| Material Information
||Relationships, Responsibilities, Responses and Recommendations: Remarks by Secretary Virginia Wetherell
||North America -- United States of America -- Florida
||Relationships, Responsibilities, Responses and Recommendations: Remarks by Secretary Virginia Wetherell, April 20, 1995
||Box 9, Folder 14 ( SF-WMD REview Commission - 1995-1996 ), Item 14
||Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
Relationships, Responsibilities, Responses and Recommendations
Remarks by Secretary Virginia Wetherell
Water Management District Review Commission
April 20, 1995
Thank you for the opportunity to address you on your important tasks. The work of
the Commission will have profound effects on the people and natural resources of this
state. Your careful review of the current water management system and thoughtful
recommendations fo7 improvement can result in abetter Florida.
We all recognize that the existing water management structure, based on the Model
Water Code, has accomplished a great deal since the Florida Water Resources Act of
1972 was adopted by the legislature. In the area of water supply, the system has
helped provide Water for the seven million new residents since 1972. In the area of
flood damage prevention, it has helped to prevent the catastrophic floods that have
occurred in this state historically. In the area of water quality, the system has
endeavored to minimize the largest water quality problem in the state: stormwater
, pollution, and has worked to sustain our highly productive aquifers by protecting them
from saltwater intrusion. In the area of natural systems, the Department of Environ-
mental Protection and the water management districts have purchased, under various
programs, enormous acreages of land for such important purposes as water supply,
Recharge protection, maintenance of natural biodiversity, and outdoor recreation.
These successes are the envy of most states and are the product of the fundamental
strengths of the current statutory system. These strengths include:
A Watershed Approach. Our system wisely emphasizes unified basin
S Comprehensiveness. The current system discourages single-purpose water
management activities. Water supply, for example, must not be considered in
isolation from flood control or natural systems or water quality. The needs of all
users, both human and natural systems, are always balanced as part of the
equation under the current system.
Reasonable-Beneficial Use Test. Under the Water Resources Act, a proposed
consumptive use of water must establish that the proposed use of water is a
reasonable-beneficial use. This Florida standard, which combines the best
features of Eastern and Western water law, has promoted both the efficient use
of water and the public interest.
Adequate Powers to Raise Needed Revenues. Effective water management is