lands adjacent thereto and for

4 reclaiming the same, the board of supervisors shall adopt such

5 report, or any modification thereof approved by the chief

6 engineer, after consulting with him or someone representing

7 him. Any such report presented to the board of supervisors

8 shall be consistent with the state water use plan prepared and

9 adopted pursuant to s. 373.036, Florida Statutes. Thereafter

10 such adopted report shall be the plan for draining or reclaim-

11 ing such lands from overflow or damage by water, and it shall,

12 after such adoption, be known and designated as the water-

13 management plan, which plan shall be filed with the secretary

14 of the board of supervisors and by him copied into the records

15 of the district. A copy of all such annual repnrn-t anr -h

16 water-management plan shall be filed with the department of

17 natural-reseurees environmental regulation and the appropriate

18 water management district created pursuant to chapter 373,

19 Florida Statutes. At least once each five years the department

20 and the appropriate water management district created pursuant

21 to chapter 373, Florida Statutes, shall review the water-

22 management plan and propose such modifications as it-may-deem

23 proper they deem proper.

24 Section 7. This act shall take effect July 1, 1976.







31 4

CODING: Words underlined are additions; words in
str~ek-through type are deletions from existing law.


1 Section Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, is amended

2 by adding a new section, 373.1963 to read:

3 373.1963 Interbasin or interdistrict transfers of

4 water.--

5 (1) Interbasin or interdistrict transfers of water for

6 domestic use may be ordered under the following conditions:

7 (a) The interbasin or interdistrict transfer is deter-

8 mined to be the least-cost method of supplying water to an area

9 of the state.

10 (b) The value of the water so transferred is greater

11 in its new use than in its old use, plus the cost of trans-

12 ferring the water from its source to its point of use.

13 (c) All reasonable present and future requirements for

14 water in the area of origin remain priority rights in perpetuit

15 in that area.

16 (d) Feasibility studies have shown conclusively that

17 additional supplies of water cannot be created economically

18 for the area through the use of alternative systems, including

19 but not limited to re-use of water and desalinization.

20 (2) The ultimate users of water transferred from one

21 basin or district to another shall meet the full costs of

22 such transfer. In establishing rates for water pursuant to

23 s. 373.1961, Florida Statutes, the governing board shall ensure

24 proper compensation to the county from which the water is with-

25 drawn, as well as sufficient funds to recover obligations

26 undertaken by the board in the construction and operation of

27 works to facilitate the transfer of such water.

28 (3) Interdistrict transfers of water may be ordered by:

29 (a) The department,

30 (b) The department upon request of a governing board
31 1

CODING: Words underlined are additions; words in
str~ek-through type are deletions from existing law.


1 which has been unable to secure the approval of the governing

2 board of the district from which water is being sought, or

3 (c) Interdistrict agreement. Any interdistrict agree-

4 ment shall be subject to department review and approval within

5 90 days.

6 (4) Interbasin transfers of water within a single

7 district may be approved by the governing board.

8 (5) No interbasin or interdistrict transfers of water

9 shall be authorized until after a public hearing has been held

10 in accordance with the requirements of chapter 120, Florida
11 Statutes, in the area in which the source of water to be trans-

12 ferred is located. Such interbasin or interdistrict transfers

13 shall be effectuated by order of the department, the

14 governing board, or boards, as appropriate.

















31 2

CODING: Words underlined are additions; words in
I struek-throtgh type are deletions from existing law.


October 9, 1975

TO: Senator Guy Spicola


RE: Water Management District Financing Fees

At the risk of echoing Gerald Ford and his "energy policy", it is a
fact that people will use less of something if they have to pay what
it costs for it. This applies to water as well as to energy. It may,
in fact, apply more to water than to energy because most individual
users have a great deal more discretion as to how much water they
choose to use.

There is comparatively little incentive for anyone to use less water
under today's system.

If everyone pays a certain ad valorem tax to a water management dis-
trict, it doesn't matter how much water they use or don't use; the
tax is the same.

However, if, in lieu of taxes, there was a charge associated with the
gallons (or acre feet, or whatever) of water used, it would make every-
one, from tn hPnmeowner to the phosphate company, reconsider the amount
of water he uses. Users would find they could get along with much
less. The homeowner would put a couple of bricks in his toilet (saving
up to four of the seven gallons normally flushed several times a day)
and would quite easily decide that his lawn (which uses a dispropor-
tionate amount of water in Florida's sandy soils) does not have to be
as green this year as it did last.

The businessman and industrialist will figure ways to cut use signif-
icantly. Re-use of water can actually save them money. Farmers are
less likely to expand onto marginal agricultural land which requires
excess water.

(Before you "shoot this down" with the argument that ciy water systems
are use-based, they only are use-based to the extent that the city is
paying for the cost of the water system itself -- wells, pipes, etc.
They are not paying for the water withdrawn from the surface or the
ground. In addition, many are on a declining rate scale much the same
as electricity -- the more you use, the less you pay for it per gallon.)

Rural and most industrial users are paying nothing for their water.
Their investment is in their own systems -- wells, pipes, etc.

There currently is no fee for water use. SWIFTMUD charges a "processing
fee" for issuing a water use permit. I believe it is $10 or so;
something that is not even noticed by a citrus or phosphate company
seeking a new many-thousand-gallon-a-day well.

Senator Guy Spicola
October 9, 1975
page 2

There may be legal obstacles to suddenly implementing a fee for the
use of something everyone has presumed he has an inalienable right to.
I know the political problems are formidable, but I see no feasible
option if the referendum fails in March. We should be getting some-
thing started to be ready for that, if and when it happens. The state
cannot afford to pay the bill.

Fees should go directly to the water management district in which they
were collected. Fees should be in lieu of any authority for ad valorem
taxation. WMDs should choose one or the other if they have authority
for both. The fee could be tied into the permit system and could be
assessed annually, or it could be monthly.

For large users, monitors could be installed. City customers usually
are monitored already. It may be necessary to estimate use (based on
well capacity) for small individual users since installation of moni-
tors for these would be impractical.

The fees should be based upon consumptive use of water. "Consumptive"
could be defined to include only quantities pumped, or it could be
defined to include the water pumped minus the water returned to the
system after use -- when the water is returned at the same quality it
had when it was pumped.

Fees based on actual use will promote conservation of water by all users.
However, they are the most difficult and expensive to administer be-
cause of the requirement that most, if not all, water withdrawal be

A blanket fee system -- fees paid annually based upon the designed
capacity of the individual system -- would be easier to administer,
but would promote little or no water conservation. The user would be
in a similar position to his present one. He would have paid his fee
at the beginning of the year and would feel free to use as much water
as he wanted. New users, however, might cut back somewhat on the size
of their systems.

Under this system, the fee scale would be based upon some annual
average figure. A second advantage to this system would be ease of
budgeting by the water management district which collected the fee.
It would be able to predict its revenue from year to year. Under a
fee based on actual use and collected monthly, receipts could vary,
and an effective water conservation program could actually result in
lowered revenue. The user would be saving money through his conser-
vation program, but the water management district would be losing it.

Under both systems, the actual fee would be assessed by the water
management district at the point of withdrawal. Subscribers to an
urban water system, of course, would pay the fee through a pass-on

Senator Guy Spicola
October 9, 1975
page 3

Legislation establishing authority to levy a fee (whichever system)
would have to carefully proscribe that the fees reflect the value of
the water being used. It also should prohibit a fee whenever a dis-
trict has authority to levy an ad valorem tax and elects to finance
its operations through that avenue. (I personally would prefer to see
all of the districts operating on a reasonable fee schedule since it
offers at least some opportunity for water conservation). Perhaps the
legislation could be worded to set the total figure which can be
collected via the fee route at the same level as would have been collected
if the district had taxing authority. There may be problems here, how-
ever, in that an ad valorem tax by any other name is still an ad valorem

Last figures I saw indicate some 5.8-billion gallons of water are con-
sumed in Florida every day. A penny a gallon assessed against this
would bring in $58-million daily. A penny, of course, is much too much
on a daily basis. A penny for every 1,000 gallons used would bring in
$58,000 a day, or $20,980,000 a year. Assuming average household use
at between 3,000 and 4,000 gallons per month, this would amount to
3 to 4 cents per month for a householder. A reasonable fee might be
in the neighborhood of 1 to 4 cents per 1,000 gallons.

For an industry which uses 3-million gallons a month, this would amount
to $30 to $120 a month -- quite insignificant,' although a 3-million
gallon-a-month industry is small. Thirty million gallons would bring
in $300 to $1,200 a month from a larger industry.

The initial 10-million gallon per day Cypress Creek Wells, for instance,
would result in a fee of from $3,000 to $120,000 a month paid by
Pinellas County to the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Pinellas then would increase its water charges to customers an appro-
priate amount to recoup its fee. The 53,000 Pinellas County water
system customers would see their water bill raised an average 5.5 to
20 cents a month. This raise would be attributable only to the Cypress
Creek field. Fees charged for pumping at the other fields (I don't
know the total gallonage involved) probably would not result in lamo
than a $1.00 per month increase at the highest. This is an average
across-the-board figure. A number of big water users would absorb
much of the increase, leaving a smaller percentage for the householder.

While these increases are not particularly significant, they might
make a few homeowners think twice about overzealous watering of lawns.

It may even be possible for Tampa Bay Area communities to get a rebate
if they return their sewage effluent to the aquifer -- that effluent
which is receiving advanced waste treatment at least. This would be
true recycling.


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