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Facsimile Cover Sheet
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# of Pages
Florida Chamber's Environmental Service
P.O. Box 1857
Tallahassee, Florida 32302
Tel: (904) 425-2477
Fax: (904) 681-8796
Please call if you have any problems receiving any of this message.
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JAN-20-1997 15 56
TO: Water Policy Task Force
FROM: Dale Twachtmann
SUBJECT: Redraft of Policy Statement
DATE; January 20, 1997
Attached please find final draft water policy as submitted to the Chamber's Legislative Council for
If you have questions or need further information, please contact Chuck Littlejohn at (904) 222-
Thank you for your fine work on the Chamber's Water Policy Task Force.
cc: Blake Wilson
Fiord'a .cr.omber of Cc,-nmeree, Inc.
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SUBJECT: State Water Policy
Florida, which receives over 50 inches of rain per year, has an ample supply of water to meet the
projected needs of citizens, industry, agriculture, and natural systems. Water shortages are often
the result of less than effective water management as opposed to a change in natural conditions.
Water resource and water supply development are of critical importance to business and industry.
It is imperative to Florida's future that the responsibility for water resource development be
clearly delineated and assigned to water management districts. Availability of water for all uses
should be emphasized. It should be clarified that the districts have an affirmative obligation to
seek, find, and augment sources for the continued use of water for all of Florida's water needs.
The water resource development process should be streamlined and made proactive. Unnecessary
planning and regulatory obstacles should be removed. The Chamber's position statement on
Florida water policy supports the accomplishment of these objectives.
WATER PROTECTION AND USE: The Florida Chamber of Commerce supports the following
positions regarding the use and protection of Florida water resources:
1. Legislative direction that water resources development is a primary mission oi water
management districts. Districts should use ad valorem tax revenues for water resource
development and for financial assistance to local government, private utilities, and water
supply authorities to facilitate water supply development. As used herein, the term "water
resources development" means the formulation and implementation of regional water
resource management strategies using aquifers and watershed basins as the implementation
units and including the collection and evaluation of surface water and groundwater data;
development of regional water resource implementation programs; and construction,
operation and maintenance of major public works facilities to provide for flood control,
surface and underground water storage, and groundwater recharge augmentation. The
term "water supply development" means the planning, design, construction, operation and
maintenance of public and private facilities for the extraction or reuse of water for
treatment, transmission and/or distribution for sale, resale, or end use.
2. Legislative enactment of a state water policy which seeks to provide adequate water
resources for all uses and which provides for balanced consideration of human needs
and those of natural systems. The Chamber opposes the adoption of water policy by
executive agency rule unless ratified by the Legislature.
3. Legislative oversight of water management districts is imperative, particularly with
regard to district budgets and to emphasize water resource development
responsibilities. Appropriations subcommittees should be established within the House
and Senate to annually review Water Management District budgets. The Legislature
should establish measurable water resource development performance standards to be
achieved by districts and monitor district performance against those standards.
4. Legislative policy direction is needed to determine who pays for water resources
development and how the cost should be allocated. The Chamber supports legislative
enactment of the principle of "beneficiaries should pay" as applied to water resources and
water supply development. The costs of providing for water needs of the natural systems,
which is to the benefit of all the citizens of Florida, should be borne by the general
5. Legislative direction that existing facilities and land uses must be taken into account
by water management districts in the establishment and application of minimum
flows and levels. Violation of a minimum flow or level should trigger the development of
additional water resources to recover the shortfall in addition to necessary interim
restrictions on water use.
6. Legislative direction that water use permits should be issued for more extended
durations consistent with Florida's economic development objectives.
7. Legislative policy direction that the rate structure and regulations of the Public
Service Commission be adjusted to facilitate the long-term planning and capital
investment required to meet Florida's water supply development needs. The
Chamber specifically supports a longer PSC margin reserve period which is consistent
with DEP and WMD requirements; a "used and useful" methodology which parallels
environmental and engineering requirements; an automatic environmental cost pass-
through process for required projects; 100% used and useful treatment for all components
of reuse facilities; and specific authority for the PSC to set conservation rates.
8. Legislative direction that publicly owned lands be made available for water
resources and water supply development where compatible with other public
objectives for use of the property.
9. Creation of regulatory and financial incentives for enhancing water storage and
aquifer recharge augmentation on private lands.
10. A statutory requirement that gubernatorial appointments to water management
district governing boards be staggered such that the terms of no more than three
members of a governing board expire in any one year.