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NORTHWEST FLORIDA WATER
NORTHWEST FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
SECOND ANNUAL MEETING
Killearn Country Club
Monday, October 24, 1977
8:45 a.m. 10:15 a.m.
10:30 a.m. 12:00 Noon
Coffee and Pastries
Panel #1 Public and Local Government Participation
in Water Management Decisions: Is it Necessary? Is
Panel #2 What is the Optimum Organizational
Structure for Water Resource Management in Florida?
1:30 p.m. -
3:15 p.m. -
Panel #3 Water Management: Who Should Pay... For
What, and How Much?
Panel #4 What is an Appropriate Role for Water
Management Districts in Water Quality Management?
Tuesday, October 25, 1977
Regular Governing Board Meeting
9:15 a.m. 12:00 Noon
NORTHWEST FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
SECOND ANNUAL MEETING
Public and Local Government Participation in Water Management
Decisions: Is it Necessary? Is it Helpful?
Mr. Howard Odom, Member, NWFWMD Governing Board
Mr. Fred Rouse, Executive Director, St. Johns River District
Rep. James Ward, Former Governing Board Member, NWFWMD
Mr. Francis Spence, West Florida Regional Planning Council
Mr. Wallace Henderson, Assistant Secretary, Dept. of Administration
Mr. Lee Vause, Chairman, Leon County Board of Commissioners
Mr. L. M. Blain, Attorney, Southwest Florida District
What is the Optimum Organizational Structure for Water Resource
Management in Florida?
Mr. Tom Coldewey, Member, NWFWMD Governing Board
Rep. Gene Hodges, Vice Chairman, House Natural Resources Committee
Mr. Jack Maloy, Executive Director, South Florida District
Mr. Jim Lewis, Water Management District Coordinator, DER
Sen. Pete Skinner, Member, Senate Natural Resources Committee
Mr. Tommy Clay, Chairman, St. Johns River District
Dr. Frank Maloney, Dean Emeritus, University of Florida Law School
Water Management: Who Should Pay...For What, and How Much?
Mr. Dan Farley, Secretary/Treasurer, NWFWMD Governing Board
Rep. Ed Fortune, Chairman, House Appropriations Committee
Mr. Joe Cresse, State Budget Director
Sen. Philip D. Lewis, Chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee
Mr. Riley Miles, Water Users Association of Florida, Inc.
Mr. Don Morgan, Executive Director, Suwannee River District
Mr. Derrill McAteer, Chairman, Southwest Florida District
What is an Appropriate Role for Water Management Districts in
Water Quality Management?
Mr. Frank Caldwell, Member, NWFWMD Governing Board
Rep. Herb Morgan, Member, House Natural Resources Committee
Dr. Tom Herbert, Staff Director, House Natural Resources Committee
Sen. Tom Tobiassen, Member, Senate Appropriations Committee
Mr. Don Feaster, Executive Director, Southwest Florida District
Dr. Robert Livingston, Associate Professor of Biology, FSU
Mr. John Robert Middlemas, Former Member, Environmental Regulation
Mr. Buddy Blain, Counsel, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Brooksville, FL
Mr. Joe Cresse, Budget Director, Department of Administration, Tallahassee, FL
Dr. Leo Eisel, Executive Director, U.S. Water Resources Council, Washington, D. C.
Mr. Don Feaster, Executive Director, Southwest Florida Water Management District,
Rep. Ed Fortune, Florida Representative, Pace, FL
Mr. Wallace Henderson, Deputy Secretary, Department of Administration, Tallahassee, FL
Dr. Tom Herbert, Staff Director, House Natural Resources Committee, Tallahassee, FL
Rep. Gene Hodges, Florida Representative, Cedar Key, FL
Mr. Jim Lewis, Water Management Districts Coordinator, Department of Environmental
Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Sen. Phil Lewis, Florida Senate, West Palm Beach, FL
Mr. Robert Livingston, Associate Professor, FSU, Tallahassee, FL
Dr. Frank Maloney, Professor Emeritus, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Mr. Jack Maloy, Executive Director, South Florida Water Management District,
Post Office Drawer V, West Palm Beach, FL
Mr. Derrill McAteer, Chairman, Southwest Florida Water Management District,
Mr. Riley Miles, President, Water Users Association, Inc., Kissimmee, FL
Mr. Don Morgan, Executive Director, Suwannee River Water Management District,
Post Office Drawer K, White Springs, FL
Mr. Herb Morgan, Florida Representative, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Fred Rouse, Executive Director, St. Johns River Water Management District,
Route 2, Box 695, Palatka, FL
Sen. Pete Skinner, Florida Senate, Lake City, FL
Mr. Francis Spence, West Florida Regional Planning Council, P.O. Box 486,
Sen. Tom Tobiassen, Florida Senate, Pensacola, FL
Mr. Lee Vause, Chairman, Leon County Board of Commissioners, Tallahassee, FL
Rep. James Ward, Florida Representative, Fort Walton Beach, FL
Governing Board Members
Mr. Frank Caldwell, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Tom Coldewey, Port St. Joe, FL
Mr. Dan Farley, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Howard Odom, Marianna, FL
Mr. Buddy Runnels, Destin, FL
Mr. Alan Whidby, Pensacola, FL
Mr. Hoyt Addison, Supervisor, Yellow River Soil & Water Conservation District,
Dr. Claude Anderson, Coastal Plains Regional Commission, Washington, D. C.
Mr. Gary Balanoff, WCTV-6, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. John Barnes, Soil Conservation Service, Marianna, FL
Mr. Buzz Barrow, University of Florida, Institute of Food & Agricultural Science,
Mr. Paul Beam, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Al Bishop, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. H. Miller Burt, Polyengineering of Florida, Shalimar, FL
Mr. J. B. Butler, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Brooksville, FL
Mrs. Frank Caldwell, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Charles Carlan, Barrett, Daffin & Figg, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. Tom Coldewey, Port St. Joe, FL
Mr. Clyde Conover, U.S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. Clyde Conover, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Skip Cook, City of Tallahassee, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Bob Cooper, Talquin Electric, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Joe Cresse, Department of Administration, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Ben Ellinor, Gadsden County Grants Administrator, Quincy, FL
Mrs. Dan Farley, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Gene Figg, Barrett, Daffin & Figg, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. John Finlayson, Suwannee River Water Management District, White Springs, FL
Mr. Pratt Finlayson, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Rep. Don Fuqua, U.S. Representative, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. Don Fuqua, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Doug Genever, South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, FL
Mr. W. W. Glenn, Jackson County Comprehensive Plan, Marianna, FL
Mr. John Goodridge, South Florida Water Management District, Interagency Coordinator,
West Palm Beach, FL
Mr. Carl Guthrie, Florida Department of Transportation, Chipley, FL
Mr. Richard Hamann, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Mr. Hubert Helton, Staff Director, Senate Appropriations Committee, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. K. N. Henderson, Reynolds, Smith & Hills, Jacksonville, FL
Mrs. K. N. Henderson, Jacksonville, FL
Mr. Bill Hinkley, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Scott Hoffman, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Hon. Richard Hood, Gadsden County Judge, Quincy, FL
Mrs. Richard Hood, Quincy, FL
Mrs. Shirley Kotlarz, Reynolds, Smith & Hill, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Kotlarz, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Howard Landers, Reynolds, Smith & Hill, Jacksonville, FL
Mr. Jim Larkin, Reynolds, Smith & Hill, Vice President, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. Jim Larkin, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Bill Lee, Florida Department of Transportation, Shipley, FL
Mr. Ed Leuchs, Apalachee Regional Planning Council, Blountstown, FL
Mr. Jonathon Lich, Leon County Commission, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Chuck Littlejohn, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Bill Mann, U.S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. Bill Mann, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Mickey McCullough, Barrett, Daffin & Figg, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. Mickey McCullough, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Peter McPhee, Department of Natural Resources, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Jack Merriam, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. Jack Merriam, Tallahassee, FL
Ms. Addie Middlebrooks, Tri-Rivers Waterway Association, Dothan, AL
Mr. John Mullin, Chairman, Board of County Commissioners, Bay County, Panama City, FL
Mr. William H. Morgan, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Mr. Robert Murrah, Southwest Georgia Economic Council, Camilla, GA
Mr. Rufus Musgrove, U.S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. Rufus Musgrove, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. Howard Odom, Marianna, FL
Mr. Stoddard Pickrell, University of Florida, Institute of Food & Agricultural Science,
Mr. Bill Preston, Senate Natural Resources Committee, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Jim Pridgeon, Legislative Aide, House of Representatives, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Todd Rainsberger, Assistant Editor, University of Florida, Institute of
Food & Agricultural Science, Gainesville, FL
Mr. Lamar Rowe, Rowe Drilling Co., Inc., Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. Davage (Buddy) Runnels, Destin, FL
Mr. Mike Seale, Consultant, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Neal Sharitz, American Cyanamid, Milton, FL
Mr. John Fuller (representing Bob Sikes), Crestview, FL
Mrs. Francis Spence, Pensacola, FL
Mr. Jim Spiva, Modern Water, Inc., Panama City, FL
Mr. Malcolm Steeves, Reynolds, Smith & Hill, Jacksonville, FL
Mr. H. H. Strong, Ft. Walton Beach Steering Committee, Valparaiso, FL
Ms. Lorraine Stryker, Division of State Planning, Department of Administration,
Mr. Sonny Vegara, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Brooksville, FL
Mr. John Vecchioli, U.S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. John Vecchioli, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Joe Vick,Monsanto, Pensacola, FL
Mrs. James Ward, Fort Walton Beach, FL
Mr. McIver Watson, Coastal Plains Regional Commission, Charleston, S. C.
Mr. John Wheeler, South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, FL
Mr. Estus Whitfield, Division of State Planning, Department of Administration,
Mrs. Estus Whitfield, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. John Wodraska, South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, FL
Mr. Ken Woodburn, Office of the Governor, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Gerald Zachariah, University of Florida, Institute of Food & Agricultural
Science, Gainesville, FL
Bill McCartney, Executive Director
Bob Boynton, Business Manager
Rich McWilliams, Director, Program Development Division
Jim Cason, Director, Technical Support Division
Jim Stidham, Director, Water Resources Division
Zia Qureshi, Hydrologist
Martin Armstrong, Biologist
Don Esry, P.E., Engineer
Vince Faraone, Systems Analyst
Doug Barr, Assistant Hydrologist
Larry Briel, Groundwater Geochemist
Warren Lester, Acting Chief, Inspection Section
SAngela Smith, Executive Secretary
SPat Brinkley, Secretary
SMary Jo Bedenbaugh, Secretary
Debbie Waliga, Executive Secretary to the Governing Boa
Kathy Davis, O.P.S.
Rosalind Wooten, O.P.S.
SMatilde Munoz, Illustrator
Ron Madonia, Hydroengineer
Tom Kwader, Assistant Geologist
Mike Eicher, Hydrogeologist
Betty Lynn Sprinkle, Information Specialist
Chip Perkins,Associate Planner
Sandy Brill, Associate Planner
Doug Stowell, Attorney to the Governing Board
PUBLIC AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATION IN WATER MANAGEMENT
DECISIONS IS IT NECESSARY AND IS IT HELPFUL?
MODERATOR: MR. HOWARD ODOM, Member, Northwest Florida Water Management
District Governing Board; Owner, Odom Tank Company, P.O. Box 492,
Marianna, Florida 32506
PANELISTS: MR. FRED ROUSE, Executive Director, St. Johns River Water
Management District, Route 2, Box 695, Palatka, Florida 32077
MR. WALLACE HENDERSON, Deputy Secretary, Department of Administration,
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
MR. FRANCIS SPENCE, West Florida Regional Planning Council,
P. O. Box 486, Pensacola, Florida 32593
MR. JAMES WARD, Florida Representative, Fort Walton Beach,
MR. BUDDY BLAIN, Counsel, Southwest Florida Water Management
District, 5060 U.S. Highway 41, South, Brooksville, Florida 33512
MR. LEE VAUSE, Chairman, Leon County Board of Commissioners,
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
PANEL CHARGE: Public and local government participation in water management
decisions in Florida historically has been limited--except in times
of crisis. This is equally true in day-to-day decisions and in the
long term management planning process.
Such participation is not required by any state legislation,
as it is in most federal and many state and regional programs.
As such, public participation in water management activities may
not be necessary, although all of the water management districts
in Florida are expending some efforts in this regard (some more
Assuming that public participation is necessary, a number of
options may be open for achieving it. However, the choice is
difficult considering costs (which can be significant) and the
different methods of obtaining public input in normal management
decisions versus long-range planning.
Finally, when public participation is achieved, evaluation
of the input is difficult. The opinions expressed are likely
to be as divergent as the number of interest groups represented.
1. Public participation in water management decisions is
not required, strictly speaking, and the input received
may be conflicting and difficult to interpret. Is it
2. Public and local government participation in the water
resource planning process is becoming more difficult
since several levels of government are actively preparing
water plans. How can the overall water resource planning
process be integrated to optimize input from citizens
and local public and private organizations?
3. Assuming public information programs to have some value
in promoting public awareness and encouraging public
participation, how much emphasis should be placed on
this function? What portion of the whole array of water
management activities should be devoted to it?
4. How do you evaluate the results of public input, partic-
ularly in light of conflicting interests and opinions
between groups with purposes ranging from industrial devel-
opment to conservation and environmental protection?
5. Assuming public participation is necessary, how do you
achieve it? Some suggested methods are: direct input
from basin boards, such as in the Southwest Florida Water
Management District (NWFWMD has no basin boards); public
meetings and workshops; public information materials
followed by mail opinion surveys; advisory groups (Northwest
Florida Water Management District has a water well advisory
committee--a local government advisory committee has been
suggested); and meetings with the various county commissions.
Local governments are the most likely agencies to fund new
systems and, as such, they are certainly important in the decision-
Local government will have to be involved in regional water
resources planning. The planning will have to be developed on a
state and regional level and then brought to the local level for
implementation. The only way for effective implementation on the
local level involves full participation by the local public as well
as the local governing officials. Local residents tend to resent
the state or federal governments developing plans that govern their
activities, particularly in northwest Florida. Only through effective
public and local government participation can this be accomplished.
In order to have effective participation on the local level, the
public must be kept informed, and, at the same time, their input
must be received and used. The local public must never feel that
their input into the planning process is not valuable or is not
The charge to the panel stated that public participation is
not required, strictly speaking, and the input may be conflicting
and difficult to interpret; is it necessary? We should resolve
that it is necessary. It has been our experience with the Coastal
Plains Regional Commission and in the development of the Water
Element of the State Comprehensive Plan that the people we tend
to hear from are those who are to receive some special benefit
or those who are adversely affected by the proposal. This makes
input difficult to interpret. Also, at times those involved in
the planning process do a less than adequate job in making their
product understandable. Those of us involved in developing
policy and decisions relating to water are responsible for finding
ways to inform the public so that they can provide meaningful
I disagree that public participation is not required, strictly
speaking. The Water Resources Act says the Department of
Environmental Regulation, in preparing the State Water Use Plan,
shall consult with concerned federal, state and local agencies,
particularly governing boards of the water management districts,
and other interested persons. A big mistake being made today is
that the Water Element of the State Comprehensive Plan is being
done independently of the Water Use Plan that is being developed
by the water management districts and the Department of Environmental
Regulation. This may result in a confrontation in the not too
There is no way that water management decisions can be
accomplished in a vacuum. There are requirements throughout
the law that require public hearings and that require that notice
be given to other interests, both public and private. The initial
premise is incorrect as it relates to public participation in water
management decisions not being required. It is required.
Local governments are required by law to have a comprehensive
plan. I am aware of the need to work with the water management
district and the water management district has informed us that
they would be pleased to help us. However, too many efforts are
being conducted simultaneously without adequate coordination.
Local planning officials should be made aware of water management
districts' authorities and activities. We need some guidelines
related to water management and water management planning.
The state should provide some general guidelines to enable
local government to develop a comprehensive plan and then apply
it, depending upon local development priorities. Local governments
could implement the plan in the way they determine to be most
beneficial within the general policy of the state.
Is it correct that each county in the District will have a
Each county will have its own plan. However, if two counties
are separated by a river, conflicts will result if one county
plans one management action for its side of the river and the
other county plans something different for its side. In this
case, the water management districts can help coordinate the
effort for both counties.
The Local Government Comprehensive Planning Act states that
adjoining counties must be involved in the local planning process.
Whether or not public participation is strictly required by
law, it is certainly short-sighted to say that it is not necessary
if the process is to involve adopting rules, regulations, passing
laws or suggesting ordinances to local jurisdictions. If the
public and local government bodies are not involved in the plan,
it will likely have to be redone before it can be implemented.
If such a matter comes before the Leon County Commission and the
commissioners have not been involved or participated in it, imple-
mentation by county ordinance will prove to be extremely difficult.
That may be an indictment of us as elected officials if we haven't
involved ourselves in this process until now. Candidly, I feel
that we have not been involved sufficiently in water management
activities up until this time. This may be because we just didn't
Mr. Vause is correct. The planning processes in this country
have changed considerably in the past ten years, and realistically
so, in getting the local and public involvement with the planning
process going in rather than coming out. Over the last decade,
there have been many plans that have been developed with no input
from the public or local units of government whatsoever. As a
result, there are millions of dollars that have been spent for
plans that go in the corner and gather dust.
In the St. Johns River Water Management District we get our
19 counties involved going in, regardless of what the problems are.
But our counties have different capabilities and that is part of
the problem. I think our job is to assist the counties we service
to do the job they need. If they can do it, fine. If they can't,
then it is up to us to assist them.
As far as "public" participation is concerned, some definition
may be needed. Does the "public" refer to local elected officials,
or does this really involve John Citizen who attends the meetings
and may represent different interest groups? Meaningful contributions
of this sort from the general public is another situation entirely.
Input from the general public also involves certain expenses.
Often the participation is governed somewhat by the number of
organizations that are willing to provide for the expenses of
a representative to express their views.
I have been active in public participation for a long time
and was particularly interested to see the results of a study
done, I think, by the University of Michigan, which involved fears
in the United States. The study indicated that people were generally
afraid third of death, second of height, and first of getting up
in front of an audience and making a presentation. As such, perhaps
our open meeting forum for collecting public participation may
be in need of some revision.
Fear does prevent a lot of people from being heard in public
forum. That's why, in many cases, the elected officials must
represent the public. Those persons who might be unwilling to
speak in a public meeting are the ones who don't feel bashful at
all about calling their elected officials on the telephone or
visiting them in their offices to explain their opinions. A
significant proportion of an elected official's job involves
listening to those people who either don't have the time or
inclination to attend public hearings and make a presentation.
This is why I feel it is important that local government officials
be involved in the planning process.
There is difficulty in interpreting what you hear at a
public hearing. The more diversity of opinion you get, the
more valuable the hearing. In any case, all the people should
have the opportunity to be heard.
Many of our counties currently have no systematic planning.
The local people do not want to change their life style and a
considerable amount of public education may be necessary. Public
participation may provide part of what's needed.
My experience is that it is difficult to get really meaning-
ful public participation. In our meetings we usually get the
same 20 or 30 people who are against anything and you must be
careful in evaluating that situation. In many cases those people
who are in favor of a proposed action don't attend the meetings.
Only those who are "anti" bother to attend.
What way would you recommend to conduct a program to educate
the local people as well as public officials as to the need for
and benefits of participation in water management programs?
Water management districts make decisions concerning their
own funding, projects, regulations and planning. Each of these
involves a different function and the requirements for patici-
pation may vary from one to the other. Additionally, the level
of participation may change from issue to issue. Participation
may be needed from a range of sources from private citizens to
local government, local boards, elected officials, to state and
In that we have decided that local participation in water
management matters is needed, the next objective is to determine
the best method to educate and involve the local people. The
public is rarely even aware of our rules and regulations enacted
for water management purposes.
There is one good resource in our state that could be used
to obtain public participation more effectively. It manifests
itself in several ways relating to public interest organizations.
For example, the League of Women Voters, the Chamber of Commerce
and all these other organizations that are beginning to manifest
an interest in the decision-making processes of government,
specifically as it concerns water. The media, the press, is
another resource for information dispersal. Somehow we must
begin to communicate better with media people in some objective
way so they can begin to tell the story like it is. This will
require some hard work on our part.
One important part of creating good public awareness involves
the impressions created by representatives of water management
agencies when they interact with the public. When they are in the
field representing their agency, their actions project not only
the job they are assigned to do but the atmosphere and attitude
and philosophy of the board or the agency they represent. One
candidate for public office recently ran a pretty strong campaign
on the fact that he had physically thrown Department of Environmental
Regulation personnel off his property. It was a strong campaign
because the local people did not like the Department of Environmental
Regulation's representatives coming onto their property and telling
them to shut down. If representatives of your agency do not approach
local people properly and cooperatively, the result will be negative
rather than positive.
If the water management district, with state participation,
enacts regulations and then finds a particular county opposed to
the regulations, what will be the appropriate action for the District?
You would have participation from at least the county level
government in the early stages of the development of such matters.
If the counties of this District are aware that the District's
actions eventually may impact them, they will participate from the
outset, particularly if their perception of the impact is bad.
In the early stages of this District's operation it has done
everything that could be expected of it, up to this point, to get
Leon County to participate. I assume that every county commissioner
in this District receives written notice of all your meetings as
I do. I have only attended a few. I suspect the attendance of
other elected county officials has been as limited as mine; however,
if the county commissioners are informed of the impact of the actions
you are considering, particularly if that impact is financial, you
may expect them to attend.
Water management districts are already impacting the counties
financially in that we are extracting ad valorem taxes from the
counties. They are not happy about it. However, we have informed
the counties that when budget time arrives next year, we want their
assistance and we need to know how we can serve them. If the people
feel that they might receive important services to the county, I
think this will encourage local interest on a positive basis.
It is important for the districts to stay in contact with
the local planning groups as well as the county board of commissioners.
If only the commissioners are contacted, there is some chance that
the planning groups may not be made aware of important issues.
By what vehicle can you get this information to the planning groups?
As far as the Northwest Florida Water Management District is
concerned, we want very much to work directly with local planning
groups. From the preceding discussion it is obvious that there is
a potential for the development of many different uncoordinated
plans within each county and throughout the region. I hope it is
the consensus of this panel that the districts can help in coor-
dinating county efforts. We need public education regarding our
programs and I hope we can always work closely with the planning
boards across this District. The District will work with you in
your planning and help you as much as possible.
The investment plan for the Coastal Plains Regional Commission
has a variety of goals and objectives in it. Are they the same
goals and objectives that we are using for the State Comprehensive
Plan and the local government comprehensive plans? Has there
been any coordination between all of these various goals and
There should be. The Department of Administration is in
the final stages of the development of the Water Element of the
State Comprehensive Plan. If the goals and objectives listed in
the investment plan have not been considered in the development
of the Water Element, they should be and we will investigate
Who will tell the public what is to happen? Will it be the
State Comprehensive Plan by itself, or will we have additional
goals and objectives by the water management districts? Who
will inform us where we're going in terms of philosophy? For
example, do we intend to have no growth?
Chapter 23 of the Florida Statutes requires that the Depart-
ment of Administration, through the Division of State Planning,
develop a comprehensive plan for the state of Florida. For the
past five or six years the Department has been developing an incre-
mental system to develop the state plan. We have defined 16
elements; water is one of them. The Water Element has been under
development for at least three years. The purpose of these various
elements is to articulate in some central place a set of broad
policies, objectives and goals that the governor of the state
and the legislature can discuss, debate, and arrive at a decision
on the policy of the state of Florida relating to water and the
impacts of water management. When that process is complete, the
governor makes his recommendations to the legislature on that
Water Element, and the legislature signs off on the element. Then,
conceptually at least, every other lower level of government will
use those policies, goals and objectives to develop their own
plans and programs that will move toward accomplishment of the
state's goals and objectives.
This planning procedure has been an effort to work from the
top down, with the legislature being the policy-making body of
this state. The state has never had a water policy. Various
water-related laws and rules have been in effect, but we hope that
for the first time policy will be set by the political leaders of
the state. Then the Department of Environmental Regulation, the
water management districts and planning boards can take that policy
and develop their programs to carry out the policies. I think
that is the way the law indicates that we would work.
How does the Water Element fit in with the State
Plan and the elements, or parts of elements, that are
on by the different water management districts?
The water use plans being developed by the districts should
be in conformance with the policies formulated by the legislature.
Is it correct that the Water Element is intended to be the
governing document and, as such, the districts must go back and
develop the State Water Use Plan based on that?
Because of the coordination that has gone into the develop-
ment of the Water Element, it is not likely that the district
plans will be far from the state policy. I understand that the
work that has been done in the development of the district plans
is pretty sound. I hope that state policy will be such that the
districts won't be forced to redevelop their plans. If they
are significantly different from what the legislature decides is
state policy, then they should be redone.
Do you expect this to be considered by the legislature this
Yes, but it is hard to predict the outcome.
Has state policy been developed without consultation with
the water management districts?
No, Governor Askew issued an executive order last year which
required the Department of Administration to conduct a series of
public hearings in order to obtain input from the public and the
water management districts and all others who had anything to do with
water. The governor required the establishment of policy advisory
committees; the policy advisory committee for the Water Element is
very large and one of the most active advisory committees we have.
Representation on the committee is from water management districts,
elected officials, and experts in the field of water. They have
been very aggressive in contributing to the Water Element. It
appears that the Water Element will be one of the best products of
the planning process so far.
I agree philosophically with Mr. Henderson's points but would
prefer to get back to the real world.
When I first received the draft Water Element in June it was
2 to 3 inches thick. As I reviewed it, I read that farmers shall
spread their manure and that ditches shall be mulched. I tried
to find something there concerning growth and whether we will
The policy advisory committee was set up in June and designed
for high level people, executive directors and chairmen of the
governing boards of the water management districts. The meeting
was properly opened by Lt. Governor Williams and addressed by Mr.
Whittle. They stressed the importance of this document for the
executive directors and chairmen to discuss. Yet, we had a document
so thick that you could get no meat out of it. If you really want
the chairmen and executive directors to discuss something, and if
the governor and cabinet are going to sink their teeth in it, you
need a document of no more than a dozen pages. If the main
document is too large, the governor and cabinet do not have time
to read it. Rather, they will have to depend on staff, as we have
all had to do, to analyze this document.
I understand now that the document has been reduced, but
the whole planning process has worked in reverse. When you
are involved in setting policy, whether it is the governor and
cabinet or the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the
top level policy statements are perhaps one sentence long. As
you proceed to lower and lower levels of government, then you
expand and build on the document. But as I saw it, we had a
big volume of high level policy telling us that we were going
to require mulch in ditches and that the farmers would drag
their fields to spread manure. This is not the way to go about
developing the plan; it should have come down first with basic
guidelines and the rest should have been developed at lower levels.
This has reached a point where I question even spending my
time on it. We spent the whole policy advisory committee meeting
worrying about dotting the i's and crossing the t's and I couldn't
get any discussion on the issue of importing water.
Since then, there have been several policy advisory committee
meetings, which key members of my staff have attended, and we have
provided considerable input. Basically, our goal has been to
reduce the draft Water Element to a reasonably sized document.
We have tried to revise the wording to fit what we see as a
policy in the interest of our Governing Board.
That is good testimony to what has taken place over the past
The larger the document, the more confusion seems to result
from it. This seems to be typical of state government. One
thing I have noticed while trying to participate with the govern-
ment is the duplication that exists between different agencies.
Anything that has to do with the management of water should be
considered first by the boards of the water management districts
who will help make those decisions.
I have read the draft Water
things I agree with and a lot of
but I did not know how to change
of us feel the same way.
Element, and there are a lot of
things I did not agree with,
it. I think most of the rest
Could we possibly have more coordination between soil and
water conservation districts and water management districts?
The conservation districts were established many years ago and
are a resource that may be under-utilized.
One of the weaknesses in the development of the Water Element
of the State Comprehensive Plan is that the governing boards of
the water management districts are the heart and soul of water
management authority, and they really have had no opportunity to
participate in this. Often a chairman of a water management
district governing board will be consulted, but it is usually on
fairly short notice with inadequate time to get a response from
the other members of the governing boards or basin board members.
These are the people who are involved in day-to-day water manage-
ment problems and programs and they can provide more constructive
help if we could develop a mechanism for getting them involved.
Since development of our current water management legislation
in 1972, the all important objective in planning for water management
has been for the districts to complete their water use plans. Each
of the districts had been working on a plan for some time. When
DER was formed in 1975, the districts urged the Department to accel-
erate the schedule for developing a State Water Use Plan; they did
so and are making substantial progress on it. The water management
districts have spent a great deal of money and effort in assimilation
of data and plan development, and I am distressed to hear that the
plans will have to conform with the Water Element, which will be
considered by the legislature this year, before the State Water Use
Plan has been completed or all the basic data have been assimilated.
We have the cart before the horse.
We need to go back and develop some basic premises to discuss.
There is state water policy set forth in the Water Resources Act
and it's pretty comprehensive. Perhaps we need to explore the
policies in the Act, instead of working from the other end.
We all started planning at the bottom and were working upward.
We also started at the top and were working down. We are also coming
in from both sides; the water management districts, DER, state com-
prehensive plan, local government comprehensive plans, water quality
plans, etc. My physics teacher called that implosion.
I certainly hope that when these matters are resolved, with the
help of such meetings as this, that we develop an education program
to inform the public.
It is difficult to determine the position of a water management
district,or obtain the participation of that district, when there is
such a diversity of opinion by virtue of the makeup of a governing
board. When we deal with basin boards in addition to district
boards you have anywhere from 10 to 50 members. How can you discern
what, in fact, is the position of the district in matters such as
the Water Element, the Water Use Plan or even this sort of forum here?
So if only the chairman of the board participates, that doesn't
necessarily constitute a consensus of all 10 to 50 members. What
is the methodology for having water management districts participate?
At the Southwest Florida Water Management District the staff
prepared a draft of our portion of the State Water Use Plan and
circulated it. The following year, we came up with a second draft;
in both instances we found the document too long. Now we are dis-
cussing one, two, or three small parts of it at each governing board
meeting. Discussions involve both the staff and the board. There
is no way you can give a governing board member a large booklet like
the draft Water Element and tell him, "Shall we adopt it or shall we
not?" The same thing is going to be true of the legislature this
next session. I hope that the other districts are doing much the
same thing so that when each of these plans reaches DOA and DER they
can be merged together and eventually become the Water Element of
the State Comprehensive Plan.
I'm not so concerned about a particular document as I am
public participation in all sorts of water management decisions.
We have public participation because the Water Use Plan
discussions take place at governing board meetings with 100 to
200 people in attendance. In addition, we have distributed several
hundred copies of the draft plan.
There are many different water-related activities currently
going on, 208 activities for example. I think that many people
involved in these other activities have found it a bit awkward
to interact with the water management districts because it is
difficult to find a decision-making point.
The strength of the governing board's decision-making process
lies in the fact that the board is made up of lay citizens who
have been appointed to the board. These people bring in their
respective positions and perspectives. Perhaps this is a good
idea even if it does make a collective decision a little harder
That is correct unless it makes it impossible for the water
management district boards to fully participate in all the various
I had the privilege of being a part of the policy advisory
committee for the Water Element of the state comprehensive plan,
but I found myself discussing matters at the meetings that I, as
chairman, had not discussed with my own board. As such, I was
generally reluctant to take a strong position on any one point.
However, the district is generally upset about the Water Element
coming out before we can finish our water management plans.
When we first discussed preparation of the district water use
plans by 1980, there were a number of people in state government
who insisted that we instigate a crash program and complete the
plans by 1978, and we have been complying with this deadline.
And we are objecting to the timing of the Water Element. I am
planning to take a letter to the lieutenant governor, objecting
to the Water Element of the State Comprehensive Plan, simply
because we have not had time to do what the legislature has told
us to do, which would be my guidance in helping you (NWFWMD) with
My experience of nearly 30 years in government has been that
we have state agencies setting policy and the legislature reacting,
and I think it should be the other way. I think the legislature
should set the policy for this state and the agencies should react.
I believe that the thrust of Chapter 23, in establishing the
authority to develop a state comprehensive plan, is to give the
elected officials of this state the responsibility for setting
policy and for all of us who are involved in government, from
the lowest unit up, to respond to that policy.
This is what we are trying to do, and if the legislature
thinks that 67 county commissions or 11 or 15 water management
districts should set the policies, then I am sure they will react
that way. I think that one of our problems in government in the
state of Florida is that we do not have unified policies to guide the
actions of all of our agencies at every level of government. Water
is such a basic thing that there must be some top level policies
set to guide our decision-making processes as they relate to water.
That's the direction in which we're headed.
This appears to be a "foot race" between the water management
districts and the DOA to put this thing together. They are not
working together, they are working parallel. What concerns us is
that the DOA document should be the final word to the legislature
and it should have our input prior to completion of the document,
and that hasn't happened.
I agree that we should have district input prior to
decision being made and I thought we were getting that.
Whitfield of our staff has been guiding this effort over
ESTUS WHITFIELD We began working on the Water Element about three years ago.
We developed a preliminary draft Water Element about 23 years ago,
but received so many negative responses that we re-designed our
efforts and developed what we now call the Water Element.
I would like to address our attempts to involve water manage-
ment districts and everyone else in the process of Water Element
development. The policy advisory council has about 40 members.
We invited every executive director and every board chairman to
participate. At the first meeting, which Don Feaster addressed,
we discussed the first draft. It was rough, thick, and had a lot
of bibliography and appendices attached to it. As a result of
the discussion concerning size of the document, we shortened it
We had five additional meetings. We invited all the districts
to every meeting and we encouraged their input to the maximum
extent. We tried every way we could to involve the districts,
and we still invite their input. We will be pleased to visit with
any of the districts to discuss specific problems that they might
have with the document.
If anyone has a problem with any part of the Water Element, we
will attempt to work it out with them. If we can't work it out,
we will submit their comments to the lieutenant governor.
Mr. Whitfield has been very fair and very helpful over a long
period of time. The problem is that DOA has been given a deadline
and a direction that is not compatible with the direction the
water management districts have been given, as we understand the
law, in developing the State Water Use Plan. We have been devoting
most of our efforts toward developing the plan, and perhaps we have
been wrong; perhaps we should not have paid attention to the Water
Element of the State Comprehensive Plan. Perhaps we should have
ignored the fact that the law says the State Water Use Plan will
become the functional Water Element of the State Comprehensive Plan
because, apparently, that's not quite correct. The state will have
a Water Element before the State Water Use Plan is completed, so
perhaps the State Water Use Plan is not needed. Maybe we should
ask the legislature to change the law because it charges us to do
something that will be useless because of another plan that will
take the place of it. But I don't really think that's correct.
I think the problem is that we are having to conform to a
schedule which dictates having the Water Element complete before
the 1978 legislative session. I think the schedule should be
slipped to allow more emphasis on completing the State Water Use
Plan so that may be used to develop the Water Element of the State
Chapter 373 directs the DER to develop the State Water Use
Plan in cooperation with the Division of State Planning. A memo-
randum of agreement between the DER and the Division of State
Planning indicates that the Water Element of the State Comprehen-
sive Plan will be used by the Department of Environmental Regulation
in the development of the State Water Use Plan. The state's
general policy guidance will be used to make some kind of consistent
document out of five separate water management district plans.
The five draft Water Use Plans for the districts are quite
different. One comes packed in a large cardboard box, another in
an envelope. It will be difficult to combine these different
documents into one consistent document. As a result, we are attempt-
ing to develop some general policy that is applicable statewide,
develop good water planning principles, and then develop the Water
Use Plan in a consistent manner. It is not DSP's intention that
once the Water Element is approved, all water management districts
should end their planning efforts and simply try to be consistent
with the Element. Planning is a dynamic process and we can change
the policies of the Element as new information or new public attitudes
are made known to us.
I believe the Element is consistent with Dade County, Escambia
County and Pinellas County, for example, and consistent with various
other regions of the state. We are consistent, I believe, because
the policies developed in the Element are broad and were developed
through public meetings. We tried to involve the water management
districts. In response to Don Feaster's remark, the Element does
have a water transfer policy.
DSP did encourage participation in the program to develop the
Water Element. The program may have been pushed a little fast
but the districts should have participated more actively. I cer-
tainly hope that we can all participate more actively to develop
good management programs.
It is obvious that we have some of the same problems in inter-
agency participation as we have with public participation.
WHAT IS THE OPTIMUM ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE FOR
WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN FLORIDA?
MODERATOR: MR. TOM COLDEWEY, Member, Northwest Florida Water Management District
PANELISTS: REP. GENE HODGES, Vice Chairman, House Natural Resources Committee
Room 214, House Office Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32304
MR. JACK MALOY, Executive Director, South Florida Water Management
District, Post Office Drawer V, West Palm Beach, Florida 33402
MR. JIM LEWIS, Water Management District Coordinator, Department of
Environmental Regulation, Twin Towers Office Building, 2600 Blair
Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32301
SENATOR PETE SKINNER, Member, Senate Natural Resources Committee,
Senate Office Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32304
MR. TOMMY CLAY, Chairman, St. Johns River Water Management District,
Route 2, Box 695, Palatka, Florida 32077
DR. FRANK MALONEY, Dean Emeritus, University of Florida Law School,
The declared policy of the Legislature as stated in the Florida
Environmental Reorganization Act of 1975 is: "...it is the intent of the
Legislature to promote the efficient, effective, and economical operation
of certain environmental agencies by centralizing authority and pinpointi`ng
responsibility for the management of the environment by authorizing the
delegation of substantial decision-making authority to the district level,
and by consolidating compatible administrative, planning, permitting,
enforcement, and operational activities."
There are at least 35 organizations having programs and activities
which relate to water management in northwest Florida.
1. Is there any practical way to achieve the coordination of
authority or the pinpointing of responsibility in the area
of water and water management on the local, sub-state,
state, or federal levels?
2. Is it true that it is impractical to centralize all water
management functions, and if so, what steps must be taken
to insure greater cooperation among the various agencies
and organizations with similar programs and responsibilities?
3. The Department of Environmental Regulation has taken the
official position regarding coordination of water resource
planning and management by stating:
"...the second goal requires a direct central control (for
water management in Florida) to ensure coordination,
consistency, and quality of planning and permitting
programs, responsiveness of personnel, non-duplication of
administrative services, and cost-effective allocation of
There are two general approaches to achieving a more
consolidated control at the state level of water resource
utilization: (1) enhanced administrative coordination
between DER and the water management districts, or (2) the
organizational merger by Chapter 20, Florida Statutes, of
DER and water management district functions related to
Which of these approaches appears to be in the best interest
of the citizens of the State of Florida? Are there better
solutions to this problem?
During the Farris Bryant or Hayden Burns administration consid-
erable controversy developed over controlling water and air and
regulations governing vital resources. There were several agencies
in the state with certain responsibilities in these areas. Among
these were Department of Health, the Department of Natural Resources,
and the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission. The Governor appointed
a committee of Randolph Hodges, head of DNR, David B. Lee, head of
the Department of Health, Earl O. Frye, head of the G&FWFC, and then
a bunch of nonentities like Tom Coldewey, to listen to the arguments
of all the people who had opinions in these areas. The committee
traveled the state to make recommendations for reorganizing the
various departments to best manage water and air pollution. In our
infinite wisdom, we recommended to the legislature that a Department
of Pollution Control be formed, which was accepted without difficulty.
The Department of Pollution Control was organized and, since that
time, has been reorganized and is the present Department of Environ-
mental Regulation. So, Mr. Lewis, sometimes I feel like I'm your
grandfather. The committee was a good one, but the same problems
exist today as when the committee was appointed. There are still
some 30 odd agencies in the state who are involved in water and air
During my year on the Natural Resources Committee, I developed
some knowledge concerning water resources and the problems associated
with regulation or deregulation of that resource. Today the best
vehicle I could think of to serve the purpose of conserving, pre-
serving, and utilizing water as a natural resource would be the
water management district concept. I have carefully studied the
provisions of Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, and this chapter needs
extensive revision. There are many contradictory provisions which
should be eliminated. One section of the statute provides the
water management districts the authority to do virtually anything
they choose to deal with the resource. In the next section the
water management district can do anything they want provided it
is done with the permission of DER.
The best thing for the water management district would be to
make them as autonomous as possible. The taxing authority of the
districts gives them considerable leeway in terms of budgeting.
I think they need one more ability and that is to be free from DER.
Water is going to be the most pressing problem of the future. We
will see the worst and the best come out in people as this problem
increases, and I expect the worst to be first. There will be
tremendous competition for this finite resource. Look at the plans
by the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Corps of
Engineers, and a consultant to move water from the Suwannee River
to the Tampa Bay area and points south. I am concerned with the
lack of planning for the growth that is encouraged. The leaders
in the area feel that "Bigger is Better," and the idea in their
minds seemed to be that if the area got into trouble with a shortage
of water, someone would bail them out from north Florida.
To deal effectively with the real problem of water management,
water management districts must be given as much autonomy as
possible. Beyond that, we must adhere closely to our land use
plans mandated for every county by 1979. This should provide
a first step in the direction we have to go.
This charge, in part, is that the official position of the DER
is ... "the second goal requires a direct central control (for water
management in Florida) to ensure coordination, consistency, and
quality of planning and permitting programs ..." The panel is
asked to address one of two general approaches: either (1) enhance
the administrative coordination between DER and the water management
districts; or (2) organizational merger by Chapter 20, Florida
Statutes, of the DER and the water management district functions
related to water resources. Senator Skinner addressed the charge
and came down on the side of the water management districts. I
would like to address the charge historically.
A study was conducted at the University of Florida, prior to
1972, which resulted in publication of the book, A Model Water Code.
A great deal of the 1972 Water Resources Law came directly from
this Model Water Code. The Legislative Committee adjusted the code
and I like to tell my students they weakened it. However, this
is not necessarily true; perhaps they adjusted it to the real
world, as someone else suggested. At any rate, if you're looking
for legislative history of the 1972 Water Resources Act, probably
the only place you will find it is in this code. Each section
of the code is accompanied by detailed commentary explaining
where the ideas came for each part of the law. So there exists
a legislative history of which most people are unaware.
The Model Water Code was developed from the "Model Water Use
Act" developed about 10 years earlier at the University of Michigan
Law School at the request of the Council of State Governments, who
adopted this Act for state use. One change we made was to recommend
a two-tiered operation in preference to the single state agency
used in the Model Water Use Act of the University of Michigan.
We decided on this approach since there were two major water man-
agement districts in Florida operating successfully at a regional
level based on hydrologic division of areas. We also reviewed
the history of the Everglades Drainage District and found that the
operation was experiencing difficulties when that District was
operating with the state cabinet as the directors. The legislature
gradually decentralized the operations until they were finally
directed by a board made up of people living in the District. We
also considered the problems of the old water regulatory districts
which were developed by the cabinet under the 1957 Water Resources
Act. The first water management district was set up as an answer
to problems between Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. The district
was set up under the old State Conservation Board under the 1957
law. For a couple of years a bill to promulgate some regulations
was backed, but never enacted. Finally, in 1961 the Southwest
Florida Water Management District was formed and the authority to
set up regulatory districts was transferred to it to handle water
shortage problems since this turned out to be'too hot to handle at
the state level. I think this was a better approach, though the
district was a long time in taking action since the action was
that of people from the local area who were making the eventual
decisions. All this led us to the decision to recommend a two-tiered
operation in which supervisory authority would be at the state
level, but the day-to-day water management decisions would be with
When the Reorganization Act of 1975 came along, the legislature,
in its wisdom, did some changing. I'm not quite sure what they did.
After transferring authority from the Department of Natural Resources
to the Department of Environmental Regulation, the statute reads,
"Further, notwithstanding the provisions of 373.026(7)," which is
the section ofthe Act that gives supervisory authority to DER,
"the Governor and Cabinet, sitting as the Land and Water Adjudicatory
Commission, shall have the exclusive power, by vote of four of the
members, to review and may rescind or modify any rule or order of
a water management district." This appears to have transferred a
considerable amount of the supervisory power from the Department of
Environmental Regulation to the Cabinet. This leaves considerable
question as to how much supervisory power is held by the Cabinet
and how much by DER. For example, the first panel discussed the
Water Element of the State Comprehensive Plan. It would appear that
the DER in making up the State Water Plan would have considerable
voice in what these plans say. However, if these plans will eventually
become rules and regulations, then this statute in effect transfers
the authority to the Governor and Cabinet to make the decisions
and do the reviewing. I asked one of the lawyers earlier if these
plans will become rules and he said, "Certainly." Is he correct?
I'm not sure. Certainly Senator Skinner is correct when he said
that there is a lack of clarity at the moment as to who has ultimate
There is certainly a need for coordination of planning in
the state. Land use planning and water use planning depend upon
each other and somehow these two resources must be brought closer
together in our laws. With this in mind, we need state level over-
sight, but we also need sufficient decision-making authority in
the water management districts so that the people in those districts
will realize that vital decisions are being made at the district
I believe enhanced administrative coordination is the better
solution. To the question, "Are there better solutions?", the
planning efforts presently underway are one solution. I am on
the Policy Advisory Committee of the Water Element of the State
Comprehensive Plan and I would like to read one of the five objectives
that was approved by that committee, putting it in a slightly different
context than it would appear. It deals with water resources project
evaluation, objectives, and policies, and it is written to take care
of the problem which results when the federal government funds
projects and wants to do most of the planning at the same time.
This objective reads... "Conduct water resource project evaluation
and analysis which encourages the development of highly integrated
and optimum regional water management systems for water quality,
water conservation, and wise use in the overall public interest."
If it calls for regional water management systems, and if that is
desirable when we are dealing with the federal government which
would like to concentrate everything in Washington, then this is
certainly applicable when we are dealing with relationships between
a water management district and the state. That is, it calls for
integrated management systems for water quality and water use.
Historically, they were not, probably due to the way the committees
functioned at a time when-water use was considered to be on one
side of the fence and water pollution and water quality belonged
on the other side. A big step was made when water quality and
water quantity responsibilities were placed in the same state
agency, the DER. But there is still a long way to go before we
get around to integrating the planning and control. A lot of the
control should be at the water management district level under the
guidance of the DER.
REP. GENE HODGES I recognize there are water problems in the state, and I feel
that local control is the only reasonable method of solving the
problems associated with water management. No one man, one agency,
or one anybody should be given the authority over the waters of
the state. The water problems in north Florida can't be regulated
in the same manner as would be appropriate in Dade County or Levy
County or in Pinellas County. Different areas of Florida must be
subjected to different rules and regulations and no one knows the
problems in an area better than the local people. They are the
ones who should make the decisions to solve these problems; the
local people should be the ones to decide how the water is to be used.
Consider the subject of transferring water from the Suwannee
River to central and south Florida. This must be a decision of
local people and not by those from central or southern Florida
who have no knowledge of the effect this might have on the marine
life of northern Florida. The fresh water is critical to the
survival of the oysters, crabs, and other marine life that are
so important to the people of the district I represent. Many
people cross the bridges and view all the fresh water that is
flowing into the Gulf and assume it is going to waste. This is
not the case. No one seems to be sure just how much of this
fresh water is needed to support our marine life, but we are
sure that we need it. Without this flow, predators will move
in on our oysters, clams, and other shellfish. Also, our own
counties are experiencing population growth which requires water
for our own use. He said that I am just an old commercial fisherman,
but I say we don't have a surplus of fresh water in Levy County or
in northwest Florida.
We have many problems in the state and we're going to have to
take a close, hard look at how we're going to manage our water.
Agriculture, marine life, and the people need the fresh water of
JACK MALOY In looking at this list of agencies supplied with the charge
to the panel which have water management authorities and respon-
sibilities in northwest Florida, I see two names were omitted
from the list that have more to do with the water management in
northwest Florida than any of the agencies listed. These are
Georgia and Alabama.
In response to Representative Hodges' question about south
Florida wanting some of his water, the answer is "no." Of course,
south Florida to me is the area south of Orlando and we have never
looked outside our own borders for any supplementary water supplies.
Now some of the people above our district boundaries may be looking
for additional water, but not south Florida by my definition.
I would like to compare the control of water resources with
the course of land planning. Local governments controlled land
resources through the unpopular power of zoning. As a member of
the Governor's Land Use Task Force, it was felt that certain units
of local government had abrogated their responsibility in land
planning, and the state stepped in to require land planning. The
state has, in effect, taken the same approach with water resource
planning. The state determined that water resources can't be
managed effectively based upon political boundaries and the hydro-
logic boundaries were established for water management. However,
the problems faced in dealing with water resources and land resources
are inseparable. Land use decisions cannot be made without con-
sidering the water resource and water resource decisions cannot be
made without considering the effect on the land resources. A real
understanding is necessary as to whether Florida is going to have
comprehensive state, regional, and local plans that deal with both
water and land management. I advocate that these plans be implemented
as close to the problem areas as possible as has always been done
in land resources. There is no plan for the state to underwrite
land planning and control in the 67 counties of Florida and the
statewide referendum to make a determination as to whether the
water management districts would be self-sufficient, passed state-
wide. The authority to levy an ad valorem tax allows water man-
agement to be planned and executed at a local level, as has always
been the case in land resource management. The required interplay
is now becoming quite apparent. As the counties approach the
deadline for their land use plans, they are turning to the water
management districts for input on the water resources as they
affect land use.
While there must be some supervisory authority over water
management districts, this should be more an evaluation of their
performance rather than central control of the operational aspects
of the districts. In fact, this would seem to be impossible. Having
an awareness of the multi-faceted problems of the various water
management districts, it becomes apparent that it would require an
expert in many areas to just attempt to coordinate their activities,
much less to exercise a measure of control. The districts must
move in a reasonably consistent fashion in their charge. For this
to be satisfactorily accomplished, the performance must be evaluated
by those outside the districts, but the governing boards should be
free to make the day-to-day decisions with input from the general
public. The boards meet monthly and their agendas are published
in advance. The public has ample opportunity to argue questions of
policy before the governing boards and to see in action the decision-
making process. By law, the boards meet monthly and all decisions
are made in the public eye as are zoning decisions which are made by
locally elected officials. Questions of control of land should not
be made in the absence of consideration of water's relationship to
For example, if Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward counties adopt
land use plans with population projections for the year 2000 such
that the water management district is unable to meet the water
demand, then the land use plan will be of little or no value. This
planning will not have provided a single step in the direction we
should be moving. Correlation between land and water is the key
issue. Now, as to the question of who should have the dominant
role, I would prefer a broader approach to the issue and an under-
standing reached as to a practical, effective mechanism to do the
same kinds of things with water resources that are being done with
land. Our track record indicates that it must be accomplished as
close to the problem area as possible. The mechanism for water
management at the local level exists in the water management districts.
The districts are staffed and have the ability to fund their programs
through local taxation and can proceed at a pace which is determined
to be best for the region. It is not reasonable to ask all water
management districts to proceed at the same pace and with the same
priorities on the same issues. Certainly water is no less important
than land, and I know of no local governments willing to give up
their authority to zone, nor am I aware of any governing board that
is willing to give up its authority to manage water.
The charge to the panel indicates that we need another reor-
ganization of state government and a complete restructuring of the
method for handling water management, water quality, and the environ-
mental regulation program. This has been reorganized to death over
the past few years and it would not seem wise to think along those
The consensus on the panel is surprising. The question remaining
really seems to be one of definition as to how much or what is
supervisory control, by whomever it might be, over the activities
of the districts. Most people will agree that enhanced administra-
tive coordination among state agencies is appropriate and necessary
to obtain the best water management in the state, but it is difficult
to imagine that DER or anyone else will want to run the day-to-day
activities of the districts. Florida water law is relatively new,
and the district taxing powers only date back to 1976. The supervisory
power was transferred to the DER when it was created in 1975 and
water management was only one of a host of activities which the Depart-
ment assumed. Thus, just since 1975, we have been feeling our way
toward management of the total environmental resources of the state.
Perhaps there is an impatience on the part of some people to try to
fit programs into slots that don't exist yet. I have just been
appointed as water management district coordinator and I believe
patience is necessary. I don't see any way to effectively manage
water except through the five water management districts with some
kind of umbrella hovering over the districts to make sure that there
is some modicom of consistency, not identical programs, among the
water resources programs in the state so that one district is not
doing something that is diametrically opposed to the philosophy of
the other districts.
For the past eight years I have headed a large planning and
coordinating agency in the area of the Great Lakes made up of eight
states and including 12 federal agencies. Most of the states are
not as far along in water resource legislation as Florida. Certainly
reviewing Florida's law and making adjustments is appropriate, but
exposure to areas outside Florida makes me realize how far Florida
is ahead of these other areas in water management. The day will come
when we will look back and realize how fortunate we are to have a
legislature and citizens with the fortitude to establish water
management districts and provide the local funds for their operations.
One of the problems today is that the majority of people want some-
one else to pay and they complain that someone else is imposing
rules and regulations on them.
There is a mechanism for tying all of these agencies together,
including Alabama and Georgia. I was involved with the Water
Resources Council, in connection with my previous job, to work
with the state officials here to consider formation of the Title II
Commission under federal law 89-80. This would be the federal
agencies involved in water resource management and would provide
for state input into the regional coordination of the management
of the water and related land resources.
Would the panel discuss the problem of regulation versus water
supply? In the real world there are serious problems among units
of local government in competing for water to meet the demand. The
REP. GENE HODGES
REP. GENE HODGES
water management districts can regulate and regulate, but until
there is a joint approach to reviewing the sources of available
water and distributing and sharing the excess or deficiency, the
problem will continue. Regulation alone can never solve the
problem. When we speak of water management, are we talking about
taking positive action to solve the problem or are we talking about
the negative action of restricting the amount of water that may be
withdrawn? My question of the panel is related to the method of
taking the positive actions.
I understand Don's question to be directed toward the fact
that there is another factor in the water management equation
and that is the step leading toward a final satisfaction of water
supply demands and satisfaction of needs. Don is concerned with
the role of local government in actually supplying the water as
it relates to that of the planning and regulating function of the
Studies in the direction of increased retention areas and
perhaps artificial recharge must be continued. It will require
a lot of money. This may require going outside the existing
boundaries to raise the amounts of money required, but through
adequate planning and bringing the seriousness of the problem
to the attention of the people who will be required to help in
solving the problem, a final solution will be reached. The
seriousness must also be conveyed to the legislature. Also, in
the real world people must be made aware of the quantities of
water that are wasted and ways that they may conserve this resource.
At some point in time the districts must face the fact that
water cannot be supplied to all the people that units of local
government are encouraging to move into certain areas. This point
may be determined by long range plans, and the county commissioners,
city commissioners, and other responsible units of local government
should be advised. This isn't an easy solution, but may be what
the situation demands.
It is quite appropriate for the water management districts to
become involved in water conservation measures, but I am quite
sure that my governing board would not be in favor of becoming
involved in growth control.
I certainly don't think the districts should be involved in
growth control but do believe they should be advising governing
bodies of units of local government of the point in time when
they could expect to run out of water. There is plenty of water
in the area I represent for the present, but there may be problems
serving the population 20 or 30 years down the road. The long
range planning people should advise local government of the problem,
and the decision as to how many people can be supported should be
made at the local level. I do not think this type of decision
should come from the state level.
There are probably ample supplies of water district-wide. It
really boils down to transferring water from areas with excesses
to areas with shortages.
P. GENE HODGES
P. GENE HODGES
REP. GENE HODGES
I think a mute point is being argued. Projections of growth and
water demands have been made up to 2020, and dire crises are predicted
for some areas. We are pretty well aware of the point in time when
problems will occur. We should not wait for them to arise; we should
plan in such a way that the problem is alleviated or avoided. This
type of planning and action should begin now.
The frightening part is what may be recommended as a course of
action to solve the problems.
All this takes me back to 1961 when the legislature "put the bell
on the cat and transferred it to you, and now you don't want to put
the bell on."
We are ready to put the bell on. I would like to get back to
Senator Skinner's point and the comment by Jim Lewis. The water is
available; it is really a matter of how much it will cost and the
quality of life and environment we are going to accept. The districts
can do the best possible job of regulating and the best planning on
earth, but the question remains as to how to avoid the problem through
action. The districts can only become involved in water supply if
requested by the county. In other words, if we are completely familiar
with all aspects of the problem there really isn't anything the
districts can do under existing law. Action appears to be what is
Where is the unlimited water resource?
This exists through recycling of waste water, desalination of
salt water, pipelines, etc., but all of this costs money. We can
provide all the water that is needed if the people are willing to
pay the cost and decide what quality of life they will live with.
Presently the city of St. Petersburg has a marvelous recycling
system where recycled water is sold for irrigation purposes.
The cost of transporting water over long distances from water-
rich to water-shortage areas will probably make the cost of recycling
and desalting plants become the more economical of these alternatives.
Mr. Feaster, are you requesting authority or perhaps a mandate
from the legislature for the districts to plan, develop and operate
water supplies on a wholesale basis to cities and counties?
This appears to be one viable solution. There may be others, but
we don't see them right now.
Aren't permits required for well fields and isn't this adequate to
exercise control over water supply development?
This is still just regulation. Due to political and funding
problems, units of local government always seem to be several years
late in construction required to solve the problems. We can tell
them that they must plan, but they continue coming in for permits on
a crash basis. People just refuse to believe that a permit will not
be issued to do whatever they want to do to solve their water problems.
In the real world, water is a commodity and these communities want to
It appears to be the unanimous opinion of the panel that every-
thing having to do with water management should not be consolidated
in Tallahassee; the water management districts have a definite place,
and the problem is to work out the coordination.
The statute permits counties to form water supply authorities.
Such an authority is being formed whose boundaries will include three
water management districts. The coordination of the activities and
granting permits to this water supply authority is going to be very
complicated. Its creation will duplicate some of the planning
activities of the water management districts. The legislature may
need to give some attention to this matter this year.
It would appear that the concerns of this panel dovetail with the
interests and philosophy of the Commission. The Commission is a
unique organization and is presently developing for the spring of
1978 the White House Conference on Balanced Growth and Economic
Development. One of my concerns is to try to explore the resources
and opportunities for the southeastern states. One of the greatest
resources in the southeast is water. I would like to solicit the
support of those present in helping the Commission to develop your
resources. The Commission may be able to assist by regional planning
of the water resources which will cut across political (interstate)
boundaries. I can come up with a good program. I can take it to
Congress, or at present there are quite a few agencies that are
willing to put up some of the money you need in the water management
programs for the southeastern United States. I am particularly
interested in any ideas and concepts for developing the water resources
of the southeastern United States, and I have the support of the
governors who will help to resolve the issues.
Senators Lewis and Skinner, aren't the problems those of lack of
effective communication more than anything else? Won't the Water
Element of the Comprehensive Plan which is being developed by the DOA
be used to alleviate some of our coordination problems?
I feel the document is a very responsible document. It speaks to
the idea of transferring water from north to south Florida as being
infeasible. Reapportionment in 1980 will probably result in a shift
of power in the Senate from north Florida to central and south Florida.
We may even have a governor from south Florida. After all is said
and done, politics will have a great deal to do with the solutions
to our water problems. This is one of the reasons I am so interested
in making the water management districts autonomous. I would like to
see them responsive to the needs of the people within the hydrologic
areas and not subject to political pressures. If these problems
are open to political analysis and solution, it will not be doing a
good service to the state in the long run. I am concerned with the
role of the DER. While the statutes speak to the role of the Governor
and Cabinet, I believe that in the final analysis the DER speaks for
the Governor. So the sheer political realities indicate that we
must remove these districts from the realm of politics, insofar as
REP. GENE HODGES
I sat as
of 1975, and
a member of the Conference Committee in the reorganization
the idea behind placing the final decision with the
Cabinet was to place this with elected rather than
human, Gov. Bd.,
EP. GENE HODGES
appointed officials. Perhaps this hasn't worked as we had hoped,
but this was the reasoning used in arriving at the method.
I feel that Senator Skinner hit the heart of the problem when
he discussed political realities. He said that we can discuss
controlling growth until the cows come home, but the critical areas
will have the votes where they are needed, when they are needed, to
continue this growth. I have tried for years to convince agricultural
interests that a method of supplying water to growth areas must be
developed which will cause the least damage to other areas.
Appointed officials can take the "heat" much better than elected
officials. At times appointed officials don't listen to all the
political realities as they should, but the decisions are often clear
and more precise than they might have been if these officials had
been forced to run for election and been sensitive to the votes from
the metropolitan areas. I would not run for such an office because I
could not make the decisions and perform the duties in a responsible
manner if I had to always be concerned about re-election. Elected
officials represent the people whereas the Governing Board members
represent a resource. This resource is going to be moved to meet
the needs of the people and it behooves all of us to find a method
of accomplishing this with the least damage to the least developed
areas of the state.
Mr. McAteer, who will make the decision as to the damage that
will occur in any area as a result of moving water from one area
The buck falls with the water management districts first. I think
there is a sign right out there that says, "Don't use the high board
unless you are this tall." That's where we need to be.
WATER MANAGEMENT: WHO SHOULD PAY FOR WHAT, AND HOW MUCH?
MR. DAN FARLEY, Secretary/Treasurer,. Northwest Florida Water Management
District Governing Board; President, Farley and Associates, Barnett
Bank Building, Suite 850, Tallahassee, Florida 32301
MR. ED FORTUNE, State Representative, House District #4, P. O. Box 1086,
Pace, Florida 32570
MR. JOE CRESSE, State Budget Director, Department of Administration,
Carlton Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32301
MR. PHIL LEWIS, State Senator, District S-27, 319 Clematis Street,
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
MR. DON MORGAN, Executive Director, Suwannee River Water Management
District, P. O. Drawer K, White Springs, Florida 32096
MR. DERRILL McATEER, Chairman, Southwest Florida Water Management
District Governing Board, P. O. Box 1072, Brooksville, Florida 33512
PANEL CHARGE: Traditionally, water management activities in Florida have been
funded through ad valorem taxes, general revenue, Water Resources
Development Account (WRDA) monies and federal funds. In more recent
years, the newest water management districts received mostly general
revenue funds with some federal grants. The three newest districts
will levy ad valorem taxes for the first time this coming fiscal year.
In the past three years, state funding for water management dis-
tricts has been through general revenue appropriations and WRDA monies.
There is thinking that the state should do away with WRDA funds and
let previously WRDA supported water management activities be funded
through ad valorem taxing. Traditionally, WRDA funds have been utilized
for land acquisition not permitted by federal funding.
1. What, then, is the state's role in land acquisition and the
development of water resources projects such as the Tampa
Bypass Canal and the Lake Okeechobee project? What is the
district's role? Local government's role?
The general revenue appropriation to water management districts
has also been subject to question. Much recent discussion has been
concerned with what water management activities should be supported by
legislative appropriation and to what extent. The question also
arises concerning the levels of general appropriations to the five
water management districts considering their great disparity in levels
of operation and financial capabilities.
2. Should the state's general revenues be appropriated to the
districts by a formula based on need, ability to pay, or
level of activities? Or should it consist of a flat, across-
the-board figure, as has been the situation over the past few
3. Finally, assuming complete phase-out of WRDA funds, will
the existing millage of the respective districts be
adequate to insure proper water management for the citizens
In the South Florida Water Management District, traditionally
construction monies for large flood control and water conservation
projects have been provided by the federal government on a cost-
sharing formula of 80 percent. Historically, the state has made
up the difference, i.e. 20 percent, and implemented the program.
The district, through its ad valorem funding resources, has been
principally involved in the purchase of right-of-way for canals,
relocation of existing facilities, development of recreation areas,
continuing the operation and maintenance of existing water management
facilities, and day-to-day operations.
In recent years there has been considerable talk about putting
the cost of water management on the direct beneficiaries. In prac-
ticality the taxpayer or the direct beneficiary is saddled with the
annual ad valorem tax which could be increased or decreased as the
need arises, whereas the federal and state governments only provide
the funds to get the project on the ground.
The state of Florida has considerable land holdings in the south
Florida area which enjoy flood protection, and other water-related
benefits through the programs funded by the federal and state govern-
ments and maintained by ad valorem tax revenues. The benefits are
derived equally by the taxpayers and also the state; therefore, both
sides are receiving benefits. If the taxpayer were not there to pro-
vide the operating and maintenance expenses through ad valorem taxes
for the water management facilities, it is likely that some of the
major highways, bridges, and lands would be lost and could conceivably
produce serious economic impacts on the cash receipts normally taken
from the area.
It should also be noted that the South Florida Water Management
District area could not have been developed without the generous
contributions of the federal and state governments. However, by
the same token, these flood protection and water resources development
facilities have greatly increased the usability of the land, thereby
increasing the state treasury. It is clear that the state government
and the local parties both enjoy the benefits of water resource facili-
ties in south Florida, with perhaps a little too much burden being
levied on the local taxpayer to support the revenue-producing areas
which benefit the state treasury more.
The state should continue to fund projects through the Water
Resources Development Account. Through the A-95 review process, each
project is scrutinized at various levels of expertise throughout the
state agencies. Once approved by that process and the Congress, the
state should be obligated to support the land acquisition and provide
the matching funds.
It is understandable that people have reservations about providing
state monies for federally approved projects; however, if a fair
economic assessment were made, it would prove that the state's invest-
ments have proved to be profitable. The question that is being asked
is, "Does this kind of funding have an environmental base?" Or
whether south Florida would not have been better left as the
Everglades than converted to the revenue producer of today? It
is obvious that without the monetary support of south Florida to
the state treasury, the entire outlook would be quite different.
In summary, the state should continue to support the Water Resources
Development Account projects within the present day environmental
Monetary support to the three new districts St. Johns
River, Suwannee River, and Northwest Florida, through general
revenue funds was necessitated in the absence of any form of
financial support. An option may be to go with the U. S. Housing
and Urban Development agency's approach to funding.
If this approach were selected, the state would appropriate
monies for water management planning activities and award funds
based on the level of planning activity being pursued by the re-
questing district. It may be advantageous for a district not to
request these funds in a particular year and fund their operations
through ad valorem taxes.
In the long run, say five, ten, fifteen years down the road,
it may be essential for the districts not to request any funds from
the state to gain autonomy. This would necessitate support of the
district purely through ad valorem taxation and that would be re-
lated to the willingness of the people to eliminate state control
and shift the emphasis to the regional level.
JOE CRESSE Since the early 1950's, the state of Florida has spent approx-
imately 159 million dollars for land acquisition and construction
projects in south and southwest Florida. The Water Resources Act
of 1972 was specific in nature in that it vested the responsibility
of some planning and administrative activities to be funded by the
state through general revenue funds. The Act also stated that water
management projects that benefited a particular district be the
financial responsibility of that district.
In 1977 a task force was appointed to look into the funding
aspects of water management districts. After review of the Water
Resources Act, they recommended that the funding options be followed
as stated in the statutes. This recommendation was not acceptable
to the newer districts that were requesting 100 percent funding
from the legislature. In addition, the 1977 legislative session
paid close attention to the role of the water management districts
and their autonomy versus flexibility. It is obvious that if
state funds are requested from general revenues, then the water
management districts are not going to be autonomous. However, if
the districts could fund their programs through ad valorem taxes,
then their autonomy is assured to some degree even though the
legislature has to approve the ad valorem assessment levied in the
The activities of a water management district directly impact
the area of the district and also increase the benefit to the whole
state. The question is whether there is a special benefit derived
by the local people or to the state. It appears that the Water
Resources Act is also addressing itself to the same query. Another
factor of significant consequence is that under the present law
the state is called upon to fund the entire cost of water storage
lands and that the title to these lands is held by the districts.
If the state is going to purchase the water storage lands, then
perhaps the title should also rest with the state. Through this
system, if down the road the water storage land is not needed, then
perhaps the state could offer it to some other public use instead of
the present day system of the water management district declaring
it surplus and selling it. There are pros and cons to this funding
question. If the state allocates funds for the operation of the
districts, then the districts will lose their autonomy. However,
if the policy of funding construction projects prevails, then those
projects would have to be fully justified and would have to compete
statewide with other projects.
DERRILL Should the state fund the operations of a district or provide
McATEER capital is a very ticklish question. If the state were committed
to funding operations of a district, and supposing that the state
came up short in revenues, then what would be the status of the
district? In the past, the state has withdrawn Water Resources
Development Account monies for the Southwest Florida Water Management
District area, hence forcing the district into deferring its capital
outlay for a year or so. However, if the state were committed to
funding the operations and the legislature denied the budget request,
then what options are available to the district? personnel layoff?
closing of operations? Or should each district keep a slush fund to
support its operations in case the legislature did not come through?
The continuity of the projects based upon the governing board and
and basin boards' decisions to go ahead with the project and their
funding it, is the best type of government Florida can come up with
in the field of water management. However, if the state controlled
the operational purse strings, it would be through the Department of
Environmental Regulation. This would create another layer of bureaucracy
and delay decisions made by the governing or basin boards. It would
eliminate the present day status and rapport of the water managers
with the local people. To avoid this additional layer of red tape,
the state should fund the capital outlay projects and the operational
monies should come through ad valorem taxing. However, there are
instances when capital outlay cannot be separated or clearly identified
and hence ad valorem monies are also used. Therefore, there is a
cross-over between the two categories.
In addition, funds provided for construction projects such as
the Green Swamp project are benefiting the local area hydrologically
and the state through its recreational and hunting environment. Pure
water storage lands are being built today to prevent floods for
generations to come. Many of these impoundments could be utilized
to provide potable water supplies for generations to come. These
facilities being built today are not only for those who are bene-
fiting from them now but will provide statewide benefits in the
In summary, small projects should be funded through local
participation and larger projects through the Water Resources
Account. In order to continue the smooth operation of the districts,
dependence on the legislature and the state should be kept to a
The Water Resources Act of 1972 states, "It is the finding of
the legislature that the general regulatory and administrative
function of the districts herein authorized of general benefit to
the people of the state should substantially be financed by general
appropriations." It further states, "It is the finding of the
legislature that water resources programs that are of particular
benefit to limited segments of the population should be financed by
those most directly benefiting therefrom."
The legislature, in its wisdom, has spoken of how and who is
to pay within broad terms, but the word "substantially" is not
clearly defined. It is obvious that any water management activity
is going to benefit the state. If all the activities that help the
state were to be funded through general revenue, then it would become
a socialistic system, where government does for all people, all the
time, and that is not conducive to the American democracy.
Water management programs should be developed at a regional
level and funded locally, as this approach will optimize the use
of the monies for the area. However, there are gray areas where
additional research needs to be conducted to establish the funding
role of the state in the future for water management.
Northwest Florida Water Management District is the only district
that has a limitation on its millage of .05 and the rest of them
all have one mill. In order to change the millage cap for north-
west Florida, it would have to be approved by the Constitutional
Revision Commission. Even if this commission were to approve such
a change and the people of the state voted for it, the authorization
does not get triggered until the passage of the legislation. To
have the millage cap constitutionally locked now would create severe
problems down the road and will limit the flexibility and freedom
of operation within the district. It may be worthwhile to have
it changed now.
Water is one of the most important resources the state of
Florida has, and if it cannot be managed properly, then it will
create a lot of problems down the road. The Water Resources Act
of 1972 is explicit in some areas and vague in others and the
funding issue is, unfortunately, in the vague part. The legis-
lature has recognized this shortcoming in the law, but in order
to do that(?) substantial reasons would need to be presented.
The Water Resources Development Account monies have been used
extensively in south Florida to provide relief to the people of
the area. The effective utilization of these monies and the
direct benefits received by the state are incalculable. However,
if a project were to only benefit a very small area, then perhaps
it should be funded through local funds. However, if the state
is demanding more from the districts in the water quality arena, then
perhaps they should be reimbursed accordingly. No matter what is
said, the argument about funding will not cease until the law is
changed. The state is committed to providing monetary support
to the three newer districts because these districts are just
not ready to go out on their own. However, if the two older
districts want to stay autonomous, then perhaps they should
stay away from requesting general revenues. If the legislature
keeps assigning more and more responsibilities to the water
management districts, then perhaps these activities should be
funded through general revenue. The future of the Water Resources
Development Account is up in the air and will have to be reviewed
in detail. There are serious questions that have to be addressed
in the years to come to delineate the responsibilities of the
state and the local government in water resources oriented projects.
Q. Does the legi.satuAe approve an ad vatloem tax Levy
within the. imit6 zeAo to one mitt on an annual basis oa does
the LegislatuAe have to approve the miUage cap Levy each and
CRESSE The legislature must approve the millage cap that can be
levied by the district. Presently the approved millage caps
are 3/4 of a mill in Suwannee, 3/8 of a mill in St. Johns, 1 mill
in Southwest, 8/10 of a mill in South Florida, and 1/20 of a mill
in Northwest Florida. In order to increase these millage caps
the legislature will have to be briefed as to why the increases
are necessary. In summary, the legislature does not have to
approve the millage cap from year to year provided there is no
change in the millage rate.
Q. WiL the peAroAmance audit, which is now a requirement
o6 the wateA management distAicct, speak to the thuLbt o6 the
implementation o6 the Law by the districts as mandated in the
WateA ResouAcee Act of 1972?
CRESSE Performance audits are designed to bring forth the activities
of the water management districts and their programs. To date
no audit has been done, but the intent to provide the legislature
with such a tool will help explain the overall objectives of the
programs. However, review of the performance audit by the
legislature is not the only thing the legislature is going to
look at prior to authorizing funding requests.
Q. AMe theAe any otheA vehicles that could be utiUized to
bring 6oAth the accountability o6 the distAic-t otheA than the
noatmat ptoceduwe o6 advertising the budget, holding public
CRESSE The procedure presently being followed is what the legislature
has intended it to be.
Q. Does the diztAict need to go though the peAotmuance
audit, the advertising o6 the budget, and hold the public hearing
before finaety adopting the budget to Levy the tax?
CRESSE No, that is not necessary. The budget committee of the
legislature is presently snowed under and would not be in a
position to help out in any way.
Q. Do the South Florida and Southwest Ftotida wateA manage-
ment dLstticts not desire to receive state funds got opeAational
puAposes and WateA Resouces Devetopment Account funds otn con-
McATEER The Southwest Florida Water Management District would prefer
a formula acceptable to the state that would allow it to participate
in capital outlay projects benefiting the entire state. If this
formula is not easily discernible, then the Southwest district
is not in favor of receiving funds from the state, primarily to
keep the state out of the district's internal operations. In
addition, the transient nature of the legislative budgetary
process has let the district down on a number of occasions, there-
by leaving the water resources programs out on a limb.
Q. WilU the wateA management distAicts be better o66 Junding
theit entire opeAating budget through ad vatorem taxes?
Q. Does it seem feasible to have some joint funding 6omnuta
jot the non-ededral shaAe ot. wateA storage lands and otheA wateA
management activities from the standpoint o6 statewide benefits?
McATEER A reasonable formula could be established without much problem.
Q. Is it possible. that if the wateA management distilct6
weAe providing theiA own funds into the con-tAruction ptogAams,
peAhaps they would be moe. cautious and prudent?
McATEER The programs would be funded as and when the monies were
available. It does not mean that the districts have been sloppy
in requesting state funds on projects which have no significant
Q. Are theAe any dupLication o activities between the DER
and the watex management districts in the Suwannee RiveA aAea?
WHAT IS THE APPROPRIATE ROLE FOR WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS
IN WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT?
MR. FRANK CALDWELL, Northwest Florida Water Management District
Governing Board; Member, House Education Committee; 1516 Willow
Wick Drive, Tallahassee, Florida 32303
DR. THOMAS HERBERT, Staff Director, House Natural Resources
Committee, Room 214, House Office Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32304
MR. THOMAS TOBIASSEN, State Senator, The Florida Senate, 890
Woodbine Drive, Pensacola, Florida 32506
MR. HERBERT MORGAN, State Representative, Florida House of
Representatives, 304 House Office Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32304
MR. DONALD FEASTER, Executive Director, Southwest Florida Water
Management District, 5060 U. S. Hwy. 41 South, Brooksville,
MR. JIM LEWIS, Water Management District Coordinator, Department
of Environmental Regulation, Twin Towers Office Building, 2600
Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32301
DR. ROBERT LIVINGSTON, Associate Professor, Department of Biological
Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306
Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, provides statutory authority to
the Water Management Districts for managing only the quantity of the
water resources of Florida. Chapter 403, Florida Statutes, provides
authority to the Department of Environmental Regulation to "COn.eAuve
the watetu o6 the. state and to protect, maintain, and i-mprove the
quaLUity theAeof ."
It has been stated many times that one cannot responsibly separate
quality and quantity considerations in managing an ubiquitous resource
like water. In this regard, the Florida Environmental Reorganization
Act of 1975 reasserted the general policy of the Governmental Reor-
ganization Act of 1969, that is to consolidate duplicative programs
and, where possible, delegate responsibility for certain programs
to the local level.
It has been proposed by the Department of Environmental Regulation
and others that the water management districts become involved in
water quality activities.
1. Should water management districts be delegated authority
for water quality responsibilities, and, if so, should those
responsibilities be regulatory, operational, or data-gathering in
What legal and institutional arrangements must be made
water management districts to assume responsibility for
state and federal programs involving water quality?
3. What is the optimum method to implement operational water
quality programs, and how should any water quality responsibilities
of a water management district be funded?
Having been associated with the fine tuning of the water quality
laws of Florida as well as having visited other states during such
proceedings, I see the State of Florida is well on its way to having
comprehensive water laws. Florida has the funds and the expertise
to manage water, but sometimes our laws keep us out of the competition
for attracting industry.
The Florida Keys is a good example of a water shortage problem
that requires sound management. The specific problems of delegating
authority and working out the water quality problems are well on
the way to being solved.
The one resource we are running out of in Florida is water. The
question to be answered in the legislature is the inter-county
distribution of fresh water to supply depleted areas. Is it right
to force one county to supply water to another that does not have
enough? What happens when the county they are taking the water from
decides they want to increase development? There is no right or
wrong answer to this question, but precedents are being set in other
areas with other resources. Alaska is pumping out its oil and
Louisiana is pumping out its natural gas that they could use in the
future. Now, it becomes a national problem involving the federal
The Escambia River is one of the ten most polluted rivers in
the country. After Florida clamped down on in-state industries,
pollution was still coming from Alabama and Georgia. Now it is
an interstate problem and somewhere an organization, such as the
water management districts, will have to be given the authority
and expertise to plan for our water resources. Sometime in the
future we are going to have to put a restraint on the population
coming into Florida. Our water resources are in trouble and we
need solutions to these problems.
When drafting the Environmental Reorganization Act (1975), the
general thinking was to decentralize activities, yet still hold a uni-
form statewide approach to protect the environment. The water manage-
ment districts are on the local level and should be delegated water
quality responsibilities if we are to keep with our original thinking.
It was also the feeling in 1975 to combine activities of common
interest to reduce duplication of effort. Recently we have had
duplication problems in agricultural and restaurant inspections.
The same case is evident in water quality management. In the first
place, it seems very difficult to separate water quality and quantity.
These activities should be delegated by the Secretary of DER to
the water management districts. The law says they are capable,
financially and technically, to handle the task.
This change could come about in two ways: (1) DER and the
WMD's working together to solve budget requests and then go to
the legislature, or (2) the legislature could simply decide to
transfer water quality to the WMD's and through the budgetary
process, influence the situation directly.
In discussing this problem of water quality delegation, I
find my thoughts are two-sided. The idealistic side says we
can't separate water quality and quantity. The other side looks
at the cooperation we have today with DER and with co-location
we are beginning to work out our problems.
To answer the question "Should Water Management Districts
be Delegated Water Quality Management?," I would say "yes."
Should those responsibilities be regulatory, operational, or
data-gathering in nature? Presently, the current USGS SWFWMD
program has some $180,000 worth of water quality data, USGS -
DER program has $0. That's just the SWFWMD and I'm not sure
where the DER gets involved in data collection now.
To answer the regulatory and operational question, I would
define operations as action-oriented, as opposed to regulation-
oriented activities. With this definition, I would say that WMD's
should be delegated water quality because they are action-oriented.
This is evident with the current lake restoration project the
NWFWMD has with DER.
In the regulatory functions, the SWFWMD Governing Board
spends one day a month reviewing and approving water quantity
permits. We have 25 people in regulatory, whereas DER has two
to three times that many people in their Tampa office. So it
is evident that manpower will be a concern if the transfer is
Another problem we are faced with is keeping up with the
legislation. Every year there has been major legislation on
water management and we have a problem adjusting to the action
of the previous year.
An appropriate role for water management districts in water
quality management is a cautious role. The funding of water
quantity programs is almost exclusively from the state level but
water quality programs have federal monies and strings attached.
These programs can get very complicated and involved on this level.
The water management districts and the DER are working
together on permit requests, consumptive use permits, as well as
water quality permits. Some WMD's have water quality monitoring
programs which put them well into water quality management. But
I feel we should proceed cautiously until everyone gets his feet
on the ground.
As a research scientist in the state university system, it
is inappropriate for me to remark on responsibility for the
administrative aspects of water quality and water quantity in the
state, so I will not try.
From a scientific point of view, it is impossible to differen-
tiate the relative impact between water quality and quantity.
Working with coastal systems, it is easy to see how limiting
a factor water can be in human establishment and development.
Natural systems are tied to the quantity of water reaching them
as well as the quality of water. It is easy to dilute an indus-
trial effluent to reach a desirable non-toxic concentration.
But the actual amount of toxic material will damage the water
Florida has one of the most extensive coastlines in the
United States. The coastal areas attract tourists as well as
industry, two extremely water-dependent, multi-billion dollar
institutions. These coastal systems depend on the quantity of
water for salinity relationships and food transport, as well as
the quality of the water. If water is diverted from our various
river systems, it is likely to cause a rapid decline in the
productivity of the coastal system involved and the estuary.
Degrade the estuary and the fisheries of the state will decline
as well as the tourist-attracting ability of the coast.
A good example is the rapid change in the Escambia Bay
system where ten years ago the productivity was primarily large
invertebrates and fish. Today, the productivity is still very
high but is dominated by a micro-organism system that is leading
to what we call cultural eutrophication. This degradation of
water will lead to destruction of the fisheries industry.
Productivity is not being used as a yardstick for measur-
ing the quality of a water system. The decisions being made
are based on data collected and interpreted on a short-term basis.
Recognition is due for the basic research aspect of our natural
ecosystems. Seven years of data have been collected on the
Apalachicola River and we are just beginning to understand the
system. It is imperative that research be completed before or
during the planning stages so an objective opinion can be formulated
instead of constantly returning to a crisis situation. Other-
wise, the decisions will be haphazard and biased in nature.
FRANK CALDWELL In developing the Water Resources Act of 1972, the Model
Water Code was used to write 90% of the Act. In defining respon-
sibilities for the WMD's, the words "water quality" were deleted
in all instances. The old Air and Water Pollution Commission
was the authority for water quality.
Of all the roles that have to do with water quality, the
regulatory role may not be the most appropriate role for the
WMD's to play. The different kinds of water problems in Florida
were recognized by the Reorganization Act. Also, the development
rates of each District are different as recognized by the Act.
With these facts in mind, it is imperative that the Secretary
of DER have the discretion to delegate responsibility for
regulatory activities to the districts.
If you are going to delegate water quality to the districts,
it would appear that, despite the differences between the
districts, we should delegate it to those that can handle it,
then insure that the other districts will receive it when they
are sufficiently capable.
One of the biggest federal programs to come along in a long
time dealing with water quality is the 208 program. It appears
to me that the WMD's are the logical organization, especially
for the non-designated areas, for this charge. The regional
planning commissions have had to gear up with water resource
people and hire expensive consultants. Does anyone know the
reason for this decision?
One problem with this is that EPA requires that the 208
agencies be headed by a board of elected officials. That's a
technical reason, since the WMD officials are appointed, but
it seems to me that there is no reason for a 208 agency not to
contract with the WMD's for technical expertise. It's a logical
way to go.
Who is responsible for designing the questions that are
to be asked for the various monitoring processes by all the
state and federal agencies? There does not seem to be any
thought behind where all the data is going, what it is telling
us, and what it is to be used for.
Our data goes into the WATSTORE computer in Reston, Virginia.
There are a number of data bases I could list for you, but
my main concern is the utilization of this data. Why do you
need water quality data? Why do you need water management in
the first place? Is there some sort of central idea behind all
this monitoring or is it just going to all these data bases and
not really being used?
The SWFWMD is involved in an extensive effort with FSU and others
in a literature search on estuaries. We need background data to
solve the problems of salt-water intrusion, ground and surface
contamination and other problems.
As an administrator and decision maker, I rely on the scientists
in our shop who provide me the data so I can make a right decision.
That is what the Governor hired me to do and I need the information
that is being used.
We collect background data for regulatory decisions. We also
collect data for research and development needs. As an example,
we had no data on the water chemistry and biology of Lake Okeechobee
prior to 1969. We wanted to raise the lake level to 17 feet and
needed to know if this would have any effect on the littoral zone.
Until 1965 when the Federal Water Pollution Control Act was
passed, we did not even think about water quality. Now, it is
imperative to collect data which is usually used for specific
Another problem is the administrative procedures associated
with water management. We have 30 days to say whether we have
a full application and then 90 days to take final agency action
or, in effect, the permit is granted.
Presently we are collecting a lot of groundwater information
to be able to determine the type of aquifer system in northwest
Florida. One of our biggest deficiencies right now is of long-
range data, but we are going about it in a systematic manner.
It is imperative that you know what kind of water you are
dealing with in order to determine its potential use. Ten years
ago, the Water Resources Division of the Geological Survey had
the three branches: surface water, ground water, and water
quality. We consolidated and now have about one-third of our program
in water quality. We are collecting and using our data for our
investigations and this data is available to anyone.
If I may answer my question, I would like to know how many of
you are looking at problems in a systems approach? To understand
how a certain system works, you need to know the water quality,
quantity, nutrients, and the detritus. Your energy relationships
are the key to how the entire system works and if you study a
small part, say water quality, you are not getting the whole story.
High nutrient concentrations may be beneficial to one system and
detrimental to another. It is rare to have ten years of com-
prehensive data and I would like to know if anyone is working in this
We have several modeling efforts underway: Kissimmee, Okeechobee
Basin, and the Conservation Area System. We are using this data to
formulate the same system concept you are talking about. The
biologists are having difficulty fitting the known relationships into
the computer model. The mathematicians have created an analog-digital
model that provides the advantages of both systems.
What biological parameters do you use to test your model?
I wish I coul-d respond. But, I do not have that knowledge.
I would like to ask Dr. Livingston what biological parameters
should be used?
The most important ones would be the indicators of productivity,
primary productivity, and the types of primary producers or other
trophic organisms in any given system. And then eventually work out
the energy system based on the various trophic levels that are de-
pendent on that particular source of energy.
Who would form these questions?
The questions have been with us for years; dam proposals,
city siting, etc...What I'm saying is that with a lot of thought,
you can get better mileage out of your money.
Isn't this what the Environmental Impact Statement process is
Not to my knowledge. The ones I've seen are directed at a
particular problem. They are very uneven with respect to their
I thought you said that when the dam proposal came up and we
were asked such questions, it meant that you could ask the questions
of the entire river system before you could actually address the
If you understood the entire system, the river, flood plain,
estuary, bay, and so on, when the dam questions come up, you're
better equipped to answer that question.
What do you recommend that the Water Management Districts
do in the meantime to answer these questions?
As a scientist, I don't feel I should comment on administrative
function but somebody ought to get together sometime and get a
program where you take representative systems and put together
units that will ask these questions and solve the problems before
they come up.
Could you then suggest three or four that may be representative?
I would rather you had a group of scientists who would answer
I'm tempted to ask you how we go about assembling this group
and how we'd select them.
I'd rather answer anything requiring scientific involvement,
but the administrative problem, you've got the university system
that has all sorts of scientists sitting on their hands wondering
where their next dollar is coming from for research.
Dr. Livingston, how long have you been working on the
Apalachicola, who has assisted you, how did you get involved in
I started 15 years ago in Miami as a graduate student at the
Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, and saw that all the
questions being asked were piecemeal and served the interests of
the individual scientists rather than the interest of the total
project. When I came to FSU, I decided to put together a unit of
data on a given system that may not only serve my own scientific
interests, which are primary and self-serving, but which may also
put together the kind of information that can be used to make the
types of decision that we're talking about here.
The Apalachicola Project was pieced together by me for six
years based on almost lying to various people about my research
objectives. I put together an inter-disciplinary team of about
300 people over the last six years to build a data base that
describes the aquatic system.
The river has tremendous diurnal, seasonal, and annual vari-
ability. The system depends upon this variability for timed flood
influxes with reproduction periods. If the river doesn't flood
during a certain time, the productivity of the estuary and bay is
This project has cost a lot of money but we are beginning to
understand what is going on. This type of data is useful for
developers because they will have a solid basis on which to do land
management schemes, as well as for politicians to base water and
land management decisions.