Title: Approved Florida Association of Counties Water Policy
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004888/00001
 Material Information
Title: Approved Florida Association of Counties Water Policy
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Florida Association of Counties Water Policy (JDV Box 39)
General Note: Box 29, Folder 6 ( Water Supply Coalition - 1996 ), Item 10
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00004888
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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Full Text
12/06/1995 14:47 352-746-9829


1196 S. Lecanto Highway Iecanto, Florida 34461 (904) 746-9028 Fax (904) 746-9029
Citrus County
Builders Association


Date: December 6, 1995

To: Richard Gentry

From: Judy Ramsey. E. O


SUBJECT: FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES WATER POLICY


Here Is a copy of the Water Policy that was approved unanimously by the General
Membership of The Florida Association of Counties at their meeting last week.

Mr. Gary Bartell, Citrus County Commissioner chaired the Select Committee and he
told me that he would be more than happy to talk to anyone regarding the policy.
Gary feels that It would be helpful for the Builders Associations that are in favor of the
poliy. to contact the legislators and let them know that they support the Florida
Association of Counties Water Policy.


What's your opinion?


CCBA


PAGE 01




12/86/1995 14:47 352-746-9829 CCBA PAGE 82

This Water Policy was APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY by the General Membership of
the Florida Association of Counties at their meeting during the week of
November 27th thru December 3, 1995.


SELECT COMMITTEE REPORTS


SELECT COMMITTEE ON WATER POLICY
Co-Chair Gary Bartell, Citrus County
Co-Chair Steve Seibert, Pinellas County


WATER POLICY

1. SUPPORT the Legislature creating standing committees on water resources in both
the House and Senate to provide legislative oversight and guide the water
management districts in their budgetary and operational priorities.

2. SUPPORT a "local sources first" policy implemented by the water management
districts that is based on the economic, environmental and technical feasibility as
determined by the affected local governments.

3. SUPPORT inter-basin or inter-district transfers of water between consenting affected
local governments when implemented in accordance with water management policies.

4. SUPPORT state funding for the Surface Water and Improvement Management (SWIM)
program.

5. SUPPORT the formation of an independent scientific peer review for the evaluation of
scientific protocols relating to water management concepts.





FAC SELECT COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN, EDUCATION & CRIME PREVENTION
Co-Chair Charles Chestnut, Alachua County
Co-Chair Karen Marcus, Palm Beach County


EDUCATION

1. The Florida Association of Counties ENDORSES the funding of education as a priority
for the State of Florida.








Environmental Quality


Priority

The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that makes cities and counties, which
are responsible for providing water to Florida's citizens, full partners in the development
and implementation of any policy for water resource management, including substantial
representation on water management district and water supply authority governing boards.


Water Quality Management and Planning

500 Proper management of the state's water supply and quality is an extremely
important issue to Florida's municipalities. Since the state's water resources
are interconumced and mutually owned, all stakeholders should share
responsibility for their proper management. The League supports responsible
land and water use, conservation and planning based upon appropriate data
and analysis, and supports the development of alternative water supplies.

The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that:

500.1 Reserves and allocates water supplies, consistent with local comprehensive
plans, for existing and future populations when these supplies have been
properly reviewed, inventoried, and planned.

500.2 Encourages water conservation and provides for sound water quality standards
for the various water users, based on empirical data.

500.3 Provides that the transfer of water should be contemplated only when all
other environmentally sound, financially and technically feasible options have
been exhausted including water conservation, water reuse, and intra-district
alternative water supplies. No such transfer should occur without the
concurrence of the impacted municipalities.

500.4 Requires that full cost analysis should be used for determining the feasibility
of alternative water supplies.

500.5 Provides that when transferring water from one jurisdiction to another, fees
shall be based on full cost recovery. An optional surcharge may be levied to
further develop alternative water supplies, in addition to any existing
surcharges currently authorized by statute.

500.6 Encourages intra-county coordination of water resource management, and
recognizes each municipality's water needs and priorities.








500.7 Provides that appropriate, environmentally sound alternatives should be made
available for the disposal of by-products from reverse osmosis and
desalination.

500.8 Requires the duration of consumptive use permits issued by the water
management districts to coincide with local land use planning timeframes.


Growth Management

501 Local comprehensive planning should be the cornerstone of land use and
water planning, including the orderly expansion of urban development through
annexation. No other management tool can effectively integrate and balance
a vast array of community interests, providing a "constitution" for best serving
the needs of a municipality, while providing for the collective needs of the
state. Requirements for local comprehensive planning imposed by the state
upon municipalities should be minimal and fully recognize municipal home
rule authority.



The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that:

501.1 Removes unwarranted limitations on a municipality's ability to amend its land
use plan by increasing opportunities to use the small-scale amendment
process.

501.2 Requires the orderly expansion of urban development; provides incentives for
redevelopment; and discourages urban sprawl.

501.3 Provides reasonable procedures to allow cities to eliminate all enclaves and
to expeditiously annex highly developed areas, or areas soon to be developed,
that are adjacent to their boundaries.

501.4 Authorizes cities to optionally waive "in-city elections" for annexation by
referendum.

501.5 Ensures that municipalities are authorized to tie annexation to the provision
of municipal utility services.

501.6 Requires counties to observe municipal land use plans when granting
development approvals for property located within unincorporated enclaves
in the city.








501.7 Allows municipalities to share planning authority in areas that may reasonably
be expected to annex into the municipality in the foreseeable future.

501.8 Permits municipalities to amend their comprehensive plans and rezone
property simultaneously with the voluntary annexation of property.

501.9 Reduces state mandated local comprehensive planning requirements for
intergovernmental coordination.





Environmental and Growth Management Regulation and Funding

502 Protection of our environment is a major concern of all citizens of the state.
The various environmental permitting processes of the state are important to
the preservation of our natural resources. However, recent and projected
funding cutbacks at the state and federal levels necessitate that the state
permitting process be streamlined, reasonable and financially feasible.

The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that:

502.1 Allows for continued discharge from a permitted facility that is operating in
accordance with permit conditions, absent a clear demonstration by the
regulating entity that said facility is causing or contributing to degradation of
water quality.

502.2 Allows the delegation of state and regional permitting programs to certified
or designated municipalities upon their request.

502.3 Ensures that municipalities retain the right to adopt and enforce more
stringent environmental standards.

502.4 Ensures that state, regional and county environmental permitting, surveillance,
regulation, and operating fees do not exceed direct cost recovery levels, and
do not impose hardship.

502.5 Provides a continual source of adequate state funding and technical assistance
to support local environmental and growth management programs regulated
by the state, particularly for smaller cities, including solid waste recycling,
wastewater treatment and reuse, and hazardous waste management.










Solid Waste Disposal and Collection


503 One of the major environmental concerns facing our state is the proper
collection and disposal of solid waste. The collection and disposal of solid
waste has become a local government problem approaching crisis proportions.
Land filling cannot continue to be the primary method of solid waste disposal
because of the state's highly permeable soil and water tables. Developing
and implementing alternatives to the use of landfills are costly. Feasible solid
waste recovery, recycling, reuse, and disposal systems should be encouraged
and supported by state incentives.

The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that:

503.1 Provides substantial state incentives for local recycling and resource recovery
programs, and the implementation of other feasible alternatives to the
continued use of landfills.

503.2 Encourages environmentally responsible packaging of consumer products as
a means of achieving solid waste reduction and improved local recycling
programs, including waste-to-energy facilities.

503.3 Requires the Department of Environmental Protection to issue permits for
solid waste management facilities based on the best management practices
and to allow for continued use of the facility, absent a clear demonstration by
the state that the facility is causing environmental harm.

503.4 Places a refundable deposit on beverage containers without exemptions.

503.5 Allows the expansion or upgrade of existing waste-to-energy facilities.


Stormwater

504 Untreated stormwater runoff, which contributes to surface water and/or
groundwater pollution, is caused by both urban and agricultural uses.
Solutions to stormwater runoff should not place a disproportionate or undue
burden on urban areas.

The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that:

504.1 Provides for area-wide coordination of stormwater management, which
requires the agricultural industry to share the proportionate costs to mitigate








pollution when the agricultural runoff is a contributing source.


504.2 Designates the Florida Department of Transportation as the sole agency
responsible for mitigating new and retro-fitting existing effects of stormwater
run-off from the state's highway system.


Coastal Zone Management

505 Florida's coastal resources are considered to be among its greatest assets.
Under proper stewardship, these resources should be protected and enhanced
so that they may continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.

The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that:

505.1 Provides for a reasonable and regular increase in publicly owned coastal land,
with continued support for Preservation 2000, Florida Communities Trust,
Save Our Coast, CARL, and other state and federal funding programs.

505.2 Provides for a statewide dedicated funding source and a statewide planning
program for projects designed to enhance beach areas, such as beach re-
nourishment and vegetation projects, erosion control, inlet management, dune
enhancement and relocation of seaside development, and marine habitat
restoration.

5053 Requires the state to receive and review comments from local government
officials prior to final decisions regarding permits or leases pertaining to
municipal dumping and discharge.

505.4 Constrains the sale, lease or change of land use of publicly owned land
without involvement in the decision by impacted municipalities.

505.5 Authorizes redevelopment in coastal high-hazard areas, provided it is
consistent with a municipality's approved local comprehensive plan.


Wastewater Treatment and Reuse

506 Once municipal water has been used, it is in most instances properly treated
and recycled back into the environment. The improper siting, installation, and
maintenance of package plants and septic tanks often does not accomplish the /
level of treatment needed to protect the ecosystenmxof the state, and acts only -
to exacerbate non-point source pollution problems. Wellfield contamination
may occur, creating a serious threat to the health and safety of Florida's








citizens.


The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that:

506.1 Prohibits the use of septic tanks in high-density urban areas and allows their
limited use in rural areas only when soil conditions, topography and water
tables are suitable.

506.2 Severely limits the installation of new small package sewer treatment plants
and increases state regulation of existing package plants, including strong
measures to prevent improper operations, neglect and/or abandonment.

506.3 Allows any notice of violation caused by a short-term malfunction of a
municipal reuse system without a permit for wastewater disposal to not be
punitive and to not carry any financial penalties.


Wetlands

507 The state's wetlands are essential to the state's natural ecosystem. These
wetlands provide water filtration and storage, and serve as a natural habitat
to fish and wildlife. Development in wetland areas should be prevented.

The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that:

507.1 Ensures that municipalities retain the right to adopt and enforce more
stringent wetlands regulations within their municipal boundaries.

507.2 Facilitates and encourages the use of stormwater and/or treated wastewater,
when appropriate, for swamp and wetland restoration, and re-hydration
projects.


Hazardous and Toxic Waste

508 The proper identification, storage, disposal, treatment and transportation of
hazardous waste, infectious materials, and other toxic materials are essential
for the protection of the public health, safety and welfare. Furthermore, the
proliferation of small, scattered disposal sites only exacerbates potential
problems associated with hazardous and toxic waste management. A solution
to the problems of hazardous and toxic waste will require the cooperation of
federal, state, and waste generating and transporting industries.









The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that:


508.1 Defines chemical, biological, nuclear, toxic and infectious wastes, and
establishes procedures that track the generation, transport and disposal of
such waste.

508.2 Allows imposition of civil penalties that meet or exceed the cost of legal
disposal against illegal dumpers of hazardous and toxic materials.

508.3 Encourages a reduction in the production of hazardous waste and promotes
neutralizing potentially hazardous waste on-site.




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WATER SUPPLY u i,,
THE ISSUE OF THE FUTURE

The prime directive: The Florida Legislature should create a state regulatory and water
supply program designed to assure there is more than an adequate supply of water for all users.
The fact that Florida receives an annual rainfall of 50 to 55 inches should make achievement of
the prime directive feasible if we wisely use all of the state's surface and groundwater resources.

Legislative strategies to accomplish the prime directive should include:

1. Establish policy by statute which assigns water management district governing
boards responsibility for water supply planning and water supply availability as
their primary mission. Water Management Districts should be responsible and
accountable for ensuring that adequate water supplies are available to all users.
Continue governing board authority over flood control, works of the district
permitting, and consumptive use permitting.

2. Institute a program of systematic legislative oversight of the Water Management
Districts including their budgets, to ensure orderly progress toward meeting their
water supply responsibilities for the needs of Florida citizens, business and the
environment.

3. The proposed "Florida Water Plan' and any state water policy should not be
adopted or implemented until the Legislature has acted on the report and
recommendations of the Water Management District Review Commission and any
legislative proposals of the appropriate House and Senate committees.

4. The Legislature should ensure appropriate funding mechanisms are available to
the Water Management Districts and to other water supply entities to carry out
their water supply responsibilities.

5. Relieve Water Management District governing boards of the responsibility for
issuing Environmental Resource Permits by authorizing water management district
Executive Directors to issue all permits under delegated authority of DEP except
consumptive use permits under Part II of 373 and Works of the District permits
under Part TV. Maintain the current activity based permitting split between DEP
and Water Management Districts or reduce Water Management District regulatory
responsibilities over time.

6. Transfer rule adoption responsibilities, except those under Part II of 373
(consumptive use) and Works of the District under Part IV, from water
management district governing boards to the DEP or to a reconstituted and more
balanced Environmental Regulation Commission. Transfer corresponding permit
appeal responsibilities to the Secretary of DEP.









7. Restructure water management district governing boards to provide balanced
representation from various water user groups including industry, agriculture,
private and public water suppliers, representatives of environmental interests,
electric utilities, and representatives of the consuming public.

8. The Water Management Districts should develop a legislatively approved package
of economic and regulatory incentives designed to reduce reliance on roundwat
as the principal water source. These incentives should include efforts to promote
conservation, water reuse, desalination, aquifer storage and recovery and
increased utilization of surface waters, particularly flood waters.

9. The Legislature should continue to modernize and streamline the regulatory
process including considering the possibility of consolidating Environmental
Resource Permitting within DEP and removing all regulatory authority from
Water Management Districts exce Part II (consumptive use) and Part IV (works
of district) permits.

10. Establish a legal mechanism for a water management district to process and issue
the consumptive use permit for a water supply development project of the district
pursuant to district rules with final issuance of permit subject to approval by the
Secretary of DEP.

11. Ensure that the management plan for state lands (other than submerged lands),
state parks, state forests make these lands available for a variety of multiple uses
including recreation, timbering, boating and water supply.


6431.2




''


F. Conclusion and Recommendations for Water Supply Policy
Development

In performing the research and analysis for the project work and the drafting of this
report, staff was acutely aware of how heavily this ground has already been tread.
The volume of study has been so great that a detached observer might legltimatly
conclude that it is presumptuous of anyone to think that he could add something
substantive to this debate.

To illustrate the Inconclusiveneas of policymaking efforts, staff reviewed the reports
of studies and commissions that have addressed water supply policy in recent
years. There have been more major studies that have dealt with water supply
issues than there have been years since the enactment of the Water Resources Act
of 1972. A table setting forth the most frequently repeated water supply policy
recommendations from those studies follows this page. In addition, a detailed
summary of past water supply policy recommendations is attached as Appendix B.

A review of these policymaking efforts begs the question: Why are these issues
revisited year ar fteryar? Are we doomed, like Sisyphus, to push the rock of water
policy up the hill, time after time, for all eternity? The answer, the reason water
supply problems are chronic, recurring and unresolved, is because there is a big
difference between telling people to do a difficult task, on the one hand, and making
it happen, on the other. Studies and commissions have repeated over and over the
need to:

o Develop and implement functional water supply plans;

o Compile the hydrologic data necessary to determine the quantities of
water that natural resources can sustainably yield; and

o Integrate land and water use planning.

But we will never be able to evaluate the efficacy of these recommendations, nor
will we be able to progress in developing water supply policy, if they are never
Implemented.

It is interesting to note that many of the recommendations are for the
implementation of policy that is already the law of the state. That is arguably the
most significant feature of Florida's water policy of the last two decades: that we do
not know if the comprehensive water management system contemplated by A
Model Water Code and enacted in the Water Resources Act of 1972 is the best
policy alternative because fundamental components of the system have not been
fully implemented.


O. 3 3








Water Su y Policy Recommendations Table
Recommendatons Number of Tms Eactedl Stats of
SProposed Not Enacted hplementation
1. Mandate inegration of water and land use 9 Not enacted
planning and regulation
2. Implement section 373.042, F.S., which mquires 6 Implemened lor
establishment of minimum flows and levels for some water bodies
groundwater and surface waters _______ but not for others
3. Increase funding for the Northwest Florida Water 9 Not enacted
Management District
4. nIplement section 373.0395, F.S., which requires 5 Implemenled for
water use budgets or rwentories to ensure adequate some water bodies
future water supplies but not for others
5. Enhance DEP control over the districts 5 Not enacted
6. Develop alternative water supplies 4 Enacted as Districts have
s. 107.201(8X1), made some
F.S., and in progress in
amendments to s. developing
373.1961, F.S. atenative water

7. Establish water use fees 2 i Not enacted
8. Establish a water consumptive use permnting 2 Enacted as Completed
system as. 373.216, F.S.
9. Mandate monitoring and enforcement of water use 3 Enacted as Monitoring and
permits a. 373.216, F.S. enforcement need
_______________________ ________ ________improvement __







10. Develop and implement a state comprehensive
olan to manau growth


Chapter 187, F.S.,
enacted


11. Establish a state water board to administer a 1 Not enacted
statewide water plan
12. Increase funding for water resource protection 3 Not enacted
13. Implement as. 373.036, and 373.039, F.S. 5 Incomplete; no
develop a comprehensive state water plan to guide functional plans
local or regional water planning efforts prepared
14. Implement section 373.0301, F.S.. which requires 3 -- Many local
that local governments rely on district iformaton to governments do
assure water avalabiliy prior to land use not review
commitment availbblty of water
suppes priorto
making tend use
___ decisions
15. Implement al sections of chapter 373, F.S., which 3 any diredives oc
requires that DEP, the district and other agencies chapter 373, F.S.,
follow direcves enacted in the Florida Water have not been fuly
Resources Act of 1972 (Chaer 373, F.S.)




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For aU of the hard work and analysis that has gone into the review of water Issues
since 1972, the Code still stands apart for its scholarship and comprehensive
treatment of water policy. A key concept of the Code is that water use decisions are
best made in a planning context. Of all of the differences between. Florida's water
management system and the system envisioned by the Code, the most striking is
the absence in our system of planning as a basis for water allocation. The
incorporation of functional planning as part of Florida's water supply policy Is the key
feature of the following recommendations, based upon the analysis reflected in this
report.


1. Establish planning areas by statute that correspond to areas where
demand for water Is such that It Is In the public Interest to allocate
water within the area pursuant to a plan.

Only those areas of the state that need to plan because of water supply
problems would be included in a planning area. A defining characteristic of
a planning area is that uses within that area must be supplied, through a
determination made in the plan for that area, from sources found or
developed within the geographic boundaries of the planning area. A defining
characteristic of a location outside of a planning area is that all uses in that
location can easily obtain water from an immediately available source and
there is no need to plan for the coordination of uses with sources. In the
determination of planning areas, boundaries should be drawn so that
localities and communities that have common social. cultural and economic
bonds are grouped together. Planning areas must be adopted by legislative
act


2. Amend statute to eliminate all planning requirements except for the
newly-created planning areas and to provide specific accountability for
implementation of state policy and oversight authority and
responelbllity.

Water planning in Florida should be greatly streamlined. The only plans
needed are functional plans for planning areas adopted by the Legislature.
We do not need plans to dictate how to write plans. The functional plans for
planning areas will be guided by policy. Existing DEP and water
management district plans function primarily as expressions of policy, not as
plans, Statutory provisions for a Florida Water Plan and a state water use
plan should be repealed. DEP should no longer write plans.




r4C. 2-74 wi



Existing statutory law can be legitimately criticized for ambiguity in its
placement of authority and responsibility for implementation of state law.
The roes and responsibilities in implementation should be clearly articulated
and arguably should not overlap, except that overall responsibility for
implementation should rest with the Department of Environmental Protection.
DEP should be accountable for Implementation and should be given
authority to effect implementation.

DEP's primary role with respect to water supply should be to insure that state
policy and the state comprehensive plan are implemented by the water
management districts and other appropriate agencies. DEP should file a
report annually with the Legislature regarding the status of implementation
of state policy by each of the water management districts. DEP costs
regarding oversight of the water management districts should be paid for by
the districts through a legislatively-determined formula.


3. Require the development of a supply plan, by the appropriate water
management district, for each planning area. The plans should make
allocation decisions in the plan and provide for water supply
development within the planning area. These water supply plans must
be adopted by the Legislature.

The state has not allocated water through a planning process up to this
point. Allocation of water has occurred through a regulatory process which
is incapable of considering uses and supplies in a comprehensive fashion.
Given present and future water demand in some areas, allocations must be
made pursuant to a comprehensive process if we are to provide the
maximum amount of water to the most effective uses at the cheapest cost.

In some areas of the state, population and water demand pressures are too
great, water resources ar too limited, and the options for matching uses with
sources are too complex to try to allocate water efficiently through a
regulatory program. Other areas of the state do not fit this description,
however. For them, allocation of water should continue under existing
regulatory programs pursuant to statutory provisions in part II, chapter 373.

For each planning area adopted by the Legislature, a functional plan that
determines water uses and water supplies for a reasonable planning period
should be developed. In planning areas, the regulatory program continues
to function, but only as a procedural process to iron out details of the permit
or permit conditions and to officially obtain the license for allocations
determined under the plan. The regulatory program does not result in




I-CPc>-C- 3EEN z-r: ~ >Th-4 Pa -.


decisions or agency actions that are inconsistent with determinations in the
plan. The primary decisions are all made in the plan: allocation, quantities,
frequency of withdrawals, sources (including altemative sources), and the
time frame for which the allocation is provided. These decisions for each use
are made as part of the plan so that they can be analyzed and evaluated in
the context of all of the other uses in the area, with the ultimate purpose
being to make comprehensive allocation decisions.

The composite of allocations in each plan i unique to that planning area and
to the plan developed for It The length of the plan also is tailored specifically
to the needs of the planning area. Allocation decisions are made using the
existing three-part test criteria, but should:

o Attempt to make the best match of uses with sources within
the planning area;

o Evaluate the cost and feasibility of developing alternative water
supplies;

o Evaluate infrastructure costs;

o Take into consideration the impact of costs on different users
and differences In cost to different users; and-

o Prioritize uses where supplies are limited and a determination
is made that it is not cost effective to supply water to all uses.

Water supplies throughout the planning area should be available for uses
within the planning area, but the matching of uses and sources should be
accomplished in such a way as to minimize transport and Infrastructure
costs.

The responsibility for developing plans for each planning area created by the
Legislature rests with the water management district where each area is
located. The water management district first determines the minimum flows
and levels for water sources within the planning area pursuant to section
373.042, F.S., before the development of a plan. These figures become part
of the plan and are used to determine available supplies from natural
sources and the need for developing alternative supply sources. The water
management district holds a series of hearings in each planning area at
which affected parties, including representatives of all local governments
within the planning area, DEP, the Department of Community Affairs;
appropriate Regional Planning Councils and water supply authorities and


V.

*:, :.


'C. 337`4 W








other interested governmental entities, assist the district In developing the
plans. Each plan determines its length of applicability, but longer plans are
encouraged. DEP reviews all plans for compliance with statute and presents
a report to the Legislature for each plan. All plans are adopted by the
Legislature.


4. Strengthen statutory language regarding the fundamental principle of
Florida's water law:

o Water is a public resource; and

o Minimum flows and levels must be eetabiished so that
water resources are sustained for future human use.

The principle that water is a pubic resource reflects a recognition of the importance
of water as a fact of nature and a required condition for human and all other life,
Water is so important that it must be managed for the benefit of all. The principle
that water is a public resource ensures that the society as a whole, through its
public governmental entities, will manage water resources. In contrast.
management of water resources through private transaction eventually would result
in management by those best able to pay for water. Almost without exception,
water users and managers in jurisdictions whose laws are based on a prior
appropriation doctrine (which provides for private ownership of water rights) envy
the flexibility of Florida's system, which provides the best opportunity to devote
water to its highest and best uses.

The flexibility of Florida's system allows water allocation rules to change as the
value of the functions and uses of water changes. Because water in Florida is a
public resource, we have a mechanism to reallocate water to keep pace with the
needs of society without having to obtain or convert a property right On the other
hand, the prior appropriation doctrine, which bestowed private ownership on
whoever could capture or appropriate water, absolutely disregards water as water
and treats it only in a single dimension as a means of economic development.

Under such a system, based on proprietorships in water, competing claims are
resolved through an indicia of ownership: first in time, first in right. Senior
appropriators fully satisfy their rights before junior rights take any water, regardless
of use. This is in contrast to Florida's system, under which water is allocated based
upon the public interest and a determination of reasonable beneficial use, which can
change over time as the needs of society change over time. We have a flexible
system because our indicia for allocation are directly linked to the needs of society,
not to the desires of a private owner.




1- L-.; '55 0,g:..4 -CPP;43 ,E--. 5v:-' -r;-- v -.07= 6=72




The effect of a prior appropriation doctrine is to privatize water: to turn a natural
resource into a commodity, Considering the overwhelming significance of water,
not just to economic activity, but to the health and quality of the environment and
to life itself, that is an enormous power and responsibility to take away from the
society as a whole and place in private hands. The western United States, which
inherits the prior appropriation doctrine as the fundamental principle of water law,
struggles today with thousands upon thousands of decisions made to allocate its
water resources based on what is now seen to be a very narrow view of the values
and uses of water. Those decisions cannot be modified as a matter of policy,
because of the indida of private ownership inherent in the prior appropriation
doctrine.


The protection and continued maintenance of the integrity of water resources,
hydrologic systems, and the ecologies associated with them are fundamental
principles and goals of our water policy. There is obvious and great value in
protecting these resources and systems for their own sake, but the primary purpose
for such a policy is to satisfy present and future human demand for water. We must
maintain healthy water resources because it is from them that our water supplies
come. The amount of water that we have available to meet human demands Is
directly related to the health of our resources. If we significantly harm them, we will
have less water available to put to our uses. This is why it is Incorrect to think of the
environment as competing with human uses for water. The environment cannot
compete for something that is an Intrinsic part of itself. The environment and natural
systems and the water resources that are part of them are the tableau upon which
we act and interact They must be sustained before water is put to any other use,
not for their own sake, but so that they will be able to continually provide water for
human survival and prosperity.

The establishment of minimum flows and levels is a scientific determination based
solely on the criteria of the sustainability and viability of the resource. It is a Ofloor"
number that is a limit based on science. The concept means that If flows and levels
are reduced below that number, we do not sustain the resource; so, as a mater of
policy, we determine that withdrawals will be limited to the extent necessary to
ensure that flows and levels do not fall below that number. The number is a limit.
If it is accepted as such, it can be a tremendous tool in managing the use of water.
It can provide certainty to both users and managers in water supply planning. In
fact, arguably you cannot plan at all unless you have a limit upon which you build
a framework of supply and allocation options.


Water planning must be functional and integrated with land use planning.
Regulatory programs must be specifically tailored to implement the functional plans.




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Otherwise the plans have little purpose. We cannot provide for the most efficient
and productive management of our water resources, if all of our decisions regarding
them are made through the fairly rigid parameters of permitting programs.
Regulatory programs cannot express the comprehensive system or goals of our
society; rather, they are among the tools we can use to create that system and
reach those goals.




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