Title: Memorandum from L. M. Blain re: State water policy
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Title: Memorandum from L. M. Blain re: State water policy
Alternate Title: emorandum from L. M. Blain re: State water policy -- proposed statement on property rights, distributed 8 days before a hearing on water policy, and was distributed at the meeting on March 27, 1981. Representatives from the water management districts had
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Language: English
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Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
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General Note: Box 5, Folder 25 ( SF STATE WATER POLICY - VOL. III ), Item 29
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00052913
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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Full Text
MEMORANDUM

June 1, 1981


TO:

FR: LMB

RE: State water policy--proposed statement on property rights


On March 19, 1981, (8 days before the hearing on water policy) a
proposal, purportedly from "agriculture" was distributed for
discussion purposes during a meeting at DER. This meeting had
been going on all day and the statement was distributed in mid-
afternoon. It read:

In implementing a consumptive use permitting program,
the department and District shall recognize the rights
of the riparian owners to make a consumptive use of an
equitable portion of the surface waters. Further, the
department and District shall also recognize the rights
of the overlying property owners to make a consumptive
use of an equitable portion of the underlying ground-
waters.

In the discussion that followed, it was pointed out that the proposed
language, while generally consistent with practices of SWFWMD, may
need some revisions because of the specific language.

Steve Walker from SFWMD stated that his District would have problems
with the proposed language.

This subject was researched hurriedly during the next few days and
discussions were held by telephone by various attorneys.

During the hearing on March 27, 1981, the following proposal was
distributed and considered:

In implementing consumptive use permitting programs,
the department and Districts shall recognize the rights
of property owners to make consumptive uses of under-
lying groundwater and of adjacent surface water for
reasonable beneficial purposes.

Secretary Tschinkel specifically asked the attorney for DER and the
attorneys for each of the water management districts if they concurred
in the proposed wording.

Buddy Blain, representing SWFWMD, advised Ms. Tschinkel that it had
been researched hurriedly and that he felt that the statement was
consistent with existing Florida law and was compatible with practices
of SWFWMD.

Steve Walker, representing SFWMD, stated that South Florida would be
opposed to the statement.






MEMORANDUM FROM LMB,
June 1, 1981
< Page Two


Lee Worsham, representing SJRWMD, stated that they had some
problems with the statement and needed more time to study it.

Doug Stowell, representing NWFWMD, stated that he wanted more
time to research it and to check with his board.

Tom Brown, representing SRWMD, stated that he needed more time
to research it.

Terry Cole, DER's general counsel, stated that he had some
problems with it and wanted more time for research.

Representatives from the various agricultural interests were
present and said they were willing to have the matter taken
under advisement for subsequent study.

On May 6, 1981, the Governing Board of SWFWMD went on record as
favoring the addition of a statement in the proposed state water
policy relating to the rights of property owners.

On May 11, 1981, Buddy Blain wrote the attorneys for DER and the
water management districts advising them of the board action,
telling them that he had abandoned any effort to come up with a
statement that would meet universal acceptance relating to property
owners' riparian rights to surface water and urging them to review
the following statement relating to rights of property owners to
use groundwater:

In implementing consumptive use permitting programs,
the department and Districts shall recognize the
qualified right of property owners to use the ground-
water under their land for reasonable-beneficial
purposes and shall continually seek to maintain the
proper balance between competing users.

In the meantime, Terry Cole, attorney for DER, has submitted
proposed language which states:

In implementing a consumptive use permitting program,
the Department and District shall recognize the
right of an existing user of water to continue the use
subject to the requirements of Section 373.226, Florida
Statutes, if the existing use is a Reasonable-Beneficial
use and would be allowable under the common law. Permit
renewal applications shall be treated in the same manner
as initial permit applications.

Steve Walker, attorney for SFWMD, has submitted proposed wording
which reads:





4-

MEMORANDUM FROM LMB
June 1, 1981
Page Three


In implementing a consumptive use permitting program,
the Department and District shall recognize the right
of an applicant to make a reasonable-beneficial use of
any water which has not previously been reserved or
allocated to another use in accordance with the pro-
visions of Chapter 373.

Secretary Jacob Varn has also submitted proposed wording which
reads:

In implementing a consumptive use permitting program,
the Department and District shall recognize the rights
of the riparian owners to make a consumptive use of an
equitable portion of the surface waters. Further, the
Department and District shall also recognize the rights
of the overlying property owners to make a consumptive
use of an equitable portion of the underlying ground-
waters.

Subsequently, Mr. Varn has suggested the following language:

In implementing a consumptive use permitting program,
the Department and District shall recognize the rights
of the overlying property owners to make a reasonable-
beneficial use of an equitable portion of the underlying
groundwater and of the riparian owners to make a reasonable-
beneficial use of an equitable portion of the adjacent
surface water.

Jim Griffiths of Florida Citrus Mutual has distributed the following
proposed language:

In implementing a consumptive use permitting program,
the Department and Districts shall recognize the qualified
rights of property owners to use the groundwater under their
land for reasonable-beneficial purposes, and shall continually
seek maintenance of a proper balance between competing users.

The next hearing on State Water Policy is scheduled for Monday,
June 8, 1981, in Tallahassee at which time the statement on property
rights may be discussed but no final action is contemplated on this
subject at that time.





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