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F LJUDERDALE CENTER FLORID/A ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY
1>15"'(,t .Corrirner-ciI Bouluvar-dc FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
Fo 'L. cLuded(J.lt',le. Florida 33309
Telephone (305) 776-1430 Joint Center for Environmental nd UrbonnProblemrn
April 23, 1981 ,,
APR 27 !981
Dept. cf Envircnmlenjna Rp,,
The Honorable Bob Graham ... Ic C:
Governor of Florida ral
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
We have been following the development of the state water policy
very closely, and would like to address two issues that deserve your atten-
tion prior to the next hearing on the policy in June. First, it is
important that the policy fits clearly in the state comprehensive planning
process, as Estus Whitfield has pointed out in his March memo. Second,
we are concerned about a potential threat to use the policy as a vehicle
for asserting private property rights in water that no longer have a solid
legal basis in Florida law.
On the first point, the state water policy represents a significant
step in Florida's development of a state planning and policy framework.
The policy provides general guidance on an important state concern -i a
fairly concise manner. It also has specific legal and administrative
mechanisms for enforcement, through its adoption under the APA. Both are
necessary attributes of an effective state planning and policy framework.
The policy, upon adoption, will also become a part of the state comprehen-
sive plan by virtue of being included as part of the state water use plan.
The result is that the water policy will be the only part of the State
Comprehensive Plan to date to be adopted by rule.
Water has received special attention as a state resource by the
legislature, not only in Chapter 373, but in the 1980 legislation regard-
ing regional planning councils. Chapter 160.07 requires the regional
councils to adopt regional comprehensive policy plans, and mandates that
these plans be consistent with Chapter 373 and 403. The RPC legislation
sets up a general mechanism for determining this consistency. The councils
are to present their plans to the appropriate water management district
or the Secretary of the DER for resolution of inconsistencies.
In the same spirit with which you have directed that state policy
guidelines be developed for the regional plans in advance of the regional
planning effort, we would suggest that guidelines for the 373 and 403
consistency determination also be developed in advance for the use of the
councils. We believe that the state water policy would be quite
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__ ________________________a -
The Honorable Bob Graham
April 23, 1981
appropriate as partial guidance to the councils on matters of Chapter 373.
A stated intent of the policy is "to clarify water policy as expressed
in Chapter 373...and to otherwise provide guidance to the Department and
Districts in the development of programs, rules and plans." District
rules are to be made consistent with the policy. The policy can be parti-
cularly helpful in those planning regions where water management districts
have not yet adopted water plans. As the primary guiding document, the
water policy could give the general level of guidance appropriate to the
planning process and thus perhaps give better notice of state and district
expectations than the alternative of simply a compilation of statutory
and rules provisions. We feel'that it is important that DER take the lead
in giving this guidance to the planning councils.
We have discussed this idea in a preliminary way with Vickie and
the DER General Counsel, as well as the OPB. We are not necessarily sug-
gesting that the Content of the proposed water policy be changed for this
purpose, but we do hope this will bring attention to the need to work
in advance with the councils, in some systematic and coordinated way, in
the policy planning process.
The second concern we have is that any misguided attempt to use the
water policy to assure proprietary rights in water beyond that envisioned
in Chapter 373, and determined in the Tequesta case, be strongly discour-
aged. The notion of private property rights in water is one whose time
has long past, and should not be allowed to haunt the serious, loni standing,
and forward-looking attempt on the part of Florida to adopt a strong water
policy and to manage its water resources as a public resource held in
common for all the people of the state.
John M. DeGrove
Director, Joint Center
Nancy E. Stroud
Senior Research Associate