Title: Governor Bob Graham's Address at the Northwest Florida Water Management Annual Conference in Tallahassee. October 29, 1981.40p.
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Title: Governor Bob Graham's Address at the Northwest Florida Water Management Annual Conference in Tallahassee. October 29, 1981.40p.
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Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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E 2


GOVERNOR BOB GRAHAM'S ADDRESS AT THE NORTHWEST
FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT ANNUAL CONFERENCE








OCTOBER 29, 1981
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA




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IPI-.. .* ,


GOVER ~OR B 0 GR

FLORIDA WATER


DRESS AT THE NORTHWEST

BIrF ANNUAL CONFERENCE
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OCTOBER 29. 1981

TALLAHASSEE. FLORID


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I AM DELIGHTED TO HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH YOU



AGAIN THIS YEAR, EVEN THOUGH IT MEANS THAT ALL OF US ARE ONCE



AGAIN SUBJECT TO BUDDY RUNNELLS' HOPELESS ATTEMPTS AT HUMOR.










IN PAST DISCUSSIONS WITH YOU, I'VE COMMENTED ON THE DIRECTIONS



WHICH YOU--AT THE DISTRICT LEVEL--AND THE STATE SHOULD FOCUS ON



IN DEVELOPING A SOUND WATER POLICY IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.



MY COMMENTS TODAY WILL BE IN THE CONTEXT OF CONSIDERABLE



CHANGES IN THE NATION'S POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CLIMATE, AND THE



CHALLENGES THESE FLUCTUATIONS REPRESENT FOR EACH OF YOU, AND FOR



STATE GOVERNiMENT.


-2-











FLORIDA IS FORTUNATE IN THAT IT IS WELL-EQUIPPED TO RESPOND



TO THESE CHALLENGES THROUGH SUCH ACH'EVEMENTS AS EFFECTIVE STATE



AND REGIONAL AGENCIES, LANDMARK ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION--AND



MOST RECENTLY THE SAVE OUR RIVERS ACT,


-3-










IN ESSENCE, WE HAVE MOVED FROM A PERIOD OF ABUNDANCE TO



ONE OF AUSTERITY,



OUR TASK IS TO RESPOND CREATIVELY, TO ENSURE THAT THE VITAL



NEEDS OF THE PUBLIC--AND NO GREATER NEED EXISTS THAN THAT OF



PROVIDING A SURE AND PURE SOURCE OF WATER--ARE MET.


-4-











THE PUBLIC HAS SENT A CLEAR SIGNAL TO GOVERNMENT THAT WASTE


AND EXCESS ARE INTOLERABLE. AND THAT IS A MESSAGE I ENDORSE. AT



THE SAME TIME, FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITIES--INCLUDING THE NEED TO



PRESERVE OUR ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES--ARE SHIFTING TO THE STATES



AND TO REGIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SUCH AS THE WATER MANAGEMENT


DISTRICTS.











FLORIDA IS NO STRANGER TO SUCH ALTERATIONS.


WE HAVE, SINCE THE TURN OF THE CENTURY AND THE ADMINISTRATION



OF GOVERNOR BROWARD, TURNED FROM A STATE IN WHICH THE GREATEST



EMPHASIS WAS ON AN EXCESS OF WATER, TO ONE TODAY IN WHICH THE



GREATEST CONCERN IS AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE WATER SCARCITY,


-6-











EACH OF YOU IS IN THE CHALLENGING ROLE, AS WATER MANAGERS,


OF OFFERING MORE FOR LESS IN THE FACE OF THIS SCARCITY.



I AM CONFIDENT YOU WILL .SUCCEED AND I PLEDGE MY PERSONAL



COOPERATION AND SUPPORT.


-7-










WE HAVE AMPLE EVIDENCE OF THESE CHALLENGES:


--FLORIDA IS EXPERIENCING THE MOST SEVERE DROUGHT IN RECENT


HISTORY.


THE SUWANNEE IS ONLY A SMALL STREAM OF CLEAR I'ATER;'-.


THE ST. JOHNS IS A FRAGILE SHADOW OF A GREAT RIVER; LARGE BARREN



SAND BARS LIE IN THE BED OF THE APALACHICOLA RIVER; LAKE


OKEECHOBEE YESTERDAY


DROPPED TO LESS THAN 12 FEET, AN ALL TIME


LOW FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR, WHEN IT SHOULD BE ONE-THIRD HIGHER;



SURFACE WATER THROUGHOUT THE STATE IS AT AN ALL-TIME LOW AND



GROUND WATER IS BELOW NORMAL IN MANY AREAS.


-8-











--IN THIS CONDITION OF JEOPARDY, WE ARE ABOUT TO ENTER


THE DRY SEASON,


THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS WILL BRING AN UNPARALLELED


CRITICAL WATER SITUATION FOR THE PEOPLE OF FLORIDA.


-9-













--AT THE SAME TIiE, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMrENT HAS DETERMINED


THAT FLORIDA LEADS THE NATION IN ITS NUMBER OF HAZARDOUS WASTE


SITES, THREATENING THE PURITY OF OUR DRINKING WATER,
4I


THIS


GRAVE DETERMINATION, WHICH RESULTED FROM FLORIDA'S AGGRESSIVE




IDENTIFICATION PROGRAM, IS ONE WHICH DEMANDS A STRONG COMMITMENT




OF RESOURCES AND ENERGY,


-10-


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MY REASONS FOR RECITING THIS PARTIAL LIST OF WATER CONCERNS


ARE NOT TO MIMIC THE AFFLICTIONS OF JOB;


I BELIEVE, HOWEVER, THAT


BY ACKNOWLEDGING THE PROBLEM,. WE ARE THAT MUCH CLOSER TO SOLUTIONS



THROUGH PRO.1PT AND EFFECTIVE ACTION.



FORTUNATELY, FLORIDA HAS THE RESOURCES FOR SUCH ACTION.


-11-










AND YOU HERE TODAY CARRY A MAJOR RESPONSIBILITY TO DETERMINE



THAT FLORIDA WILL STILL RETAIN ITS HISTORICAL DESCRIPTION AS AN



EARTHLY, SOMEWHAT AWESOME PARADISE, AND NOT A DRY, DESERT PENINSULA,










WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS


WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS OFFER THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITY



TO MEET THESE DIFFICULT CHALLENGES. FLORIDA HAS THE BEST WATER



MANAGEMENT LAW IN THE NATION. ONLY ONE OTHER STATE, DELAWAREI


HAS A COMPREHENSIVE WATER PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAM.


THE


DISTRICTS ARE HYDROLOGICALLY AND POLITICALLY WELL-DEFINED, AND THEIR



BOUNDARIES WERE SET WITH THE INTELLIGENT RECOGNITION THAT WATER



PURITY AND AVAILABILITY ARE NOT FUNCTIONS OF COUNTY LINES OR



MUNICIPAL BOUNDARIES.


-13-











YOU AT THE DISTRICT LEVEL HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB IN


RESPONDING TO THE DROUGHT; WATER USE RESTRICTIONS IN THE SOUTH/



SOUTHWEST, AND ST, JOHNS RIVER DISTRICTS HAVE BEEN EFFECTIVE



IN REDUCING THE IMPACT OF THE WATER SHORTAGE.




THE FLORIDA DEPARTr[ENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION AND THE



DISTRICTS PROVIDE A SOUND BASIS TO BUILD A STRONGER RESOURCE



MANAGEMENT SYSTEM" IN FLORIDA.


-13A-


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THE MAJOR STRENGTH IN WATER EANAGEUENT IN THIS STATE IS IN


CONSUM1PTIVE USE PERITTING AD STORAGE OF SURFACE IATER



PER I TTIJG. I ENCOURAGE ALL HATER "A"AGEENT DISTRICTS TO



iPLEf;ENT CONSU PTIVE USE PERiilTTING TO ENABLE US TO HANDLE



WATER SHORTAGE PROBLEMS AND PROTECT OUR WATER RESOURCES.


-13B-













PARTICIPATION WITH LOCAL AND OTHER REGIOAL AGENCIES


1!E UST- RECOGNIZE THE DROUGHTS ARE THEMSELVES



AN ASPECT OF FLORIDA'S NATURAL- SYSTEM, PARTICULARLY AS THE DEr;AND


FOR WATER I CREASES.


WITH A SPIRIT OF ANTICIPATION, I


ENCOURAGE YOU TO PARTICIPATE FULLY IN LAND USE PLANNING AND DECISION



MAKING THAT WILL AFFECT FLORIDA IN FUTURE DECADES.



AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SUCH PARTICIPATION EXISTS.










REGIONAL PLANNING COUNCIL POLICY PLANS, AS MANDATED BY


THE 1980 LEGISLATURE, MUST BE CONSISTENT WITH WATER MANAGEiENT



DISTRICT PLANS. EACH OF YOU SHOULD BE ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THE



DEVELOPrIENT OF THOSE PLANS SO THAT WATER RESOURCES RECEIVE FULL


CONSIDERATION,


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AT THE SAME TIME, I ALSO ENCOURAGE YOU TO BECOME MORE


ACTIVE WITH LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AS THEY PREPARE AND AMEND LOCAL



GOVERNMENT COMPREHENSIVE PLANS, DESPITE THE FACT THAT SUCH


PARTICIPATION IS OPTIONAL.


YOU SHOULD ALSO DEVELOP CRITERIA


FOR FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT TO ASSIST LOCAL GOVERNMENTS WITH



THEIR LAND USE PLANNING, ZONING AND BUILDING REGULATIONS.








-16-


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CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL DECISIONS ARE NOW BEING .ADE AT THE


LOCAL LEVEL AND YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE SOUNDNESS OF THESE



DECISIONS, AS HAS OCCURRED THROUGH THE WORK OF THE SOUTH,



SOUTHWEST, AND SUWANNEE RIVER DISTRICTS.


-17-













SAVE OUR RIVERS


THE HOST SIGNIFICANT EWI RESOURCE AVAILABLE TO YOU IS THE



SAVE OUR RIVERS ACT AND I AM HERE TODAY, IN PART, TO ADVOCATE



THAT YOU MlAKE USE OF IT IiEDIATELY,


-13-












THIS MORNING, I SIGNED LETTERS TO THE CHAIRPERSONS OF EACH


OF THE MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS, REQUESTING THAT THEY REPORT TO ME



BY DECEMBER 1, 1981 ON THE PROGRESS THEIR DISTRICT IS MAKING THROUGH


THE SAVE OUR RIVERS ACT.


I WANT TO KNOW WHEN EACH DISTRICT WILL BE


IN OWNERSHIP OF THE VITAL WETLANDS, RIVER PROPERTIES AND RECHARGE



AREAS SO ESSENTIAL TO A CONTINUED ABUNDANCE OF PURE WATER IN FLORIDA.


-19-


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AS YOU ASSESS YOUR DISTRICT'S IM!PLEME NTATION OF THE SAVE


OUR RIVERS ACT, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO BRING TO MY ATTENTION--THROUGH



THE D.E,R7-ANY AD"iNISTRATIVE OR STATIFTORY CHANGES WHICH WILL



IMPROVE UPON THE ACT. WE WILL GIVE THE HIGHEST CONSIDERATION


TO YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS.










WE CAN NOT DELAY IN BRINGING THIS PROPERTY INTO PUBLIC



OWNERSHIP. ALREADY THE ACT PROVIDES MORE THAN $3 MILLION FOR



THIS PURPOSE AND $15 MILLION WILL BE AVAILABLE BY JULY 1, 1982,



NO BETTER OPPORTUNITY EXISTS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEVELOPMENT



WHICH NECESSITATES WATER PROTECTION WILL PAY THE COSTS OF THIS



PRESERVATI ON.


-20-













IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT AS YOU WORK TO HASTEN THIS ACQUISITION




OF WATER-VITAL AREAS, THAT THIS IS ACCOMPLISHED WITH THE




PRUDENT MANAGEMENT FOR WHICH THE DISTRICTS ARE KNOWN


-21-


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I AM GRATIFIED TO LEARN OF THE VOLUNTARY COOPERATIVE EFFORTS


BETWEEN~ THE DISTRICT AND THE D.E.R. TO DEVELOP ACQUISITION


PROCEDURES THAT ARE UNIFORM ANDSSOUNID.


THE SAVE OUR RIVERS ACT


IS, IN PART, A TEST OF THE STATE'S INTEGRITY IN PURCHASING LANDS



FOR THE PUBLIC AND YOUR ROLE IN MEETING THIS TEST OF THE PUBLIC'S


CONFIDENCE IS INDISPENSABLE.










IF THE SAVE OUR RIVERS ACT IS SUCCESSFUL--AND I AM CONFIDENT


THAT IT WILL BE--WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DIVEST OURSELVES OF MANY


OF THE AGE-OLD DITCHING AND DIKING AND DAMMING PROJECTS,


THE


SAVINGS TO TAXPAYERS FROM THIS SHIFT TO NATURAL SYSTEMS AND AWAY



FROM CAPITAL-INTENSIVE, MAN-MADE PROJECTS ARE IN KEEPING WITH



SOUND FISCAL CONSERVATISM.


-23-











IN RECENT MONTHS I HAVE WRITTEN THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF


ENGINEERS AND APPR. ISED THE FLORIDA CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION AND OTHER



MEMBERS OF CONGRESS OF MY INTEREST IN GIVING NON-STRUCTURAL



PROJECTS EQUAL CONSIDERATION WITH STRUCTURAL ONES.



IT PM"AKES NO SENSE TO SAY--AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS SAID--



THAT WATER f8ANAGEEN T FEDERAL FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE TO POUR ACRES



ON CONCRETE BUT DO NOT EXIST FOR PURCHASE OF WETLANDS, AND WATER



RECHARGE- AREAS.


""',7".
-iZ~rt-








STATE WATER POLICY


ANOTHER SIGNIFICANT SIGN OF PROGRESS IN STATE WATER MANAGEMENT


IS ADOPTION OF THE STATE WATER POLICY,


THIS NEW POLICY FINALLY


GIVES FLORIDA A FRAMEWORK FOR PROTECTING OUR WATER RESOURCES,



AND ENCOURAGES THE USE OF NATURAL AND NON-STRUCTURAL WATER



MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS. THIS WILL ENABLE NATURE TO DO WHAT IT DOES



BEST, AND WILL BETTER PRESERVE THE WATER WE DEPEND ON,


NOW WE MUST IMPLEMENT THE POLICY.










HAZARDOUS WASTES



FEW ENVIRONMENTAL SUBJECTS INSPIRE MORE PUBLIC CONCERN THAN



THE PRESENCE OF WASTES WHICH ARE A HAZARD TO THE WATER WE DRINK,



WHEN THE EPA LAST WEEK PUBLISHED ITS LIST OF 114 HAZARDOUS



WASTE SITES POTENTIALLY ELIGIBLE FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE UNDER THE



SUPERFUND, SIXTEEN OF THOSE SITES WERE IN FLORIDA.


-25-










IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THE INCLUSION OF THESE



FLORIDA SITES ON THE LIST IS A RESULT OF THE AGGRESSIVE AND



DETERMINED EFFORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION.



THE DEPARTMENT BEGAN ITS WORK WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IT



IS TO FLORIDA'S ADVANTAGE TO IDENTIFY THESE SITES, BOTH IN



THE INTEREST OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE, AND IN ORDER TO



MAXIMIZE OUR OPPORTUNITIES FOR FEDERAL CLEAN-UP FUNDS.


-26-










EVE THE $1,6 BILLION SUPERFUrND HOWEVER, WILL BE INADEQUATE


TO CLEAN UP THE NATIONS' HAZARDOUS WASTES SITES. AS A RESULT,



VIGOROUS STATE ENFORCEMENT ACTION AND rIANDATORY CLEANUP PROGRAMS



WILL ALSO BE NEEDED, AND SUCH ACTION IS NOi' UNDERRAY BY THE D.E.R.


-27-













ON THE 16TH OF THIS 'MONTH D.E.R. ADOPTED RULES FOR THE


CRADLE TO GRAVE .,,ANAGE-EN iT OF HAZARDOUS WASTES. THESE RULES




SET STANDARDS FOR THE GENERATION, TRANSPORT, TREATMENT, STORAGE




AND DISPOSAL OF HAZARDOUS WASTES,


p' )
L-/-










IN ADDITION, THE HAZARDOUS .!ASTE POLICY ADVISORY COUNCIL


HEADED BY FORPJER STATE SENATOR BUDDY T~ACKAY IS EVALUATING



THESE PROBLEMS AND PROGRAMS AND WILL hAKE RECOT-IENDATIONS TO -rE



AND THE LEGISLATURE IN 1982.


-29-












THE POTENTIAL FOR CONTAMINATION OF OUR GROUNDIATER


BY THESE WASTES IS SERIOUS, A.ND OF MUTUAL CONCERN.


A fm PPrUD


THAT FLORIDA HAS INITIATED AN AGRESSIVE RESPONSE TO THIS THREAT



AND THIS RESPONSE WILL CONTINUE AS A PRIORITY OF MINE.


-30










WILLIAM SAFIRE, THE POLITICAL COLUMNIST WITH A TALENT FOR


WORDS--DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE'S A REPUBLICAN WHO ONCE WORKED



FOR CLAUDE KIRK--HAS A PHRASE IN RESPONSE TO TEDIOUS GOVERNMENT



TOPICS. M.E.G.O. IT STANDS FOR MY EYES GLAZE OVER.










WELL, I CAN IMAGINE THAT FOR SOIIE OF YOU--AND CERTAINLY


FOR fIANY OF THE TAXPAYERS WE SERVE--WHEN E TALK ABOUT



COMPREHENSIVE PLANS AND POLICY DOCUMENTS...FOR MANY, THAT'S A



M,E,G,O,



OUR JOB, YOURS AND MINE, IS TO TRANSFER THESE NECESSARY



PROGRAMS AND PLANS AND POLICIES INTO THE REAL WORLD OF ACTION.


-32-











...TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY WITH THE PUBLIC WHOSE WATER


RESOURCES ARE ENTRUSTED TO US FOR [iANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION.



...TO ACT WITH FISCAL CAUTION,.SPENDING THE PUBLIC'S MONEY



WITH CARE AND WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WATER--AS NO OTHER SINGLE



RESOURCE IN FLORIDA--IS THE MOST PRECIOUS SOURCE OF FLORIDA'S



BEAUTY1 QUALITY OF LIFE AND ECONOMIC PROGRESS.


-33-











THIS IS HO EASY ASSIGfiIENiT THAT WE SHARE.


FINE JOB UNDER DIFFICULT CONDITIONS AND THESE CHALLENGES WILL



CONTINUE.



,OST IUIPORTANTLY, IN OUR ACTIONS WE RUST CONTINUE TO RESPECT



THE WiATER RESOURCES YOU MANAGE AS PART OF A NATURAL SYSTEr OF WHICH



WE ARE AN ACTIVE PARTNER--NOT ONE FROi WHICH WE STAND HOPELESSLY



DIST ANT,
. -1 1 liii,


THE END


YOU HAVE DONE A




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