Title: Summary of 1997 Major FL Water Legislation
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 Material Information
Title: Summary of 1997 Major FL Water Legislation
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Summary of 1997 Major FL Water Legislation
General Note: Box 11, Folder 2 ( 17th Annual Water Management Seminar - 1998 ), Item 17
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00002780
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.

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1. SUMMARY OF 1997 MAJOR FLORIDA WATER LEGISLATION









FLORIDA HOME BUILDERS ASSOCIATION


1997 MAJOR WATER LEGISLATION -- SUMARY AND HIGHLIGHTS


WATER SUPPLY DEVELOPMENT (CS/HBs 715, 1249, 1321 & 1339) Effective
Date: July 1, 1997, ezxept as otherwise provided. [Perhaps the
most major water bill in 25 years]

OVERALL: DEP, in cooperation with the WMDs, RWSAs and others
are required to develop a Florida Water Plan that includes for the
first time a focus on water supply development and enhancement. In
addition, clear lines of responsibility and authority are drawn for
local governments and WMDs in their respective roles in the
management for water. WMDs have the primary responsibility for
identifying needs and planning and resource development. Local
governments on the other hand have the primary responsibility for
choosing options and constructing capital facilities to meet the
supply demands.

IMPACTS: Local governments and water utilities should receive
assistance from WMDs who, for the first time, are directed to
engage actively in water resource development. All water users
should benefit from a major policy shift which focuses on
developing new water resources and supply to meet all existing and
future needs instead of water allocation among existing users based
on existing and limited groundwater availability. Users should
also receive benefits from longer consumptive use permit durations
under certain circumstances as well as a new policy focus on
.creating recovery and prevention strategies if minimum flows and
levels lead to reductions in groundwater withdrawals.

SPECIFIC HIGHLIGHTS:

A. INTEND AND DECLARATION OF POLICY-- Chapter 373 is
significantly amended to direct WMDs to promote the availability of
sufficient water for all existing and future reasonable uses and
natural systems. The DEP & WMDs are also directed to consider
cumulative impacts on water resources while managing those
resources for sustainability.

B. THE ENTIRE DEVELOPMENT OF WATER POLICY IN FLORIDA HAS
BBEN RESEAPBD-- the Florida Water Plan will now consist of WMD-
developed plans AND the state water policy rule, which has been
renamed the water resource implementation rule. All future
amendments to the water resource implementation rule shall be
adopted by the Secretary of DEP and submitted to the House and
Senate for review prior to becoming effective. This amendment is
intended to ensure legislative participation in any changes in
water policy throughout the state.

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The terms "water resource development" and "water supply
development" are defined and the responsibilities for those
activities more clearly delineated -- the former, a primary
responsibility of the WMDs; the later, a primary responsibility of
local government -- although, either entity can become involved in
either function:

"Water resource development" means the development of regional
water management strategies, including the collection and
evaluation of date and the development of structural and
nonstructural programs to protect and manage water resources.
Programs may include the construction, operation, and
maintenance of major public works facilities to provide for
regional flood control, surface and underground water storage,
groundwater recharge augmentation, and related technical
assistance to public and private utilities.

"Water supply development" means the planning, design
construction, operation, and maintenance of facilities for
water collection, production, treatment, transmission or
distribution for sale, resale, or end use by public or private
utilities.

C. DISTRICTWATER MANAGEMENT PLANS AND REGIONAL WATER SUPPLY
PLANS--

1. The district water management plans are expanded to
a 20-year planning horizon (with 5-year updates) and must
include traditional needs and sources analysis, including a
determination of whether an adequate water supply is available
for all existing and future users. Only those portions of the
plan which are necessary for implementation will be adopted by
rule or order.

2. For areas where a WMD estimates that there will be
water shortages over the 20-year planning horizon, the WMD
must develop a specific regional water supply plan by 10/1/98.
Water supply planning must include quantification of the water
needs for the area based on those needs being met during a 1-
in-10 year drought event. A list of available water supply
sources must be identified, including potential sources of
funding needed to develop that water supply. Water resource
development projects must be identified along with a schedule
for implementation, funding requirements and funding sources
needed to implement the water resource projects. If a minimum
flow or level is currently violated, a recovery and prevention
strategy must be included. As such, water supply development
must occur concurrent with any proposed reduction in existing
permitted withdrawals and the water developed must be used to
offset any such reduction in permitted withdrawals. (Existing
regional water supply plans must be revised and amended to
reflect the changes in this legislation.)
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D. OVERSIGHT OF WXD REGIONAL WATER SUPPLY PLANNING A BUDGET
ZEPORTSo--
1. Beginning 11/15/97, and every year thereafter, DEP
must submit to the Governor and the Legislature a report on
the status of the regional water supply planning efforts in
each district. (The regional water supply planning options to
address all needs cannot be used to supplant the decisions of
local government.)

2. The Governor's office is authorized to approve, in
whole or in part, the budget of a WMD; and, the Governor must
analyze the adequacy of fiscal resources available to each
district and the adequacy of expenditures of each district on
water supply based on overall needs within each district.
3. Similar to the DOT work program, by August 1 of each
year, each WND shall submit for review its tentative budget to
both the Governor and the Legislature, which shall include a
proposed 5-year water resource development work program that
describes the district's implementation strategy for the water
resource development component of each regional water supply
plan, including a written evaluation of the adequacy of
proposed expenditures. The Governor and DEP must review the
proposed work program and provide comments. Interested
parties shall have an opportunity to provide comments. The
WMDs must respond to which changes recommended by the Governor
Sby either incorporating such changes into the work program or
stating the reasons for not incorporating the recommended
changes. The WMDs must provide a copy of their responses to
the Legislature.
B. DIRECTION IS PROVIDED TO TIN WlMD TO ALLOW THE USE OF
THEIR LANDS FOR MULTIPLE PURPOSES, INCLUDING WATBR SUPPLY
DIEVLOPMENT AND WATER RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT (also including, but not
limited to, agriculture, silviculture, boating and other
recreational uses) provided minimum flows and levels have been set
for the priority water bodies on the property; all consumptive use
permit conditions are met; and, the use of the land for water
supply development is compatible with the purpose for which the
land was originally acquired.
1. DURATION OF PERMITS-- Consumptive use applicants are
given the option to request a 20-year permit if they provide the
district with sufficient data to show that the conditions of the
permit can be met throughout that period of time. The district is
authorized to require a compliance report every 5 years, if
necessary, to assure that the conditions can be met for the longer
duration. Based on the applicant's compliance report, a permit
modification may be imposed.


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G. NINZIUM PLOWS AND LEVELS--
1. Rather than directing WMDs to establish minimum
flows and levels for all surface waters and aquifers, the
legislation states that by November 15, 1997 and annually
thereafter WMDs shall submit to DEP for review and approval a
PRIORITY LST AND SCHEDULB for the establishment of minimum
flows and levels for priority surface waters and aquifers
within their district. (The lists are to be published
initially by 1/1/98 and annually thereafter in the FAW; the
lists will identify which waters will be subject to voluntary
independent scientific review; and, the preparation and
publication of the priority list satisfies the statutory
requirements for the establishment of minimum flows and
levels.

2. The setting of a MF&L must consider STRUCTURAL
ALTERATIONS which have occurred and the constraints those
alterations have placed on the hydrology of the affected
watershed or aquifer, provided that nothing shall allow
significant harm caused by withdrawals.

3. Because HISTORIC HYDROLOGIC FUNCTIONS no longer may
be provided by certain waters, it is inappropriate to set a
MF&L based on historical conditions.

4. The DEP and the WMDs cannot establish MF&Ls for
ARTIFICIALLY CONSTRUCTED WATERS, unless those surface waters
are found to have significant hydrologic value or found to be
an essential element of the water resources of the area
[excluding those waters contained within the Everglades
Protection Area].

5. The WMDs also cannot establish MF&Ls for any SURFACE
WATER BODY LESS THAN 25 ACRES IN 815X, unless that water body
individually or cumulatively is determined to have significant
economic, environmental or hydrologic value.

6. As previously noted, if an existing flow or level
actually falls below the minimum established, or the water
body is projected to fall below the minimum over the 20-year
period, a very specific water resource recovery or prevention
plan must be adopted including a timetable to establish
sufficient water to maintain the flow or level. Such
development of sufficient water must occur concurrent with any
proposed reductions and must offset any such reductions in
permitted withdrawals.

H. PASCO, PINULLAS AND HILLSBOROUGH COUNTIES--

1. Because of fears expressed by Pinellas, Pasco and
Hillsborough Counties about the impact of the changes in the
MF&Ls in this law compared to the direction provided by
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., '1 i,1


Chapter 96-339, Laws of Florida, adopted last year, a special
provision was adopted indicating that last year's law applies
whenever there is a conflict. However, the bill expressly
notes that the lower Hillsborough River and the Palm
River/Tampa Bypass Canal are subject to this year's MF&Ls
language.

2. Language was also provided indicating potable water
supply construction operation and maintenance can be funded by
regional water supply authorities, WMDs or private parties.
This language is intended to spur construction of the
desalination plant proposed for the West Coast Regional Water
Supply Authority (Authority) area. Language is also provided
to encourage changes in the governance of the Authority, as
recommended by it in a report to the Legislature dated
February 1, 1997. the Authority is required to submit a
supplemental report by January 5, 1998 on the status of
implementing its prior recommendations for changes. The
Authority is authorized, although not required, to enter into
an interlocal agreement implementing the governance changes.

I. IMPORTANT FUTURE ACTIONS--

By November 15, 1997, the DEP will submit a status report
to the Governor and the Legislature regarding water supply planning
efforts in each district. Also, the districts must submit a
priority list and schedule for establishing minimum flows and
levels for priority water bodies.

By January 5, 1998, the West Coast Regional Water Supply
Authority will submit a report to the Legislature on the status of
implementing changes in the Authority's governance.

By October 1, 1998, WMDs must prepare regional water
supply plans for areas with inadequate water supplies.


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