Title: Articles of Interest on Water Management
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004554/00001
 Material Information
Title: Articles of Interest on Water Management
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Southwest Florida Water Management District
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Articles of Interest on Water Management (JDV Box 90)
General Note: Box 24, Folder 1 ( Governmental Rules, Regulations, Legislation and Administrative Laws - 1996 ), Item 8
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00004554
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


Water Management District Governing
Board: Appointive Versus Elective
Southwest Florida Water Management District


n-VI~ION
.~
'
-'''
Irwrrw~luo 1~~iurrcr-


Water management in Florida demands a careful
balance of competing needs while protecting the envi-
ronment and the general public interest. The system of
Florida Governors appointing (with the approval of the
state senate) District Governing Board members to
manage water has worked for 45 years, though the
discussion for alternatives continues.
Since 1824, Florida has been using boards and
commissions as a means of managing its water re-
sources. The issue of appointed boards has been
reviewed and addressed by the legislature in 1949,
1961, 1972, 1983 and 1988. As the regional water
management district system in Florida has evolved, a
conscious effort has been made to keep the system fair
and balanced since Florida's water resources are not
distributed in the same manner and proportion as the
population or political boundaries.
An original mechanism for creating flood control
districts was authorized by the legislature in 1949, and
the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District,
now known as South Florida Water Management
'o District, was created. The Southwest Florida Water
Management District was created in 1961 by special act
of the legislature. The Water Resources Act of 1972
preserved the two existing districts but provided that the
entire state would be divided into water management
districts.
Appointed board members are selected by the
Governor with the approval of the State Senate for four-
year staggered terms resulting in an effective balance of
new and existing members. The appointed board
members serve without pay.
Over the years, the State of Florida has developed a
comprehensive, equitable and workable system for
managing water. The system's success can be traced
directly to certain key elements. These crucial compo-
nents are:
1. Regional water management districts with
boundaries that are based on natural hydrologic basins.
2. Each district is controlled by an appointed
governing board of unpaid, lay citizens with the ability to
hire its own independent staff and to retain its own
consultants.
3. Governing boards are relatively large, indepen-
dent, collegial boards whose members are appointed by


the Governor with the approval of the Senate and with
* statutorily-mandated residency requirements.
4. The districts are not state agencies, but rather are
Special, multi-county taxing districts with an indepen-
Sdent funding source.
S 5. Areas within a district may be designated by the
: Governing Board as under supervision of basin boards
* with members appointed by the Governor, with the
: approval of the Senate.
S Prior to 1974, the supervisory authority over the
Water management districts was vested in the Division
* of Interior Resources of the Department of Natural
Resources, headed by the Governor and Cabinet. When
Sthe Department of Environmental Regulation (DER) was
Formed, the general supervisory authority over the water
Management districts was transferred to the secretary of
* DER, although the Governor and Cabinet retained
Authority to review and rescind or modify any rule or
* order of a water management district governing board.
The work of the water management districts is
* funded each year by levying ad valorem taxes, state and
Federal grants, and regulatory fees. The people of the
State of Florida passed a constitutional amendment in
* 1973 to enable other appointed governing boards to levy
Sad valorem taxes as well. There are numerous special
* districts, boards, commissions and authorities through-
out the state with non-elected officials who annually levy
Sad valorem taxes for a public purpose.
Appointing governing board members helps to
Ensure the broad representation of interests necessary
to achieve a public interest consensus. The law relating
Sto governing boards of the water management districts
Swas reviewed extensively by the legislature in 1988-90
pursuant to Sundown and Sunset Acts.
S The issue of "appointed versus elected" governing
board members was specifically reviewed by the staff of
Sthe Florida Senate Natural Resources and Conservation
Committee in January 1988. The report concluded that
Appointed boards be retained, noting that appointment
Swas favored because "... members are not swayed by
Constituent pressure, that more time can be devoted to
resource management and less to political careers, and
that the backgrounds of those chosen can be more
carefully weighed to achieve a balance of views on the
boards."
'continued on reverse






Sustained Growth/Safe Yield
of Water Resources
Southwest Florida Waler Management Dislrict


n- ION4

JANMi NGTEEAAC


Ensuring sustainable potable water supplies (for oping surface water reservoirs is impractical given the
people and the environment) is central to the mission of relatively flat ground in the District and the high rate of
Florida's water management districts. In the Southwest evaporation. Very large and potentially costly tracts of
Florida Water Management District, no area of the land would be necessary to store significant quantities
District's responsibilities has received as much time and of water in above-ground reservoirs.


attention in the recent past as protecting the public's
water resource interests.
Water supplies originate from either underground
aquifer water or surface water sources. Within the
District, about 80 percent of all water use comes from
underground sources most of it being withdrawn from
the Floridan aquifer. The remaining 20 percent is
primarily supplied by surface water. However, due to the
impacts we are experiencing in the underground water
system, the use of surface water will increase in the
coming decade. Safe yield is the amount of water
(underground or surface) that can be used by man
without producing unacceptable environmental or
resource damage.
The District is conducting comprehensive Water
Resource Assessment Projects (WRAP), which provide
S the technical data and analysis necessary to estimate
"safe yield." Another positive step was the completion
of a District-wide Needs and Sources Plan, which
projects water use through the year 2020. The esti-
mated total average daily water demand for all water use
is projected to be 2.4 billion gallons per day for the year
2020, an increase of over 45 percent in a 30-year
period.
District analysis has shown that the Floridan aquifer
is already severely stressed. Environmental impacts due
to this stress include lowered lake levels, damaged
wetlands, water quality deterioration and saltwater
intrusion. In the Northern Tampa Bay area, which
includes the three counties of Hillsborough, Pasco, and
Pinellas, decreasing water levels due to the heavy
pumping of public supply wellfields coupled with a
long-term drought have seriously impacted wetlands,
lakes and private water wells.
In the future, the District will look to non-traditional
sources, reuse and conservation as supplemental water
sources. Significant potential exists for the expanded
use of rivers and springs to meet water supply needs,
but these resources must be tapped in a carefully
planned and environmentally-sensitive manner. Devel-


S Beyond that, the District is assisting local govern-
ments and utilities in funding the development of new
* water supplies from alternative sources. The District
SGoverning Board has developed the "New Water
* Sources Initiative" to identify and cooperatively fund
Alternative sources. These alternative sources include
Expanded use of recycled or reclaimed water,
rehydration of wellfields and wetlands, desalination and
* conservation, among others.
S Water conservation has a tremendous impact on
* water availability. If all water users conserved just 15
Percent of their 1992 water use of 144 gallons a day,
Nearly 39 percent of what is needed for the next 30
Years could be saved.
S The combination of identifying safe yield, develop-
ment of non-traditional sources, reuse and water
conservation can help balance the demands of all users
while protecting the environment and the public re-
Ssource. The District is aggressively leading the effort to
provide the potable water we need today and tomorrow.






Water Supply
Needs and Sources
. Southwest Florida Water Management District

The roadmap to both conventional and alternative
water sources for the next 30 years is charted in the
Southwest Florida Water Management District's Water
Supply Needs and Sources Plan developed in 1992. By
the year 2020, District planners project a more-than-45-
percent increase in demand for water within the
District's sixteen counties. That demand will stress the
ability of the water resource well beyond its capabilities.
At an estimated use of about 1.6 billion gallons of water
a day in 1990 within the District, there already is grow-
ing evidence of overpumping in many regions. Without
conservation, reuse, water-use efficiency, and the
development of alternative supplies, the estimated


JAAIlflMN O A.dS


the communities will be developed and operated by
S the appropriate regional water supply authority. This
fosters better cooperation between local govern
S mental members in efforts to meet collective and
regional potable water needs.
Not every projected demand will be met. In fact,
* unless greater than anticipated conservation occurs or
alternative supplies are developed, it is unlikely that all
: projected demands will be met. Moreover, without
* adequate cooperative planning, demand has the poten-
Stial of outstripping available resources within the fore-
Sseeable future. It could happen in the next 25 years.


demand for 2.4 billion gallons of water per day in the The District projects future demands for six major
year 2020 will bring with it destruction of the resource categories of water users: public supply, agriculture,
coupled with irreversible damage to the environment industry, mining, recreation and "other" potable water
and the quality of life. users. With the exception of the public supply category,
Florida Statutes require water management districts projections were made for counties. Public supply
to develop a needs and sources analysis, and a plan to demand was projected for all utilityes whose average
guide development of new water sources as demand daily permitted use exceeded a half million gallons per
increases. The District's Needs and Sources Plan was day. Collectively, these utilities distribute more than 95
percent of the public supply water used in the District,
, completed in 1992 and will be revised, at a minimum, on u
a five-year basis. It will incorporate information about and those demands will only grow.
water use trends, water supplies and the ability of Water use demands were reported in four regional
supplies to meet expected demand. Its findings and planning areas, three of which generally corresponded
recommendations have been incorporated in the District to the areas of the District's three regional water supply
Water Management Plans being developed now by all authorities Withlacoochee, West Coast and Peace
five water management districts, and for the State Water River/Manasota.
Management Plan developed by the Department of *
mental by the Department of More than 80 percent of the District's current water
Environmental Protection., rI rI rA t frr A A, ,,+.nrn rn, ,, ._ ,


Three Policies Guided Planners
Three major polices guided the Needs and Sources
planning process. These policies, all of which will be
implemented through the water use permitting program,
require that:
Local sources be developed to the greatest extent
possible prior to importing water from a distant
source. This means, for example, that utilities will
have to use local water resources, including reuse
and desalination, and additional conservation within
their area before turning to outside sources.
Conservation will be considered a source of new
water to reduce present demand and to help meet
- future needs. This policy moves water conservation
from a planning goal to a necessity.
All future public supply sources developed outside


OUppu I 10 Uy IIV U IIv III UnIIU eIU IIU va L l ouUIlc WIVt
Sthe remainder coming from surface waters such as
* rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Many wellfields that now
Supply major population areas are pumping at or beyond
= acceptable, sustainable withdrawal limits. Three of our
Major streams the Hillsborough, Manatee and Braden
Rivers are currently dammed and supply potable
Water to coastal cities. Withdrawals from most of these
* streams are at their sustainable yield. The one major
Exception is the Peace River, which is capable of supply-
*ing considerable more water than at present.
S In this study, water supply planners investigated
* three major sources of new water supply: underground
water, surface water, and water to be made available
through conservation, reuse and development of
Alternative local supplies. Negative impacts are already
Being seen in the vicinity of some large public supply
S,


*


continued on reverse






Land and Water
Planning Linkage
Southwest Florida Water Management Distrid


In order for the Southwest Florida Water Manage-
ment District to meet its statutory responsibilities of
protecting and managing water resources in the public
interest, it must achieve effective communication and
coordination with local and State governments, which
have authority over specific land-use planning deci-
sions.
The home-rule authority of the 98 cities and coun-
ties within the District's jurisdiction and the local land
use decisions that come from this statutory authority
have important consequences for regional and local
water management. For example, development in
floodplains may result in the loss of natural flood
storage areas and subsequent property damage. Public
water wells can become contaminated if not properly
protected from inappropriate uses of land. Water supply
availability must be coordinated with future growth to
assure natural resource limitations are considered and
respected. Agriculture, mining and urban development
may pollute surface waters if sound stormwater man-
agement measures are not enacted and enforced. These
- examples illustrate the significance of coordinated
strategies between water managers and land regulators.
There has been considerable discussion at the state
level about the need for improved integration of land
and water planning and management. In fact, this was
the reason the Governor's Task Force on Land Use and
Water Planning was created. This group has the respon-
sibility of recommending the most appropriate legal
means of linking land and water planning. In mid-1994,
Florida's five water management districts, together with
the Department of Environmental Protection and the
State's Regional Planning Councils, forwarded recom-
mendations to the Task Force on how this could best be
done. The Task Force's final report is due to the Gover-
nor October 1, 1994. Most believe this is a critical step
to improve Florida's growth management process.
The District has had an impact in integrating land
and water planning by voluntarily providing technical
assistance to local governments on comprehensive plan
development, and through its involvement in advisory
review of local plans, and Developments of Regional
Impacts (or DRIs). The District has also assisted in the
development of various model ordinances related to
water management:


or-JO

)MM@TEAAC


Flood management
Underground water supply protection
Water shortage management
S Water-conserving landscaping
Protection of surface waterbodies
S The District also intends to develop additional model
Ordinances related to septic tank densities and the
* suitability of land uses in areas where water resources
are vulnerable. Other key areas of local technical assis-
Stance will include floodplain delineation and recharge
Area mapping.
S Finally, the District, in its District Water Management
SPlan, proposes to strengthen and enhance District and
Local efforts through a variety of intergovernmental
coordination techniques. These include provision of
Integrated plans (or county by county water manage-
Sment plans), sharing research information necessary for
Sound water planning and ensuring consistent two-way
* communication among all government entities involved
in water and land issues.
S Water and land use are linked to each other and our
Quality of life. Strengthening the link between land and
Water planning and the ties between local government,
Water management districts, regional planning councils
Sand state government, will help ensure the viability of
Island and water resources to support our present and
Future needs.

9/94






Emergency Order to
Protect the Water Resource
Southwest Florida Waler Managemeni Dslrict


June 30, 1994, the Southwest Florida Water
Management District took the extraordinary step of
enacting an Emergency Water Shortage Order. The order
is designed to slow the effects of downward trends of
over-pumping in the area of public supply wellfields
managed by the West Coast Regional Water Supply
Authority (West Coast). It is merely an interim step and
follows repeated attempts to elicit cooperation from West
Coast and its member governments, Tampa, St. Pete,
Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties, during a period
of drought and apparent growing environmental
degradation, like withered wetlands and dry lakes, which
are a consequence of over-pumping.
In January, 1994, a wellfield managed by West Coast
was forced to shut down for exceeding its regulated limits.
It was not particularly surprising since central southwest
Florida is and has been suffering from a prolonged
drought that continues even after five years. What was
different in January, however, was that the Southwest
Florida Water Management District had been warning
West Coast since summer, 1993 that water levels were so
,.- low that wellfields could fail.
The District prevailed upon West Coast staff to
cooperate in a public education effort to ask the public to
voluntarily cut back use. Pleas for cooperation, however,
fell on deaf ears and water management district staff
warned West Coast to take positive action and not to ask
for relaxation of environmental protection when things got
bad in the spring. Spring brings a traditional dry period
coupled with increased demand as homeowners begin
their planting season.
In February, the District Governing Board moved
forward with two Water Shortage Orders. Those two were
designed to encourage conservation building codes,
augmentation for severely stressed lakes, public education
efforts and a number of other steps designed to reduce
public supply demand. In response to these orders, West
Coast filed litigation. The District, at the direction of the
Governing Board, spent 90 days attempting to negotiate
the orders, to make them acceptable to West Coast, its
member governments and the District as well.
At the end of 90 days, issues were left unresolved and
the orders were forwarded to Administrative Hearing -
S a process that can take 18 months to two years while
over-pumping continues.


)0JtI(rMN ( 1* SLM*CS


In the meantime, the District suffered the driest May
Sin 100 years, water level indicators on some streams,
lakes, monitor wells and rivers were as low as they've
Sever been. The City of St. Petersburg was forced to shut
Down Section 21 wellfield (part of West Coast's Central
System) just before it exceeded regulated standards,
Stwo other wellfields received compliance letters, one for
Exceeding regulatory limits, the other for over-pumping.
S In the face of increased environmental damage,
Continued disregard for environmental considerations on
the part of West Coast and some of its member
governments, and the on-going drought and escalating
Private well failure in and around the wellfield, the
Governing Board was left with no choice but to enact the
SEmergency Order to protect the water resource and the
* critical habitat which has been affected by increased
Demand. The Order outlines the extraordinary, perhaps
* irreversible, environmental damage to water, plants and
animals and requires West Coast to reduce pumping to an
Average of 116 million gallons per day or the equivalent of
Three to five gallons per person served, each day.
S The West Coast response to the Emergency Order was
more litigation. The public response has been both
Overwhelming support and a dramatic decline in water
consumption. While the District recognizes that rainfall
Shas also increased, utility directors are indicating that
water demand is as low as it has ever been this time of
year. The District's promise to the public included:
** Protecting the health and safety needs of public
S supply
Protecting both water and environmental
S resources
Ensuring West Coast does not violate regulated
S standards
The next step will be the evaluation of West Coast
Permits which are already at the District for renewal, and
Recall of the remaining three permits which are part of the
seven for West Coast's Central System. Throughout the
process, the public will be made aware of steps the District
Sis taking.
S The District believes that the public must have an
understanding of the issue and how the District is working
Sin the public interest by responding to these emergency
* conditions, that the Green Ethic established over the last
S25 years has laid the groundwork for that understanding
continued on reverse






Water Management
District Accountability
.- Southwest Florida Water Managemenl Dslridc

The coupling of an appointed board with special
taxing authority creates critics of water management
districts. The "taxation without representation" cry is
catchy and appealing but fundamentally false. Regional
water management district supporters believe the non-
political nature of the system is the key to sound public
water resource protection.
Beginning with the Governor's appointment of
unpaid citizen-volunteers, and continuing with the
confirmation of those appointees by the Florida Senate,
elected officials supervise, monitor and oversee the
activities of water management districts. Governing
boards are directed by Florida statutes created by the
Legislature, to hire an executive director to run the
legislated day-to-day business for each water manage-
ment district. Executive directors are also confirmed by
the Florida Senate. The five water management districts
are under the general supervisory authority of the
Department of Environmental Protection.
Each district's nine- to eleven-member governing
board represents a vital cross-section of the interests
within the district they serve. Agriculture, urban, rural,
business, industry and others all have a stake in the
sustainability of the water resource. By appointing
diverse boards with competing public interests, a
balance of using and protecting the resource is sought
with protection of the public interest as its foundation.
In the Southwest Florida Water Management
District, there is a governing board and eight basin
boards. Like the governing board members, the forty-
four basin board members are appointed by the Gover-
nor and confirmed by the Florida Senate.
But accountability is more than the process of
appointing and confirming those who serve on boards
and manage the day-to-day business of the public.
Taxpayers have the right to hold water management
districts, and all government agencies, to the highest
possible standards. The following is a brief outline of
how water management districts are accountable to the
public:


23'ntO
)4A~INMING ThE ALUCS~U


Water management district budgets are developed
* in accordance with the state public TRIM process
Outlined in Florida statutes, requiring two full and
* complete publicly noticed budget hearings in September
With complete access to budget information.
S Water management districts are required to
Prepare a tentative budget report for comment by the
Department of Environmental Protection, the Executive
SOffice of the Governor, and the Chairmen of the Appro-
priations Committees of the Legislature, who in turn are
required to submit comments and objections to the
Governing board and Governor by September 5 of each
year. Each district governing board shall include a
Response to such comments and objections in the
Record of the governing board meeting where final
Adoption of the budget takes place, and the record of
this meeting shall be transmitted to the Executive Office
Sof the Governor, the Department of Environmental
Protection, and the Chairmen of the House and Senate
Appropriations Committees. A final report from the
SDepartment of Environmental Protection to the Governor
Sand Legislature is then required, summarizing the actual
: budgets of each water management district by Decem-
ber 15 of each year.
The water management districts are required to
* submit a five-year capital improvement plan and fiscal
Report for the district for comment to the Governor, the
* President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House and
Sthe Secretary of the Department of Environmental
* Protection within 45 days of the adoption of the annual
Budget.
There is an annual third-party financial audit
Conducted for each water management district by an
: independent auditor appointed by the governing board
and a compliance audit every three years conducted by
Sthe Florida Auditor General.
S The governing board of each district, per Florida
Statutes, must employ a chief internal auditor (recently
Changed to inspector general) who shall report directly
to its governing board.


SConstitutionally-recognized and legislatively- There are strict Florida statutory controls on fund
established limits on ad valorem tax millage and require- investments and bonding by water management districts
ments for reporting compliance is monitored by the requiring public referendum.
S Department of Banking and Finance, which in turn must The Governor or the Legislature, at their discretion,
report to the Governor and the Legislature by January 1 can order a special detailed financial audit of any water
of each year continued on reverse






Moving Water Through
a Statewide Pipeline
Southwest Florida Water Management District


Getting more water to water stressed areas is being
discussed around dinner tables, at county planning
commission meetings, in corporate board rooms, civic
and homeowners' association meetings, and just about
everywhere else. Many solutions are offered. "Why not
build desalination plants?" "Why not reuse more
water?" "Why can't we just stop people moving into our
state?"
To some the "answer" seems simple and obvious. "Pipe
water in from a 'water rich' area to a 'water poor' one."
The impact of this answer is less obvious: damaging
environmental and economic impacts on donating
communities with costly increases for everyone on top
of tough political debate and consequences.
Protecting the Resource
Studies show that extracting water from one place
whether it's the aquifer, a lake or a river and
moving it to another location can have a permanent
negative impact on the surrounding environment.
Pumping excessive amounts of water from the aquifer
^ hurts the sustainability of nearby wetlands and lakes,
and diminishes quantity and quality of water from
private wells. In the Tampa Bay area, pumping from
wellfields in the West Coast Regional Water Supply
Authority system has significantly and permanently
damaged wetlands and surface water bodies.
Skimming water from a surface water body must be
done with sensitivity for the delicate estuaries down-
stream. The estuaries of Charlotte Harbor, Tampa Bay
and Kings Bay would not survive if too much water was
diverted from them. Without estuaries, fish and wildlife
diminish and the Florida lifestyle we love so much
would be lost perhaps forever. The destructive
environmental consequences of pipelines also must be
considered. Hundreds of miles of pipe carving its way
through wetlands, marshes, rivers and lakes, not to
mention rural and urban communities have permanent
negative impacts.
Water Crossing County and City Borders
Government officials are protective of their commu-
nity assets, and water is a vital asset. Future economic
expansion may well depend on the availability of water.
SIn California, water ownership laws and water
supplies are diverted and transported from the Colorado
River, and agreements between several western states


...'%I 0
)4JIrNIO h


Sharing this resource are complex and tenuous. Water
* officials out west believe that their approach to sharing
Water has been a costly political nightmare. Is this a
* water system Florida wants to duplicate?
S Faced with continuing drought, California is attempt-
: ing to deal with the political, economic and geographical
: problems of water distribution. Severe cutbacks in
* permittable water use in the San Joaquin Valley have
: forced farmers to reduce crop size and acreage. The
* large, urban areas of the south demand more water from
the statewide distribution system. State and federal
* water agencies in California must decide where the water
goes. Residents in the northern and central mountain
Regions are concerned about environmental impacts of
diverting water. Local areas such as Santa Barbara and
: Marin County, north of San Francisco, have sought other
* local solutions through comprehensive water conserva-
: tion and desalination of sea water.
SHow Much Would This Cost?
S A detailed cost-benefit analysis has never been done.
: However, economists and engineers estimate such a
: long-range pipeline system in Florida could cost up-
* wards of $1 million per mile. Land acquisition, leasing
Sfor right-of-ways or easements, permit costs (such as
* permitting and mitigation through and around wetlands,
Sor surface water sources), and regulations for meeting
public health and safety standards must be given great
* consideration. Beyond that, facilities to store and treat
: the water once it has been transferred and, of course,
* labor and materials for the pipeline itself all can be
: avoided if the more cost-effective use of local sources
* are emphasized including conservation, reuse and the
* development of non-traditional sources is followed.
* Local Sources First
* The Southwest Florida Water Management District
Shas recently adopted an aggressive plan to help ensure
t safe and secure water supplies for the future. Water use
* in the District is projected to double over the next 30
* years, with public supply outstripping agricultural uses
: overall as it does now in coastal areas.
* The District's 1992 Needs and Sources Plan esti-
: mated how much water is needed to safely meet future
* demands. As a consequence, the District Governing
: Board has adopted the following policies to meet water
* demand:
* continued on reverse








Water Allocation


r"-- Soulhwest Florida Water Management District


Competition for water in Florida is intense. The
demand for water to support public supply, agriculture,
industrial mining and recreation continues to grow.
Continued development and growth is a key to the
economy and lifestyle of Florida, as envisioned by local
governments and the state's comprehensive plans.
To achieve the difficult balance between water needs and
water availability, the Southwest Florida Water Manage-
ment District and the other four water management
districts set limits on the amounts of water available to
users through a permitting or allocation system. Within
the District's 16-county area, public supply utilities,
industries, mining, farmers, and recreational users must
identify their reasonable needs and apply for permits
that allow them to meet those needs without damaging
the environment. The three-prong test for permitting is:
Is the use reasonable and beneficial?
Is the use in the public interest?
Does the use interfere with existing local water
users?
In this way, the District has the assurance that each
water user has, with the least amount of environmental
impact, the cleanest, most affordable water to meet their
specific needs.
An excellent example of water allocation at work is
the Southern Water Use Caution Area (SWUCA), a
region south of Tampa. Because water resources in the
part of the SWUCA adjacent to Tampa Bay are severely
stressed, which causes saltwater intrusion, the District
has not issued any new water use permits there since
1992. This area is called the Most Impacted Area, or
MIA. Existing permit holders in the MIA must develop
water conservation plans that include recycling and
landscaping elements, among others. They must move
rapidly toward maximum efficiency to retain their
permits and those permitted amounts are subject to
reduction and possible redistribution to other users.
Meanwhile, throughout the SWUCA, the District is
working with local governments to develop and fund
water conservation projects and equipment for every
water user and to help develop alternative, non-tradi-
tional water sources that will ease demand on the
underground water supply. The goal is to help reduce
water consumption from 150 gallons to 110 gallons or
less, per person per day by the year 2010 through


)AIHTMNHIH TH% UALJdCS-


Sconservation and the use of alternative sources.
In addition to using conservation and alternative
* water sources to meet our ever-growing need for water,
: provisions in the SWUCA Management Plan will allow
* for the voluntary movement of groundwater use permits,
* or voluntary reallocation, from one use to another. This
: transfer of water use will help ensure that all available
* water is being used in the most efficient way and in
: ways that will help hold down the expected increase in
* the cost of the future water supply. Voluntary realloca-
Stion is currently allowed in the MIA within the SWUCA,
* and, under provisions of the SWUCA Management Plan,
would be extended throughout the area.
* If current use patterns continue, by the year 2020
: water users throughout the District will use an estimated
* 2.4 billion gallons of water a day, an increase of more
than 45 percent over daily water use in 1990. Yet, even
* without the increase, our resources are already stressed
: and our environment is showing signs of permanent
* damage. Vigilant permitting efforts will make sure that
all water users have access to water to meet their needs
and that they use the water available to them both
* efficiently and responsibly. Sustaining our current
* economy and lifestyles will be difficult, but together we
* can do it.
* The Southwest Florida Water Management District
* has already begun permit reviews in areas where the
demand for water meets or exceeds the limits of our
Water resources. And, where necessary, water permit
* levels allocations will be adjusted to allow for a
balance between supply and demand. The key is to
* achieve a sustainable balance between the two.
S There is no easy answer to balancing the water
supply and demand issue. Conservation and efficiency
are part of the answer, as is the development of tradi-
tional and alternative sources. Another equally important
Answer that must be used in conjunction with the others
is careful allocation, and, responsible reallocation. The
key is that we all need to work together to maintain a
sustainable supply of potable water while protecting
Florida's fragile environment to preserve our Florida
lifestyle.






Establishing A
Review Commission
Southwest Florida Waler Management Disrict


Water availability divides the state of Florida. Some
say it will be one of the most contentious issues the state
will face as it struggles with the major challenges of a
population explosion. Water management districts are on
the front lines of grappling with the problems of water
supply and demand. The water management districts in
Florida are divided along major watersheds. Their
geographic, hydrologic and other physical characteristics
are frequently quite distinct. But the legislated
responsibilities they shoulder for protecting the public's
water resource, though implemented separately, are
largely the same. In fact, in the past 30 years those
legislated responsibilities have grown from being primarily
flood control, to the various regulatory, enforcement,
education and other efforts aimed at protecting the public
water resource within their areas and authority. That
authority has grown over the years with the delegation of
responsibilities from the state to the regional level.
By statute, water management districts are
accountable for their budgets and activities to the
Department of Environmental Protection, the Governor's
Office, the Legislature, and of course, the public they
serve. They are directly responsible to their governing
boards which are appointed by the Governor and approved
by the Florida Senate. As increased responsibilities have
demanded more support, water shortages have made
disputes more emotional and current, and as the
disruption of natural systems have put water resources at
risk, districts have been central to the issues.
To ensure that districts are coordinating their efforts
for protecting the water resource, to evaluate the
outcomes of district programs and responsibilities, and to
identify ways of improving district activities, the Florida
Legislature established a Review Commission. The 21-
member commission will be comprised of professionals
and stakeholders from around the state. That is, there will
be those who represent agriculture, those who represent
development, those who represent the environmental
interests, elected officials and so on.
Appointed by the Governor, the President of the
Senate and the Speaker of the House, the Commission will
hold at least five public meetings where the fundamental
issues of water and water protection will be considered.
Among the many likely topics are:
*the legal responsibilities of districts
the need for a water management system and a


HHS wmm nTHE BALACSX-


system of district offices of the Department of
S Environmental Protection
ways to improve planning and management
S activities for public lands owned by the districts
costs for operating districts
S *funding mechanisms available to carry out district
responsibilities
ways to improve funding and program accountability
alternatives to management of district lands
budget development and adoption procedures
the process of governing board member selection
*feasibility of a standing legislative oversight
S committee
S The Commission is required to submit a report to the
SGovernor and Legislature by September 1,1995. In the
past, legislative review of the districts has resulted in
* additional responsibilities delegated to them from the state
: level. The regionalization of water resource protection is a
* basic premise of Florida's water management strategy. It
delegates tremendous authority to regional water
management boards which are comprised of citizen-
* leaders representing different local areas and interests.
S This new commission, which was supported by the
water management districts, provides an opportunity for
Districts to publicly review their program, budgets, actions,
plans and outcomes. It is an opportunity to present the
technical information, financial and program planning, and
the leadership to protect regional and state water
resources. This commission will review the methods and
Measures used by water management districts to balance
the needs of all major water users, while protecting the
Water resource and the natural systems which sustain it.







Unking State Water Policy to
Water Management Planning
Soulhwest Florida Waler Management DistricI


~4JTn34a ~ AO


The principal agencies charged with protection and
management of Florida's water resources are the five
regional water management districts and the Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP). Together, the districts
and the DEP implement a number of important programs
that manage the supply of water and its quality, protect
property from flooding, and protect and preserve natural
systems. Both the districts and the DEP realize their roles
through rulemaking, one notable example of which is State
Water Policy as developed by the DEP.
Both the District and the Department of Environmental
Protection are guided in their actions not only by enabling
legislation, but also by their adopted rules. One key rule is
Chapter 17-40, Florida Administration Code, State Water
Policy. This required rule helps to delineate policy
guidance to the Department and the Districts in developing
and implementing a comprehensive, coordinated water
management program throughout the state.
This State Water Policy rule, in combination with
statutory provision, includes the state Comprehensive
Plan, the Water Resource Act and the development of a
S water management program in Florida.
Current revisions to the State Water Policy rule have
recently been proposed by the DEP in coordination with
the districts. These revisions reflect significant
advancements in water management planning in Florida,
and provide forfar greater consistency and accountability.
These revisions address, in part, the requirement for
District Water Management Plans and preparation of the
Florida Water Plan.
District Water Management Plans (DWMPs) will
provide a road map to manage water and related natural
resources in each district. The DWMPs will allow the
districts and the citizens they serve to regionalize the goals
and policies of the State Comprehensive Plan and State
Water Policy. This will help to achieve effective programs
that recognize the variations in water resource needs
throughout the state. The DWMPs are an essential step in
the development of the Florida Water Plan.
The Florida Water Plan (FWP) is an integrated,
coordinated plan prepared jointly by the DEP and the
districts to accomplish their water management
responsibilities. The FWP provides regional and statewide
S priorities, strategies and schedules and is guided by two
basic principles:


Water resources must be managed as a
component of natural systems in order to maintain
natural communities, as well as to serve human
needs, and
Effective management of water resources requires
collaboration and cooperation among all affected
parties.
The FWP will include State Water Policy and all other
water-related activities of the DEP and the districts. When
taken together, the FWP, DWMPs and State Water Policy
will serve a variety of public purposes:
Long-range guidance for water management
district decision-making through development of
goals, policies and action strategies/schedules;
An integrated approach to land and water
planning;
A vehicle for state, regional and local coordination
of water management activities;
A collection of water resource information for
better water management;
Identification of areas where present/future water
resource problems or issues exist; and
Opportunities for the public and other
governmental organizations to participate in water
management planning.
Development of the Florida Water Plan and regional
water management plans by each of the districts is an
effort to focus on the water management needs of
today's Florida and tomorrow's. Together they
represent a unified strategy to protect essential water
resources and the natural systems they support
throughout the state. 9/94




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs