Title: Letter Subject: Modifications to Proposed Minimum Flows and Levels Rule, Chapter 40D-8
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 Material Information
Title: Letter Subject: Modifications to Proposed Minimum Flows and Levels Rule, Chapter 40D-8
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Letter Subject: Modifications to Proposed Minimum Flows and Levels Rule, Chapter 40D-8 (JDV Box 108)
General Note: Box 16, Folder 12 ( SWFWMS And Tampa Bay - 1997 ), Item 15
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00004028
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

09/26/97 14:58


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September 26, 1997


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Mr. E.D. "Sonny" Vergara
Executive Director
Southwest Florida Water Management District
2379 Broad Street
Brooksville, FI 34609-6899


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Subject: Modifications to Proposed Minimum Flows and Levels Rule, Chapter 40D-8

Dear Mr. 10

On behalf of the West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority Board, I am formally
requesting that the Southwest Florida Water Management District make the following
modifications to its proposed Minimum Flows and Levels (MFLs):

1. Change the "sunset" provision from October 1, 1999 to October 1, 2010
The two-year sunset provision in the District's currently proposed rule 40D-8
creates a high degree of uncertainty with respect to the Authority's ability to collect
revenue and pay debt on existing facilities and to finance the development of new
supply facilities. Furthermore, with so much in a state of flux over such a brief
period, the uncertainties regarding permitting issues for both existing and new
supplies could be paralyzing to true resolution. A sunset at 2010 eliminates much of
the uncertainty, provides adequate time to resolve permitting issues and to
implement a Recovery Plan, and in turn provides an adequate history of operating
and environmental/hydrologic data on which to base potential rule modifications.

2. Include the Recovery Strategy/Plan as part of the Minimum Flows and Levels
Rule Chapter 40D-8
The plan by which the District intends to meet its proposed MFLs must be known
and stated in the 40D-8 rule. Building the Recovery Strategy into the 40D-8 rule
provides a blueprint that guides the Authority toward the proposed MFLs and also
ensures compliance with the Recovery Strategy. Further, inclusion of the Recovery
Strategy in 40D-8 removes some of the uncertainty generated by the proposed
MFLs with respect to the Partnership Plan and Master Water Plan, Only so much
can be done within the next ten years; the sooner the pathway is clearly defined and
the parties' responsibilities identified, the sooner the journey to recovery can begin.
Again, the uncertainty of having only general direction without clear goals and
objectives makes planning and financing for the endpoints of phased recovery
almost impossible.


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September 26, 1997
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3. Specify clearly that the Minimum Flows and Levels have "no regulatory effect"
on existing permittees until the Recovery Strategy is adopted, or while a
permitted is in compliance with the Recovery Strategy.
The Authority and its members must have assurances that MFLs have no regulatory
effect until the Recovery Strategy is adopted, or while the Authority and its
members are in compliance with the Recovery Strategy. While clarifying the intent
of the proposed MFL rule, such assurances will remove the impetus for potential
rule challenges while encouraging permittees to comply with the Recovery Strategy
thus moving our systems closer to the proposed MFLs. Operating out of constant
fear of regulatory impositions and the suggestion that facilities are in violation of
rule standards poses an unnecessary and burdensome obstacle to financing a
solution to the very problem the MFL rule was intended to address.

4. Specify that the Authority shall develop and submit for District approval a
wellfield operations plan for the eleven affected wellfields, which will optimize
wellfield management and resource protection.
Establishing a protocol for operating wellfields in an optimized manner is critical to
resource recovery and protection. It is the Authority's responsibility to operate
existing facilities in an efficient and effective method to minimize wellfield affects
on surficial aquifer system drawdown across the region. Development and submittal
of a wellfield operations plan should be included in 40D-8 to acknowledge the
Authority's responsibility, and to distinguish between the District's regulatory and
guidance role and the Authority's operations role.


5. Specify that an Integrated Resource Management Strategy shall be used in
implementing Minimum Flows and Levels to maximize the utilization and
effectiveness of rotational capacity for resource recovery and protection.
In order to achieve resource recovery and a greater degree of environmental
protection, the Authority fully recognizes that future facility operations must differ
from past facility operations. The Authority has committed to a new paradigm of
improved resource management through a holistic approach that optimizes water
supply operations, and is actively engaged in analyses to that end. However, the
District's current plan to specify required production rates and/or aquifer water
levels at the eleven affected wellfields is in blatant contradiction of the Authority's
responsibilities and commitment to an operations plan that optimizes wellfield
management and resource protection through flexible operations and ongoing
adjustments. By making extrapolations to future levels based on a comparison to
historical production patterns, the District is, in fact, prescribing future production
that mirrors historical production. That is, the District is restricting the production


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September 26, 1997
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pattern to that which has contributed to environmental impact. By doing so, the
District is prohibiting opportunities for change and precluding the use of critically
important information concerning future site-specific conditions, climatic variations,
and phases of environmental recovery. We were once partners in developing this
hollistic approach which the District named "rotational capacity."

An Integrated Resource Strategy based on an optimized operations plan would,
however, be expected to achieve a greater level of recovery than mirroring future
production against historical performance. By fully utilizing rotational capacity
when and where most needed, the Authority can achieve the desired outcome of
resting stressed facilities. Through an integrated strategy that treats the eleven
wellfields as a flexible regional system meeting regional demands and responding to
regional environmental conditions, the Authority can operate its system in the most
effective manner for both the public and the environment.

These modifications, as requested by the Authority Board of Directors, will clarify the
District's Minimum Flows and Levels Rule, remove the uncertainty created by the
proposed rule and encourage compliance with a recovery strategy that is properly
centered on environmental stewardship. Clearly, there are strong feelings on every side
of the issue regarding the levels in the current rule. The Authority Board has, however,
chosen to focus on Governance and the Master Water Plan. The preceding items are
instrumental to this approach.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.


cc: WCRWSA Board


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