NOVEMBER 16, 1995
WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT ECOSYSTEM TEAM WATER SUPPLY DEVELOPMENT
DESCRIPTION: Clarify in the statutes that the water management
districts, using an ecosystem team approach with local governments
and other affected parties prepares "THE regional water supply
plan" for its district. Dispute resolution options shall be
The plan shall contain water supply options that local and regional
entities may chose from in developing their water supply plans.
Approval of consumptive use permits shall be tied to selection of
a water supply option or combination of water supply options from
"the regional water supply plan". Local government comprehensive
plans shall be consistent with "the regional water supply plan". No
local area shall be deprived of a reasonable and beneficial use of
water from its area in order to provide water for another area.
Local sources first, protection of natural systems and
sustainability will guide water supply planning at a regional
Planning in water resource caution areas of the state shall require
the development of sustainable water supply options only for future
growth that exceeds currently permitted water supplies or would
significantly harm resources. Corrective action shall be required
to restore water needs of natural systems where significant harm to
the resource has already occurred. (No mitigation for consumptive
use withdrawals that would harm natural systems would be allowed.
Exemptions would be allowed for existing permitted withdrawals that
are damaging an areas' natural resources.)
Establishment of minimum flows and minimum flows and levels shall
not be required for any water resource area of the state for which
all future withdrawals for future growth shall be supplied via a
sustainable water supply such as resuse, desalinization, water
conservation or a combination of the above, provided the water
resource area has not already been significantly harmed or degraded
in any manner by existing withdrawals. This exemption from minimum
flows and minimum flows and levels does not include ASR.
Amend Chapter 373.1961 Water Production to:
S1mt. SUSTAINABILITY: Include the concept of sustainability as a
WM13a. requirement for source identification in water use caution areas.
0 2. LOCAL SOURCES FIRST: Include the concept that local sources
shall be required first, unless they are not sustainable,
detrimental to natural systems or otherwise not practical.
2. ECOSYSTEM TEAM APPROACH: Add language about development of a
water supply planning process through ecosystem management model,
where all players are brought to the table in a voluntary consensus
building process under the leadership of the water management
3. TEAM MEMBERSHIP: Specify that the water supply planning
development team includes all local governments in the district,
affected private interests, environmental groups, and other
4. TEAM DEVELOPS WATER SUPPLY OPTIONS: Specify that the team
identifies on a basin or sub-basin basis all options for water
5. LOCAL GOVERNMENTS OR REGIONAL WATER SUPPLY AUTHORITY SELECTS AND
IMPLEMENTS OPTIONS: Specify that local governments or regional
water supply authorities are free to select among the options for
inclusion in their master water supply plans.
6. DISPUTE RESOLUTION: Specify how disputes among counties,
regional water supply authorities and the districts are to be
resolved, using a jointly selected process from among the following
specified options --the WMD governing board decides, the Governor
and Cabinet decides or one uses a professional mediator selected
jointly by all the members of the team. (I don't know what the
correct terms are for bringing the dispute before the WMD or the
Governor and Cabinet..appeal?????????????) Legislative budget
approval shall be required for any public entity to spend public
dollars suing another public entity. (Is this unconstitutional or
is there another way to do this???)
7. ONE REGIONAL WATER SUPPLY PLAN: Clarify that the proposed water
supply planning process described above under the water management
district leadership shall prepare "the regional water supply plan"
for the area and that as above selection and implementation of
specific options shall be at the discretion of the local government
and/or a regional water supply authority.
8. REGIONAL WATER SUPPLY PLAN TIED TO PERMITTING: Clarify that the
WMD is expressly prohibited from issuing a consumptive use permit
for any water withdrawal that is not part of "the regional water
9. PLAN REQUIREMENTS: Specify the level of detail required in the
plan. (This information needs to be provided by a WMD.)
Amend Chapter 186 to:
1. Make regional policy plans be consistent with "the regional
water supply plan."
Amend Chapter 163 to:
1. Require counties in their comprehensive plans to prepare a
master water supply plan that is based on and consistent with "the
regional water supply plan" of the water management district.
Pros and Cons
1. Expertise needed to determine water supply availability and the
technical complexities of certain alternative water options only
are needed in one governmental entity--the water management
district. Therefore there is a cost savings for different levels of
government in not having to duplicate expertise.
2. If expertise for water supply availability is in one entity,
this helps to prevent different levels of government from second
guessing one another and thus wasting public resources arguing and
challenging each other.
3. All affected parties come together in a voluntary consensus
building process to plan a sustainable water supply for existing
and future residents.
4. Water usage can be planned on a regional basis, which most
closely aligns with natural systems. Ground and surface waters
straddle political lines.
5. Decisions on which water supply options are best for a local
area or government are made by that entity, but only after regional
consensus based planning based on availability and sustainability
with their neighbors.
6. Up front decisions on water supply availability with the major
users, is better government than having major user groups compete
with one another in the permitting process.
7. Since water management districts are responsible for the
protection of the water resources of the area and not users, they
can be more neutral and protective of the water needs of natural
systems, while balancing the needs of other water users.
8. One way the water resources are protected is through the
consumptive use permitting process, for which the districts are
9. Local governments have many things to balance in terms of
providing services to its citizens. It appears to be an inherent
conflict or at best very difficult to expect them to be in the
water supply business and protect water resources and the
associated needs of natural systems. It's better government to have
an independent entity make this decision with local government as
a partner. ( I know that this argument is lacking..can you improve
10. This approach statutorily declares that water supply shall be
managed on a regional basis, thus eliminating the notion that some
parts of the state have water that others must beg for. However, no
county shall be deprived of any reasonable beneficial use of water
to supply another area of the state.
1. I don't know how to describe how you integrate economic
feasibility into this approach. For example, how do you avoid
giving one area of the state an economic advantage over another
area while still protecting the water resource? Of course some
areas already have an economic advantage over other areas, because
of natural attributes.
2. Can enough detail be provided in "the regional water supply
plan" so local governments can mix and match from the options menu?
3. Some local governments may see this as "a removal" of existing
authority. On the other hand, I believe most will see this as
4. Clarifying the role of existing regional water supply
authorities may be seen as threatening.
5. Some groups are not supportive of the water management districts
having this power. However, the argument is that this is existing
authority in 373.1960 and all we are adding is a process...for the
6. There probably will not be a consensus approach that will
satisfy all interests that will "fix" our water supply mess.
7. Some water management districts may be reluctant to take the
lead on this, but lack of leadership is what has gotten us in this
8. We don't have a way yet to stop the West Coast Regional Water
Supply Authority from suing the district. At the water management
conference, several local government representatives asked us to do
this. However, Tom's option, which I haven't seen, may provide an
opportunity to reconstitute the supply authorities.