Title: Memo: Water Management District Funding, History
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00001903/00001
 Material Information
Title: Memo: Water Management District Funding, History
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Memo: Water Management District Funding, History, July 2, 1979, From: LMB
General Note: Box 9, Folder 13 ( SF -WRDA Funding History - 1979-1981 ), Item 4
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00001903
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, 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

July 2, 1979


RE: Water Management District Funding, History

Prior to the passage of the Water Resources Act in 1972 the
two water nanalement districts existing at that time were funded
primarily from ad valorem taxes. C&SFFCD (now South Florida Water
Management District was authorized to levy un to 1.0 mill. SWFWMD
was authorized to levy up to 0.3 mills district-wide and un to 1.0
mills for each of the respective basins for a total maximij of 1.3
mills. Both districts were initially involved prirrariy in
federally approved flood control projects.

In 1968 SWFWMD created a water management regulators
authority and funded its regulatory activities with its ad
volorem tax revenue.

At that time Section 373.182, provided that: "in the event a
C/ water regulatory district is created within a water management
district, the cost and expenses-incurred in orgainzing and
administering said regulatory district shall be borne by the water
management district or its basins or subdistricts rrom monies
collected by their existing taxing nower." Section 373.182 also
provided that in the event a water regulatory district was created
outside a water management district the cost and expenses incurred
in organizing and ad:,linistering said regulatory district shall he
paid out of the water resources development account of the
Division of the Interior Resources of the Department of natural
Resources (DMR).

The water resources development account (WRD4) was created by
the legislature in 1949 and has continued to exist to the present
time. Section 378.03, F.S. 1971, provided that, subject to such
appropriation as the legislature may make therefore from time to
time, the purpose of said WRDA account shall be to provide
assistance to flood control water management districts and
navigation districts, or any other flood control, water
management, or navigation district.

Section 378.04, F.S., 1971, specified that there shall he
available to any flood control or water management district out of
said WRDA upon the approval of the Division of Interior Resources
of D!R," funds not exceeding in the aggregate the total estimated
amount required to cover the costs allocated to the district for
( constructing the works of said district or the acquisition of land
for water storage areas, or highway bridge construction, and for

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administration and promotion.

Up until 1971 the WRDA funds were appropriated by the
legislature in a lump sum which funds were then allocated between
the water management districts by the Division of Interior
Resources of DNR. In 1971 the legislature began to scrutinize
these appropriations more carefully and bean to allocate specific
amounts for specific purposes. This was set forth in a variety of
ways as proviso language in the Apnropriations Acts and in letters
of intent from the Appropriations Committee chairmen and staff.

In 1971 the Appropriation Act provided that monies
appropriated to WRDA were for acquisitionn of water storage lands
and matching funds for construction of works in the major water
management districts and that no monies are included for other
waterways or for construction or relocation of highway bridges."
A similar provision was included in the 1972 Appropriations Act but
with a further provision that "no funds are included for repayment
to districts that may have advanced funds for construction
matching during or prior to fiscal year 71-72." Subsequently,
specific amounts were appropriated for specific districts. Still
later, funds were also included for operation money and other
itemized expenditures.

SOther than as set forth above no laws have been enacted, no
bills have been introduced, and no amendments have been proposed
since CMSFFCD was created in 1949 and SWFWIMD in 1961 which would
change the method of funding water management activities through
WRDA funding. During the past four years the Oenartment of
Administration (DOA) in Tallahassee has sought to change this to
provide a matching fund basis of some kind. It has been
unsuccessful although Governor Askew endorsed the concept in his
budget recommendations on two occasions and the initial
recommendations of Governor Graham contained the concept earlier
this year.

In 1976, DOA established a Task Force to Review Water
Management District Funding. It consisted of representatives froi
the Division of State Planning, the Bureau of Bu'dlets and from the
Department of Environmental Regulation (DFR). The water
management districts were not advised of this effort and were not
invited to participate or even advised of the task force's
existence until the report had rone to the Governor.
Representatives from DOA felt that WRDA funding from general
revenues should be discontinued. This was supported by the
representatives from DER. DER urged greatly increased funding for
operations which was not agreed to by DOA. At first the Governor
supported the DOA recommendation but during the following
legislative session (1977) the Governor eased off on his orior
position and adopted a neutral attitude.

Chapter 72-299, which is known as the Water Resources Act or

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1972, specifically repealed older sections of the law (Section
373.182 and 378.03) but included Sections 10 and 11 of Part I
which re-created the water resources development account '4RDA and
provided that the department shall allocate funds from the account
to the districts to assist in financing authorized project for the
protection, conservation or development of the water resources of
the state. Section 11 provided that the department shall allocate
to the water management districts from funds appropriated to the
department such sums as may be deemed adequate to defray the costs
of the administrative and regulatory activities of the district.

Part 5, Section 1 (1) of Chapter 72-299 contains a finding of
the legislature that "the general regulatory and administrative
functions of the district are of general benefit to the people of
the state and should substantially be financed by general
appropriations." It also states further that it is the finding of
the legislature "that water resources orogramis of particular
benefit to limited segments of the population should he financed
by those most directly benefited." These provisions are set out
in the taxation portion of the new law. tone of these sections of
Chapter 72-299 took affect until July 1, 1973 (a year later.)
Parts of these provisions were subsequently amended the next
legislative session by Chapter 73-190 which also took affect on
July 1, 1973.

Section 4 of the 1973 Act amended Section 10, Part 1 of the
1972 Act by deleting the provision that the department "shall
allocate funds from the account to the districts to assist in
financing any authorized projects" leaving the law to provide that
the purpose of the WRDA account "is to provide assistance to the
water management districts created under this act for the
protection, conservation or development of the water resources of
the state" (without further limitation).

Section 5 of the 1973 law amended Section 11, Part 1 of the
1972 act by changing the words "shall" to "may" and broadening the
activities that could be funded. The language provides that the
department may allocate to the water managementt districts such
sums as may be deemed necessary (rather than "adequate") to defray
costs of administrative, regulatory and other activities of the

The provisions of the law relating to disbursements from the
water resources development account have not been amended
significantly since 1949. The section has been renumbered from
Section 378.04 to Section 373.493 and the Denartment of
Environmental Regulation has been substituted for the Division of
Interior Resources of the Department of Natural Resources but the
provisions have not been amended otherwise since the passage of
the water resources act in 1972.

In the fall of 1977 a second Task Force was formed.

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Representatives of water management districts were included.
Extensive discussions were held about formulas hut none was agreed
to. During the 1978 legislative session the Governor's
recommendation included a suggest 'on that water management
district funding be on a matching fund basis but, again, the
legislature did not agree to this,

In late 1973 the DER recommendations to the Governor werp
substantially different from the Water management district's
requests. The Governor's recommendations did not follow OER's
suggestions. Jake Varn was appointed Secretary of DER and
obtained approval of the Governor to sunport a position the water
management districts recommended. This was a reallocation of
funds but did not exceed the total amount recommended bv the

Water management District funding again became caught in the
squeeze between the Senate and the House. The House supported the
reallocation as advocated by the water management districts. The
Senate took only part of the Governor's earlier recommendation. 4
compromise was reached by splittingg the difference." During a
conference committee, in an effort to further reduce the total
appropriation bill, the compromise figures for the three larger
districts were further reduced by $100,000 each.

This resulted in ludicrous figures. An initial nominal
appropriation of $250,000 for land acquisition for South Florida
Water Management District, intended for use to start acquiring fee
title interest in conservation areas, was reduced to $125,000 by
"splitting the difference" between the Senate and 'louse positions.
A further reduction of $100,000 left the paltry sum of $25,000 for
South Florida to use to commence acquisition of several million
dollars worth of fee title interests.

During the past legislative session, it became annarent that
a member of the Senate Appropriations Staff has strong leanings
toward formularizing the funding process for water management
districts. Past efforts devising a reasonable formula have been

In view of questions continuously raised by DER and others in
Tallahassee, it seems appropriate to approach the legislature this
next session with a proposed amendment which would clarify the
funding situation. In the past, Several elements have entered
into funding. These are:

1. Money to match the Federal funds to be used for
construction. (Federal projects for south Florida
require varying matching amounts in the neighborhood of
S20%. SWF'MD projects require 17% matching a-nounts.)

2. Funds for land acquisition for water storage lands.


(Traditionally water management districts have provided
all the costs involved in acquiring rights of way as
well as the land owners' costs for water storage lands.
State monies have been provided for ayvingc amounts to
the land owner over and above his costs.)
3. Relocation costs for roads and bridges necessitated by
the Federal projects. (Attempts have been made to
require DOT to pay this cost but to no avail.)

4. Operations costs for water management districts. (The
two northern districts depend primarily upon this as
their source of funding. Suwannee River Water
Management District's tax base is quite limited although
it has never utilized its full taxing capability.)

The Environmental Reorganization Act of 1975 created a new
Department of Environmental Regulation (DER) under a Secretary and
directed that Environmental Districts be established and colocated
with water management districts to the maximum extent practicable.
This has been done to some degree. It further provides that
decisions of DER relating to the issuance of permits, licenses,
certificates, or exemptions shall be accomplished at the
Environmental District Center level to the maximum extent
practicable and that when the Secrefary determines that a water
; management district has the financial ahd technical capability to
carry out water quality and other functions of the department,
those powers, duties, and functions or parts thereof, may be
contracted or delegated to such water management district. This
may include planning, regulation and permittin, of point sources
and non-point sources of pollution and other field services.

This provision enables the Secretary to contract with water
management districts to provide certain functions for DER. Such
contracting could include a provision for payment to the districts
from funds appropriated to the department to defray the costs of
such activities as authorized by Section 373.501. To date, this
has not been done to any significant extent.


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