JAMES H. CASON
I ARCHIVAL COPY |
NORTHWEST FLORIDA WATER
PUBLIC INFORMATION BULLETIN 79-1
NORTHWEST FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
THIRD ANNUAL MEETING
District Headquarters Facility
U. S. Highway 90 West of Tallahassee
Sunday, October 22, 1978
Monday, October 23, 1978
9:30 a.m. 10:45 a.m.
- 12:00 Noon
6:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 24, 1978
Water Trade Fair and Exhibition
Coffee and Pastries
Panel #1 The Role of Universities in Effective
Water Management in Florida
Panel #2 The Responsibility of Water Management
Districts in Satisfying the Water Resource Manage-
ment Needs of Local Government
Lunch (catered to Headquarters Facility)
Panel #3 The Role of the Water Management
Districts in Florida in the Year 2000
Panel #4 Water Management and Economic Development:
the View from the Private Sector
Hospitality Hour (Silver Slipper Restaurant, Tallahassee)
Banquet (Silver Slipper)
Regular Governing Board Meeting
J. William McCartn
e a lt ffanayemen1t 4hicd
Route No. 1. Box 3100. Havana. Florida 32333
We are again pleased to publish the proceedings from our annual
meeting. Originally intended to address water management issues in
northwestern Florida, our annual meeting has apparently become an annual
conference for all the water management districts by discussing timely
topics of statewide significance.
We feel that this past year's meeting was especially productive
and that all the panel participants were extremely well versed on their
assigned topics. We would again like to thank the panel members who gave
of their time and effort to make this past year's meeting one of our very
In the pages which follow, you will find candid comments on various
water management issues from some of the most knowledgeable persons in
the State of Florida in their respective fields. As such, reading these
proceedings may provide some valuable insights into the complex and highly
diverse topic of water resource management in Florida.
Again, the Northwest Florida Water Management District would like
to thank all those who participated in and attended our third annual
HENRY C. LANE
TOM S. COLDEWEY
Port St. Joe
DAVAGE RUNNELS ALAN WHIDBY
WILLIAM H. WILLIAMS
NORTHWEST FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
THIRD ANNUAL MEETING
Mr. Frank Caldwell, Former Member, NWFWMD Governing Board
Mr. Tom Coldewey, Vice President, NWFWMD Governing Board
Mr. Dan Farley, Secretary/Treasurer, NWFWMD Governing Board
Mr. Buddy Runnels, Member, NWFWMD Governing Board
Mr. Frank Bouis, Florida Citrus Mutual, Leesburg, FL
Mr. Ruel L. Bradley, Jr., Florida Hotel & Motel Association, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Hank Bruning, Clay County Commission
Dr. Robert A. Bryan, Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Florida,
Dr. Alfred Chaet, Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of West Florida,
Hon. Tommy Clay, Chairman, Governing Board, St. Johns River Water Management Distric
Dr. Leslie L. Ellis, Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs, Florida Technologic
University, Orlando, FL
Dr. Edward Fernald, Director, Florida Resources and Environmental Analysis Center,
Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Hon. John Finlayson, Board Member, South Florida Water Management District
Hon. Corinne Freeman, Mayor, City of St. Petersburg, FL
Mr. J. C. Gissendaner, Florida Watersways Association, Chattahoochee, FL
Mr. Kinney Harley, Florida Home Builders Association, Tallahassee, FL
Hon. Stanley Hole, Board Member, South Florida Water Management District
Mr. George 0. Layman, Gulf Power Company, Pensacola, FL
Mr. Jim Lewis, Water Management District Coordinator, Department of Environmental
Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. Roberta (Bobbie) Lisle, Mayor-Commissioner, City of Gainesville, FL
Hon. Derrill McAteer, Chairman, Governing Board, Southwest Florida Water Management
Mr. Riley Miles, Florida Water Users Association, Kissimmee, FL
Dr. Kenneth Michels, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Florida Atlantic Universil
Mr. Louis Polatty, Florida Chamber of Commerce, Tallahassee, FL
Dr. Carl D. Riggs, Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of South Florida
Sen. Sherrill "Pete" Skinner, Florida State Senate, Lake City, FL
Mr. Charles R. (Chuck) Smith, Chairman, Withlacoochee Regional Planning Council
Hon. Lee Vause, Chairman, Apalachee Regional Planning Council, Blountstown, FL
Governing Board Members (NWFWMD)
Mr. Frank Caldwell, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Tom Coldewey, Port St. Joe, FL
Mr. Dan Farley, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Henry C. Lane, Pensacola, FL
Mr. Howard Odom, Marianna, FL
Mr. Davage Runnels, Destin, FL
Mr. Alan Whidby, Pensacola, FL
Mr. Bill Williams, Pensacola, FL
Mr. William R. Albritton, Field Representative
Mrs. Ann C. Baggett, Assistant Business Manager
Mr. Douglas E. Barr, Associate Hydrogeologist
Ms. Mary Jo Bedenbaugh, Administrative Division
Ms. Barbara A. Bies, Executive Secretary for Governing Board Activities
Mr. Sandy Brill, Associate Planner
Ms. Patricia C. Brinkley, Administrative Division
Mr. James H. Cason, Director, Technical Support Division
Mr. Robert L. Clay, Water Resource Planner
Ms. Octavia T. Copenhaver, Public Information Coordinator
Ms. Kathy L. Davis, O.P.S.
Mr. Richard Deuerling, Geology Assistant
Mr. Donald H. Esry, P.E., Engineer
Mr. Vincent F. Faraone, Systems Analyst
Mr. O. Raymond Jordan, Field Representative
Mr. Thomas Kwader, Assistant Geologist
Mr. Warren S. Lester, Chief, Field Inspection and Enforcement
Mr. Ronald V. Madonia, Technical Project Coordinator
Mr. J. William McCartney, Executive Director
Mr. Richebourg G. McWilliams, Director, Program Development Division
Mr. Gary Miller, Cartographer
Ms. Matilde Munoz, Illustrator
Mr. Robert B. Murphy, Associate Hydrologist
Ms. Marcia K. Penman, Water Resource Planner
Mr. Charles L. Perkins, Chief, Programs and Grants & Intergovernmental Affairs
Ms. Ann Redmond, Biologist
Ms. Angela B. Smith, Administrative Aide
Mr. James A. Stidham, Director, Water Resources and Regulatory Divisions
Mr. Douglas Stowell, Attorney to the Governing Board
Mr. Wayne Ashmore, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. John T. Barnes, Soil and Conservation Service, Marianna, FL
Ms. Faye L. Barnette, Economic Development Administration, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Tom Barnum, Florida House of Representatives, Natural Resource Committee,
Mr. Al Bishop, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. E. W. Bishop, Bureau of Geology, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Harold Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Brooksville, FL
Mr. Buddy Blain, Legal Counsel, Southwest Florida Water Management District,
Ms. Cecelia Bonifay, Division of State Planning, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. David Boozer, Florida Water Well Association, Orlando, FL
Mr. Tom Brown, Attorney, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Brooksville,
Mr. H. M. Burt, Polyengineering of Florida, Shalimar, FL
Mr. J. B. Butler, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Brooksville, FL
Mr. Charles Carlan, Barrett, Dafin and Carlan, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Doug Caton, Staff, Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Jim Chisholm, Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, Tallahassee, FL
Ms. Janet Clark, Staff, House Committee on Natural Resources, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Clyde Conover, U. S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. H. L. Duke, Russell Daniel Irrigation Co., Havana, FL
Mr. Lewis Dismukes, Reynolds, Smith and Hills, P.A. & E., Tallahassee, FL
Mr. David W. Ewing, Southeast Alabama Regional Planning Commission
Mr. Donald Feaster, Executive Director, Southwest Florida Water Management
District, Brooksville, FL
Mr. Gene Ganser, Southern Resource Mapping Corporation, Ormond Beach, FL
Mr. John Greis, Division of Forestry, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Jack Goodridge, South Florida Water Management District, W. Palm Beach, FL
Mr. James Griffiths, Florida Citrus Mutual, Leesburg, FL
Mr. Jack Griffith
Mr. Richard Heath, U. S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Larry Hayes, U. S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Gene Heath
Mr. John T. Herndon, Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, Tallahassee
Mr. John R. Jones, Economic Development Administration, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Robert Kromhout, League of Women Voters, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Erwin Liang, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Henry J. Lee, U. S. Corps of Engineers, Mobile, AL
Mr. Bill Leseman, City of Tallahassee, FL
Rep. John Lewis, House Committee on Natural Resources, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Jim Lewis, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Carl Linn, City Attorney, St. Petersburg, FL
Mr. Chuck Littlejohn, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Jesse B. Livingston, Soil Conservation Service, Gainesville, FL
Mr. Ted Mack, Tallahassee-Leon Coutny Planning Department, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. William B. Mann, U. S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Jack Merriam, House Committee on Natural Resources, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Donald 0. Morgan, Executive Director, Suwannee River Water Management District,
White Springs, FL
Mr. John Mullins, Bay County Commission, Panama City, FL
Mr. Rufus Musgrove, U. S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. L. J. Numm, South Florida Water Management District, W. Palm Beach, FL
Mr. Stoddard Pickrell, Institute for Food and Agricultural Science, Gainesville,
*'- Jim Pridgeon, House Legistative Aide, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Ronald G. Pscion, Department of Environmental Regulation, Niceville, FL
Mr. Billy Rankin
Mr. Jack Rosenau, U. S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Fred Rouse, Executive Director, St. John River Water Management District,
Mr. James Sayes, Department of Community Affairs, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Charlie Sanders, Department of Natural Resources, Tallahassee, FL
Ms. Millie Sharp, Panama City, FL
Mr. C. B. Sherwood, U. S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. C. B. Sherwood, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Thomas P. Smith, City of Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Jim Spiva, Modern Water Inc., Panama City, FL
Mr. John Squire, Department of Natural Resources, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Carl St. Cin, Monsanto Co., Pensacola, FL
Mr. Allen Smajstila, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, FL
Mr. Bill Stinnel, Division of State Planning, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Jack Strickland, Gadsden County Chamber of Commerce, Quincy, FL
Mr. Larry Strong, Senate Appropriations Committee, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Robert Thomas
Ms. Helen Thompson, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Brooksville, FL
Mr. Donald Turk, Florida Farm Bureau, Gainesville, FL
Mr. Reggie Tisdale, Barrett, Dafin and Carlan, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. Reggie Tisdale, Tallahassee, FL
Ms. Gloria Van Treese
Mr. John Vecchioli, U. S. Geological Survey, Tallahassee, FL
Mrs. John Vecchioli, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Sonny Vergara, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Brooksville, FL
Mr. Leon Weaver, Talquin Electric Cooperative, Quincy, FL
Mr. George Willson, Department of Environmental Regulation, Tallahassee, FL
Mr. Jim Zimmerman, Community Water and Sewer Association, Quincy, FL
Dr. Gerald Zachariah, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, FL
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THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES IN EFFECTIVE WATER MANAGEMENT
MR. FRANK CALDWELL, Former Member, Northwest Florida Water Management
District Governing Board, 14035 Cascade Lane, Tampa, Florida
DR. KENNETH M. MICHELS, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Florida
Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida
DR. CARL D. RIGGS, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, University of
South Florida, Tampa, Florida
DR. LESLIE L. ELLIS, Acting Vice-President for Academic Affairs,
Florida Technological University, Box 25000, Orlando, Florida
DR. ROBERT A. BRYAN, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, University
of Florida, 233 Tigert Hall, Gainesville, Florida
DR. ALFRED CHAET, Associate Vice-President for Sponsored Research,
University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida
DR. EDWARD FERNALD, Director, Florida Resources and Environmental
Analysis Center, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
As Florida's population continues to increase, and at a rapid pace, the ,
demands for water resources have expanded commensurately. However, water is
a finite resource with limits largely unknown. Owing to this situation,
Florida's water management districts are charged with the prudent management
of the state's water resources. Both individually and collectively, the
districts employ many scientists and technical personnel, including civil and
environmental engineers, hydrologists, hydroengineers, geologists, planners,
geographers, cartographers, and other professionals. Traditionally, each water
management district has experienced difficulty in filling specialized positions
from the graduates of Florida's universities (for example, ground water
hydrologists). Since many agencies have to recruit employees from outside the
state of Florida, this might indicate that the type and/or quality of some
programs in Florida's universities could be expanded or made more comprehensive.
Could these discrepancies be remedied by a greater awareness of the regional
and state needs for these types of trained specialists? Accordingly:
What criteria is used in establishing major graduate programs and
how are the programs coordinated with ongoing activities in the
field? Also, is input solicited from the professional nonacademic
community regarding the organization and structure of various
Are the universities producing graduates with the technical
expertise necessary to manage Florida's water resources?
How can the water management districts influence, change, or
initiate the development of the curriculum offered by the state's
universities on both a graduate and undergraduate level?
The existing technical professional staffs of the state's water manage-
ment districts possess a wealth of knowledge and experience relating to water
resources development, use, control, etc. Moreover, the state of Florida
spends some $100,000 annually to support water planning, management, and
To what extent have the universities utilized the expertise
afforded by the water management districts to expand or enhance
their existing programs?
What are the possibilities or avenues for cooperative water
resource training between the state's universities and the water
Have we (the water management districts and universities)
explored in detail cooperative training programs, internships,
or assistantships which would be beneficial to both groups
while maximizing the experience of the students and the
expenditure of Florida's tax dollars?
I think the best way to start is to ask what we are doing at the
University of Florida to help solve some of the problems in water resources
in the State of Florida. I can tell you what I think we are doing, and you
can tell me whether it is helpful or not.
I don't think the members of this audience really need to be reminded
that the University of Florida is the headquarters for the Florida Water
Resources Research Center. I think the major achievement of the Center was the
Model Water Code passed by the Florida State Legislature in 1972. We also have
the Center for Aquatic Weed Control Studies and for Tropical Fish Studies.
We offer bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental and
Engineering Sciences. The university also offers a bachelors and masters degree
in Agricultural Engineering; bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. degrees in a whole
array of biological science departments, including those in the Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences; bachelors and masters degrees in geology; and,
of course, the law degree. One might not think about the law degree initially
as being connected with water resources, but we go back to the Model Water
Code, which is part of the work of the Florida Resources Center, and we remember
that three professors of law were instrumental in drafting the model legislation
which was subsequently put through by the state legislature. We do have law
students who are interested in specializing in problems concerning water rights.
Also, we have bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. degrees in political science. As
most of you know, the whole focus of political science has changed in the last
10 to 15 years from what used to be the glamour fields like international
studies to the field of public administration today. At least that is
happening at our university. A good deal of the emphasis in public adminis-
tration in one of the Ph.D. programs we offer in political science has to do
with water rights and how to manage water and water resources.
I think those are the contributions that we are able to offer the
state for people who want to come and study with us or for people who want to
come and bring their problems to us for analysis and solution.
The University of South Florida has courses, programs, or instructions
involving water use, water rights, etc. in five different colleges. In the
College of Natural Science, there is the Biology Department: a good segment of
the instruction is oriented toward aquatic biology. It could be indirect in a
way because they are essentially studying organisms that live in water. Two
of those departments have Ph.D. programs, in chemistry and biology. Marine
Science, which deals almost exclusively with salt water, has a cooperative
Ph.D. program with Florida State University. You may have read recently that
the Board of Regents has chosen this area of the University of South Florida
to become a Center of Excellence, and we will commit extra dollars to this
area to develop it.
Our Geology Department is strong on coastal aquatic problems on the
marine side, and on the aquifer which is the major source of underground water
in Florida. In the College of Business, the Department of Economics has one
person that teaches water courses each year, especially examining the impact of
water on the broad economy of an area. The Department of Management has
portions of courses devoted to the importance of water to the managing of
business and human resources. In Engineering, we have a significant thrust
centering in civil engineering. In the College of Social and Behavorial Sciences
the Political Science Department, as in the case at Florida, has some emphasis
on water resources. In our Department of Anthropology, we have an emphasis on
applied anthropology, which definitely deals with the role of water in man's
historic past and the present. Even Sociology is dealing with water problems,
especially in the highly-populated areas in which man lives. Finally, the
College of Education has two areas, the Departments of Science Education and
Social Science Education, which do discuss water and water problems throughout
The University of West Florida has been involved in water management to
some extent, particularly for an institution of our size. As you may know, we
are unlike all other institutions in that we are enrolling only upper level
students, juniors, seniors, and graduates. We have been involved in this area
of water resources. As a matter of fact, we have had joint research projects
by our faculty and the Northwest Florida Water Management District in the
Pensacola area. Our institution parenthetically started as an aquatic-emphasizil
institution. When we started 13 years ago, we really tried to organize the entil
institution around water. We soon realized that it was hard to get the English
Department to really emphasize water aspects, etc., so we backed off trying to
get the entire university involved in water.
We have just recently been designated a Center for Excellence in Coastal
Zone Management. It seems to me that this opens up a number of possibilities in
terms of the political science problems and the biological science problems, et
which we can take on in coastal zone management. We are assuming that with the
Center of Excellence will come additional financing so we can expand our program
which we really have not done much with at this time. I guess the main thing
we have been doing up until now is joint research between our institution and
the Northwest Florida Water Management District.
We are one of the new universities in the state university system. I
represent Florida Technological University, and we are entering into our eleventh
year. As some of you may or may not know, we now have a new president and we
look forward to a very exciting next decade.
In our university, we have seven different colleges: the College of
Natural Sciences, the College of Social Sciences, the College of Engineering,
and the College of Business Administration, and so on. In addition to offering
courses in these general fields, we have a number of institutes and organizations
within the university which are emphasizing programs which I think would be of
interest to you. We have an Institute of Fresh Water Ecology located in our
College of Natural Sciences. We also have an Environmental Systems Institute,
which is located in our College of Engineering. We do not offer any doctoral
degrees that we implement with other universities in the state university system.
We do offer a degree in Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering.
We offer an option in our College of Natural Sciences in Limnology. We offer
similar programs for baccalaureate and masters degrees in the College of Business
I was interested to see what our faculty was doing in the research and
grants area, and I put together a list of state and federal grants and contracts
which we have from varying sources, including some in the water management areas.
We have some 23 grants and contracts which are either in force, recently
completed, or for which we have received the award and have not yet implemented
the grant and contract. I would remind all of you that there is an Engineering
Industrial Experiment Station in the university system with units located at
various universities that'have engineering colleges. A number of interesting
research grants and proposals are taking place through that mechanism which have
direct implication to water management, water quality, and work in the aquatic
environment. Some of you may not realize the Engineering Industrial Experiment
Station began at the University of Florida and has had a long history there of
substantial research work. From there, it has expanded to the other universities
in the university system and to engineering colleges.
The question that was presented to us earlier in our charge was,
"Historically, what have we done?" I think that in academia in all the
universities, historically, we have had programs that developed mainly out of
the interest and abilities of the faculty; we did not have too many programs
develop out of practical need. Of course, that's a generalization I'm using
here because water did not have the intensity of need then that it has today.
But, we had a situation about the mid-seventies whereby we could see definitely
the more specific water needs, but the Board of Regents had a cap on programs
by this time. This put the universities in a situation where we have not had
the proliferation of programs that we might have had. The moratorium on new
programs probably has kept us from developing practically-needed water courses.
At Florida State University, like at your other universities, we do
have a number of fresh water biology programs. We have a resource geography
and resource economics program. They are not new programs; they are new
emphases on older programs. We have had several scholars come in who are very
well-known in these areas. The planning department has come up with a number
of planning courses which will lend themselves to this kind of emphasis, and the
geography, economic, and planning groups are getting together to allow broader
experiences for students.
Our Public Administration Department is new, but that newness has a
practical implication, particularly as we get into the program for the Center
for Excellence. The Political Sciences Program at FSU will deal with the
evaluation of the legal aspects of water management, and it will concern itself
with the policies that the water management districts follow and their interface
with policies of other agencies and other governmental units. It is an
exceptionally important topic.
I would certainly mention the fact that we do have quite a number of
physical science areas that are lending their programs to the environmental
sciences and stressing practical application. I can tell you that at FSU right
now we are moving more and more in that direction. This thought came from one
of the students that is here today; he said that one of the more important
things in his work with the water management districts has been the technical
work that we give them in cartography, computer science, statistics, and air
photos. I mention this with pride since it came out of a new program that I
developed with National Science Foundation help and which is concerned with
spatial analysis of land use. We feel in our land use program that one of the
more important aspects to cover is water. So, we have had several of our
students go out and work with water management districts, and at least to my
knowledge, all have done so very successfully.
The question was asked, "Is Florida producing enough graduates with the
technical ability to work in water management areas?" I think, "Yes, we
probably are." I believe, however, that it would benefit all of us for the
universities to work a little more closely and to work with the water management
districts in order to determine what our resources and needs are. I believe
this cooperation and communication would be highly productive.
Finally, I would comment that Florida State this past month has developed
an Institute of Science and Public Affairs. It is an outgrowth of the work
that has been done in the Florida Resources Environmental Analysis Center
(FREAC). We have established a separate office so that we can broaden the
scope of the Center throughout the university and to go out to state and local
agencies to identify specific problems they have. I'm responsible for this,
and I can tell you that my job will be to go out to these public agencies to
find out what their needs are, bring those needs back to the university, and thel
do the best job we can. We can't promise we are going to solve all your problem
that would be ridiculous. But, on the other hand, we will identify your problem
and we will do what we can to not only create academic programs, but also to
develop research and service programs and possibly internships. The latter,
many of us feel, would be highly desirable, both for agencies and for practical
experiences for students.
This last general topic you touched on is something that I want to
explore a little more. What sort of formal mechanisms are there in the indivi-
dual institutions or at the Board of Regents level where "academia" and "the
real world" can interface and not necessarily develop new programs but channel
the focus of the existing programs to more actively respond to the needs of
May I make an observation on that question? You have heard mentioned
by the group here something about institutes at the university. I might point
out that one of the problems in dealing with a group like this which deals in
water management is that the complexity of water management really doesn't match
up with the typical administrative units. So you have a requirement which cuts
across academic disciplines. The universities, in attempting to respond, at
least in part, to this kind of problem, do create institutes which very
frequently incorporate expertise located in a wide variety of university
colleges. This enables the university to bring together a force on a problem
which is very difficult to handle if you try to handle it within the usual
college or university structure. One way that we can respond is through the
creation of an institute within a university which is aimed at the particular
problem. The university can create an institute on its own, but if it is going
to have real status and opportunities for additional funding, that requires
approval of the Board of Regents.
Speaking of creation, these programs are not easy to create. One of the
things that we want to answer is if there is a need in the community for that
particular program. One of the things we always have to watch for is that
three people get together and feel that we need a degree in such and such. And,
sure enough, the university may respond and establish a program, only to find
out two years down the road that there are no participants for that program.
So, one of the things we are always looking for is: is there a need? When you
as a group come up with a need, that throws an awful lot of weight.
I want to remind you that about six or seven years ago, a number of the
nurses came to us at the University of West Florida and asked if we would put
in a bachelors degree program. We started out with a committee of the nursing
leaders in the community and they sent out a survey. We had excellent statistics
and there was a need. But, these things take time. A program at the university
has to go through the Board of Regents, and we are sad and yet happy to announce
that after six or seven years, a few months ago we finally got approval for a
full-fledged nursing program. I use this as an example to indicate how long
these things sometimes take. That's not very encouraging, I know. It is much
easier to go the route that Les Ellis just described and "institute" or to take
something like the Coastal Management Program and emphasize water management as
a part of that program, rather than set up an entirely new department and a
Frank, I think it would be misleading to give the audience the idea that
universities would be able to establish an institute that deals with some of the
water problems. I think the University of Florida uniquely has an advantage
with its IFAS program, which reaches the total state. The FREAC activity at
Florida State is also a good type of organization for this. I do believe,
though, that one of the things that all universities can and should do is to
build into as many areas of instruction as possible something about the water
problems that we face. I think the singularly most important thing we can do
is to have a significant proportion of society that understands water problems.
And, if that were done, then the agencies that deal with water problems would
have a much easier time getting public support to solve those problems.
I think, Mr. Chairman, it is important to emphasize the fact that we
have in the state university system enough degree programs already that deal
in one way or another with water resource problems. There is no need for more
degree programs at any level. I simply want to reinforce what my colleagues
have said. If, in some way, the degree programs are not able to confront the
problems that the water management district people have, then the answer is
through the establishment of institutes or centers. I would go on to say that
at the University of Florida, we have sufficient institutes and centers to solve
any problems that you may have. We actually have at the University of Florida
some 52 centers. They are not all dealing with water, but I think three of the
most important ones do: the Engineering Records Experiment Station, IFAS, and
the Coastal Management Center. If we are dealing with a problem (and I'm not
sure we are) of the universities not meeting the needs of the districts, it is
probably the result of inadequate communication. I feel confident that there
are enough resources in the state university system, represented by the people
here. Ihave confidence in my university. It has all the facilities and the
faculties and expertise to deal with just about any problem you could come up
with. The question is, do you want to come up with it?
I must admit that prior to being asked to serve on this panel, I didn't
know what I needed to know about the water management districts. This is not
to imply that I know what I need to know right now, but I know a great deal more
about it than I did before. The question is, "Is there an educational component
or objective to the water management districts' objectives?" I couldn't discover
one if there was. Maybe it is something I have overlooked.
You mean a public education component?
There is. It is not one of the higher priorities, but there is an
The reason I asked the question is that when you provided the material
to us before we came, there was material on the Northwest Florida Water Management
District, and it stated a number of objectives, and so on. I took the liberty
since I'm in the South Florida Water Management District to get their brochures,
and there is a list of objectives, but I couldn't discover anything on education
in either one. I would think that the water management districts are in a unique
position, as are the universities, to pursue some educational objectives which
would meet a need of the citizens of the state. As a matter of fact, there may
be some opportunities where the two groups, the universities and the water
management districts, could join in meeting some educational objectives or in
setting them up. Each university is located somewhere near a water management
district and there is a unique opportunity for that district and those universi-
ties in the district to work together. Where you are talking about a state-wide
problem, then perhaps the method to pursue it is through the Board of Regents
to let them determine where the expertise may be in one of the nine universities,
because we are not at all a duplication of one another. So, there are two ways
you can go about it: districts communicating with individual universities or
the total water management operation communicating with the Board of Regents
to determine where the real expertise is within the system.
I arrived here late, but I did hear some of the comments that Dr. Bryan
made following Dr. Rigg's statement. We have the kind of degree programs which
I think offer sufficient opportunity for individuals to get the kind of formal
academic training that would be appropriate and applicable to the problems in
water management. We have a marine and aquatic-oriented Biology Department.
We have an Ocean Engineering Department, and I think that there are tangential
activities of that group that go into nonmarine areas, and there is some practical
application at the bachelors and masters level. All of the universities, quite
obviously, are concerned with service and research, in addition to their formal
academic and instructional responsibilities and in both these areas, I suspect
we all make a contribution of one sort or another to the general problems the
state has with water management.
I don't know whether my colleagues mentioned it or not, but one of the
things that occurred to me is that most of us have academic programs that are
particularly applicable in public administration and in the political science
and social science areas. It's not enough to be concerned only with the
engineering and scientific aspects in dealing with water. We must consider the
political atmosphere in which we operate if we are to be effective in bringing
about the kinds of attitudinal changes that will make conservation and utilization
of our water resources more effective.
The university with which I am associated, Florida Atlantic, has a Center
for Environmental and Urban Problems jointly with Florida International. A
major activity of that Center is to deal with water management. I suspect a
great many of you are familiar with John Degrove, our director. He was very
active in the political arena during the early Askew administration, helping to
write some of the legislation that led to modification in the environmental laws
which have influenced water management practices. I would agree with Dr. Bryan;
I don't know that we need more degree programs. I think that we have plenty
within the state, and they are pretty well distributed among the nine institutions.
There are so many ways an institution can work with its water management district;
for example, we've had John Degrove serving as a member of the governing board
of the South Florida Water Management District for a number of years. Also, we
have been able to place many of our graduate students into internship programs,
and I think that we get some cross-fertilizing into the kinds of problems you
people are concerned with.
I would like to ask representatives of each of the water management
districts what their relationship is with the institutions within their district.
Bill McCartney, would you like to tell us what relationship the Northwest Florida
Water Management District has with Florida State, Florida A & M University, and
the University of West Florida.
Let me say this: the building that we are in is the Northwest Florida
Water Management District Water Resources Training Center. We hope to secure
agreements with Florida State University; Florida A & M University, the University
of West Florida; as well as the Water Well Association; Florida Engineering
Society; city and county engineers; the other water management districts; and
our own people to bring in some of the best people available in the state or
country for an in-service cooperative training program to increase our expertise
and to increase our program delivery in this part of the state.
We had a very lengthy development of our Water Resources Management Plan.
In fact, it took some three or four years. There is a Technical Advisory
Committee and a Policy Advisory Committee. It was the determination, I think,
of both of those committees that probably the key water resource management
need of northwest Florida, at this point in time, is a public information and
public training program.
I think there are only three ways to manage water. One, you regulate the
management of it; two, you manage it yourself; or three, you work with and teach
other people how to manage it. That's what we are going to try to do, in
conjunction with our operation and regulatory program. This is our contribution
today to water resources training. Hopefully, with meetings like this and other
meetings, we will make a significant improvement in the public information and
public education in water resource management and use in northwest Florida.
Our involvement with the university system is primarily with Florida
State University. We sponsor graduate students to work with the Bureau of
Geology, and that's been an ongoing program. Our other major activity with
Florida State is tied to their computer system; all our scientific data is fed
through that facility. I think we have kind of isolated the IFAS program at the
University of Florida to be our coordinator on university and water management
district activities. We sponsor a graduate student there at IFAS, and we have
almost weekly contact with the individuals in that program, probably because
their program is closer to our problem center, which is primarily agricultural.
We have discussed with the College of Engineering at the University of Florida
the possibility of looking to IFAS, rather than initiating new programs with
individual departments, to develop some of the expertise that we find we are
needing in the university system. You've discussed the very broad concepts -
legal, political, science, biology, etc. There also is a need in Florida for
the pure technical, particularly ground water, information that is available
through the university systems.
Within the water management district, three situations come to mind where
SWFWMD cooperates with, in one case, Florida State; in the other case, the
University of Florida; and the other, the University of South Florida. We have
several co-op arrangements in our regulatory, planning, and environmental section
of the District. We try to keep a co-op position filled in each of these
divisions, employing one or two people to fill one position 100% of the time.
We have had graduate students, but right now they are all undergraduates.
At the University of South Florida, we have a very close relationship
with a lot of the professors and just a good line of communication. Specifically
at Florida State University, we have a major computer effort which we are trying
to develop even further to refine the climatological data within the District.
In the past, we have had co-op students with Florida State. With the University
of Florida, we have a very extensive cooperative program with the Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences. This current year we have about a $90,000
cooperative effort with them in trying to come up with new techniques for
irrigation, new crops that would use less water, crops that are salt-tolerant,
and things of that nature. Those are three that come to mind. Another thing:
I personally sit on a visiting committee at the University of Florida Department
of Environmental Engineering.
Since we are the newest district in the state, we are just beginning to
get our relationships put together with the academic communities. We are
fortunate that our vice-chairman of the board is a member of the faculty of the
University of Florida. We do have a good rapport with them, and are in the
process right now of working out an intern relationship with one of the colleges
within the district.
I might comment on Dr. Michels' remarks because I would like to offer this
to you in view of the fact that I'm relatively new here in Florida. Based on
my experience, I think the universities and colleges in this state do turn out
good technically-trained students. And since we are the newest (district), we
are also probably hiring the most; and I have had a chance to analyze your
products, so to speak, for the last 20 months. I agree with Dr. Michels and I
would strongly urge you to develop a good liaison with us managers who are out in
the trenches and working on this. I urge you to see that your technically-
trained students do have an understanding of political science, economics, and
the computer setups, etc. because if they are going to be promotablee" and move
up, then they must get beyond the point of being out in the field. They are in
a position to influence legislation. We are talking about this state spending
one hundred million dollars. Well, who manages that and who makes the
recommendations? The department heads do. Quite frankly, they have to have
an understanding of where the tax dollars come from and how they are spent. So,
I concur with your remarks.
I want to thank all of you for participating.
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS IN SATISFYING
THE WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT NEEDS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
MODERATOR MR. TOM COLDEWEY, Vice-Chairman, Northwest Florida Water Management
District Governing Board, 1405 Constitution Drive, Port St. Joe,
PANELISTS MR. HANK BRUNING, Clay County Commission, P. O. Box 41, Lake Geneva,
MRS. ROBERTA (BOBBIE) LISLE, Mayor-Commissioner, City of Gainesville,
P. O. Box 490, Gainesville, Florida
MRS. CORINNE FREEMAN, Mayor, City of St. Petersburg, P. 0. Box 2842,
St. Petersburg, Florida
MR. LEE VAUSE, Chairman, Apalachee Regional Planning Council, P. O.
Box 428, Blountstown, Florida
MR. CHARLES R. (CHUCK) SMITH, Chairman, Withlacoochee Regional Planning
Council, 2240 Eastside Avenue, Brooksville, Florida
Each of the State's water management districts has taken a different
approach in fulfilling its perceived responsibility to local governments' various
water resource management needs, both existing and long-term. The water manage-I
ment districts are authorized by state law (F. S. 373.084) to delegate to local
agencies and governments the powers to operate and maintain works of the
district. For example, many of Florida's counties issue water well permits
rather than, or in addition to, the district's issuing them. However, there
is no further guidance in.the enabling legislation which spells out any response;
abilities of the districts to the local governments.
In Florida, and especially in northwest Florida, there is a significant
demand for the water management districts to assist state agencies, county
commissions, regional planning councils, city governments, and even private
organizations and landowners in analyzing and proposing solutions to various
water management issues. The question then arises as to the nature and extent
of district responsibility to offer technical assistance or other services to
these agencies, organizations, and citizens. Moreover, the situation is
compounded when it is determined that the desired results of such requested
assistance or services might be at cross-purposes with the existing policies or
operations of the district. Accordingly:
How do we define or assign local responsibility or district
responsibility for managing an area's water resources?
What should be the role of the water management district in
supplying water for municipal or other systems?
What is the role and, moreover, what is the responsibility of
the water management district in addressing technical assistance
needs of local governments?
A second, but no less important, issue concerning the interaction of the
water management district and local government is the type and degree of input
each should have on the official actions of the other. In this context:
What role should local governments play in the water management
What role should be afforded to the water management districts
in regard to the decisions made by local governments?
The perspective I have of the responsibility of the water management
districts to local governments is probably a little bit different from that of
some of the other county commissioners in this region. You have to go back to
the referendum a couple of years ago which established the constitutionality of
this water management district and the other districts in the state. I think
this is the only region in the state of Florida that didn't see fit to bless
the creation of the water management districts. Leon County, however, was an
exception to this feeling. My county did vote affirmatively to establish
I think that if I were to represent to you what the overall feeling of
many of the counties in this region is with respect to the water management
districts, it would be: "Don't do it to us without letting us know in advance."
I think that is another way of just saying: "Communicate with the counties and
cities that are within your district what your role is." Unfortunately, too
many of us don't fully know, and because of that, perhaps we do not appreciate
what the role of the water management district really is.
My personal feeling is that the most important thing the districts could
do with respect to relationships with local government would be to involve them
in every way you can in developing your rules, making legislative recommendations,
and that sort of thing.
Thank you, Lee. Do you think that it would be proper for the water
management district to send some sort of educational team to the various county
commissioners to explain the operation and the needs of the District?
Well, that certainly wouldn't be a bad idea. It has been my experience
that too often we don't understand the problem, and that's the reason solutions
are not very palatable to us. Perhaps a sort of team effort to define the
problems would be a very worthwhile activity. I know from having talked with
people, such as the mayor here, that come from an area of the state where there
is a very significant water problem. We don't have that sort of thing in this
area of Florida at this point. There is no question that with the economic
development that's going to be encouraged in our area over the next few years,
if we don't begin to develop sensible regulations, we could very well find
ourselves in the same sort of situation. I think conveying that problem, or
that aspect of it, to those of us who are not yet aware of it would be
If there is no solution, there is no problem. As far as being a local
official involved with water, I sometimes feel as if I started off two years
ago knowing zero about water; and on a scale of zero to ten, I have reached
three. I think this is the situation most local officials find themselves in
when they get elected. All they know about water is to turn the tap on and
have it come out or not to have it come out. And water management really is
a tremendous problem.
I would like to discuss some of the things we see in our area. We have
three counties involved in water supply and distribution. The West Coast
Regional Water Supply Authority comprises Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough
counties. Also involved is the Southwest Florida Water Management District and
the local governments. It's a very complex situation. You ask what is local
responsibility? Well, in our area, local responsibility is the West Coast
Authority and Swift Mud (SWFWMD) and the local governments all in one. Local
governments, though, I feel should be involved in planning in these water-
sensitive areas that we live in, especially the planning in land use, population
growth, wastewater treatment, disposal of the water supply, the distribution of
the water supply, and also stormwater runoff and management. The West Coast
Authority should be working for a cooperative, coordinated water supply approach.
The primary job of West Coast is developing storage of water for local govern-
ments in a manner that is compatible with both the environment and the economic
well-being of the area. We should be reviewing all plans that relate to water
resources in the area, and we have to constantly guard against adverse effects
to the environment. It is not easy all the time getting water for our three-
county area, especially when we are really only servicing one area directly,
while in three areas we are supplying expertise, input, policy, and money; and
only Pinellas County is actually drawing down the water supply directly. I
won't go into the total story of the three-part area unless I am asked because
it is terribly complex.
I think that the water management districts must encourage local govern-
ments to engage in joint efforts to solve their critical water resource problems.
There has been a piece-meal approach, and I think this is wrong. I think that
local governments always feel that they can do everything best; but I think that
this is a nearly impossible job, certainly in our area. The districts should
manage and regulate.
I think that there is a need for a different type of authority, such as
West Coast, to supply water; but it must also help the local district determine
the annual floodplain, which is also important. And the local government should
be able to look to the districts for expertise and funding of flood control
projects and also for water resources. The localities have to be looking
constantly at the water supply. Since the coastal zones don't have sufficient
water resources to meet local demands, the district should assist local govern-
ments in utilizing the water resources of the state, and notice that I said the
I know it is essential that we start thinking about a state water system.
I know this is not palatable to everybody, and the district should support
legislation that defines water resources as property of the state. I'm sure
we are going to hear objections to that, and I'm certain local areas object to
that, but there are other local resources that are shared state resources like
your beaches, your schools, etc. We all put money in the till. It goes to the
state for schools, and some counties get back more than others. And your
beaches the local areas supply, take care of, and pay for the beaches for
the inland residents. Local taxes pay for them, but they are used by all.
I think people should start thinking about this and addressing it.
I think all of us are probably going to have different views. I come
from Gainesville which is located in Alachua County, and our county is split
between the St. Johns and Suwanee River Water Management Districts. Gainesville
is in the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council, which consists of
eleven counties. It is not only the largest city in Alachua County and makes
up about half of its population, but it is also the largest city in the planning
council region. As a result, Gainesville's problems differ widely from the rest
of that region. And that is, of course, the urban problems versus the rural
problems, both of which affect the quality and quantity of water.
What we look for in our water management districts is that we want them
to keep the water robbers out. Seriously, there is concern in our area (of
course, not in Gainesville the urban area, but in the rural and agricultural
districts). I'm sure that I would agree philosophically with Corinne that we
do have to share our resources. Water is fortunately what can be called a
recyclable or renewable resource. Although it is not inexhaustible in Florida,
we are fortunate. And I look at water management as water accounting; that is,
we must maintain the quality and the quantity within the state and on a state-
I think the City of Gainesville has not really considered or defined the
role that the water management districts and the city should carry on. I will
say that, initially, my concern is that elected officials at every level are
sometimes overly protective about the type of power and control they want. I
think that somehow we've all got to realize that there are serious problems that
the state has to overcome, and we're going to have to put aside a lot of our
petty and not-so-petty feelings.
I represent Clay County, which is in the eastern part of the state. To
the north of us is Duval County; to the east is the St. Johns River. We in Clay
County feel water is one of our most valued resources. We have the Black Creek,
which flows into the St. Johns River, and we have over 60 fresh water lakes in
the southern part of our county. I have lived in Miami; I went to school in
Pasco County; and now I live in Lake Geneva, so I have seen a combination of
We made mention of the water robbers. I've seen what Pinellas County,
Hillsborough County, and some of the other counties in that area are doing to
Pasco County. In that "Bold New City of the South," Jacksonville, the wells
are being invaded by salt water. They are looking at Clay County to tap our
water resources. And having a limited knowledge of what's going on downstate,
we are very much protective, if you will, of our water. We don't mind sharing,
but we don't want to be drained dry. I have served as a representative of Clay
County to the St. Johns River Water Management District for almost a year.
We didn't vote in Clay County for the creation or the adoption of the water
management districts or the basin boards, but I think what they are attempting
to do is good. We need to protect our resources.
I think that one of the things that the water management districts need
to look at is the relationship between county governments, municipalities,
and the districts. After all, we are all charged with the same power, the same
authority, and that is to protect the public's health and welfare, and the
general well-being of the state. I think it has already been mentioned that
there is a need for a public information program sponsored by the water
management districts, not directed only to the public but also to the county,
municipal, and local governments, because I don't think everybody understands
the district's particular role. I think, as Dr. Ellis mentioned earlier, that
there is duplication of agencies in the university system; and there is also
a duplication of agencies in water management. We have the feds, we have the
water management districts, we have the Department of Environmental Regulation,
we have the Department of Natural Resources, and then we have the counties.
I feel that in Clay County, we do not have the tax dollars to hire a staff to
provide the expertise that we need to protect our water. That's where the
water management district can play a vital role, but it has to be a two-way
street. We've got to work together.
I mentioned a duplication of agencies, and if there are any legislators
here, I would like to call this to their attention: Under Florida Statute 373,
it does provide for the water management districts to delegate authority.
However, some water management districts are working under the assumption that
the authority they have has already been delegated to them by the Department of
Natural Resources; and therefore, other responsibilities to the counties are
not "re-delegatable." I think that the counties and the cities owe it to their
constituents to take an active part in the role that water management districts
play. I think by working together we can protect our most valuable resource.
I am from Hernando County, and by historical reference, I happened to be
present at the conception of our water management districts. I was County
Agricultural Agent in Hernando County in 1960 when we had rather severe flooding,
and the idea of water management districts was conceived on a railroad track
in the small community of Masarykton when the water was flooding in all
directions. It was originally conceived as an idea to handle excess water,
but some 18 years later we are in a very water-deficient position.
I think, from my vantage point as a local elected official, that one
thing the water management districts should be capable of doing above all others
is to provide local governments primarily with inventory information. In my
area, the rank and file of the voting public expects us, as elected officials,
to be able to adequately defend them against our greedy neighbors to the south
more than anything else. My position has always been that I recognize that we
certainly have to share this resource. I really don't know how you can intelli-
gently look at sharing until you know what you have to share, or even more
important, if you have anything to share. I think our particular area of
Florida is vulnerable in this regard because most of our people feel that the
growth potential in our county is still ahead of us. So, their primary concern
when you start talking about water is, "Are we going to give up some of our
economic growth potential by sharing a limited resource with a neighbor to the
south who has already exhausted that resource and who shows no real inclination
to retard their rate of growth even though they are short of water?" I am simply
trying to put the problem into perspective. As a local elected official, I
think our big question has always been, "How much water do we have, how much
water are we going to need?" But, I think that inventorying the resource so
that local governments could be supplied with adequate information is the
main responsibility of the water management districts.
We have a particular problem in our county in that we already have salt
water intrusion. The west side of the coastal area of Hernando County must
draw its water from an inland source, and we are involved in that process right
now. We formed a water supply authority which was resisted by our water
management district and our sister water supply authority, but we persisted and
got it through. I really don't know what we are going to do with it, but we
got it. And, I think it was misunderstood from day one because most of the
people associated with it thought it was a regulatory agency, even though it
should have been recognized immediately that it was not. Our concern in supply
was predicated on the fact that our county commission and local government in
Hernando County have gotten into the utility business, but not because we wanted
to. The other four counties of Citrus, Levy, Sumter, and Marion, which make
up the Withlacoochee Regional Water Supply Authority are to the north of us.
They have not been put in this immediate position, so some of those people felt
that, at best, a water supply authority might be another stumbling block. But,
obviously, it has to be a cooperative effort. We had a meeting with our sister
water authority to the south and we tried to explain to them that we really
understood their problem. We were sympathetic, but we weren't going to give
them water without a fight. I think this is really where we are today. We
have to work together, and we obviously are going to have to share. I think
we all recognize that. So, I see the principal role of the water management
districts as being a resource to local governments, particularly in the area of
inventorying the resource and making (hopefully) the very best projections for
local governments as to their water needs. They should help us determine if,
in fact, there is any surplus; and if so, how much.
Being Atilla the Hun, I would like to respond to my neighbor, Chuck Smith.
I think it should go into the record that you said that we are continuing on our
madcap growth policy, which is really not true. I think you should know that
all of Pinellas County, especially St. Petersburg, has passed land use plans to
control growth. We have had difficulty explaining this to the developers and
the chamber of commerce, but we are beginning to get it through their thick
heads (and it's not easy) that this is a resource that is not to go on endlessly,
and that we cannot raid all neighboring counties for water. We do feel that
we should share, and we have made a concerted effort to hold down growth by
rezoning an entire county and by downzoning an entire city. I think that should
allay your fears somewhat. I'm sure it won't, but I thought I would try anyway.
It sure does give me a good conversation piece when I return home.
I'd like to get into a controversial subject. Corinne, you are in an
area where they have basin boards. Within the basin districts, is there any
difficulty with supply of water from one area to another? Have you run into any
of this? Maybe we ought to also talk with some of the Southwest Florida Water
Management District people here in the audience.
Well, not directly. I don't even know anybody on the Anclote Basin
Board. That should tell you something. And, here I sit as Chairman of the
West Coast Regional Water Authority.
We've got a very unique problem in Pasco County which has been referred
to. It sits in five basins, which is one of our problems, and it is very
difficult to unite those five to participate in water supply. It's a problem
we are looking at and we don't have an answer yet.
even get the people on my own authority to meet and agree on
if I get another basin board, that is going to complicate the
I hate to make analogies between the water management districts and the
planning councils, but I spend a heck of a lot of time with the planning council
and I don't know at all what is going on. I've never had the occasion to meet
with the water management districts. And, as a local elected official who
naively went into the position thinking all I was going to do was meet on Monday
night, I found that this thing got more and more complicated. The other thing
is that the farther away it gets from me, the less impact and control I have
over it. And it is a very disconcerting feeling to know that all these things
are happening out there. You try and involve yourself and you either get spread
too thin or you don't have time. You feel you've got to have some control and
some communication and yet at times I feel powerless about the situation.
Mr. Vause, do you have any difficulty in the Apalachee Regional Planning
Council in that respect?
Well, the Apalachee Regional Planning Council, as you know, Tom, has
just recently been formed. It is only about a year old, and my involvement in
planning councils is really limited to that one year. I would say that with
respect to the Northwest Florida Water Management District, the staff, McCartney
here, and of course you, have taken every opportunity to keep us informed or at
least to provide the opportunity for us to be informed. I think perhaps it is
to our own discredit that we have not done that, not only as far as the planning
council is concerned, but I must confess as far as the county commission of Leon
County is concerned. Mayor Lisle has touched on one of the reasons for that.
There are so many things going on that we tend to sometimes lose sight of the
important ones, and we don't know what you are going to do until you do it.
Perhaps that is our fault, because I do know we are favored with advance notifi-
cation of your meetings and most of your activities. We have the opportunity
to involve ourselves, and perhaps we don't as much as we should. But, as far
as the planning council is concerned, I can't say I have identified any of the
problems that you mention. I would like to say that after listening to some of
you who are really living with these problems that we in Tallahassee only read
about, I'm not sure I want you inventorying our water supply. I think we have
enough, and I don't want to find out if we have enough to share!
I would relate a situation in the Southwest Florida Water Management
District and see if you have any comments on it. Number one, all the water
management districts have a mandate to regulate and'protect the resource so
that any county, city, or user taking water doesn't take so much as to adversely
affect your resource. In Chapter 373, a section states that a water management
district, if requested by a local government, can get involved in water supply
planning. Now, in our district, we have cities and counties on both sides of
that issue. In fact, within our governing board, there are two sides. Some
cities and counties do not by any means want us to get involved specifically
in doing their water supply plan. In the south part of the district, in
Sarasota County, the county commissioners specifically, by resolution, asked
us to do the water supply planning. We are doing that right now primarily for
Sarasota, but in our basin setup, it's also for Manatee and Sarasota counties.
I do not have a problem with water management districts doing it at local
option; in other words, if the county commissioner or municipality went to them
and asked them to do it. But the trouble is, you've got so many other agencies
involved. You've got the U. S. Geological Survey, the Department of Agriculture,
and so many others that by the time you get all the facts and figures, you can't
know where you are. If you have only the district to go in and do it, I don't
think our county would have a problem.
Mr. Feaster, I certainly would not object to your doing it, if asked
by a locality. But, I think in the case of Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough
counties where there is already a supply authority set up, it's a duplication
of effort and cost. That would be my only objection. I don't think there is
a need for you to go in on your own, but certainly if you are asked to do it,
you can do it without creating a problem.
Could you respond to the reverse of that? I wonder about your water
supply authority. It is the only one functioning at the present time.
Contracting for some of the studies you have done is very expensive. Either
directly or indirectly, it appears to me that you may be duplicating efforts
that the water management districts have to do anyway. My real question is
what do you see as the relationship between your water supply authority and the
water management districts? Are you maximizing the use of the funds they are
spending now, and are you making use of their facilities, staff, and planning.
We work very closely with SWFWMD. West Coast works closely with SWFWMD.
There is not question that it is costing a fortune to do the studies, not only
by SWFWMD, but my our own members who want to protect the resource. I don't
know whether I can really respond to "Should we be doing it or not?" We are doing
it. It came about primarily because the counties, the cities, and nobody could
get along. It was a real blood bath creating the authority. I think now that
the authority is created, it must continue because it would be a step backwards
if we dissolved it. So, I see it only as moving forward to supply three
counties, maybe even more. I think that we constantly are wondering though,
what is it costing the citizens to get this water? It's a terrible, terrible
price to pay.
You know we haven't touched on the fact that a very real problem in this
area is associated with appointed versus elected leadership. I think the results
of the vote on the constitutional amendments on November 7th may have influence
here. But, I find that the average citizen doesn't relate to water management
districts primarily because the members are appointed. When a problem arises,
they want to go to the elected official to seek an answer. Then the elected
official has to go to the appointed board because they regulate the elected
official. I think this has complicated the process of communicating with the
public. And, I think that this has got to be worked on because I'm one who
thinks rather simply. I think if the district is going to be the regulatory
agency, then for heaven's sake, let's let them do it all. Let's not have
fifty different people trying to regulate. And, as Chairman of the Regional
Planning Council, I think that planning councils ought to do all the planning,
but that isn't the case. We can only do planning in certain areas. I can
easily understand why the average citizen is confused. I'm supposed to know,
but I stay confused all the time. I think this situation of elected versus
appointed officials has really gotten involved in the water issue. This is
what my constituency tells me: "I don't want somebody appointed by the Governor
taxing me and telling me what I can do with my land or my water, etc." So, I
think the question of jurisdiction is going to have to be answered before we are
going to make a great deal of progress.
I've heard people say that, Chuck; but it has never been electors. It
has been the politicians. My experience with citizens is they don't know enough
about water management people to know that they are appointed. It's the elected
officials who are worried about losing the control.
I would like to respond to two points that have been made. One concerns
delegation of authority. Our district has delegated to the counties, as quickly
as possible, the field of regulation. We have various threshold levels, and if
a project is below a threshold level, we send it to the county and let them
do the permitting. As the counties get more and more interested and involved
in permitting, we raise their threshold levels. We are getting out of the permit
business about as quickly as it is practical to do so.
The second point concerns basins and how they get along with local
officials. Our two basins are set from hydrologic considerations, and they
turned out to be in one county plus a little bit of another one. That one county
was Collier County plus a little bit of Monroe County. For our basin, we make it
a point for the staff director to attend all meetings of the county commissioners
of Collier County in this case. He also attends meetings of the city council.
The county engineer and utilities director attend the basin board meetings.
The county advisory board and water management advisory board representatives
attend our meetings, and we have two of their members on our basin board. Members
of the basin board usually have lunch with the mayor and the chairman of the
county commission once a month and review with them, on an individual basis,
their concerns and our programs that are being proposed or are underway. So,
in terms of communication, I think we do pretty well in that area, but that's
mainly because we only have one and a half counties in our basin.
Mr. Chairman, I want to make a comment about Chuck's statement that a lot
of people didn't know that the water management districts were around. I want to
say that they know it when they get their tax bills because they call me and say,
"What's this at the bottom that we are being taxed for?" People know that they
Our relationship, on a county level, with our water management district
is that the Board of County Commissioners has asked me to serve as a representa-
tive to the district. I attend most of their meetings when there is not a
conflict. I feel that we are bridging the communication gap that may have
existed, and we are obtaining a better understanding of the water management
role and the county's role in their activities.
I want to make one statement in regard to supply and demand. I'm sure
somebody has looked at it, but we haven't discussed it here today. When I
mention this in Clay County, I almost get tarred and feathered. So, If I
mention it here and somebody wants to run me out, let me have a head start.
We can look around us throughout the center part of the state, and possibly the
northern part of the state, and there are water resources that have not been
tapped. I don't know how many millions of gallons of water flow out of the
Suwannee River into the Gulf of Mexico each day. I don't know how many gallons
of water flow out of Silver Springs, the Withlachoochee River, or the St. Johns
River daily. And my question is, "How many millions of gallons of water could
we remove from these rivers and not affect the ecological balance and still
supply water to the water-deficit areas in the southern part of the state?"
I'm not a biologist or chemist or environmentalist. I just don't know, but
I have often wondered about a pipeline to south Florida.
REP. JOHN LEWIS
I would like to pose a political question to you; those are usually the
only kind that I know about. The legislature is going to be studying water for
the next two years. If you listened to the Shevin-Graham debates, they listed
water as the number one priority over the next few years. I know that the
legislature is going to be addressing that problem. You can go one or two ways.
You can let Monroe, Dade, Broward, Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Duval counties,
with their elected officials, solve the problems. When you add those three
areas together, you come up with almost 75 legislators, which is enough to
do whatever those areas want. Would it be better for that to happen? There
has been some talk of doing away with all of the water management districts.
Mr. Bruning has brought up a very good point about all the different regulatory
agencies there are for water. Would it be better to do away with every one and
have a single regulatory agency for the entire state. The mayor from St.
Petersburg just brought up a very good point concerning water being a natural
resource for the entire state. We share dollars; why should we not share water?
Would you rather do it under a single agency or is it much better for all the
water management districts to come together and for the people who are involved
to come together and reach some type of solution within the next year or so?
What would your feelings be on that?
Mr. Lewis, the clerk sent me my lobbyist form to fill out last week.
I haven't done it yet, but I believe I will.
Whether we can solve this on a statewide basis or not, I'm not sure.
Nevertheless, when you say to simplify things, let's look at cases. Take St.
Petersburg, which is completely urbanized, where they need water for all those
people who are settled there by that nice coast. And then, take Gainesville:
we don't have a nice coast and we are just country folk, you know, trying to
grow our crops. We need our water for that. You can strike a balance I'm
certain, and that has to be done and it has to be done statewide; but, neverthe-
less, right now it makes people very nervous to hear, "We need your water."
They say, "Oh, my gosh, no. I need it for irrigating crops, for citrus, for
phosphate mining. I need it for this; I need it for that." They all have
their own needs, and it's no different than any other area in politics. What
we have to do is strike a balance and perhaps that could be done best by
If I might issue a minority report, obviously, I'm not going to be a
member of the delegation that you mentioned. I'm not particularly inclined to
support a superagency. I think that we are talking about jurisdiction, and
until this real issue is settled, I don't think we are going to get very far.
I'm not at odds with water management districts, per se. When I explained
earlier that my constituency did not understand them, I didn't mean to imply
that I was at odds with them or that I didn't understand what their role was.
I do go to their meetings. I was trying to relate the water management districts
to the average person. Madam Mayor, you will be glad to know that there was an
editorial in the local paper that challenged us to protect the Weeki Wachee
River and the Spring because you all had zeroed in on it as a result of this
study by the Southwest Florida Water Management District which indicated perhaps
10 million gallons a day might be siphoned off. Now, this is intriguing because
just two or three years ago, that was a polluted river that everybody was telling
us to clean up. Maybe that's when we should have given it to you. I think when
you throw it into the political arena, anything can happen. The recent race I
was in started out with a seven-man field, and water was an issue. The only
reason I tell you this is because one of the candidates suggested that we build
a tremendous concrete ditch from the Suwannee River to Key West and divert the
Suwannee River into it so that everybody down south could take off what water
they needed. Now, to give you some idea of how well that idea went over, he
Mr. Chairman, I would like to respond to Mr. Lewis. I really don't know
about a statewide agency because all I can look at and see is the Department of
Health and Rehabilitative Services. That frightens me a little bit. I can't
respond, but I certainly do not want another one of those.
We don't want another Department of Environmental Regulation either!
To get serious again, I wonder if you all know how much reclamation of
water we are doing. I know we are such terrible people in St. Petersburg, but
we are trying so desperately to reclaim water in as many ways as we possibly can.
I think it has been very farsighted of St. Petersburg to take our effluent water
and use it for irrigation purposes in our southwest plant. We give it to golf
courses, schools, or any large area. We have separate pipes going directly
from the treatment plant to the users of effluent. This has been a tremendous
savings of water, instead of just pumping it out into the bay. Mr. McAteer
is not too happy with our deep well injection, but we are very proud of it.
We think that might solve some of our problems in the year 2000. That water we
are deep-well injecting will be reused. It's a tremendous process, and these
reclamation projects, we feel, are conserving water. I think that other areas
should be looking at reusing this resource also.
Mr. Chairman, I think reuse is a possibility which we have not really
looked into in Florida because we have water in such abundance that we have taken
the easy route. I think the technology of using water will get more emphasis in
the future. As an example, in our area we had salt water intrusion on our
coast and some of our residents said, "Well, why don't you just take the water
out of the Weeki Wachee?" Well, at that particular point in time, the treating
of that water was more expensive than it was to put in a well field and pipe-
line. I think that economics will, in the long run, dictate a lot of water
policy that we can't understand or interpret today.
I would like to ask the panel, "What would be the best way for the water
management districts to communicate with your respective boards?" Would it be
through oral presentations to the board; by inviting the board to attend
functions such as this; by putting you on all water management district mailing
lists; by communicating with your staff; or by having members of a committee,
which would include one member of your board, doing this? We have a lot of
interplay, but what is the most successful way to communicate?
Anybody want to answer that? I'm on both boards, and I find loneliness
on both of them. I see very few local county commissioners or city officials
attending the water management district meetings, and we in northwest Florida
intentionally go to every county within the district. We try to have our
meetings in each county of the district sometime during the year. We still
don't get county commissioners or local officials to attend our meetings.
Conversely, I never see a water management district board member or any staff
at any of our city commission meetings. It's a problem.
The only two that I noted were, first, a presentation just to introduce
the water management district boards to the city commission, and I'm speaking
specifically of Gainesville. After that, I would just say some kind of informal
luncheon meeting, just a communication thing. I'm trying to get your sympathy,
but I'll be frank with you. Out of five city commissioners, there are three
and a half who refuse to go to anything else, or participate. That means that
it throws the burden on the rest of us. You know, I just about start having
heart palpitations when I think of another meeting. But, an informal lunch
would not be too bad, and I think that might be a good beginning.
Mr. Chairman, I think it is a combination of all the points that Buddy
Blain mentioned. I don't know what I'll do if I get anymore mail. I think that
one of the things that may stimulate some interest between the governing bodies
and the water management districts is an actual tour of some of the existing
and proposed facilities, such as dam structures or maybe an onsite tour of
opening a canal somewhere. In our particular case in Clay County, we have
taken the position that we are going to get involved. We've taken a step, and
the St. Johns River Water Management District has a public relations person who
is sending their information to us. But when it comes time to discuss water-
related problems, the board all looks to me personally. I think it would be
beneficial to all of them to be informed. It may or may not be true in other
counties, but I think it is a communication problem: both parties have to work
together to stimulate some interest and some activity so that everybody knows
what we are all talking about.
I would like to respond from my point of view. I have to echo what
Bobbie Lisle has said. Our councilmen are so busy, and they are on so many
committees, that the hours of the day are just not long enough. But if you
look at the total Pinellas County which has 24 municipalities, it's hard
enough to get them to go to a Conference of Mayors meeting when it's right there.
They will go for a luncheon, so that might be the way to do it. We send our
staff people to Southwest Florida Water Management District meetings and to the
West Coast Authority. We always have staff there, and I try to go to all of
them, but I have been almost batting zero getting any of my council members to
come to SWFWMD's meetings. But, I think perhaps one meeting a year, or just a
presentation, would help because I don't think they know what the Southwest
Florida Water Management District is. I know they don't know what West Coast
is, and that is within their own county.
You have hit on the problem. There are just hundreds of meetings that you
have to go to already. I think Hank Bruning indicated that he had been appointed
by his board to serve as a liaison with the district down there. That is some-
thing our board hasn't done. I pointed out that we have been invited to attend
all the meetings. We have at least been given notice of them. But the board in
Leon County has not ever involved itself in a discussion of what the water
management district is, what it is doing, or what influence we might have on
what it's doing. That's why at some point in the future, we're probably going
to look around and it will be too late if we have some objection to what they
might be doing. So, one thing I have made a note on this morning is to recommend
to our board that we appoint one of our members with that responsibility. When
there is a liaison, then there is a commitment for that person to be involved.
Ladies and gentlemen, this has been a very informative session, and I
appreciate the participation of our panel members and the audience.
p CK N-4
THE ROLE OF THE WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS IN FLORIDA
IN THE YEAR 2000
MODERATOR MR. DAN FARLEY, Secretary/Treasurer, Northwest Florida Water Management
District Governing Board, Suite 850, Barnett Bank Building, Tallahassee,
PANELISTS MR. DERRILL McATEER, Chairman, Southwest Florida Water Management
District Governing Board, 5060 U. S. Highway 41 South, Brooksville,
MR. R. T. (TOMMY) CLAY, Chairman, St. Johns River Water Management
District Governing Board, Route 2, Box 695, Palatka, Florida
MR. JOHN FINLAYSON, Member, Suwannee River Water Management District
Governing Board, P. 0. Drawer K, White Springs, Florida
MR. STANLEY HOLE, Member, South Florida Water Management District
Governing Board, P. O. Drawer V, West Palm Beach, Florida
GEN. HENRY C. LANE, Chairman, Northwest Florida Water Management District
Governing Board, Rt. 2, Box 228, Pensacola, Florida
MR. JIM LEWIS, Water Management District Coordinator, Department of
Environmental Regulation, 2600 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida
SENATOR SHERRILL (PETE) SKINNER, The Florida Senate, 302 Marion Street,
Suite D-l, Lake City, Florida
The water management districts were formed and charged with responsi-
bilities under provisions of the Water Resources Act of 1972. Section 373.016
of the Act provides for the conservation and control of the waters of the state
so as to realize their full beneficial use. This section also expresses the
legislative intent that owing to regional differences in water resources
problems, "appropriate powers" should, "to the greatest extent practicable,"
be delegated to the water management districts.
The authority and responsibility for the management of water, except for
quality, has generally been delegated to the water management districts. The
water management districts are governed, to a degree, by the policies estab-
lished by the Department of Environmental Regulation, but the priorities of
work and district organization are established by the district governing boards.
As a practical matter, the Department has little control over the districts'
operations. However, the water management districts may be more closely tied to
the state and large regional perspective than to the units of local government.
Future growth may make it practical to hire staffs with the required
diverse background to provide water management for smaller areas. Basin boards
are provided for in the Act, but a self-contained water management district,
made up of several counties, or at least reduced in size, may be more responsive
to local needs and desires. Accordingly:
Should the districts, in the future, be more local, rather than
substate? What controls should be exercised from the state
Water quality and water quantity are inseparable. With few excep-
tions, the water management districts have concentrated on water quantity
considerations, while the Department of Environmental Regulation has handled
water quality. Environmental ahd ecological factors must enter into any
consideration relating to withdrawal of waters, whether ground or surface,
the discharge of waters into other waters of the state, or the amounts in-
volved and the uses to which the water is to be put.
What should be the future involvement of the water management
districts in water quality management? In addition, what part
should the districts play in the 201, 208, lake restoration,
coastal zone, and aquatic weed programs?
The population trends in Florida indicate that the population of Florida
will grow from about 8.4 million in 1975 to 18.4 million in 2020. This
burgeoning growth will stress the natural resources of the state in general
and the water resources in particular. Accordingly:
Should the water management districts use their consumptive use
powers under Part II, Chapter 373, to limit growth? Should the
powers be expanded to allow the districts to restrict or limit
construction in flood-prone areas? Additionally, what will be
the responsibilities of the governing boards in connection with
providing adequate water supplies versus protection of the
Finally, what will be the key water management issues in the
year 2020? Would they be related to water quality, water
quantity, desalinization, interbasin transfers, etc.?
As stated in Chapter 373, the charge to the water management districts
is simply to manage the water resources. We are charged with managing water
quantity and, in some cases, quality. I think this is what the statutes set us
up to do. I believe that in the future, water quality will become more important.
In fact, if we are really not interested in quality, we've got almost an ocean
we can use. So, water quality is directly concerned in the management of this
resource and we will have to address it in some way.
One of the charges to the panel is, "How could we be more local in our
approach?" One of the gentlemen from SWFWMD this morning said that they are
delegating this responsibility to county agencies and other political subdivisions.
I see this as a proper way to do it. I also heard someone try to build the
other way by suggesting a superagency. You're looking at one-fourth of the popu-
lation of Ashville, Florida, and if I had to go to a superagency, I'd hate to
even try to get on the agenda. I don't see a superagency as a solution: I see
it as another problem. Another question that has been asked of the panel is,
"Should we use water regulation to control the population growth?" I say that
we should not, but the availability of water will be a controlling factor in
population growth. As far as I am personally concerned, I feel that my job
is to try to regulate and conserve the water so that when it is needed, it
will be available. I don't see regulation as a tool for the water management
districts to use to limit growth.
Looking to the year 2000, I don't see a water shortage. I know I'm an
optimist. I have to be, I'm a cattleman. I see limitless water with maybe the
possibility of a technological shortage from time to time. I was in California
during the worst water shortage that they had every experienced. Knowing that
they had a shortage of water in San Francisco, everyone was asked to conserve
water. The people took them at their word and really did a good job cutting
down on water use by 40 percent. Do you know what the reward was? They raised
their water bills by 30 percent because there were fixed costs that had to be
met. Water is not the problem; management is the problem. I think we can meet
this challenge. Water, as you know, is a recyclable resource and nature beat
us to it. All the water that you have ever used has been recycled. The big
solar still is sitting out there in the Gulf of Mexico pumping it up. I don't
know where it's dropping, but water is always recycled. I think we are going to
get into the recycling business, maybe even in homes. I can see where you could
possibly take bath or dish water, maybe fix it up a little bit, and use it for
flush water. Then, you can send it to the sewage plant and put it on golf
courses. I believe we've got to use it, and use it, and reuse it, and reuse it.
I don't think there is much question that we could meet that challenge.
Well, after the previous panel, I'm totally convinced the Southwest
Florida Water Management District is doing it right because neither end of that
panel liked us.
The problems of water management are not the same ballgame I got into
eleven years ago and they are not the same ballgame that SWFWMD got into some
sixteen years ago when Tampa was under water. I look at a lot of things we have
done wrong and a lot of things that we have done right. I'm convinced that we
have some problems now, well before the year 2000, that will be responsible for
a change in direction in water management. Looking at the first charge to the
panel, "Should the districts in the future be more local, rather than substate?"
The problem with going totally local is, and those of you in the planning
business can certainly vouch for this, county commissions will listen and go on
their way and we don't ever see them again. Somebody is going to have to
mandate water policy, whether from a local basis or on a statewide basis.
Hopefully, it will be the local. For example, we have devoted considerable
effort and millions of dollars to floodplain zoning. Someone much mandate the
implementation of floodplain zoning or the planning effort will have been wasted.
One or two of the counties in our district have finally begun to take some interest
in floodplain zoning. One county is almost totally responsible for our getting
into an aerial photography program.
Today we are facing the same problems, receiving the same correspondence
and telephone calls we got ten years ago about flooding on certain lands and
about houses with water in the living rooms. The county commission still hasn't
done anything about it.
If we can change directions a little, we will look at what I think is
a mistake toward which Florida is headed. This is the formation of a massive
conglomerate of bureaucracies, possibly run by a holding company called DER
that is answerable only to certain staff people that make recommendations to
the cabinet without having done their homework fully and without having come
to us. Communication within the state government is very ppor. Communication
between the water management districts, I think, has been better than any other
facet of our state government. What I am going to suggest here is not by any
means my total thoughts on the subject, and I'm not totally convinced as to the
direction we should go. The water supply authorities are hiring attorneys,
staff, and technicians. The water management districts and the Department of
Environmental Regulation are doing the same thing. Do we not need to look at a
basin concept within the water management districts that would handle water
supply, using their own boards and with the use of the existing technical staffs,
rather than hiring all these new staffs, all these new attorneys, and spending
all this money? I'm very concerned. The water management districts have
certainly been an integral part in the development of these separate agencies
and maybe it is our fault to some degree. But, I do believe that we are going
to have to change direction before the year 2000. I do not believe that the
taxpayers and the State of Florida will stand continuing in the same direction
that we have been going. I don't have all the answers; I merely throw this out
as a great concern of ours for the future.
The State of Florida has been very confused in carrying out its legis-
lative mandate. They have not quite decided what the responsibility is of the
local government and the water management district. For example, let's look at
the lake restoration projects. This is of great statewide importance, and DER
and state funding have been in the forefront to restore somebody's lake. But,
flood control is no longer a statewide concern. We should do it all with ad
valorem taxes; but it's being phased out of our state budgets. I think somebody
in Tallahassee is a bit confused about which direction we need to go on that one.
What is of primary concern is the difference in theory in state government as it
relates to lake restoration as being of statewide importance, and flood control
as being of only local importance that should not be funded by the state.
I have great concern for the operations of the water management districts
between now and the year 2000, especially with the state government in Tallahassee
getting control over the purse strings. This is a battle that all the water
management districts are very familiar with. I feel very strongly that if we are
going to be a governing board of nine, making decisions for the people and water
in our fifteen counties, that we should have our own say-so and not be controlled
through the purse in Tallahassee. We should do what the legislature tells us
to do and answer to the state government of Florida if we don't do it right.
A performance audit may be ormay not be a way to determine that, but I'm totally
convinced after the years that I have been in this business that we've got too
many hands in the till. Somebody is going to have to make a tough decision to
change directions between now and the year 2000. The Governor and the Cabinet
should be the final authority in this state. I don't believe anyone would dis-
We are charged in the water management districts with the responsibility
of protecting the resource; we do not necessarily represent the people. I don't
represent people. I represent a resource and my position is appointed. My
legislatively-named responsibility is to protect the resource, which I will do
to the best of my ability. But, I believe that between now and the year 2000,
we are going to have to look at water quality as well as water quantity. The
Southwest Florida Water Management District has not been in the water quality
business anymore than it has absolutely had to be. We are divided among our-
selves on this issue. Our own staff feels that we should be dealing more in
water quality. However, we felt the legislature gave that responsibility to
DER and that they had the technicians to do it on a statewide basis and that we
should not duplicate that effort. We may have to re-evaluate that, and we may
have to back down before it's over. When I say "we", I'm talking about the
district, not its current chairman. SWFWMD does not want to expand its responsi-
bilities until the legislature tells us to and we hope that they will be very
cautious in doing that.
Deep well injection was a subject that came up this morning. I would like
to say that I am not opposed to it, but I will touch on some highlights before
I conclude. I am afraid of deep well injection because so little is known about
it. In our area, you could put it down in Pinellas and push Tampa Bay up in the
middle of Plant City. Would it do that kind of damage? We don't know the
answers. We thought we knew, but already we have had some problems with it.
I'm concerned that deep well injection might create some problems in the year 2000
that we don't perceive today. If it proves satisfactory, it will be the greatest
resource recovery system we've ever even thought about; but let's prove it before
we do it.
I didn't realize how close my views were to Derrill McAteer's. I think
he has spoken to the points far better than I could, but I will try to hit on
some of the points he didn't cover.
First of all, I have a great deal of confidence in technology. I think
that we will be asked to solve major problems between now and the year 2000.
We should take into account that we will have better tools to solve the problems
than what we have now. We have to recognize that we don't need to apply today's
tools to tomorrow's problems.
As far as the responsibilities of the water management districts are
concerned, the individual district's role must be to maintain itself as a
regional agency to address problems of consumptive use, flood control, salt water
intrusion, etc. that extend well beyond local or county boundaries. For that
reason, the districts must maintain regional status. I think state control
should be delegated to the regional agencies and, in fact, as far down to the
local levels of government as possible. We need to continue this effort and,
hopefully, fill a communications gap by getting the problem-solving function as
near as possible to the people who are experiencing the problem. Policies are,
and should be, established at the state level, but implementation can be brought
down to the lowest levels. I had a conversation this morning on the direction
that some of the districts are taking. One district in particular is delegating
responsibilities to the counties. These responsibilities are for regulation when
the counties are interested and concerned and have people qualified to perform
these functions. I think permitting should also be handed down to the county
level. I do see a problem since we have some of the counties now who are
handling smaller permits and, in the process of upgrading their thresholds from
10-acre parcels to 40-acre parcels, the county engineers and the environmental
directors come to us and say, "We are not ready for that, your people should
keep control of the water." So, there is a problem in spite of our desire
to delegate responsibility. I think that, as the counties develop strengths
within their staffs, the responsibilities should be handed to the counties as
quickly as possible.
As far as water quality and water quantity are concerned, I feel they
are inseparable. I think the legislature should have assigned more water
quality responsibility to the water management districts. In south Florida,
we have a very active interest and great concern for water quality in the
Everglades National Park, Lake Okeechobee, and other similar bodies of fresh
water. Water quality regulation is necessary and I think the districts are
going to have to increasingly move into this activity.
In the 201 waste treatment and 208 areawide nonpoint pollution studies,
there appears to be no concern with the attitude of local government. We have
one county that says it wants the water management district to be involved. We
have several other counties who don't want us to participate at all. Personally,
I am not at all interested in getting into that business. I would hope that the
counties would maintain their own control for 201 and 208 programs.
As far as the issues we will face in the year 2000, I think they will be
by-products of state comprehensive planning and local planning efforts. I do
think water management district involvement in water quality and quantity is
going to continue to be significant. .There is also a question of basin and
interbasin transfer of water. I really cannot comment on the rest of the state,
or even on our entire district, but I do know that in south Florida, the lower
east coast and the Okeechobee planning areas, there is no need to transfer
water among the basins or water management districts, and none is being currently
considered. As far as stealing water from one area and moving it to another, we
have found it to be unnecessary. The situation may be totally different in the
St. Petersburg area. I do recognize water as a state resource. The possibility
of moving water from one area to another may only be solved as a regional
As far as consumptive use and related growth control is concerned, and
as Derrill McAteer has pointed out, we have some local zoning boards making
decisions without the benefit of complete data. If they are making decisions
without knowledge of the effect that the decisions are going to have, we have
a major problem, and I don't know how to solve it. I agree that the water
management districts should not be in the growth control business. They are
not zoning authorities; they are not land use authorities. Those responsibili-
ties belong to local authorities or to agencies that these authorities create.
However, the decisions that they make are influenced by, and the major emphasis
is on, both surface water management and a lack of communication. How
communication is going to be improved, I don't know; but if the joint responsi-
bility of protection of the water resources and property concerned is vested
in the two agencies, those two groups should try to get together. I can see
this as a major direction of the water management districts.
I think it is important, as Derrill McAteer said, that water managers
realize that we are the protectors of the resource. We are not elected
officials; we have a different responsibility and, hopefully, a different
outlook. However, I think as appointed representatives, it's incumbent upon us
to make certain that all of our concerns are properly communicated to all local
officials. The elected officials need to know what we have in mind and why we are
doing what we are doing. Being appointed rather than elected makes it easier
for us to work in these areas. I heard some comments from the second panel
this morning that are right in line with some of my personal experiences.
I have had a number of elected officials tell me that they know that I am
appointed; I don't have to be re-elected. Therefore, I am not under the same
pressures as they are, so would I please do something that they know needs to
be done but which they can't support. I think in a way that this is very
healthy. Local officials are under tremendous pressures and it is terribly,
terribly difficult for them to explain the difference between the protection
of the resource and meeting the requirements, needs or desires of a particular
group. So, I think that it is important that the members of the governing
boards continue to be appointed, that they maintain a position of objectivity
in protecting the resource. They must, however, communicate with those people
who stand for re-election. I think that communication must improve greatly
between now and the year 2000.
Stanley Hole brought up an interesting point, which no one has mentioned
yet, on the interbasin transfers. The example that is most commonly talked about
is the transfer from the Suwannee River District into the Southwest District.
The representative of the Suwannee District last year flatly told everybody that
we could study as much as we wanted to, but when it came to the Suwannee District,
he said "Hey, that's Suwannee, and, by God, we are going to keep it all."
Derrill McAteer pointed out one thing that I would like to emphasize.
That is that during these last eleven years, there has been a great deal of
change. I would like to deal with the abstract. Thinking of the year 2000,
that's a longer period of time than our whole experience with satellites and
travels to the moon. A lot can happen in 20 years. I recently attended a meeting
at NASA where they explained some of their programs and what they had planned for
the space shuttles and some of their much more sophisticated satellites. By
their schedule, the accomplishments by the year 1985 were mind-boggling. It was
difficult for me to follow the developments in technology, such as extracting
energy from the sun by 1990. The point is that our elements are going to change.
Things we will be dealing with today won't exist 20 years from now, and a lot of
new concepts will be in effect. For instance, in data collection, most of it
will be done by satellites. This increases the importance of maintaining the
districts because the local governments will be unable to maintain the staff
with the required expertise to adequately handle the sophisticated equipment.
Also, this type of data collection can only be handled on a regional basis.
The next topic I would like to discuss is communications. The thing that
came through to me loud and clear from the last panel is the relationship between
districts and local governments, and the lack of communication. I also became
interested when the question was raised as to how we could improve those
communications, and there were no good answers. We know these communications
must improve; and, looking ahead to the year 2000, the question is what is going
to happen to the fields of communication? I think there will be tremendous
changes. Maybe we can utilize some of those to improve the communications
bewteen the districts and local government. Should we relinquish our control
or do anything about rearranging the status of local district organization?
I think not. I think we should just leave it the way it is and improve our
The astonishing advances in computer technology have made it possible
for us to store, retrieve and manipulate volumes of data that would have been
impossible to handle 20 years ago. We are working with fourth-generation
computers now, and the fifth generation is being developed in the laboratories.
It is hard to predict what will happen in 20 years that might change our whole
methods of doing things. But, it is still water that is being dealt with.
Our method of handling it is going to change. Of course, the big thing is
energy. Pretty soon they may very well be extracting practically free energy
from the sun through satellites. Are some of the forecasters correct in saying
that we may be out of energy within 15 years? What effect will that have?
Who is going to man the pumps? We will be back to the old slave labor.
Flood control devices consume energy. It appears that we may go to more
nonstructural methods of flood control, for more reasons than environmental
protection. Energy, I can see, will have the big effect. Now, what effect
that will have among local and district governments, I think, is in the favor of
local governments. If energy becomes so restrictive, local governments may have
to do the running around locally on bicycles and let the district occasionally
do jobs like a space shuttle or something like that.
I think one element in northwest Florida that we are quite protective of
is industrial expansion, due to the fact that we have adequate water resources.
This will mean that the district staff will be required to expand their fields
of expertise. I believe it will be more practical to develop this capability on
a regional basis through the water management districts. I don't believe that,
even by the year 2000, units of local government can efficiently support staffs
with the diverse education and experience backgrounds which will be required.
Again, I look at the industrial expansion and I feel that our present setup of
district-to-local is okay.
I want to cover a few things that I think are pertinent to us within our
district. We are trying to do some things that will not cause my agricultural
friends to want to shoot me. I strongly concur with everything that has been
said. We must keep our boards similar to the way they are constituted now. I
firmly believe that the method of appointing the members of the governing boards
is the proper way. I believe appointing men who are willing to give their time
and talent and are willing to stand the many pressures of the job is the most
desirable procedure. I am a farmer and I think it would be much easier playing
with my cows than it would be taking some of the terrific pressures that we have
by sitting on these boards. I firmly believe that governing board members can
handle this program in the future. It may sound like I'm criticizing local
elected officials, but I'm not doing that. I just believe this is the one way
that we can best handle this situation.
I think that we have to share our water. Those of us from rural counties,
and those of us in agriculture, are very jealous of our water. I think the facts
of life will dictate that by the year 2000, rural areas will be required to share
water with the more heavily-populated areas. Along that line, I want to mention
something that will be one of the major goals in our district. We have said
many times that the St. Johns River Water Management District was born half-
grown. We only had a year or two to overcome some of the growing pains before
we inherited the works on the Oklawaha Basin from the Southwest Florida Water
Management District and the upper St. Johns Basin from the South Florida Water
Management District. Both of these were ongoing programs at the time, so we
didn't have time to really get our feet on the ground before a lot of problems
were put upon us. One of them was the terrific problem that we have in the
upper St. Johns Valley. One of our goals in the plan, and I would predict that
this would come about by the year 2000, is to put more water back into the St.
Johns River. It is now flowing out through a canal. Possibly, as it is put
back in the river, there will be opportunities for it to be used by cities and
areas along the way where it is now going to waste. I see a big program in our
area that will cost many, many millions of dollars.
I think that managing water resources requires that the boards manage
quality as well as quantity. We are, in our district, proceeding to delegate
authorities to local government. We hope to continue in this. As we progress
toward the year 2000, our district plans to start delegating water well permits.
Next year, we plan to start on management and storage of surface water. The
following year, we plan to start on consumptive use. These are the timetables
that we have.
One thing that we have done in our area that I think was very successful
is to have a liaison with several of the counties. I think as many as half of
our nineteen counties regularly send representatives to our meetings. Hank
Bruning is the only county commissioners that comes regularly, but we do have
other people appointed by the local boards and we think this is very helpful.
We hope to work toward having full representation from all nineteen counties.
Obviously, I'm not the most popular kid on this block. Notwithstanding
that, I find myself agreeing with most everything that has been said on the
panel today. There is no question that the water management districts' programs
that we have in the State of Florida today are about the best that anyone could
envision at this point. There is no way that one local government could make
the kinds of decisions on water resources that need to be made with the kind of
information they have.
The Department of Environmental Regulation is a little at a loss as to
what controls the state should exercise on the water management districts. The
law as it exists today is rather nebulous on that point. We need some clarifi-
cation. We feel that the water management districts exercise the supervision
over how water is managed at the local level. There seems to be some overseeing
by the state on how each of the water management districts operate their water
resources programs in order to alleviate obvious conflicts between the districts
and the state policy. But, this is something that really needs clarification
in the framework that we have today.
I would like to point out to Derrill McAteer that I don't get the
impression that DER is specifically opposed to flood control. We are taking
an approach toward flood control which is leaning a little bit away from the
traditional structural approach and putting more emphasis on the nonstructural
approach. We have not said that flood control is no longer a program of state-
We have delegated to the water management districts virtually everything
there is to be delegated according to Chapter 373 of the Florida Water Resources
Act. There are always exceptions. We have delegated to the South Florida Water
Management District some aspects of water quality. In the 208 program, our
people are discussing with the water management districts the roles the districts
might play in controlling the nonpoint source pollution problems that might come
up around the state. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that no water
management decision can be made without consideration of the quality of the
water that is being decided upon and the impact of the decision on water
quality. Therefore, the districts must be in a water quality program of some
kind. It's debatable in my mind as to whether any water management district
would want to get into the regulation of water quality on a full-scale basis.
That's a bigger chunk than I think many of them would really want to take on.
As far as the role of water management districts in the year 2000, the
last question on the charge to the panel is, "What will the key issues be in the
year 2000?" Will they be related to water quality, water quantity, desalination,
interbasin transfers, etc.? I think the answer to that is an obvious yes.
There is no doubt in my mind that the problems that we have today in south
Florida are just showing up in north Florida. The northern water management
districts may be finding themselves in the position that the two southern dis-
tricts are in today. Hopefully, the experience, good, bad, or indifferent,
of the two southern districts will help the northern districts as they try to
tackle these problems. Heaven knows what the magnitude of the problem is going
to be down in far south Florida for the SFWMD or the Tampa Bay area in 20 years,
but the problems are not going to disappear. The water quality problems will
still be there. As our population grows, and I see no way to effectively draw
a line that says "no" on population growth, these kinds of problems are not just
going to disappear. I think every time a water management district issues a
consumptive use permit, that permit does have an impact on population growth.
You say that by issuing the permit that somebody or something can use so many
gallons of water. By denying the permit, you are saying so many people cannot
use so much water. That is a population or growth control factor. There
probably is going to have to be much closer inter-relationships between the
districts, the local governments, and their zoning and growth control planning
in this whole program as the years go on.
I have given this issue a lot of thought over the years. I view the water
management districts and their role in the same way that some of you may be
familiar with Buck Meister Fuller's concept of the earth as a space ship. What
I believe to be the case is that the districts are set up on hydrological boun-
daries; therefore, there is a limited supply of the resource within this boundary.
To me, the only thing that really makes sense in the long run is to first make
a determination as to what the true potential of that resource is and how much
water is within a district. Once you make that determination, you can then go
about allocating how that resource (in this case water) can best be utilized.
It is very obvious to me that you can't separate quantity and quality.
I think that what the districts are going to have to do, and I believe some are
more prepared than others, is to make those hard judgments. You cannot sit back
and say, "Well, we don't want anything to do with limiting growth. All we want
to do is our statutory job, which is water quantity." That to me is a very
limited interpretation of what the job is. I have a proposal here which deals
with the moving of water from one area of the state to another. To me, it is
rather obvious that we have a lot of the information we need. I can see by this
document that the Southwest Florida Water Management District encompasses
10,400 square miles. If you look at the water concept of 1,000 gallons per
acre x 365 days per year, you come up with 6,656,000,000 gallons per day. How
much more information do you need? This tells you what you have to work with.
If we have 1.5 million people by the year 2020, it is pretty obvious to me that
we have a fair idea of where we are going. Now that we have a good idea of
what our potential is, we have the questions of: "What would you do with this
resource? Do we intend to squander it quickly with developments that somehow
utilize too much water too quickly? Do we intend to understand and plan around
our potential and what do we intend to do with these bits and tabs that we have?"
One thing we cannot do is stick our head in the sand and hope the problem goes
away because it is with us.
In terms of the idea mentioned concerning basins and sub-basins, I don't
think there is much to be achieved with that idea. It's tinkering. You can
say, "Okay, this county and this county are going to sign an agreement and we are
going to transfer water within these counties." I suppose that's okay, but I
don't think you are really going to reach any long-term solutions with that kind
of an approach.
Another statement that was made regarding the transfer of water indicated
that the Suwannee River Water Management District has a surplus of water. Now
that is an erroneous conception that some people have. I doubt very seriously
that St. Johns Basin does. I doubt seriously that any of them have a surplus of
water. What we have in the Suwannee River Water Management District is enough
water to maintain an ecological balance. There is no surplus. The Army Corps
of Engineers studied it and indicated that they thought we had a surplus. What
they said in effect was, "Yeah, if you look at the Suwannee River over an annual
basis, you will find that there is a high water mark and there is a low water
mark." Their idea at the time was that anything above the low water mark was
excess. That meets somebody's purpose, but it sure doesn't meet our purpose.
So, this idea of having an excess of water, I say we can squelch that. You have
what you have within your district, and you learn how to live with what you have.
I notice a question here dealing with the district's lake restoration,
coastal zone, and aquatic weed programs. When you look at a body of water or a
lake, ask yourself a question what is that body of water for? Is it used
primarily for farming, irrigation, or recreation? What is it used for? Once
you make this determination, then you can make a decision as to whose responsi-
bility it is to deal with it. Assignment of responsibility is impossible without
knowing what the body of water is to be utilized for. That concept holds true
with coastal zones as well. If you're dealing with an area concerned with fish,
such as an estuary area, obviously the sole primary purpose is fish production.
If you are dealing with areas of recreation, that is the purpose. Find out,
first of all, what is the primary purpose and go from there.
I think I've already touched on the idea of whether or not the water
management district should use their consumptive use powers; they have no
alternative but to use them. They use them every day. As soon as it is necessary
for somebody to apply for a general development permit or a housing project,
somebody is going to make a determination as to what kind of impact that parti-
cular project is going to have.
In terms of autonomy I feel that the water management districts should
be made as autonomous as possible. If the water management districts are really
going to be as I feel they should be, that is, truly effective, then the district
boards are going to have to have a lot of authority.
In terms of the issues in the year 2000, I don't know. I cannot determine
what kind of technology will be available to us in 2000. Maybe they will make
water out of pine trees; I have no idea. I would say, however, with the existing
technology and the projections for that technology, the problems that we face
in the year 2000 will not really be that different from the ones we face today.
It's still going to be called, "How to deal with a limited resource?" So, to
that degree, I think the only thing that's going to happen is that our problems
will probably be more severe.
I would like to make a couple of comments and then open the floor for
questions from the audience. I would also like to reserve a little time for
the board members to make additional comments which they feel may be necessary.
I believe General Lane made the observation that we haven't been in this
business very long as compared to where we are going to be in the year 2000.
The state of Florida has a hell of a lot of resources to work with. I don't
think we have done all that bad a job. I think that our problems are basically
problems of communications between the legislature, DER, the various water
management districts, and the local governments. We have a tremendous amount
of money being spent on planning efforts; for example, in 201, 208, and the
Coastal Zone Programs. The problem is that the individuals affected by these
various programs are unsure as to how these programs are going to affect them.
There is no certainty in the rules and regulations that we are trying to implement.
Those are the problems that we need to more specifically address to provide this
When this thing started, we had very little land that was readily
developable. You are all familiar with the state. We have a central ridge that
comes down through the state. It's about 50 miles wide, and it peters out to
the north of Lake Okeechobee. When the federal government gave the state to the
State of Florida, that was all the developable land they had; and the state pro-
ceeded in the best way they could to develop the remainder. They gave the land
away. They gave Henry Flagler a thousand acres of land for every mile of rail-
road track he laid, and he laid track all the way to Key West. They allowed
people to come in and dig large drainage systems, such as those in the St. Johns
River District large drainage systems that would drain large areas of undeve-
lopable land into estuaries, the Indian River, or the ocean. A lot of these
efforts were unsuccessful because the people didn't have the knowledge they
needed. We had wet years, and they resulted in flooding. Lake Okeechobee over-
flowed and a number of people were killed, so they established the South Florida
Water Management District. A similar situation caused the creation of the
Southwest Florida Water Management District. Those situations haven't occurred
since, but it is very likely that they will; and the water management districts
are trying to prepare for those things. Flood control is very important and
needs to have more emphasis.
So, the way I see it, we are really still in the formation stages. We
are still trying to figure out the best way to protect and to provide the maximum
utilization for the resources we have. And, that's really the reason for dis-
cussions such as this to try and figure out the best direction for the state
and the best way to manage these resources.
Are there any questions from the audience? Everybody's happy with the
direction the water management districts are going? How about additional comments
from board members relative to comments made by other committee members?
It is a little more difficult to determine the potential of the water
resource than it would appear. First of all, we've got a tremendous reuse
capability which hasn't been identified and probably won't be until technology
continues on its merry way. Secondly, what you are really talking about in
many areas is adding up some money, not a shortage of water. We've got areas
in Sanabel and in Key West where they are paying tremendous amounts of money
for water. They are putting pipes out, desalinating, etc., so they are not
worrying about their particular aquifer being overtaxed. When you try to
qualify the amount of water that is available in a particular area, and use that
as a measure of development capacity in that area, you've got to figure what
kind of dollars are available. I do think that is another factor that has to be
taken into account when you are trying to equate growth control and consumptive
use permits. I don't know anybody who has failed to come to Florida because the
water bill was high. Key West, as a prime example, pays more per gallon of
water than any other place in the state. And, Key West doesn't have any problem
attracting people. You've got the same problem in Sanabel. The people come to
Florida not because there is or is not a lot of free or cheap water; they come
for all the other reasons.
My question has to do with the need and the problems of communications
among various members of your governing board and the rather widespread area
where you meet once a month. Do you think the governing board members are fully
aware of the thinking of the other members and the experiences of the governing
boards of the other water management districts? How can we achieve better
communication with our board members?
This is what we are trying to accomplish with meetings such as this.
We're trying to determine where the problems are, where the breakdowns in
communication are, what we can do to better the situation. It is difficult
sometimes to even get board members together for meetings because everybody has
such busy schedules.
The way to make it easier for board members to communicate is to repeal
the Sunshine Law. It is very difficult at a Board meeting to have the time to
evaluate, as a group, and to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of
the other board members on the issues that are presented to you. I think a lot
of problems have resulted from our inability to more openly and constantly
communicate. I was a county engineer for five years before the Sunshine Law
and I know how easy it was for our county commissioners to work back and forth
and communicate and understand problems; and, at a staff level, how the staff
members could work more closely with their boards. So, I think the Sunshine Law
has been a real problem as far as the operation of districts and the operation
of other agencies.
Stanley, I'll ask you to comment further on that. We still have got to
be able to keep this water management district business before the public, so do
you have an alternate suggestion?
I firmly believe that all meetings should be open. I don't have any
problem with that. But, I would like to be able to call another board member
and ask him what he thinks about something. If he has a bright idea, something
I can research before the meeting and thereby come to the meeting thoroughly
prepared, I would like to be able to do this. Certainly, I agree with the goal
of the Sunshine Law that all board meetings should be open to the public and
there are many things that should be boldly evaluated at public meetings, but
I think that it certainly has limited the capabilities of the board members.
Now, I agree with you. It is a problem complying with the Sunshine Act
in all aspects. I think it is something we do need to look at again. It sure
makes you nervous sometimes.
One thing that concerns us when there is a vacancy on the board is that
we would like the local governments to have some input in the selection for
filling that vacancy. We've all heard the words "patronage committee" and we
on the local level would like to have some input and, if nothing else, the
opportunity to make a recommendation on an individual or group of individuals
to serve on the various water management district boards. I think this would
help bridge the communication gap. Also, somebody said something earlier about
the difference between elected and appointed officials. Being an elected
official from Clay County, they tell me "if the fire's too hot in the kitchen,
get out." I realize you all have an important role and you are under a lot of
pressure, and I don't have a problem personally with any of you being appointed
because I think there are areas where you can bite the bullet whereas maybe
somebody else would not do so readily,
We had expected Mr. Ken Woodburn of the Governor's office to be here.
He said he would be. He would be the most appropriate person to respond to your
question. I feel I can speak on behalf of the Governor's office, and I'm sure
they would be delighted to receive recommendations from the county commissions,
the regional planning councils, or anyone else, on a qualified individual who
would be willing to serve on the board. We have two vacancies on the Northwest
Florida Water Management District Board now, and I know other boards have
similar problems in getting board members who can afford the time that it takes.
These are nonpaying jobs and you meet once a month, but your job requires more
than just going to that meeting one day a month. There is a hell of a lot of
research you have to do before you can sit up there and make a decision that
affects people. It is a time-consuming job and it is difficult to find people
who have theright kind of technical expertise. You need people from different
sectors of the community. We have had a couple of board meetings where we did
not even have a quorum, and I don't know if the other board members have
experienced a similar problem. I'm sure that the governor's office would be
delighted to receive recommendations from local bodies suggesting people who
could fill those positions.
In the past, I've noted that we have various government authorities where
the appointments are made by the Governor and we were not aware of the vacancies
until after the appointment had been made.
There again is our whole problem of communication.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to speak about this point just briefly. I
don't know exactly how many counties are in St. Johns or Suwannee River Water
Management Districts (a dozen, maybe more), but it occurs to me that each
district by law is allowed to levy a certain millage. It seems to me we had
a bill, maybe it was a special act, that would require each county to have at
least one representative on that board. That idea does not offend me in the
least, because the residents of that county are going to be putting money into
a fund somewhere. Water managers should feel they have somebody from that
county who speaks for that county. I assure you it is a problem that a lot of
us have been giving some thought to, and I have an open mind about it. We will
talk about it again.
If I might follow up on Senator Skinner's problem: our geographical
boundaries or hydrological boundaries cause problems. We've got 80 acres in
Putnam County. Should they have a representative? This is compared to Columbia
County which is entirely in the District. Should each have equal representation?
I would like to answer part of Buddy Blain's question. Our communications
between the members of our board are not sufficient to suit me. In fact, I have
a place on the agenda at tomorrow's meeting where I'm going to speak to the
members of our board about that subject and about how we can improve our communi-
As far as communication between the board and some of the local communities
is concerned, we only have so many people on the staff and on the board; and I
think it is a matter of rearranging our priorities. I'm definitely going to be
in favor of that and in favor of devoting more time to communication between local
government and the board. That didn't completely answer your question, but at
least two things became apparent to me in the last couple of weeks. Maybe we can
I'm going to live dangerously; I want to oppose my senator. We have all
or part of 19 counties. We have a tiny little bit of Bradford, a thousand or two
acres of Okeechobee, and a little tiny corner of Polk. I think 19 members would
Let me clarify that. I would not say the solution to 'that problem would
be to allow every portion of any county that has 80 acres to be representated.
I would not offer that as a solution, but I would say that we have a dozen or so
counties and some of those counties are in that district in its entirety. Like
Columbia County, we are the second largest district in the Suwannee River Water
Management District, and we don't have anybody to serve on the board. There is
something wrong when that occurs. I agree, it is a problem, and I'm not saying
that every county should be represented on the board. It could be that we will
have to go back to the U. S. Supreme Court decisions concerning legislative
reapportionment. If you have a percentage, say anything over 16%, then that
county will be represented. There may be ways you can work things out.
Senator, I would like to add one thing to that. I realize that you are
very interested in this point, and keep in mind the way these districts are set
up are on hydrographic boundaries, not recognizing political lines. It looks
like the trend is toward subbasin representation within a recognizable hydrologic
unit. This idea seems to be more beneficial to the people within that unit. If
you go on political boundaries, you get into political conflicts, and not neces-
sarily into resource conflicts, which is the way the district should be run.
As Mr. McAteer said, this is the best way to manage the resource. The charge
is not to look out for that county's interest, but to look out for that resource's
interest within the hydrologic boundary.
Our basin levies 75% of the taxes levied in the district run by the basin
boards and each county is represented. A governing board member is ex officio
chairman of each basin board, without a vote. Take a look at the tax records and
you will see what I'm talking about.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for a very good meeting.
WATER MANAGEMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
THE VIEW FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR
MODERATOR MR. BUDDY RUNNELS, Member, Northwest Florida Water Management District
Governing Board, Post Office Box 247, Destin, Florida
PANELISTS MR. LOUIS POLATTY, Executive Vice-President, Florida Chamber of Commerce,
Post Office Box 5497, Tallahassee, Florida
MR. GEORGE 0. LAYMAN, Director of Gulf Power Supply Company, Post Office
Box 1151, Pensacola, Florida
MR. KINNEY HARLEY, Executive Director, Florida Home Builders Association,
1712 S. Gadsden Street, Tallahassee, Florida
MR. RUEL L. BRADLEY, JR., Florida Hotel and Motel Association, Holiday
Inn, Tallahassee, Florida
MR. RILEY MILES, Florida Water Users Association, Post Office Box 1320,
MR. FRANK BOUIS, President, Florida Citrus Mutual, Post Office Box 1200,
MR. J. C. GISSENDANER, Florida Waterways Association, Post Office Box 97,
It is highly possible that regulatory decisions made by the water management
districts in the State of Florida are limiting economic development in areas such
as industrial development, tourism, agriculture, municipal growth, mining, etc.
These possible limitations apply particularly to areas where overtaxed water
supplies are a definite or potential reality. Even in water-rich areas, however,
water-related regulations may impose constraints on future economic development.
Have Florida's water management districts' activities been, in fact,
counterproductive to economic growth and development in the state?
Descriptions of the role of the water management districts in Florida
range from "protectors of the resource" to "managers of water for the overall
public benefit." Accordingly:
What is the role of the water management district and its effect
on economic development? What should its role be? Do the water
management districts have a precise role in the development and
maintenance of water supplies for domestic, industrial, agricul-
tural, mining, and power generation uses?
Historically, development in Florida has occurred most rapidly in two
general areas: in existing inland population centers and in attractive coastal
regions. Continued growth in these areas creates a concentrated growing water
dependency and increases the chance for overtaxing existing local supplies.
The water resource balance is extremely fragile in some coastal areas.
In some cases, moderate withdrawals may cause saltwater contamination of some
fresh water supplies. Does this indicate that: (a) major changes in water use
practices are necessary to reduce withdrawal rates (water conservation, desali-
nation, reuse, etc.), (b) transfer of water from undeveloped areas to the areas
of concentrated population is necessary, or (c) dispersal of future development
to correspond with local resource capabilities is necessary? Accordingly:
Should existing growth patterns be allowed to continue, given
projected or anticipated water resource limitations?
If allowed to continue, who will bear the increase in cost?
Mr. Chairman, I say that anytime we have to conserve water, there has to
be a balancing of the equities. We are going to have to consider that there are
two sides. I'll use one little illustration. Take water transportation: when
there was water transportation, Apalachicola had five banks and five hotels.
They have one bank now, and it so happens it is the poorest county in this state
in terms of per capital income.
Over here at Blountstown, all they wanted to do was dredge a little slip so
they could put in a boat building company. They were having troubles about it.
But the Governor said, "I had to knock some heads together," and they went ahead
and dredged it and did no damage. Now there is an industry saying that we must
take care of our water resources.
Let me respond to the question "Have Florida's water management districts'
activities been, in fact, counterproductive to economic development and growth
in the state?" There is no question in my mind that the surface water control
activities of both the South Florida and the Southwest Florida Water Management
Districts have enabled those parts of Florida to be utilized to a far higher
degree of satisfaction to the people who live in them than would have been the
case had not those water management districts existed, or had some other bodies
not done the same thing.
There is a thought in my mind at the present time that a change is taking
place. When the water management districts leave the relatively well-established
areas of surface water control, protection, and flooding, and enter into the
less clearly-defined areas of subsurface water usage, management, and what I will
broadly term the problem of changing the environment, the issue becomes far less
clear. There are already cases (limited cases, I confess) where water management
districts have reduced economic growth through the denial of a permit. They
have reduced economic growth through the denial or delay of a permit for surface
water development, or through the imposition of excess costs for acquiring a
permit or for doing construction and development work through their bureaucratic
I'm very much in accord with what Frank Bouis just said. Certainly, your
two major water management districts that have the experience behind them have
been a tremendous asset to the development of Florida. The other three have not
been in this thing long enough to have a track record, but I have ultimate
confidence that as they develop and proceed, they too will be quite an asset.
Now, let's come back to the communications problem. Let's go down to the
South Florida Water Management District and see just what has happened. Back
before World War II, the Biscayne Aquifer, with a small population then in Dade
and Broward counties, was in serious trouble. They had to move the well fields
inland to Hialeah. Salt intrusion up and down that coast was getting to be a
real problem. So, one of the first projects for the South Florida Water
Management District was a levee down the east side of the conservation areas
so they could impound that water that had been wasting out into the tidewater.
Then they put structures in those major canals. Before the project was even
half finished, they had halted the salt intrusion. Today, with the demands on
the Biscayne Aquifer somewhere between three and four times what they were forty
years ago, the Biscayne Aquifer is in darn good shape. In fact, they are spending
99 million dollars down there right now on new well fields and a distribution
system that they could not possibly put in if it were not for the SFWMD project.
I say that is a pretty good track record.
In spite of everything you can say about it, what do we have today? We
have a hearing coming up in Dade County and another in Sebring because a handful
of gung-ho environmentalists have complained to EPA that this aquifer is a sole
source water supply for Dade, Broward and south Palm Beach counties, and they
want it so declared. When that happens, the feds immediately take over full
authority for any expenditure of federal funds that could possibly affect that
aquifer. Now, people, this kind of stuff costs a lot of money. Those people
don't come down from Washington or Atlanta and hold hearings in Florida and not
spend a ton of the taxpayers' money. The thing I'm trying to get at is simply
this: communication there does not do one bit of good. That is the most highly
protected aquifer, I believe, in the United States and maybe in the world. The
last thing we need is some dad-blamed bureaucrats from Washington coming down
there and telling us what to do with it.
What we need is to begin to communicate with some of these people who are
causing all these problems. It's costing the heck out of the taxpayers. I am
for the environment, but I don't want to be bankrupt by a bunch of foolishness
that is not doing the environment one bit of good. And, until we get up on our
hind legs and start fighting and scrapping, we are in trouble.
You heard the talk just a few minutes ago, about water management district
board representation and taxes. This has been going on for two years. Tell me
the need for it. I think every water management district is represented here
today. Have you had a protest from any of your citizens about the tax you are
levying? Well, what in the devil are we talking about? A 17 or 19-man board
when we've got no problems? What the districts are doing is great. Frank Bouis
has just told you what the future holds and he just scares the mortal heck out
of me. And, we are going to have to get even, like Mr. Gissendaner told you.
We've got to get balance in this thing, and we are going to have to do it quick.
The biggest problem we've got with inflation today is an overzealous reaction
to environmental problems that's not doing one bit of good.
Certainly we all know the importance of tourism in Florida and the
necessity of the water being of good quality for our tourists. I'm afraid I
will have to disagree with these fine gentlemen. The hospitality business has
suffered in some respects already from people managing water resources through
increased costs of construction and of permitting, which pass ultimately on to
the consumer. We have seen the effect in some areas, not necessarily from the
water districts themselves, but through other sources that are attempting to do
some similar things. This has increased our cost all the way across the board.
Topic no. 2 is regarding the role of water management districts, from
protectors of the resource to managers of water for the overall public benefit.
My response to that would be their role should be to assist and not hinder
development. One way this could be done is to start preparing checklists of
ways to conserve water. We've already done this in the hospitality business.
But, many other industries in Florida are continuing to waste the most valuable
The third topic on our list was "Development in Florida has historically
occurred most rapidly in two general areas: in population centers and attractive
coastal regions." Now, are we going to continue in this development along the
coast or in inland areas where we have major supplies of water? Here again, we
need to change some of the practices of the past of allowing people to come in
and withdraw water supplies without any concern for the type of equipment being
purchased to go into, for instance, the hotel. There are so many types of
equipment now available that you can buy to conserve water: cooling towers,
laundry equipment, dishwashing machines, the size toilets that you put in your
guest rooms, this type of thing.
Well, I'm going to change roles on you because I am here to speak on behalf
of the housing consumer, for the housing consumers that are here now, and for the
housing consumers that we know are coming to share our environment down here in
Put yourself in the place of the consumer of a house. What are we pro-
tecting all the resources for? Are we protecting for a pristine environment or
are we protecting for the people? We have to have houses for the people who live
in Florida and for those that we want to come live in Florida. We have to have
water, land, good clean air. We have to have all those things, and they all
interact together. You cannot take one section of the economy or one section of
the environment and divorce it completely from anything else.
Look at the regulations as they exist in the State of Florida right now.
We have just completed about a four-year study of duplicate regulation. We have
gone through a whole series of conferences on a state, local and national basis,
and we are culminating next November 13 with a deal on housing costs. Let me
tell you, if you bought a house in the last two years, $10,000 of the average
$50,000 house was for government regulations. That is absolutely incomprehensible
to me! Sticks and bricks don't cost that much more, but the regulatory things
you must comply with and the 18-24 months to get approval of a new project affects
you directly in your pocketbook and it affects your children and their ability
to live in a house and to live in the State of Florida.
I heard when I first came in that it's a matter of communication.
Everybody needs to understand that. Every living soul in the state needs to
understand that we've got real, severe economic problems; and if somebody else
hasn't said it, I'm here to tell you that the State of Florida is in trouble
economically. Florida's going to grow, one way or another, and it's up to us in
the business of providing regulations on water to cut out some of the "Catch 22"
regulations and the pinball form of government. Unless we expand our economic
base, I think we are in trouble. We can have everything we want to have. We
can have the good environment and have a good economic base too.
The message I have on behalf of the housing consumer, the message I bring
to the legislature is "Hey, whoa, stop! The consumers have had just about as
much as we can stand. Let's have good regulation, but let's have effective
cost-benefit type regulations, and let's make them work."
We are an electric utility serving most of northwest Florida, and what
impacts us is water and fuel. We were not a consumer of water util a few years
ago, but now we are.
When the Northwest Florida Water Management District was first formed,
they came to see us. We welcomed them and talked with them and have worked with
them ever since. I liken their role in northwest Florida to the Power Plant
Siting Act, which is operated by the Department of Environmental Regulation as
a one-stop permit. We worked very closely with the Water Management District
to permit the Caryville Plant, which has subsequently been deferred due to load.
But, they worked with us very well; we answered questions, resolved our problems,
and the projected consumptive use of water was reduced. And I look for them to
take a more active role in northwest Florida in helping industry come in by
saying, "This is a resource we have available, and this is how we should use it;
and let's work together."
Now, as far as consumptive use is concerned, we used to run water through
a condenser and dump it back into the river. The trade-off has been a cooling
tower. So now, rather than reusing water and taking a trade-off to the biota,
we evaporate water through the atmosphere which is a loss, something like
12,000 GPM. There is no way to return this. Somewhere downstate you might get
it. So, we have been a very large consumptive user of water. Now, I think
that's wrong. I think the Department of Environmental Regulation should take
I don't really know how the other water management districts in Florida
operate, but I'm going to know more about Southwest Florida Water Management
District because I hear they are going to get involved in our business in
northwest Florida. They are going to want to use our water, and I think our
water should be used to promote northwest Florida. They are going to be looking
at it because the Floridan aquifer starts here, and they are in trouble. So,
they are beginning to get involved in power plant siting. That is close to my
heart and I will fight that bill.
I think that the role of the water management district should be to
provide a broad view for local government, give them information, consult with
them, and then let the water management districts implement a plan that is in
the best interest of all Floridians, not just northwest Florida. They have the
expertise, and the qualified experts; and if the Northwest Florida Water
Management District doesn't have it, they can draw from the other water
management districts. I think there is a line of communication with the water
management district here that hopefully will never get bogged down. I know
it did not with us.
I would like to pick up on what Kinney Harley said. I think that for
too long, we have all had major communication problems. I would like to share
with you the fact that business people are also consumers and taxpayers. They
buy goods and services from other people and pay taxes just like everybody else.
So, we are all in this boat together. Everytime we add regulations, it adds
costs. I think that Mr. Gissendaner's statement about some equities is a very
excellent point. And also, as it relates to growth, all the economists that I
have every talked with tell me that there is no such thing as status quo in
economics. You are either moving forward or you are moving backward. I think
all of us had the experience of the crunch in '74, and I think I much prefer to
live in a thriving economy than I do in one that is sick.
As to Question 1, we checked around with several local chambers, the
Committee of One Hundred, industrial development boards, and industrial repre-
sentatives from the private sector, such as power companies and real estate
firms. The general consensus is that water management district activities have
been conducive to economic development and growth statewide. Their employees
and their efforts have been termed both cooperative and supportive when the
water issue is confined to one district. However, when it becomes necessary for
a developer to work with several water management districts simultaneously,
there seems to be a lack of coordination which slows the entire process. So,
we are back again to communication; the water management districts perhaps need
to communicate. What we are hearing from your constituents is that you need to
communicate better with each other when more than one jurisdiction is involved.
As to Question 2, in talking with some of the top economic development
people, it is their opinion that the role of the water management districts
should be that of managers of the water for the overall public benefit. Many
felt that the districts are now beginning this more practical approach with
their managing of the water. However, initially they felt that several of the
districts were more into a protective role.
As to Question 3, water management should be approached from a statewide
basis, keeping local governments attuned to the situation. Water issues need
to be a state concern, keeping in mind both the economic as well as the environ-
mental aspects. During the last legislative session, our organization, the
Florida Chamber, made a major effort to provide industrial developers with a
procedure which would help them avoid undue delays in obtaining environmental
permits. The bill eventually died in committee. We will be back this year
supporting legislation which willoffer new business and existing business an
optional procedure which will avoid undue delays in obtaining environmental
permits. Speaker-Designate Hyatt Brown addressed the water issue at our annual
meeting in Sarasota a few weeks ago. He feels, and I paraphrase, "If we could
come up with a plan now that could be set in motion in terms of future use of
water resources, we would avoid some very expensive overlaps that local govern-
ments are already involved in to some extent." Also, in his words, "Florida
has been called the jewel that beckons people." We're 9 million people and
continuously growing; and, in order to meet those kinds of changes, we have to
come up with a long-range plan for water and water distribution. This issue
will be a high priority item in the Florida House of Representatives.
May I add one point that I haven't heard anytime today? All you have to
do is pick up this magazine (Interim Summary, District Water Resources Manage-
ment Plan) and see the sources of our water coming out of our neighboring states
over this 400-mile border with Alabama and Georgia. There needs to be a little
bit of cooperation with Alabama and Georgia and a little bit of give and take.
Let's take the case of the Choctawhatchee that comes up in Alabama. It's
been thrown away. The Corps of Engineers made up their minds not to do anything.
Those of you over in that area know what has happened to the Choctawhatchee.
Let's come on back down into our area and look at the benefits of the Apalachi-
cola River as it flows on down into Apalachicola. That water is being taken,
and I use that strongly, in the Atlanta area. And who can object to a town or
a city taking its water from the local source? But, that is not what they are
doing. They are actually moving certain streams and diverting them from the
river and moving the source of water. You are talking about moving water down
to some other parts of the state and that is entirely possible, but not when it
is already being moved elsewhere. I'm saying there needs to be some cooperation
between Alabama, Georgia, and Florida; and nowhere have I heard that mentioned
anytime today. It will benefit Florida if we give a little bit of consideration
to those northern states.
I think the whole session today has illustrated that there is confusion
in the minds of all of us as to what we are really doing. We started off in
Florida some years ago with a surface water and flood control problem principally;
and, by legislative action, there were some governmental bodies created that
worked on those problems. Then we developed a water supply shortage around
Tampa Bay and Polk County and down on the Gold Coast. Additional powers were
granted for the handling of those problems.
Then there developed a considerable bureaucratic and political interest
in the idea of planning the economy and planning for the use of the state. This
created a great deal of interest in environmental planning. The idea that
government, through its brilliance, could devise the way to identify all the
problems and solutions for the greater glory and benefit of all of us is, in my
opinion, how we arrived at the legislation that now exists. Out of that, there
is a new animal in the corral, and now we are trying to figure out who is going
to put a saddle and bridle on that animal and what it is going to do.
At the present time, we have five water management districts, each one
created and operating somewhat differently, and each one seeing a somewhat
different responsibility. Added to it is the confusion over the role of the
Department of Environmental Regulation, the Division of State Planning, the
Corps of Engineers, the federal government through its various agencies; and,
again, there we are in the confusion. In reality, the answer to Question 2 is
that none of us really knows the answer to this question.
Personally, my bias is that local people at least know what the problems
are better than anybody else. Local people know what local problems are,
whether they have the ability to correct those problems or not, but I think
they at least have the intelligence to ask for help when they see that they need
help. So, I would respond to what one of the speakers has said, and that is
that we do not need a state agency to tell us whether or not we are doing right.
We know whether we are doing right or not.
My first conclusion: One of the things that water management districts
should do is develop water as a resource whenever they see an opportunity to do
so. That is a technical and economic question, in principle. You've heard how
the Biscayne Aquifer was developed. You've heard how the City of St. Petersburg
is recharging water. These are illustrations of things that can be'done. They
are local responses to local problems.
Second premise: Let's not ever forget that in most of Florida, most of
the water comes from rainfall, and it is filtered through the medium of land
Second conclusion: The water management districts should allocate water
ownership when a conflict for it arises. You have heard it time and time again
in the discussions today: "The water is there; can we go get the water? No, you
cannot come get the water. It's our water; we want to keep that water." Water
does belong to somebody, although we have not agreed to whom. I happen to believe
that originally it belongs to the landowner; but, in the second conclusion, the
water management districts should allocate where the ownership lies. They should
determine a solution when a conflict comes up.
I recognize another thing. Water is going to be moved from where it is
to where it is needed. We can talk all we want about how you don't want it to be
moved, whether it should be moved or not, but it is going to be moved. And, I
would point out to you again, whether you like it or not, that all of the land
in Florida is now developed, although my idea of development might not be the
same as yours. I do not hold that houses are the only form of development or
that factories are the only form of development. Neither do I hold that houses
and factories are bad. It is just a different form of development.
Another premise: When water is moved, a benefit has been given to where
it went and a benefit has been taken away from where it came.
Third conclusion: All of the costs involved have to be paid for, and they
are going to be paid for in one form or another. We do not need the Department
of Environmental Regulation or the Division of State Planning to tell us where
or how the benefits are going to be felt. All we need to do is follow the same
systems that have been existing in this country since time immemorial, and that
is that when costs are incurred, they must be paid for. They must be paid for
by the people who get the benefits. That is how you really determine whether
or not you really want to carry out development.
I would like to make a couple of comments about some of the points that
have been brought out.
Jake mentioned equity and balance. I also agree that we have to have it.
I think our country so often overreacts to particular situations. I think we
overreacted in the fifties and sixties to the developers and the private sector
as far as building some projects which were unfounded and which, quite frankly,
were greedy, to say the least. It did, in fact, rape the environment. I think
those times have changed, but this is because of the overreaction our govern-
mental process has gone through. As a developer in the private sector, there
is one commodity that costs us more money than anything else, and it is time.
Ultimately, that commodity of time that we have to put a value on in relation
to a project ends up as a bill to the consumer.
So, we have gotten back to communication, and I believe that is what it
is. We have got to have a balance of equities from a communications standpoint.
We need to be concerned and come out with some reasonable terms and an efficient
timetable for your permitting process. It's inexcusable the amount of time
some of these permits take. That time costs the consumer money and causes
inflation which is something we need to be concerned about.
I would like to say two or three more things:
1) The balance of the state has found out that there are some "'trees"
in northwest Florida that do vote, and in larger percentages than in the rest
of the state.
2) They have found out that we have an abundance of water, a resource
people are interested in. We talked about moving water. I don't know if you
knew this was on purpose, but our water is not even cut on here at our new
facilities. You see a little bucket out here, to give people a little cupful
of water. Well, that is done on purpose because we are going to protect it as
well as we can in northwest Florida. Plus, DER hasn't given us a permit for our
water system yet.
Another factor of the balance of equities that we need to be concerned
about is meetings, such as this Annual Meeting that we have. Meetings need to
be on a more consistent basis where we have representatives of government and the
private sector to sit and talk about mutual problems that affect people.
So, we would like to open it up now. We have some tremendous gentlemen
here from the private sector with questions and answers to the responses that
have been made.
I know I have so far today kept the great wisdom I possess from you, but
I think it is time for me to impart.
This morning, we heard Lee Vause state that the people didn't want it.
Well, you see where the Northwest Florida Water Management District Headquarters
is. Why is it here? It's here because we wanted it. It's here because we went
to the board and did everything that was humanly possible to get it. Why did we
need it? Because the federal government came along and took our 35-million-
dollar-a-year industry and gave it to Central American and left us to suck the
welfare bosom. See how I cleaned that up? So, we decided to do something about
our adversity, about bringing in jobs. When you start bringing in jobs and
bringing in business, whether it's agricultural, nurseries, or what have you,
it takes water. We found some places in Gadsden County, and you won't believe it,
that didn't have water; and it surprised us. So, we needed expertise, and we
went to the group that we think has the greatest expertise of any in the State
of Florida. We went to the Soil and Water Conservation Department and to the
group which occupies this facility to give us help and we got it.
We went to another group, which I shall leave nameless because I don't
want to use that kind of language, when we had a chance for a big industry that
would have put 800 people to work. They couldn't figure how to permit them or
what the permit required, and the industry left.
We have heard a lot of verbage today. If you drum up the old naval
communication rule, you would know it is "brevity, clarity, and conciseness,"
and you will find out in a few mintues that I don't follow it. We've had a lot
of conversation, but we haven't had communication, and that is the problem.
You know, while someone is speaking, everybody else is sitting there scratching
their heads and wondering, "What the hell am I going to say in rebuttal?" They
don't hear a thing the other person is saying. Well, Bill McCartney gave me a
wonderful idea here recently at one of our advisory council meetings: a great
big beautiful sound/slide presentation. But, let me tell you, you'd just as
well get on your camel and take it to your city commissioners and county
commissioners because if you expect them to come to one of these meetings, man,
you've got a problem greater than the water one.
So, we've got to determine a method of taking it to them. I think it is
very easy to do, and I think they will listen. You know, it is like ole Aesop
and the camel: when they bring water management in and you put it on the ballot,
it scares the living hell out of people. Here we go encroaching once again,
sticking a foot in my tent. I go against it automatically without reading the
rest of it. It's the same thing with water management in Gadsden County. Once
Bill McCartney and I went to the county commissioners and they were all behind
it, they were for getting it. You see, you have to educate them. You have to
do like that guy with the mule. It takes a lot of kicking in the head because
you have to get his attention before you can ever communicate with him. Now,
Well, we can't see the forest for the trees. We had a family from the
bush of Africa come over in exchange, and they were shown the entire State of
Florida and all the wonderful things we have. Having been around in every
country in this world that has a seaport, I can tell you, buddies, this is where
it is. Anytime you leave this area, you are camping out. This family was
leaving; they were going back to the bush of Africa, and we said to them, "If
we could grant you any wish to take anything that you have seen in our beloved
state, what would it be?" She said, "That faucet down there. Yes, because I
wouldn't have to walk five miles to the well to get my water. I could just
turn it on." You see, there is the thing. We don't really understand the
We have heard a lot said today about people coming to Florida, and we've
heard a lot said about growth. We have a lot of people coming, and they claim
we have had a lot of growth. My question is, "Are the people we are bringing
a part of the answer or a part of the problem? Are they part of the producers
or part of the users?" There is a devil of a lot of difference. We talk about
all these agencies having to do with the regulation of water management. We
have got a lot of spokes. We haven't heard one word about a hub or a rim. Until
we get somebody to coordinate this thing and bring it all into a wheel, we've
got unorganized confusion.
One thing I would like to point out going into our last question, which
is probably the most important, is another commodity or resource which we haven't
mentioned that is going to put extreme pressure on everyone from the home
builders to the tourism department, agriculture, and everything that is a
component of this state. That is sunshine. Not in northwest Florida because
our weather is such that we receive relatively warm climates, but we are
already seeing extreme pressure from the northern market and the retirement
sector there because weather in the northern part of this country is getting
so severe that they are moving to warmer climates. So, with the increasing
people pressure that we are receiving, it's going to put an additional burden
on the water resource because of more families here. If we have to move water
from the Northwest Florida Water Management District which would cost the state
severely, gentlemen, who is going to pay?
You are bringing up a good question. You see, some areas say, "Of
course, the users do it." But it creates quite a problem. Usually, they come
in and set up the extra tax for the person who is going to use it. I see it
happening in certain areas so that they were going to have to pay it or not
come. Now there is one gentleman saying we don't want them. But if they come
and bring their money and their retirement, I'm sure certain areas will be happy
to have them, but as they move into an area, they are going to have to pay their
own part of the development.
So, you are saying that the users will have to pay.
Is it right to go back and tax John over here, who has been here for
40 years, for the new ones that are coming in? I'm experiencing it in certain
of our businesses where we are having to pay some of his costs now to move in
and take advantage of something that's there. If it is water, we are going to
have to come in and pay for his new development of water there.
Obviously, the user has got to pay it, and the user has got to have a
pre-determination as to whether he wants to pay it. Water supply is only one
of the costs involved in building a house or a factory. Others are the bricks,
mortar and the pavement that go into it. Water should have the same characteristic
as those other items, and that determination should not be made by a state agency
but should be made by the user through his local agency. However, the costs are
more than for the distribution. The water itself has a cost, even though the
commodity itself is given us by God. I pointed out earlier that water is col-
lected by land as an artesian proposition or as a surface proposition, and
the maintenance of that land is a cost of providing the water. So, what I'm
saying to you is that when water is moved from one part of the state to another
(and it will be--it already is), it comes from the land; and the landowner
must be paid for it, either as a purchase of water, as a lease of land, or as
a purchase of land. I'm referring to the Southwest Florida Water Management
District water crop practice.
There is one other cost that I have never mentioned at a public gathering
such as this, and that is the governmental cost. When the land involved moves
into a public agency as an ad valorem proposition, it frequently becomes tax
exempt, and the processes of government in the water supply area have been dis-
rupted. It is at least conceivable (it doesn't exist in Florida today, to my
knowledge, but it is conceivable) that the magnitude of the mechanism will be-
come so great as to disrupt local governments in certain parts in the state.
You must recognize that when you move water, by whatever means, you do change
the parts of the world the water came from and the parts of the world the water
goes to. The user has to pay, and the producer has got to get the money.
I think we are going to have to take each problem like this on its own
merits. Each case is going to have to stand on its own merits. Let's go back
to the Central and Southern Project, and I refer to it because it is our oldest
project. It has the greatest experience back of it, and I'm probably a little
more familiar with it. Now they are moving water, I don't care what anybody
says. They are taking Lake Okeechobee water and conveying it to Everglades
National Park through canals in time of drought. They are doing the same thing
to Dade County well fields. There is no way to determine your user's fees or
your beneficiaries in a project like that.
What we did down there was to set up a joint federal, state and local
proposition. It has worked beautifully. I'm a great one to go with past ex-
perience, and I think that is the way you are going to have to handle this. I
don't think you would ever find any two projects for which you could set one
rule down and say this is the way you are going to do it. The place for water
management is in our water management districts where we've got it and where
they know what they are doing.
As a sample of additional costs that are coming back to the ad valorem
taxpayers in these districts, the legislature just recently passed legislation
on what we call the "performance audit." God knows what it is going to cost.
Now, what do you need a performance audit for? If that district down there
doesn't provide flood protection, if it doesn't solve the water supply problems,
they will be audited by the taxpaying citizens. I was on that SFWMD board for
nine years. I have heard the taxpayers scream. They are great auditors. They
are the same people, you know, who audit the legislature. You've got to get a
little common sense back into this thing before we break the whole darn nation
and shut all the homebuilders and everybody else down.
Well, you can call it anyway you want, but when you walk up to my front
desk and ask for a room, the price of that room covers the cost of the water;
it covers the cost of construction; and it covers the cost of labor. Ultimately,
the consumer pays, and he will pay in this instance.
We have done a three-year study on impact tax or immigration levy, or
import tax, or whatever you call it. That is a no-grow technique from start
to finish. Anytime you start assessing, you know you will have to pay your
dues to come and live here, but come and pay your dues if you want to live here.
That is the biggest bunch of garbledygook I ever heard of in my life because any
study that you have ever seen shows that the costs of the stagnant city increase
probably faster than the fast-growing city's costs because there are certain
economies of scale that you can achieve.
Just think about it rationally for a minute and you will find out that
when a new facility comes in, whether it be a subdivision, an industrial plant,
or whatever, it starts paying every old tax that has been on the books, such
as bridges and waterlines that were put in maybe 50 years ago. The bonded
debtedness is still there. It is being paid for. The new resident, the new
factory, the new hotel that comes in he puts in all new facilities, but yet
he is still picking up part of that old facility. So it would be very, very
unfair to assess an additional tax like an immigration tax upon him. I think
you will find out that anytime you compare a new facility with an existing
facility, the new growth of a community is actually subsidizing the old exist-
ing growth in that community.
No matter how we assess it, whether it is the cost of government, the
cost of installing a new facility, or whatever, the final consumer pays. It
is up to all of us to make that cost as low as possible and make it palatable.
But the final consumer, the guy who signs on the bottom line, he's the one
who pays the bills; and it should be done across the board with everybody pick-
ing up their piece of it.
I agree, it is the final consumer who picks it up. I think that you
are going to find on a case by case basis that the final consumer may rebel
about some of the cost of transporting water long distances. You have the
pumping costs, conduit costs; if you have open canals, you have bridges; across
the canals you have evaporation losses. We may see the tradeoff if we take
sea water, convert it to fresh water, and have a new industry built to pump
it inland. Once again, the consumer pays; and, possibly the fairest tax, which
no one likes, is the head tax. Everybody pays so much per gallon of water;
that would allow everyone to participate in new water supplies.
Well, I wish they had reworded the question. It said, "Who shall bear
the cost?" I think it is probably, "Who will bear the cost?" I'm not sure
that you can really allocate the cost. I don't think that this issue is going
to be decided on the merit or availability of water. I think it is going to
be more complex. We are going to be looking at population densities. We
already see instances, over in Suwannee County for example, where there is a
great migration of retirees from south Florida coming up and buying 5- and
10-acre plots to live on and get out of those pressures and get the amenities
that they are looking for. I think it is so complex that Solomon himself
couldn't sit here today and tell you who will bear or who should bear the cost,
and, in the final analysis, how it is going to be divided out.
Historically, Americans have sort of looked at water as a God-given
right and a free source, and I very much agree that at some point in time
somebody is going to have to determine the cost of that water as a raw material,
as opposed to today's system where you normally pay just to get it out of the
ground and deliver it. Yes, ultimately, the consumer is going to have to pay
for it, and I'm not sure how it is going to be done.
I am disturbed by some of these remarks, particularly those of Mr.
Harley and the Chamber of Commerce worrying about how you are going to pay
for this. Who is going to allocate the cost? If you haven't read Mr. Simon's
book Time for Truth, I suggest that you read it. And then both of you would
stand up and scream about free enterprise and unregulated society and letting
the marketplace determine the cost and who pays. Just leave the government out
of it and let somebody own that water. Let somebody else say he wants it and
let those two parties, or whatever combination there would be, work it out in
the marketplace. It will do a far better job than government. I think it
shows that after 200 years, it has worked pretty well. I hate to see the
Chamber of Commerce man shaking his head that he doesn't believe in it.
Oh, no. I am probably one of the greatest proponents of what you just
talked about. I also happen to be practical. If we could do away with all
of these agencies and do away with all those laws, I would be the first one
for it. But I thought we were here today to talk not necessarily about theory
but about "how-to." Now, theoretically, I am with you and I have read the
book. It's a great book. You've got no problem with me as far as philosophy
I guess this is a question and/or comment to Mr. Harley. I would like
to request a copy of the study you mentioned earlier, as I just spent the last
year in California and watched the Proposition 13 thing rather closely. I
heard the mayor of San Diego recently in a discussion about what the ultimate
impact of Proposition 13 was going to be on new growth and development in their
area. Of course, the Proposition was pushed because many people felt that
property taxes were increasing the cost of housing and thereby precluding some
people from the market. Now, apparently, in San Diego, they are finding that
they cannot pay the capital cost for the infrastructure to support new develop-
ment, police stations, fire stations, schools, water supply systems, etc. In
order to pay for that infrastructure, it appears one possibility would be to
assess each new building unit a $4,000 to $5,000 charge for the capital cost.
Also, they do not have any mechanism for paying the operating costs. So, at
least right now in California, they are seeing something that appears to be
different from what your study seems to indicate.
No, not at all. In fact, it further illustrates the point I was making.
Those are the fees that are charged to pay your dues. Those are immigration
taxes. Proposition 13, in its finest form, is a totally unworkable thing be-
cause it is a rebellion against government. It wasn't a rebellion against just
property taxes. I read it very carefully, and it was a rebellion against govern-
ment which was inefficient, top-heavy and expensive. What they are doing is
subverting the theory of Proposition 13; many of the governmental authorities
are trying to get the same amount of dollars through fees. That is where you
are going to get a real uprising, because the same people are paying the same
money, only in different forms.
That may well be. In fact, local governments at the current time have
cushioned the blow with state surplus. But I can't say specifically that they
have or have not included the other costs in that assessment that you are speak-
They are attempting to. I don't know how effective they are, but some
of those fees are going up as high as $7,000 and $8,000. I was in California
about four weeks ago and stayed out there specifically to look at this problem.
We went into it rather deeply with many of the people, some of the developers,
and some city and county officials. It is really amazing how they are trying
to circumvent the will of the people. I think really the concept and the phi-
losophy that is espoused in the Proposition indicates that the people are tired
of inefficient, costly government. I think you will see reaction to try and
get the same amount of dollars from the same people through a different source.
There have been a couple of comments about ownership of water.
Question: What happens when you have a flood? The guy next door says come
and get your water off my land!
What the gentleman says is obviously true as far as the cost is concerned.
The only point that I was trying to make, and perhaps not successfully, is that
all the water in Florida today is being used. It serves a function; and when-
ever it is moved, there are changes that take place. I'm from Lake County.
I know more about Lake County than any place else, and I'll come down to cases:
When Hillsborough and Pinellas counties come to Lake County to get water, as
they will do, they will change the course of history in Lake County. There
will be a benefit that will move to Hillsborough and Pinellas counties and it
will leave Lake County. There will be costs incurred. If those costs are not
paid for, the future of Lake County will be drastically changed and it is con-
ceivable that its whole political future will be drastically altered. I was
asked my opinion, and I will repeat it the user should pay all of the costs,
including the land ownership costs.
Do you think it's any more appropriate for the landowner in Lake County
to be compensated because someone from Pinellas County comes to Lake County
and gets the water from that land than the man in northwest Hillsborough County
because somebody in southwest Hillsborough County goes to that same place and
gets the water? Do you think it makes a difference because it's out of the
I don't think that in this context, Buddy, that county lines mean any-
thing so long as the political structure is preserved. That is why I brought
up the tax base. It is possible that the tax base would be so altered that
the county as a political body might be altered; but, leaving that consideration
out, no, I don't think so. It costs money to own land. That is all I have
tried to say.
I would like to say one thing more. I think this has been a wonderful
panel and a wonderful discussion. The meeting was well divided into four
parts: The role of the university, the role of the local government, the role
of the water management districts, and the role of the producers of the State
of Florida. I count myself as one of the latter. I was deeply appreciative
of all you people who listened to what we had to say. Thank you so much.
It certainly has been a pleasure serving with this fine group of
gentlemen; and, in conclusion, if there was any one overriding factor that
has come out of the meetings today, it is the need for communication. I
don't know how many people have tried to communicate with the Department of
Environmental Regulation, but it is extremely difficult. I hope the same does
not hold true for the Northwest Florida Water Management District and other
water management districts of the state. The lack of communication that the
governmental agencies have with the public, who ultimately pay for everything
that we're talking about, needs to be stopped, or the cost of inflation is
going to get us all.
I have enjoyed it very much. Thank you for coming.