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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.
DEC-05-19S6 11:53 P. 2/09
TO: Florida Chamber Water Policy Task Force
FROM: Chuck Littlejohn
SUBJECT: Water Policy/Legislative Priorities
DATE: December 5, 1996
The Florida Chamber's Water Policy Task Force held a meeting via conference call on November
25, 1996, at which time the following issues were identified for further consideration by the Task
(1) Ground and surface water storage enhancement including augmentation of aquifer
recharge; assignment of responsibility to water management districts (language from Dale
(2) Further legislative oversight over water management districts; specifically to include
(3) Legislative policy direction on who pays for water resource development and how the
costs should be spread.
(4) Minimum flows and levels; statutory clarification of establishment and implementation;
application of peer review. (Language from Bill Hyde attached).
(5) Statutory clarification of the relationship between land and water planning.
(6) Use of public lands for water resource development where compatible with other
objectives for use of the land.
(7) Statutory authorization for the use of mitigation to balance against the adverse effects
of water resource development.
(8) Legislative direction that water resources development is a primary mission of water
management districts; provide sufficient flexibility to allow for water supply development
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DEC-05-1996 11:54 P.03/09
by other public and private entities.
(9) Mitigation credit or other appropriate incentives for on-site retention and other
methods of increasing water storage.
(10) Need for extended duration permits consistent with amortization schedules and other
accepted business development strategies.
Also attached is a copy of existing Chamber water policy "marked up" to reflect some of the
comments of Task Force members.
The next meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for December 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
in the Florida Chamber Conference Room, 136 S. Bronough Street, Tallahassee.
Please call if you have questions or need further information.
cc: Lee Hinkle
Summary Concept: The Need For Augmented Aquifer Recharge
Florida must now plan a program of proactive care for its most renewable water
sources -- the few major aquifers that we depend on daily. We have seen years of
heavy use of the groundwater resource by tens of thousands of wells drilled into the
aquifers take the high quality water that has been put there through the natural
means of sinkholes and percolation through the sands and other permeable soils that
overlay the limestone. We also know that recharge to most of Florida's aquifers takes
place within the state's boundaries.
There is no question tnal as Florida has developed -- with extensive drainage and vast
acres of impermeable surfaces and rooftops the natural recharge has diminished.
Clearly, with use of groundwater increasing and recharge decreasing, the lines on the
graph are converging. Attention must now be paid to getting more of the newly
delivered rainfall back into the aquifer wherever possible. Certainly, if there ever was
a resource that needed help with Its sustainability groundwater in the aquifers is it.
The analogy with banking money can effectively be used -- If deposits are not made
the withdrawals can not continue endlessly. Yet, there have been no major research
and development projects devoted to assisting nature to deposit more of our extra
rainfall into the limestone vaults.
As we face Florida's future competition for water the issue of storage must be faced.
The most efficient place (since surface storage is subject to such high evaporation
rates) is the aquifer. Some work on Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) has been
done in Florida in the past ten years and its future looks promising, but effort now
needs to be on broad scale recharge for large acreage using passive but efficient
means. ASR's approach is to put excess water usually treated to drinking water
standards down a specially designed well and then later retrieve that same water by
withdrawing it from that same well at a later time.
The broad scale method would be to research and develop innovative means to
speed recent rainfall through the sands and clays to the aquifer through perhaps
hundreds of "artificial recharge" wells or other means yet undiscovered. Such broad
recharge would begin the long range deposits that would allow all the wells that exist
today to be safely productive and could extend the life of those wells -- and the user's
permits -- without the stress and bureaucratic hassles that are so prevalent today. The
large acreage of land already in public ownership and other lands known to have
good connections to the aquifer can be useful laboratories for this work of assisting the
already occurring natural recharge wherever possible with the most effective and non-
obtrusive artificial recharge methods we can invent.
This work Is an appropriate role for Florida's five Water Management Districts (WMD).
All are repositories of extensive hydrogeologic knowledge and capable engineers and
scientists who would respond to the challenge of administering or actually doing such
work. Although the WMD's have not built many water management works recently
they have full authority in Chapter 373, Florida Statutes to do so. Recharge works are
the new frontier of practical groundwater sustainabllity, fit well with the WMD's
responsibilities and knowledge and will bring a proactive and positive activity to
balance the regulatory role they have been emphasizing in recent years.
Definition of Terms -Florida
Water Resource Development:
The implementation of integrated water resources management using aquifers and
watershed basins as the planning units and including the.following: surface water and
groundwater data collection and evaluation; the preparation of strategic plans;
construction, maintenance and operation of major public works facilities to provide for
flood control, surface and underground storage, groundwater recharge augmentation
and sustainability of all reasonable and beneficial water uses to support private and
public water users and water suppliers.
Water Supply Development:
The planning, construction, maintenance and operation of public and private facilities
for extraction of water from watersheds and aquifers for local treatment, transmission
and distribution for resale or end use.
Dale Twachtmann, November 20, 1996
DEC-05-1996 11:55 P.06/09
MINIMUM FLOWS AND IEVLS.
Section 373.042, Florida Statutes, which currently requires the Department of Environmental
Protection or the Watcr Management Districts to establish minimum flows and levels ("MFLs")
for all surface watercourses and aquifers, lacks meaningful criteria, is potentially subject to abuse
by the agencies, and otherwise delegates too much unrestrained authority to these agencies.
Section 373.042 should be amended: (1) to require scientific peer review of the proposed MFLs
for a given watercourse or aquifer; (2) to require the agencies to consider additional criteria when
establishing MFLs, including but not limited to, protecting exiling users and recognizing
existing conditions which cannot reasonably or economically be altered; and (3) to insure that
MFLs arc fairly and equitably implemented.
904 222 1002
LEGISLATIVE REVIEW OF WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT BUDGETS
Section 373.536, Florida Statutes, should be amended to require direct legislative review and
approval of the water management districts' budgets, as is the case for all other state agency
budget. This will promote meaningful implementation of legislative policies and directives by
the water management districts.
904 222 1802
SUBJECT: State Water Policy
Water supply and use in Florida are of critical importance to business and industry. The state
receives over 50 inches of rain per year yet we hear repeatedly that there are water
shortages in the state. The real issue to be addressed by state policy is the wise use of both
surface and groundwater in the state. The legislature has a key role in this effort and has had
special task forces and committees examining the issue for several years. There sevearl
important points that should be addressed in order for the state to move forward with a
business-friendly water policy, including) refocusing the water management districts into
regional water supply responsibility with an obligation to assure adequate water supplies for
ail users at reseacnable costsl.rmre r" TjiL'y"" f' ,- -i,- itr. .nn,
.r ... iJ- --;ioi i i"
&aid fi n..-,w ;,-,_, 4! dlLtriC-
a.c .I .I.u. I. r l y -- ci:on. IThe Chamber's positions on watlr issues
support accomplishing this aim.
WATER PROTECTION AND USE: The Florida Chamber of Commerce supports the following
positions regarding the use and protection of Florida water resources:
1. Legislative enactment of a state water policy which provides for a balance
between human needs and those of the natural environment and which applies
statewide to all levels of government. The Chamber opposes the adoption of
state water policy by executive agency rule unless ratified by the Florida
2. Florida has an ample supply of water to meet the projected needs of citizn-s,
industry, agriculture, and the natural environment. Water shortages are cflen the
result of lack of adequate water supply management as opposed to a change
in natural conditions. It is imperative to Florida's future that the responsibility for
Page 1 of 2
FLORIDA CHAMBER OF COM.IRRCE
water supply be clearly delineated and assigned jt r,,,,, lias ..i-,
Availatllity of water for all uses should be emphasized. It should be clarified that
the dis ricts have an affirmative obligation to seek, find, and augment sources
for the continued use of water for all of Florida's water reeds. TI', disti..i -
iliiil'~i~ s tl ll1n! d r ron eingi;n nf a- primary rnmi -inp,
3. Subco.imittees should be established within the House Appropriations and
Senate Ways and Means Commiltees to annually review Water Management
4. Thoc ,ps piu s uf uv ,,.d,,,,.l --pp.in;-tmcn;. ,
...... -_u m.dr.la,,,L, J l ILII Jull|uu ..ivr :
-(A-The terms oflppointmentzkhould be "staggered" such that the terms
of no more than three members of a governing board expire in one year.
()i To eGoor.C... r should ri.. to ppoirt g
oxtenv!e -pfiine in w"tcr ranaem
--ring b~,rd Cmembers ~ flth
5. An applicant should be entitled to a permit of up to 20 years duration unless to
do so would cause irreparable harm to water resources or the applicant requests
a permit of shorter duration. Districts should exercise authority to issue permits
for more than 20 years where necessary to provide for reasonable return on
capital investment and where based on source of supply or type of use.
The Chamber Board affirms its support of this policy as a Florida Chamber legislative priority.
Page 2 of 2
FLORIDA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
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- -- ----~--i--iPI-Y
984 681 1879 Mrl Jacob D. Va.-,
Water Policy i'sk Force
MONDAY* NOVEMBER 25, 1996 *
10:00 a.m. (EST)
To Access the Conference Call,
Simply Dial the Number Below; Wait for the
Then Enter the Access Code
If you have any questions or require adcdj l information, please contact
Jenny Tompkins, at 1-800-940-4879 (tol"'free) or 904-425-1292 (direct).
Florida Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
136 S. Bronough St. P.O. Box 11309 lallahasn-c, fL 32302-3?39 (904) 425-1200 FAX (904) ,25-1260
11/14/96 14:63:29 Via Fax