Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Section 373.504, Florida Statutes, is created to read:
373.504 WATER USER FEES
(1) Definitions for the purpose of this section:
a) "Agricultural Water User" is defined as a user of ground
water for the production of crops or the growing of farm products.
b) "Commercial/Industrial Water User" is defined as a user of
ground water for the production of goods or services provided by a business
c) "Public Water System" means a system for the provision to
the public of piped ground water for human consumption, if such a system has
at least 15 service connections or regularly serves at least 25 individuals
daily at least 60 days out of the year.
d) "Water User Fee" is defined as a fee that may be collected
from water users by the Northwest Florida Water Management District created
under this chapter for the withdrawal of ground water within the established
boundaries of the district.
(2) After January 1, 1988, the Northwest Florida Water Management
District is hereby authorized to impose a water user fee upon every public
water system, agricultural water user, and commercial/industrial water user,
having or required to have a consumptive use permit approved by the
Governing Board as of the date of this Act for the use of ground water,
pursuant to Section 373.219, Florida Statutes. Any revenues received by the
district from such user fees shall be used by the district to accomplish its
objectives as provided by Chapter 373, Florida Statutes.
(3) All non-community water systems, as defined in S. 403.852(4) and
any public water systems, commercial/industrial uses and agricultural uses
not subject to consumptive use permits approved individually by the
Governing Board, as well as water used for thermoelectric production and
water used by any residence not provided by a public water supply, are
exempt from water user fees authorized by subsection (2) above, except that
the Governing Board may require water user fees for groundwater withdrawn
within the district for use outside district boundaries for any purpose.
(4) In any year, the total of water user fees imposed in the
district shall be of such an amount that the combined annual sum of user fee
revenues and ad valorem tax revenue received by the district shall not
Iii i u
I l l I 1 I
exceed the revenue that would be generated by an ad valorem tax assessment
of one (1) mill within the district.
(5) Annual water user fees imposed shall be as determined by water
use, based upon annual withdrawals, as follows:
a) The annual withdrawals as documented by the permitted from
actual withdrawal records, or
b) When approved, the annual withdrawals based on permitted
uses if no documentation capability exists regarding the withdrawals.
(6) All public water systems and other water users subject to
subsection (2) above shall submit reports to the district detailing and
documenting withdrawals if such documentation exists, according to schedules
and on forms to be provided by the district. Failure to adhere to such
schedules shall result in determination of withdrawal amounts by the
district from estimates on the system's consumptive use permit.
(7) On or before July 15, 1988, and annually thereafter, the
Governing Board shall determine, by user type, the water user fee rate
structure required to provide revenues needed to carry out the district's
programs, subject to subsection (4) above. Such determination shall be by
Governing Board resolution and shall take place at a duly noticed public
In setting the annual water user fee structure by user type, the
Governing Board shall not exceed ten cents per 1000 gallons for public water
systems; ten cents per 200,000 gallons for agricultural water users; and ten
cents per 25,000 gallons for commercial/industrial water users; and fifty
cents per 1,000 gallons of ground water withdrawn within the district for
any use outside of the district boundaries.
Section 2. Section 373.506, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
373.506 Costs of Districts -- If it should appear necessary to
procure funds with which to pay the expenses of a district, or to meet
emergencies, before a sufficient sum can be obtained from the collection of
the tax, and water user fees where authorized, the Board may borrow a
sufficient amount of money to pay expenses and meet emergencies and may
issue interest-bearing negotiable notes therefore and pledge the proceeds of
the tax and water user fees where authorized, imposed under the provisions
of this chapter for the repayment thereof.