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17-40.03 General Water Policy
The following statement of general water policy shall provide
a basis for Department review of water management programs, rules,
and plans. Water management programs, rules and plans, where
economically and environmentally feasible, not contrary to the
public interest, and consistent with Florida law, shall seek to:
(1) Assure availability of an adequate and affordable
supply of water for all reasonable-beneficial uses. Uses of water
authorized by a permit shall be limited to reasonable-beneficial
(2) Reserve from use that water necessary to support
essential non-withdrawal demands, including navigation, recreation,
and the protection of fish and wildlife.
(3) Promote water conservationAas an integral part of
water management programs, rules, and plansatd-rthe use
of water of the lowest acceptable quality for the purpose intended.
(4) Utilize, preserve, restore, and enhance natural water
management systems and discourage the channelization or other
alteration of natural rivers, streams and lakes.
(5) Protect the water storage and water quality enhancement
functions of wetlands, floodplains, 'and aquifer discharge areas
through acquisition, enforcement of laws, and the application of
land and water management practices which provide for compatible
(6) Mitigate adverse impacts resulting from prior altera-
tion of natural hydrologic patterns and fluctuations in surface
and ground water levels.
(7) Establish minimum flows and levels to protect water
resources and the environmental values associated with marine,
estuarine, freshwater, and wetlands ecology.
(8) Encourage non-structural solutions to water resource
problems and give adequate consideration to non-structural alterna-
tives whenever structural works are proposed.
(9) Encourage the management of flgodptains and other flood
hazard areas to prevent or reduce flood damage consistent with
establishment and maintenance of desirable hydrologic characteristics
of such areas.
(10) Manage the construction and operation of facilities
which dam, divert, or otherwise alter the flow of surface waters to
prevent increased floQding, oi.,I erosionn or excessive'drainage. ;'':
(11)' Encourage,the development of local or regional water t
supplies within districts rather than transport water across.District
(12) Control point and non-point sources of water pollution
to the greatest degree feasible as provided in Chapters 17-3, and
(13) Develop interstate agreements and undertake cooperative
programs with Alabama and Georgia to provide for coordinated manage-
ment of surface and ground waters.