CITIZENS WATER PROBLEM STUDY COMMITTEE
THE HONORABLE LEROY COLLINS
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
March 1, 1955
J. Abney Cox, Princeton, Chairman
James Ball, Belle Glade
George W. Gibbs, Jacksonville
Byron Herlong, Leesburg
Thomas L. Maxwell, Quincy
Robert D. Tylander, WestPalm Beach
The Citizens Water Problem Study Committee was organized at the Columbus Hotel
in Miami, Florida, on September 29, 1954. All members of the committee then ap-
pointed were present and discussed objectives with the then Governor-Uominee,
the Honorable LeRoy Collins. The primary activity of the committee his been on
the question of the need for a water law in Florida.
Subsequent meetings were held in Jacksonville on November 5, 1954 and in Orlando
on December 14, 1954. Substantial quantities of written material on the sub-
ject, including water laws from other states, have been obtained and distri-
buted to the members of the committee. The committee at the meeting in Jackson-
vill obtained certain preliminary information concerning the water situation in
Florida from experts. At the December meeting in Orlando plans were made for
a public meeting to be held in Orlando on Wednesday, January 12, 1955. It was
decided to invite interested individuals, groups and agencies to present testi-
mony relative to the following three questions:
1. Is a comprehensive water law in Florida Necessary?
2. If the answer to the first question is in the affirmative,
what specifically should be the form and content of that law?
3. If not prepared to recommend a specific law, please recom-
mend a statement of policy which can be used as a basis for
conducting a study and drafting a law in the future.
Notice of the public meeting was sent to the following individuals, groups and
Mr. Colin D. Cum
U. S. Soil Conservation Service
Col. H. W. Schull, Jr.
Corps of Engineers, U. S. A.
Florida Association of County Commissioners
Mr. Leon C. Tully, President
Florida League of Municipalities
Mr. Gordon D. Butler, President
P.O. Box 535
Florida Geological Survey
Att: Dr. Herman Gunter, Director
P.O. Box 631
Col. A. G. Matthews, Chief Engineer
State Board of Conservation
division of Water Survey and Research
Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District
West Palm Beach, Florida
Dr. Wilson T. Sowder
State Board of Health
P.O. Box 218
Jacksonville 1, Florida
Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service
Att: Mr. R. S. Dennis
University of Florida Experimental Station
Att: Mr. William Fifield
State Road Department
Mr. Wilbur Jones, Chairman
Hon. Richard W. Ervin
State of Florida
Fish and Game Commission
State of Florida
Associated Industries of Florida
Mr. William F. Jibb, Executive Secretary
226 West Pensacola,
Florida Association of Soil Conservation Districts
Att: Mr. John F. Lamb
State Soil Conservation Board
Att: Mr. Hollingsworth, Executive Secretary
Florida and Georgia Cigar Leaf Tobacco Ass.
Att: Mr. W. M. Inman, President
Florida State Chamber of Commerce
Att: Mr. Harold Colee, Executive Secretary
Florida Farm Bureau
Att: T. C. McClain, Executive Vice President
Winter Park, Florida
Economic Society of South Florida
Att: Mr. Ben N. Criswell
Dr. A. P. Black
University of Florida
Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association
Att: Mr. Jeffre Davis
4401 E. Colonial Drive
- -- -----~--- i "-1-~- ~--ICi-~- ^`------~-`I-II1--.~---~
I A &
Florida Agriculture Research Institute
Att: Mr. Frank Holland
324 Avenue E. N.E.
Winter Haven,, lorida
Florida Well Driller Association
Att: Mr. Vickers, Secretary
Vickers Well Drilling
10836 N. W. 7th Avenue
Palm Beach County Resources Development Board
Mr. Ralph Blank, Executive Secretary
West Palm Beach, Florida
W. K. McPherson
College of Agriculture
University of Florida
The committee met in Orlando on the evening of January 11, 1955, and prepared
an agenda for the public meeting on the following day. As has been the case
in every meeting, all members of the committee were present.
The public meeting was very well attended by sixty-three persons represent-
ing forty-two agencies, industries and organizations. Those present repre-
sented a cross-section of the varied interests throughout the state. The
persons testifying were most cooperative and helpful and the committee is in-
debted to them for their assistance.
While the committee has a transcript of the proceedings at the meeting, it
appears desirable to summarize the statements of each of the witnesses testi-
fying at the meeting.
C. E. BUSBY, SPECIALIST ON WATER LAW
U. S. SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE
Mr. Busby stated that rights to and problems concerning water are divided into
those which concernwaters in well-defined stream channels, which he called
"surface.waters", waters not in well-defined streams, which he called "diffused
surface waters", and under-ground water, which he called, "ground water". He
stated factors which were pointing up the problem in this and other states. He
analyzed the basic common law in Florida which expresses the principles of law
by which water rights and problems are not determined in Florida. He noted the
deficiencies and inadequacies of the common law alone to act as a guide for the
effective use and conservation of our water resources.
Having outlined the present situation, Mr. Busby made the following recomnen-
dations for a solution.
1. A basic water policy for all water starting first with a policy for
diffused surface water and surface water only, if it is thought that
a policy for ground water also might be too far reaching.
2. Establish a legislative study commission to work out details of
how to implement that policy, such commission to be composed of
legislators and laymen representing the key water groups in the
3. As a basis for implementation establish minimum essentials as
(1) Set of definitions (some now would be helpful)
(2) Organized procedure in giving effect to basic water
policy, emphasizing conservation and beneficial use
to be carried out by a broad water policy board such
as a board of water commissioners.
In conclusion, Mr. Busby emphasized the importance of education in securing
support for the program.
DR. A. P. BLACK, DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF
WATER RESEARCH, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Dr. Black said that in time a comprehensive water law will be needed on the
basis of our estimated population and water requirements for the future for
municipal, industrial and irrigational purposes; 'these increased water needs
will be only a fraction of the total water available, but will present serious
problems where large withdrawals are made in limited areas; the population in-
crease in florida from 1952 to 1975 is estimated to be one hundred seventeen
(117%) per cent; present laws should be strengthened; the State Board of
Health should be given authority to bring injunction suits in tases involving
pollution; and that an appropriation should be made to make it possible to
enforce Senate Bill 57, Chapter 28283 which is an act designated to protect
and control the artesian waters of the state.
Dr. Black suggested the following elements for a basic water policy:
1. The amount of water supplied to Florida is determined by the natural
.kfyrological cycle and beyond the control of man.
2. The amount is sufficient if properly managed.
3. Serious problems have developed:
(a) Droughts and floods due to variations in. seasonal and annual
(b) Lowering of ground water levels in areas, of high withdrawal
(c) Salt water encroachment
4. Estimates of percentage increase in water use in 1970 greatly ex-
ceed corresponding estimates for the nation as a whole.
5. This invaluable resource (water) should be consumed and managed
with the philosophy of beneficial use as the basis, the measure and
the limit to the use of waters ofi the state.
6. Vested rights should be defined and recognized at the date of
the passage of the act4
7. Domestic water supplies shall be exempted.
Before the formulation of a comprehensive water law is undertaken, a very com-
prehensive study should be made. That after such study is made, if a compre-
hensive water law is adopted it should be administered by a properly con-
stituted board of commission.
LACY G. THOMAS, CHAIRMAN WATER CONTROL
COMMITTEE, FLORIDA FARM BUREAU
Mr. Thomas outlined past efforts at legislation concerning water. He exhibited
resolutions of Florida Farm Bureau evidencing interest in such matters for
several years past and expressing a need for a state agency to formulate plans
and policies on an over-all water program for Florida and to have full authority
to supervise effectuation of such plans and policies. He stated, "itts high
time that we did, probably at this session, lay the ground work by proposing
some basic legislation along broad lines as suggested by Mr. Busby and Dr. Black,
but from my own experience in dealing with this problem and hearing discus-
sions of it, it is going to take a long time to effectuate real control".
Mr. Thomas.emphasized the diverse problems in Florida pointing out the radical
differences in water problems of west, central and south Florida, requiring a
law broad in its concept giving responsible people the authority to make ad-
justments according to needs.
M. L. MEDLAND, FRUIT AND VEGETABLE
Mr. Medland announced that his Board had not had an opportunity to consider the
matter and would present a statement after their board meeting on February 24,
THOMAS L. MAXWELL, FLORIDA AND GEORGIA
CIGAR LEAF TOBACCO ASSOCIATION
Mr. Maxwell stated that his association is very much interested in the subject
and that the members of the association have a substantial investment in irriga-
tion and water supply equipment and that they are continuing to expand and add
to their investments; that the association was not in a position to give speci-
fic answers to the questions proposed at that time but would possibly make some
suggestions at a later date and appreciated the opportunity to participate
in the deliberations.
SENATOR IRLO BRONSON, FLORIDA
Senator Bronson recalled the attempt at water legislation in 1945 and stated
that he had been in the legislature at that time and voted against the original
bill presented but for the amended bill setting up the Division of Survey and
Water Research that we have today. Recalling that experience, he said that
any new legislation should be on a rather broad basis because water problems are
so diversified from Miami to Pensacola. He emphasized the need for research.
When asked if he thought there is any need for a comprehensive water law now
or in the future he replied, "Well, I would say on a state-wide basis with
industries coming in and the way the state is growing we are going to have to
have some form of priorities in the years to come".
ROBERT W. HALL, FLORIDA DAIRY ASSOCIATION
AND SOUTH FLORIDA PROPERTY CONSERVATION
Mr. Hall said that the dairy industry was vitally interested in the problem and
that so far as Dade County is concerned there was no need, in his opinion,
for a water/a 6wever, that from the broad standpoint the state does need one.
He stated that the Florida Dairy Association had not had an opportunity to meet
so that he could not state whether or not the association thought that there was
a need for a water law.
W. K. MC PERSON, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
In answer to the question as to whether or not a comprehensive water law in
Florida is necessary, Dr. McPherson said, "I believe that the answer to this
question depends entirely upon whether or not Floridians want to maintain the
the status quo or to improve the level of living of a rapidly growing popu-
lation...if Floridians aspire to make the same kind of economic progress
in the future as they have in the past, and if the population continues to grow,
both a comprehensive water law and additional facilities for conserving
the water resources are necessary...apoorly conceived water control law can
retard rather than accelerate economic growth...
Dr. McPherson went on to state that the current session of the legislature
can stimulate the formulation of a state water policy by initiating an ex-
haustive study of legislation needed to obtain the fullest possible use of water
with the responsibility for coordinating the activities of all agencies that
Can contribute to such a study being delegated to an appropriate state agency.
Water control legislation should be designed to maximize the usefulness of
the water supply of natural watersheds rather than of political subdivisions.
If it is possible to use the same criterion in the Apalachicola watershed as in
the Kissimmee watershed then a comprehensive state water law can be written;
if this cannot be done the only alternative is to create some sort of a body
which will make the decision as to what is the best utilization of water in
any particular local situation.
L. M. HOLLINGSWORTH, SOIL CONSERVATION BOARD
Mr. Hollingsworth stated that the Board had not had a meeting since receipt of
the letter outlit questions, but that it is the Boardts opinion that as a
matter of sound policy the efforts to obtain a desirable water control program
should be made by all interested agricultural, civic and industrial groups work-
ing together with the Water Survey and Rbsearch division of the State Board of
Conservation which is especially charged with this problem.
R. Z. JENKINS, AGRICULTURE STABILIZATION AND
His group having had no meeting, Mr. Jenkins had no specific recommendations but
assured the committee of their willingness to cooperate.
A. B. MAC MULLEN, STATE ASSOCIATION OF 0SIL
CONSERVATION DISTRICT SUPERVISORS
Mr. MacMullen stated the following:
The Florida Association of Soil Conservation District Supervisors have been very
active in the study of water problems in the past. They have been guided to a
considerable extent by the suggestions of Mr. C. E. Busby, who is referred to
hereinabove. Their principal contribution was a survey of the practical water
problems in the state. A questionnaire was sent out to all the local boards as to
the water situation in the fifty-eight counties serviced by the organized soil
conservation districts. The results of the survey are shown in a report dated
October, 1954 and entitled, "Preliminary Summary of Data on Water Problems That
Have or May Have Legal or Administrative Implications". A Check Sheet Chart was
made from the report and it is attached hereto.
This report shows a cross-section of the water problems in Florida insofar as
agriculture is concerned and an attempt is hereby made to summarize these pro-
blems as stated in the report:
A wide variety of problems were reported that included problems ranging from
those connected with diffused surface water (surface water moving to well-
defined streams) through those relating to water after it reaches and becomes
a part of natural water courses' (well-defined streams and lakes) and situations
relating to ground water.
The type of problem reported by the greatest number of counties had to do with
diffused surface water, where obstructions and diversions had caused flooding of
property or improvements. Thirty-three counties reported sixty-two problems of
Three rather typical examples are given below by way of illustration:
The Baker County report included this: "Former 'At has a natural drain through
his land. A highway is built and water is concentrated through this natural
drain so as to make the surrounding fields usuable. This situation has been
going on for some years.
From Brevard County comes this problem: "A drainage outlet ditch was established
by a rancher to dr4in a rather large area to be used for pasture. The new ditch
empties the water into a natural drainageway, resulting in flooding of the lower
land in citrus.
Hernando County cited this:"tAt digs ditch across property, draining water into
sink. Later, tAt sells the portion of land nearest sink to IBt. tB' fills up
ditch on his property line. This floods 'Ats land."
Sixteen distinct types of problems involving diffused surface water were reported,
In addition to the type mentioned above, three other types were fairly conpon.
Flooding in relation to canals and ditches was mentioned by seventeen counties,
with a total of twenty-nine problems cited.
Bradford County report said that: "Many instances have occurred where county
and state agencies have cut ditches from roads into ponds without outlets, causing
a flooding of farm lands.
According to the Polk County report, Farmer 'A1 is diking and pumping water from
about 160 acres into an existing drainage ditch between tAt and 1B' receives
more water and at a faster rate than previously, resulting in flooding of 'B's land.
Sixteen counties mentioned need for participation by land-owners as a type of
problem in connection with drainage of diffused surface water. More than
twenty individual problems were reported by these sixteen counties
Here is an example: tA', tB' and 'Cf, three larger muck owners involving 100
acres of muck land and a one-mile-long ditch dug in 1947, have agreed to assume the
cost of a clean-out job by a dragline at an estimated cost of $1,200.00. tD'
agreed to let the dragline clean out the ditch, but insisted that the ditch follow
its previous route through a muck pond. 'At, tB* and 'C' want the dragline to
go around muck area for economy in digging. Original ditch through muck area was
dug by hand; dragline operator says his machine cannot go through this muck area
even on mats. IAt, IB* and 'Ct say hand-digging through muck area is too ex-
pensive at this time.
Thirteen counties listed problems in connection with need for control of over-
all drainage of diffused surface water as another type. A total of fifteen pro-
blems were listed.
The Osceola County group mentioned this: "'tA digs a diversion ditch on his
property to intercept surface and seepage water from the lands of tBI who ad-
joins At.' tA1 digs the diversion ditch so deep that it lowers the water table
on the property of 'Bt, so as to adversely affect grove trees near the ditch."
The second most common type of problem cited was flooding resulting from ob-
structions to, or diversions of natural watercourses.
Some twenty-seven county groups included examples of this type in their reports,
and a total of forty-five individual problems was tabulated by them.
DeSoto County reports: "The major drainage outlet for DeSoto County is ob-
structed by railroad bridges and sunken barges. The obstructions held up float-
ing debris and hyacinths which hinder movement of water during rainy season."
Anpther report gave this example: tA' and IB' have farm ponds located on the
same stream. Due to faulty construction, 'A's dam goes out in a heavy rain and
takes out the well-constructed dam of 'Bt.
Reducing or drying up normal flow as a result of obstructions tocr diversions
of natural watercourses was a common type of problem listed. Eighteen counties
reported a total of nineteen problems of this kind.
Farmer 'A', according to one report, "diverted a natural stream into a storage
pond for irrigation. During extended dry periods, farmers lower on the stream
are short of water which they formerly had for livestock." Here is an example of
a problem arising out of use, as contrasted with problems arising out of damage
situations due to excess water, or those connected with drainage.
In Clay County, "Dams along a small watercourse temporarily diminish or stop
flow below them, causing landowners downstream to object because they have in-
sufficient water for agricultural or domestic purposes."
Manatee County listed the following problem among those in their report: tA
farms on a stream utilizing water for supplemental irrigation. B't, farming
upstream, diverts water flow through his property, resulting in insufficient
water for 'A' below.
In addition to the two types of problems already discussed under natural water
courses (well-defined streams and lakes) sixteen other types came in for considera-
Water level control in lakes, especially where levels were too low, seemed
fairly common, with ten counties listing low lake levels.
Here is an example from Seminole County: tAt owns about 80 acres of citrus
on the southeast side of a lake. tAt has installed a pump house and irrigation
system for irrigating his grove. This system was installed about five years ago,
and has been frequently used during the dry season. There is a small low area lying
about 100 feet west of the lake, and is owned by contractor tB., IBt removed
the muck and grass out of the low area, sub-divided the land into building lots,
and constructed a large ditch or canal connecting the low area with the lake.
Three days later, the water level in the lake dropped about two feet, leaving
tAts pump and pump house in water too shallow."
Ground water problems also came in for consideration, mostly relating to wells
and springs. Problems were reported under six types, or classes. Two of these
types are discussed below.
- U -~
Seven counties reported nine problems in connection with wasteful flow of arte-
One report listed the following problem: "Four artesian wells on 'A's property
are installed with valves, tAt allows wells to flow freely at alltimes, with
no system to spread water for useful irrigation. This results in a misuse and
waste of water."
From the St. Lucie County Report: "An old well in an abandoned grove has
rusted out and valve has fallen off, letting well flow freely year around.
Eleven counties reported fifteen problems concerning wells which dry up or re-
duce flow significantly in other wells.
An example from the Putnam County report will serve to illustrate: 'At drilled
his flowing wells deeper, causing the wells of his neighbor, Farmer r'B to stop
flowing water. These wells are drilled into percolating ground water., The
water from these flowing wells is used for irrigating truck crops, using a
seepage (furrow) system."
This brief summary represents only a part of the material contained in the 50
reports mentioned above.
Mr. McMullen stated that they felt there was need for legislation to help
solve these problems and that it was the purpose of his association to cooperate
with and do what they could "to help establish a set up that will eventually
work out laws that are equitable and fair and which will be a benefit to all in-
terests of the State of Florida."
EDWIN J. JACKSON, A TAYLOR COUNTY BUSINESS MAN
Mr. Jackson, a Taylor County business man said, "we have a big industry in
Taylor County that has three big wells pumping a total of 26,000,000 gallons
of water daily." He further stated that this has caused the water level in the
area to drop, some springs to cease flowing and some homes to be without water;
that Fen Holliway Spring ceased flowing November 19th, 1954. The water from this
spring is mineral water, which his company has been selling since 1921. He
recommended laws to take care of private homes and small businesses. He also
referred to a problem from flooding by the draining of San Pedro Bay into Fen
Holliway River which causes flooding of homes and small businesses.
FRED W. JONES, OUTDOOR WRITER AND OUTDOOR
EDITOR OF THE LAKELAND LEDGER
Mr. Jones exhibited extreme interest in water control for many years. In his
statement he highlighted several water problems including that tich is created
by #he extensive use of underground water reserves in the operation of industrial
plants in Polk County which he said caused springs and artesian wells in the
immediate vicinity to cease flowing. He pointed out, however, that soue indus-
tries recirculate the water they use so that actual consumption is not exten-
sive. The main point he made was that there is a need for a water law in Florida
and that due to the widely varying climatical and geographical conditions, one
specific law could not cover all the conditions in the state and therefore it
must of necessity be administered by some state board or commission established
for the purpose.
J. P. CARROLL, FLORIDA STATE WELL DRILLERS
Mr. Carroll for his association, offered assistance and cooperation to the com-
mittee but no specific recommendations.
FRANK H. LESLIE, HERNANDO CIVIC CLUB
iMr. Leslie outlined a local problem that had arisen as the result of the at-
tempt on the part of a group of lanidners to develop a large area of land in
Citrus County which property Mr. Leslie stated was principally a lake ratherthan
land and that this development involved dikes and drainage and was said to have
an adverse effect on others in the area and that hearings had been held before
the Corps of Engineers, USA and that a determination was made that since there
was not the necessary navigation involved the Corps of Engineers had no authority
over the matter.
Apparently the main point that Mr. Leslie was attempting to make was that they
had a local problem involving a lake or watershed and there was no law by which
:or forum before which the problem could be resolved.
S rANDY WALKER, POLK COUNTY SPORTSMANtS CLUB
Mr. Walker said their organization was whole-heartedly in favor of a water law
with teeth in it?. He stated that lakes and streams were getting lower every year
and wells going dry; that there was excessive drainage and some pollution.
WILLIAM F. JIBB, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT,
ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIES OF FLORIDA
'Mr. Jibb stated that his association represented some 400 various industries in
Florida; that his board had not met so he could not give a specific or official
statement but he assured the committee of their willingness to cooperate in any
constructive program because of their vital interest in the economic growth of
Florida and their interest in the health and welfare of the people of Florida.
HAROLD R. SAUNDERS, ST. JOE PAPER CO.
PORT ST. JOE, FLORIDA
pertain members of the committee having evidenced an interest in the water conserva-
tion methods of large industrial plants, Mr. Saunders related the experience of
St. Joe Paper Company at Port St. Joe wherein after originally stating their
operation with 16 deep wells that resulted in a definite lowering of the water
table in the immediate area, they spent approximately 2 million dollars in con-
structing an open channel a distance of 18 miles to the Chipola River using water
from the Chipola River that would otherwise have flowed into the Gulf of Mexico.
With reference to the question of the re-use of water, he stated that whereas they
take in and put out 15 million gallons of water a day, the total of the different
uses to which that water is put would amount to approximately 60 million gallons
a day if it were not re-used.
In answer to the question by the members of the committee, Mr. Saunders stated
from his personal standpoint that he saw no reason why industry would object to the
creation of a water board or commission which would regulate the use of water
if one of the objects of the law in creating such board would be to assure in-
dustry that it would have an adequate supply of water to meet its needs. He
stated further, however, that he thought that industry would like to have some
part in preparing such legislation and that if they felt it was good legislation
they would support it, but if they thought it was going to hurt them they pos-
sibly would oppose it.
At this stage in the proceedings, the Chairman, Mr. Cox, made the following state-
pent: "I would like to say at this time for the benefit of the industry repre-
sentatives, that it is my impression that Covernor Collins is vitally interested in
furthering industrial development where properly located and one reason for ap-
pointing a Water Control Chnmittee is to determine if a water law might be enacted
that would aid indusitres both present and future andat the same time protect the
economy of other interests in the state."
L. E. DEQUINE, KIMSTRAND CORPORATION,
Mr. Dequine is a scientist with Kimstrand Corporation, manufacturers of nylon
in Pensacola. The total capital expenditure in the area by that company is esti-
mated to be 88.6 million dollars and it employs between 3 and 4 thousand people
and it is not at full production yet. Mr. Dequine stated that in establishing
his company in Florida the information and services available from the State
Geologist, the U. S. Geological Survey and the University of Florida was most
helpful in determining the size and depths of wells and the amount of water which
would be available. He state that in their area there are such vast quantities
of underground water that they have never had any indication that the water
table is being lowered as the result of their operations and that they watched
that very carefully as it could detrimentally affect them if such should occur.
He stated that the underground water situation in their area of the state was
entirely different from that in other sections.
Because of this vast difference in water -problems in different sections of the
state he said that he did not think it would be possible to pass one law appli-
cable to all parts of the state and if there were any comprehensive legislation
on the matter it would have to be administered by some control agency or policy
setting commission and he thought that such was advisable for the state.
Mr. Dequine stated that the primary problem in Florida is the underground water
Mr. Dequine evidenced interest in the plan previously outlined to provide for
a committee to study all of the problems carefully and that a geologist should
certainly be included thereon.
Mr. Dequine outlined conservation measures they are using whereby they are con-
suming only about 1/10 of the 57 million gallons of water being circulated through
their plant each day.
HALL TENNIS, FLORIDA AUDUBON SOCIETY
Mr. Tennis stated that the Florida Audubon Society recognizes that there is no
effective water policy or law in Florida and most significant wild life habitat
have been destroyed through land development and they urged study of water pro-
blems and distribution of educational matter.
When preliminary studies indicate an answer is the need for a water law, they
urge proper authority to give the recommendations of the study immediate attention.
The Florida Audubon Society offered its assistance in cooperation with the educa-
tional aspect of the problem.
COL. ROY T. DODGE, CORPS OF ENGINEERS, USA
Col. Dodge stated in carrying out their responsibility they had found that there
are certain phases of the three general fields relative to water problems in
which there is an absence of legal responsibility due to the fact that awch
fields are not covered by state law or federal law.
tHe first discussed navigation and pointed out that the responsibility of the
U. S. Government is related to the control of navigable waters of the U. S.
which he defined as those navigable waters which have a connection with other
states and that any decision it made with reference thereto could be based only
on whether or not navigation would be affected. He stated that often contro-
versies arise involving construction of structures in inter-state navigable
waters where navigation is not actually affected or in navigable waters lying
wholly within a state and the Corps of Engineers is without authority to regulate
such construction and he thought that a good purpose would be served by having
a law giving the state power to control erection of such structures in such
situations where federal authority is now lacking.
With reference to flood control and irrigation, the second field he discussed,
he stated; first, that he felt there would always be a need for regulation of
the manner in which adjoining land owners used the facilities provided under
major flood control programs such as the large central and southern Florida
flood control district project, construction of which is the responsibility of
the Corps of Engineers; second, that consideration should always be given for
those land owners who did not front on the main canals; and third, that there
should be legislation prohibiting the erection of dikes and other structures
within the floodways of major rivers.
With reference to the third field, beach erosion, he stated the following:
"the Corps of Engineers has the responsibility there of making studies on
Beach Erosion problems and participating in the correction of Beach Erosion
problems. In so doing, the Federal Government contributes 50% of the studies
on Beach Erosion, and not to exceed 1/3 of the cost of prevention or correction
of Beach Erosion problems. Since the State contributes the major portion I
feel that the State has a very definite interest in that, and at the pre-
sent time there is no law or no restriction which would prevent an individual
.from building a structure on a beach which would cause beach erosion which might
. have to be corrected at the expenditure of Federal and State funds.
COL A. G. MATTHEWS, DIRECTOR OF DIVISION
OF WATER SURVEY AND RESEARCH, STATE BOARD OF
Col. Matthews stated his agreement in general with the approach to the problem
as outlined in previous testimony to the effect that before any comprehensive
water code or law is adopted there should be a thorough study made by some
committee created for the purpose by the legislature at its coming session.
His indicated view was that when such time comes that a comprehensive law was
| enacted its enforcement should be on a decentralized basis with the respon-
Sbility in the counties, there being, however, a provision for an appeal to
ome state-agency or body.
In answer to a question from one of the committee members, Col. Matthews said
that an overall state authority might be constitibed but having within its
Discretion the right to bring under its regulation just those areas of the state
Where the water problems are critical.
SHERBERT C. GEE, CONSULTING ENGINEER OF
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA FLOOD
Col. Gee stated that his home is in West Palm Beach and that he represents the
SCentral and Southern Florida Flood Control District as consulting engineer. He
said that the following are the principal problems confronting the state:
S r 1. The lack of any water law in the State of Florida; and under that the
need for a statement of policy by the legislature which should be followed,
L* /after a reasonable length of time, by the enactment of a code in general terms,
0 and for general application throughout the state. It would be necessary for an
agency of the state to be created to administer that code.
2. The matter of federal-state cooperation should be studied. There are
*e federal committees at work, such as the Hoover Commission, for one, exploring
V* the entire field of water resources development and there is a committee of the
Executive at cabinet level making a similar study. The following will be con-
sidered under that federal system of rules; flood control, navigation, irrigation,
domestic and industrial water supply, water conservation oi fish and wild life.
Anything we do at the state level must be designed to fit into such a system as
the federal government may adopt or such modifications as are adopted of the
3.There are areas in Florida where the watershed treatment program, author-
0 j ized by Congress in the last session, has application, and we should bear that
in mind in the overall study of our water problems.
1 4. The State of Florida ranks third in percentage population growth in the
United States; and ranks second in business growth during the same period; and
S this growth has only begun, so we must get ready to handle the very serious
problems-which will arise that pertain to the beneficial use of water to an
He stated that the State Board of Health needs the authority to resort to in-
junction to stop practices which are known to be injurious to the fresh water
resources of this state. Col. Gee cited the following problems of the Central
and Southern Florida Flood Control District which need to be corrected:
1. The lack of authority to regulate the construction of levees and dikes
J in the St. Johns River and the Kissimmee River.
2. The lack of proper provision to take care of the "back owner" of land
in the removal of flood water and providing water for irrigation ... "the back
owner" is entitled to just as much consideration under the federal-state cooper-
ation project as is the man that just happens to own that land that is adjacent
to the canal.
He stated that he was convinced that a central authority would be needed to
administer any water code enacted into law and that there is no reason why this
central authority should not delegate authority to local districts such as the
Central-and Southern Florida Flood Control District and-t-e Lake County and
Orange County WaterControl Authorities.
DR. HERMAN GUNTER, DIRECTOR OF FLORIDA
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, STATE BOARD OF
Dr. Gunter for forty years with the Florida Geological Survey has long advo-
cated some central authority over our water supplies, both surface and ground.
He said that Florida Geological Survey confines its investigations and studies
primarily to ground or subsurface waters. Surveys are now being carried on in
connection with the U. S. Geological Survey. Reports are being made from time
to time on the results of their surveys. His department cooperates also with
the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District. Their surveys have
been used by large mills in determining desirability of establishing in Florida
and location of wells. Dr. Gunter thinks that introducing a comprehensive law
at the present time might be a bit premature and that he favors a statement of
Policy at the present time with a complete study to be made of the overall
water situation followed by the adoption of a comprehensive water law adminis-
tered by a central authority.
ARTHUR WEST, ENGINEER OF DRAINAGE,
STATE ROAD DEPARTMENT
Mr. West said the State Road Department's main interest in water is in run-off,
the movement and disposal as well as in flood control navigation and erosion.
They believe there is a need for a review of existing laws, i.e.:
1. Laws which deal with the right to improve the conveyance or movement
of surface water and drainage.
2. Laws which deal with the right to concentrate the water at a specific
3. Laws which deal with the right to construct dikes.
In answer to questions about the considerations given to water problems in de-
signing roads, Mr. West said that such consideration was given to large water-
sheds, but not to small plots of 2 or 10 acres or something like that.
G. E FRYE, DIRECTOR, FRESH WATER FISH AND GAME
Mr. Frye said his comments were general in nature and not necessarily the offi-
cial policy of the commission. He said that traditionally fish and game resources
have taken very much of a back seat in any consideration of water and land use,
but that lately there seems to be indication that some consideration is being
given to wild life.
Surveys indicate that the average license holder in the state spends $400.00
a year in the pursuit of his sport and there are 350,000 license holders in
Florida, so that a total of $140,000.00 is so spent annually,
His experience is that water policy is dictated first by the cattlemen in the
\ low land and the citrus grower next who suffered after the low land was drained,
There is a need for more information and also a coordinated state-wide usage,
A very general law should be enacted leading eventually to administration by an
The Fresh Water Fish and Game Commission has many petitions requesting the com-
ission to enjoin some industry from polluting the water in a situation where the
problem does not relate to fish and game but to some much more difficult and
general problem such as pollution of a municipal water supply. There is a need
for some general authority to handle such matters.
DAVID V. LEE, CHIEF ENGINEER, STATE BOARD
Mr. Lee said that about 750 new people come into the State of Florida every day.
The rate of growth is increasing and this water matter is of great importance
to Florida. Water is our second most essential commodity to life, with air
being number one. Water is man's greatest friend. Water is man's most faithful
servant. Mr. Lee said that it is the opinion of the Florida State Board of
Health that there exists a definite need for a Water Resources Commission t&h-
broad policy making responsibilities such comnmissionto be made up from repre-
sentatwv of IC.'iu interests i-Hi. c mission would utilize existing agencies.
He said the first act of the commission should be to review and evaluate present
water laws and devise a proper pattern for future use of water resources.
Mr. Lee said that it is the feeling of the State Board of Health that existing
- agencies were doing a good job and until adequate study is made no change in
their present responsibilities should be taken.
In answer to questions by committee members, he stated that the broad policy of
water resources protection as far as the State Board of Health is concerned is
no new pollution. The board has ruled that there will be no major sewerage ex-
tension without adequate treatment.
LUTHER JONES, FLORIDA STATE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
AND PALM BEACH COUNTY RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Jones states that their position in all conservation and water control is
one of publicity and education and that their purpose is to assimilate information
and get opposing interests together to allow them to find out what their rights
and privileges are and to discuss differences and attempt to consolidate them.
He stated that he believes that the opinions of individual citizens are being
considered more and more by official agencies which is a,situation that did not
exist not too many years ago.
He offered the facilities of the State chamber of Flood and Water Committee to ed-
ucate the public with reference to water matters. He stated that in his opinion,
the subject of water is one of the first three most vital questions before the
E. T. OWENS, CITY OF JACKSONVILLE
E. T. Owens presented a statement in the form of a letter concerning a conflict
the City of Jacksonville is having with the State Board of Health in the matter
of the extension of a sewerage system by the City, It appears that the State
Board of Health recommended that certain sewage collection and treatment be
provided and that the City did not concur in the recommendations and so they
are in the process of making an independent survey to determine whether or not
the assimilation and the capacity of the St. Johns River is such that their
sewerage system can be expanded without costly treatment facilities.
The final report of their endeavors has not been received as yet, but there
is still apparently some disagreement between the City of Jacksonville and
the State Board of Health.
In addition to the testimony presented at the hearing, the committee received certain
written reports among which is one from Florida Sewage and Industrial Wastes As-
sociation, Pat Flanagan, President, in which it is stated that the chief need
today is for a policy making board of commissions to review the policies and
/operations of the several technical agencies to eliminate conflicting policies,
to assure adequate programs and to coordinate activities and eliminate dupli-
A series of articles written by Bill Blaylock, Staff Writer of the Tampa
Tribune, appeared in that paper during the month of November. These articles
discussed the problem of water pollution and the efforts being made by various
state agencies to find a solution to the problem. One of the problem areas which
| he discussed was on the Peace and Affia Rivers. It seems agreed that at certain
times these rivers do become considerably polluted but there is a difference
of opinion as to the specific cause. Very often the finger is pointed at the
phosphate industry which is an extremely important industry to the entire state
of Florida and especially that section of Florida. The State Board of Health,
The University of Florida and the University of Miami, as well as the various
industries affected are making surveys and studies of the problem.
The Honorable David C. Jones, Jr., State Representative from Naples, Florida,
Shas prepared a bill to be introduced into the legislature creating a water
pollution board to have control over the maintenance of purity of the waters of
the state by the regulation of the discharge of waste, sewage and other matter
into such waters. This board would consist of the Florida Health Officer, the
Supervisor of Conservation, the Director of the Game and Fresh Water Fish Com-
mission and two members appointedd by the Governor. The basic philosophy of
regulation of discharge into waters of the state appears advisable to this
committee. There are two comments that should be made. First, this board
Deals only with pollution and it may be advantageous to have it during the
interim, but if the day comes when there is a comprehensive state law with
Reference to water, with a state board administering the law, the matter of
Pollution should come within its sphere of operations. Second, this board should
be so constituted and its activities so conducted that industry will be aided
and not hampered and suppressed.
The committee has noted the information furnished by the Governor relative to
recent action taken by the Twelfth General Assembly of the States requesting
that the Council of State Governments and its Drafting Committee of State Officials
consider recommendations as to the improvement of state water laws, and of the
plans of the Governorst Conference, Frank Bane, Secretary, to assist states in
solving their water problems. Thisis further evidence that the entire nation is
becoming increasingly water conscious.
Members of the committee studied various pamphlets and papers relating to water
problems, which papers and pamphlets were supplied by experts and authorities
both from within and without the State of Florida. The committee obtained and
studied laws with reference to water from other states and gave careful consideration
and attention to those recently enacted in our section of the country and otherwise
generally familiarized themselves with the activities of other states in deal-
ing with water problems.
In considering the testimony and material as herein outlined certain salient
factors begin to become of added importance when considered in the light of our
water situation today.
Statistics concerning the expected growth of Florida have been quoted with such
frequency recently that they do not need repeating here. It is sufficient to
say that the anticipated increase in population, business, agriculture and
industry is such that very serious problems will arise pertaining to the bene-
ficial use of water unless there is careful planning now. Other states such as
California are faced with expenditures of many millions of dollars because of
lack of planning years ago.
In order to properly plan and to obtain the maximum net benefits from our water,
there is pressing need for a greater understanding of the states water resources
and of the effects of mants development and use of water.
Many conflicts stem from the growing competition for the use of water, but limited
viewpoints and partial knowledge are doubtless contributing factors in most dis-
putes concerning water.
The state therefore, can and should have a vital role in the over-all program
of water development within its boundaries. Flexibility is desirable in all
phases of the planning, to permit water developments and uses in accordance with
economic need, and without restriction except in the interest of the general
welfare. It cannot be tQstrongly emphasized that P pn-ftrr t ant-
rigidity, but intelligent flexibility; not dictatorship and centralization, but
Eooeraton and shared responsiiity. Teaela e u e unly
4t encourages nitat vand asenseeof -repnaearib i-y i com-
M 1 oa .od. N.o "plan" can be acceptable which weakens or fails to use these
Among the problems which have arisen in our State with reference to water are
dr; rights and floods due to variations in seasonal and annual rainfall, lowering
of ground water levels in the areas of high withdrawals, flooding from the
obstruction of natural flow of diffused surface water because of development of
other lands and building roads, salt water encroachment and pollution.
The problem of pollution of lakes and streams by discharge of sewerage and
industrial affluent is becoming increasingly serious everyday and in many
instances public health is being endangered. In some instances, however,
there is a difference of opinion as to the cause, effect and danger.
The amount of water supplied to Florida form all sources, including underground,
surface and rainfall, appears to be sufficient for all the needs of man in
Florida for the foreseeable future provided it is properly managed and utilized.
The desirability for such management seems to extend to the regulation of any
activity which would result in a dimunition of the natural mean water level in
a given area.
S In such management, it is important to protect and preserve the water supply
necessary to encourage the growth of industry, large and small, in Florida and
to encourage new industry to become established in Florida by assuring in-
dustry that it would have adequate supply of water to meet its needs. Sports fish-
ing and hunting are also valuable assets in Florida and consideration should
always be given to such activities in planning the solution to water management
Since we speak of management we must of necessity mean some law or rule where-
P by this would be accomplished. The diversity of topography and geology of the
State of Florida is such that it would be virtually impossible to write a
S practical comprehensive water law detailing the rights and responsibilities with
reference to water without the same being administered by some board commission
or agency. The wisdom of setting uP such a board wiPtbive and equitable
rgglation is dependent upon an adequate knowledge of our water resources and an
exhaustive study of the effect of water management on affected interests.
Research and basic-data collection have long been recognized as essential state
functions. In the course of our study we have noted that there are several
different state agencies charged with the responsibility of gathering data and
making surveys which relate to water matters. We gathered the impression that
i much of raw data have accumulated over the years, practically undigested and it
is not being studied and analysed and put to any progressive use. While these
departments have provided information in the event of specific requests from
interested individuals, there does not seem to be any present plan whereby all
of this information will be assimulated and used in an affirmative manner. There
is sufficient data within these various agencies, which.if assembled and co-
ordinated could make a beginning in the broad water legislation program.
The first proposals of this committee, therefore, pertain to a planning organi-
zation which we shall refer to as a water resources study commission with powers,
personnel and funds commensurate with broad responsibilities.
SIt is reco an! d th t legislation be enacted in the 1955 session of the legis-
latI creating a water resources study commission composed of 2 members of the
Senate appointed by the President of the Senate, 2 members of the House of
Representatives, appointed by the Speaker of the House, and 3 persons from the
State of Florida at large, appointed by the Governor. One of the members ap-
pointed by the Governor shall be by him designated chairman ad sucbh charman
should devote full time to his duties-, aR d rae ive a salary. Other members of
the commission should receive a perdiem for expenses and a travel allowance.
This commission would be charged with the responsibility studying available
data from present state agencies, and accumulating additional data which they
deem necessary, utilizing such sources as will be available to them, all for
the ultimate purpose of recommending water resources legislation, if needed, at
the 1957 session of the legislature. An appropriation should be made for the
Study commission to carry out its duties and responsibilities so that the com-
mittee will be able to employ such technical help as may be needed.
This committee is of the onin that this study wll ultimately disclose
that a compre eFsivewater law fn r nrida administered hy a permanent state
hoard is needed. MHterr airh ns the exter t of the jurisdiction nf tha board,
the details of t-e operation of the board, the expense of operation of the
board as compared to the savings effected and benefits received, the-relation-
ship Sf o _at fencess and the effect on various interests
involved are all matters forhb w t ReToaurcesCommisn "o
in addition to assimilating basic data. Everyone agrees that what is commonly
S(kn-own as domestic water supp lei? noi municipal water supplies) should not be
This committee is aware of Section 3ZQ.05.LrLaws of Florida, providing for a plan
of water conservation and flood control for the State of Florida, but we are of
the opinion that such is inadequate to accomplish the purpose as herein expressed.
Furthermore, we do not think that any other present or proposed agency should
assume this responsibility, but that it should be carried out by the commission
we suggest who would be unassociated with past activities and with no pros-
pect of being involved in future programs, but only interested in making an
accurate study to determine Floridats best comse in meeting and solving its
In enacting the legislation creating the study commission, it would be advisable
for the legislature to include some definitions and a general statement of water
policy for the State of Florida and the following is suggested as a policy:
(a) Waters in the State of Florida are a natural resource of the Statie
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