Title: June 29 Meeting on the Draft Florida Water Plan Dated June 2, 1995
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Title: June 29 Meeting on the Draft Florida Water Plan Dated June 2, 1995
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Language: English
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Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - June 29 Meeting on the Draft Florida Water Plan Dated June 2, 1995 (JDV Box 39)
General Note: Box 29, Folder 8 ( Florida Water Plan - 1995 ), Item 2
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Volume ID: VID00001
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Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000


Virginia B. Wetherell
Secretary


RECEIVED


Florida Water Plan Team (list attached)

Pamela P. M ety, ti coordinator
Office of osyste M management

June 6, 1


JUN 1 2 1995
Carlton Fields Tallahassee
.1- n" \r1 rm


Subject: June 29 Meeting on the Draft Florida Water Plan



The next meeting of the Florida Water Plan Team has been scheduled for June 29, 1995, from
1:00 5:00 p.m. in Conference Room A of the Douglas Building, 3900 Commonwealth
Boulevard, Tallahassee, Florida. The meeting agenda is attached. We have made substantial
progress in reorganizing the plan to make it more understandable and have incorporated input
received since our last team meeting in January.

Also attached is a copy of the latest draft Florida Water Plan. We would appreciate your review
of the draft plan, and welcome any suggestions for improvement. If you are unable to attend the
meeting, your written comments prior to June 29 would be greatly appreciated. Following the
meeting, we anticipate further revisions to incorporate new input, and produce a final draft for
public workshops during July-August. Pursuant to Chapter 62-40, F.A.C., the Plan must be
completed by November 1, 1995.

We look forward to meeting with you on June 29.

PPM/lb
Enclosures

cc: Virginia Wetherell










"Protect, Conserve and Manage Florida's Environment aod Natural Resources"


Printed on recycled paper.


Lawton Chiles
Governor


To:

From:


Date:


Department of

Environmental Protection










Agenda


Florida Water Plan Team Meeting
Conference Room A, Douglas Building
3900 Commonwealth Blvd., Tallahassee, Florida
June 29, 1995






I. 9:00 12:00 Meeting of DEP and WMDs
a. General discussion of the draft FWP
b. Progress report on planning for the 1995 Water Management Conference
c. Status of DWMPs
d. Status of development of "Performance Effectiveness Indicators"
e. Other concerns

II. 1:00 5:00 Meeting of full Florida Water Plan Team
a. Overview of the FWP
b. Detailed discussion of the FWP









Recipients of Meeting Notice Government:


FDEP
Dan Thompson
Nevin Smith
Kirby Green
Richard Harvey
Pete Mallison
Ken Haddad
John Outland
Mary Williams
Ed Conklin
William Bostwick
Al Bishop

Governor's Office
Teresa Tinker


Pam McVety
Ken Plante
Terry Pride
Jerremy Craft
Mark Latch
Fred Calder
Chuck Aller
Emie Barnett
Jim Lewis
Richard Garrity
Anna Marie Hartman


Paul Carlson


Geoff Mansfield
Dale Patchett
David York
Tom Swihart
Lou Burney
Jim Stoutamire
Bryan Baker
Mark Glisson
Bobby Cooley
Peter Ware


Fran Mainella
Rodney DeHan
James Higman
Linda McCarthy
Al Culpepper
Chris Person
Don Jensen
Dave Worley
Ernest Frey
Carlos Rivero-deAguilar


Estus Whitfield


Legislative
Sally Bond Mann, WMD Review Commission
John Mitchell, House Select Committee on Water Policy


FSU
Jim Anderson


Linda Lampl


U. Of F.
Jon Mills, Center for Governmental Responsibility
Richard Hamann, Center for Governmental Responsibility


Department of Community Affairs
Charles Pattison Jim Quinn


Henry Bittaker


Department of Transportation
Bob Romig Patty Wagner

Department of Agriculture and Community Affairs
Rich Budell

Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
Brad Hartman


Regional Planning Councils
Tim Murphey (SFRPC)
Aaron Dowling (ECFRPC)


Charles Blume (ARPC)
Wayne Daltry (SWFRPC)









Recipients of Meeting Notice (continued)

Regional Water Supply Authorities
Douglas G. Currier II (WCRWSA)

Counties
John Wesley White (Sarasota County)
Mira Barer (Broward County DNRP)
David Lee (Broward County DNRP)
Kari Hebrank (Association of Counties)
Gene Boles (Hillsborough Co. Planning)
Irvin Ketty (Polk County Utilities)
Pickens Talley (Pinellas County Water)

Cities
Diane Salz (Fl. League of Cities)
Kevin Denny (City of Quincy)
William Brynes (City of Perry)
Marjorie Guillory (City of Tampa)


Bruce Kennedy (WCRWSA


Lisa Barr (Brevard County Nat. Res. Div.)
Fred Rapach (Palm Beach County Utilities)
Robert Obering (Sarasota County Utilities)
John Zimmerman (Manatee Co. Pub. Works)
Lawrence Jennings (Hernando Co. Planning)
Pam Marlowe (Sarasota County Utilities)



Jim Peters (City of Tallahassee)
Don Anderson (City of Monticello)
Anita Watts (City of Apopka)


US Army Corps of Engineers
Terry Rice, District Engineer, Jacksonville District
Robert Griffin, District Engineer, Mobile District
Roger Burke, PD-F, Mobile District

United States Geological Survey
John Vecchioli, District Chief, Water Resources Division

Private Parties
Manley Fuller, Florida Wildlife Federation
Charles Lee, Florida Audubon Society
Chuck Littlejohn, Florida Chamber of Commerce
Vicki Tschinkel, Chair, Task Force on Land Use and Water Planning
Wendy Nero, Florida Section of AWWA
Mary Lou Rajchel, Florida Phosphate Council
Gary Williams, Florida Rural Water Association
Ron Hix, Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group
Tom Dyer, Land Manager, Two Rivers Ranch
Jake Varn, Carlton Fields, Attorneys
Mark Benedict, 1000 Friends of Florida
Steve Fox, Dames and Moore, Inc.
Phil Gornicki, Florida Forestry Association
David Powell, Hopping, Boyd, Green & Sams
Parker Keen, CF Industries, Inc.
David Land, Agribusiness Group









Recipients of Meeting Notice (continued)

Shirley Little, Florida Defenders of the Environment
Julie Morris, Sierra Club
Ben Parks, Florida Farm Bureau Federation
Nancy Roen, Florida Power and Light Company
Roy Roger, Arvida/JMB Partners
Nancy Stephens, Florida Chemical Industry Council
J. Ross Wilcox, Florida Power and Light Company








(Draft: June 2, 1995)


Florida Water Plan


1995

The Florida Water Plan is an integrated, coordinated plan prepared jointly by the
Department of Environmental Protection and the fve regional water management
districts to implement their statutory water management responsibilities, in
partnership with other agencies, units of government, and interested parties. The
plan provides statewide and regional water management goals, priority issues,
action steps, and schedules to meet the water needs of people while maintaining,
protecting, and improving the state's natural systems.


Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Northwest Florida Water Management District
St. Johns River Water Management District
South Florida Water Management District
Southwest Florida Water Management District


Suwannee River Water Management District










Contents

Introduction and Overview 2

Chapter One: General Issues 9

Chapter Two: Water Supply 15

Chapter Three: Flood Protection and Floodplain Management 28

Chapter Four: Water Quality 34

Chapter Five: Natural Systems 42

Chapter Six: Coordination and Evaluation 52

Summary .64










Introduction and Overview


Florida's Water Challenge

Water resources are clearly one of Florida's greatest assets. Florida has over 11,000 miles of coastline,
more than 7,700 lakes and 1,700 rivers. Twenty seven springs with flows exceeding 100 cubic feet per
second emerge from the state's aquifers. Three million acres of estuaries, open water and wetlands also
help define the Florida landscape. Throughout most of the state, ground water and surface water systems
are closely related. Lake levels are often a direct reflection of ground water levels; spring flow and
seepage usually provide the base flows of streams; and stream discharges to estuaries are critical to
maintaining salinity regimes. These interrelationships form the basis of Florida's major ecological systems.
In many areas of the state, highly transmissive ground water aquifers are at or near the surface or have
direct connections to the surface through sinkholes. These characteristics make Florida's extensive ground
water resources highly susceptible to contamination from a variety of sources such as municipal landfills,
leaking underground storage tanks, hazardous waste dumps, septic tanks, and agricultural pesticides.
Since about ninety percent of the state's population relies on ground water as a source of drinking water,
such contamination can have serious public health and economic consequences.
As Florida's population grows, increasing competition for water is causing conflicts between agricultural,
industrial and urban interests, a trend that has serious social, economic and environmental implications. In
some areas of the state, demands for water are beginning to exceed the sustainable yield of aquifers and
surface waters, and are threatening the health of natural systems. Potentially, this could jeopardize
Florida's $7 billion fishing and $32 billion tourism industries, which directly depend on the continued viability
of the state's water resources and associated natural systems. Ultimately, our ability to sustain Florida's
economy and quality of life will depend in large part on how well we protect and manage the state's water
resources. The essence of Florida's water challenge is to minimize damage due to contamination, and to
satisfy increasing demands for finite resources in a manner which sustains the resource. This is a tall order,
and one which is not likely to be met without close coordination between a variety of federal, state, regional
and local programs.

Florida's State and Regional Water Management System

Florida's system of water management is widely recognized as a model for assuring protection and wise
use of water resources. It consists of five regional water management districts (WMDs) under the general
supervision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which implement a broad range
of planning, management and regulatory programs tailored to the particular water resource needs of each
geographic region of the state. As the stewards of Florida's water resources, DEP and the WMDs must
routinely address often-competing public interests related to water supply, flood protection, water quality,
and protection of natural systems. In order to help do this effectively, DEP and the WMDs have worked as
partners to develop comprehensive District Water Management Plans (DWMPs) for each region. This
included application of a uniform format and guidelines for developing the DWMPs, as well as applying
recommendations from seventeen DEP/WMD technical or "conventions" committees which developed
uniform approaches for addressing specific water issues. Similar teamwork was employed to develop
DEP/WMD consensus on revisions to State water policy and development of the Florida Water Plan.

What is the Florida Water Plan?











The Florida Water Plan (FWP) is an integrated, coordinated plan prepared jointly by DEP and the five
WMDs. It is intended to guide DEP and the WMDs in implementing current statutory directives prescribed in
the Water Resources Act (Chapter 373, F.S.), the Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act (Chapter 403,
F.S.), and the State Comprehensive Plan (Chapter 187, F.S.). These statutes provide the basic authorities,
directives and policies for statewide water management, pollution control and environmental protection.

The Water Resources Act requires development of a State Water Use Plan (s. 373.036, F.S.), and
prescribes that the Water Use Plan, together with the state water quality standards, shall constitute the
Florida Water Plan (s. 373.039, F.S.). The water quality standards incorporated by reference in the FWP
are:
Water Quality Standards, Chapter 62-3, F.A.C.
Surface Water Quality Standards, Chapter 62-302, F.A.C.
Surface Water Improvement and Management, Chapter 62-43, F.A.C.
Ground Water Classes, Standards, and Exemptions, Chapter 62- 520, F.A.C.
Drinking Water Standards, Monitoring, and Reporting, Chapter 62-550, F.A.C.

Also incorporated by reference is the DEP Water Policy Rule, Chapter 62-40, F.A.C. Inclusion of the
standards and water policy rule in the plan does not give them additional status as rules, but does
emphasize the necessity of a comprehensive and integrated view of water management. The FWP, like the
individual District Water Management Plans, is intended to be a guidance tool for water management. It is
not self-implementing and will be realized through subsequent actions (budgeting, rulemaking, etc.) of
DEP, the WMDs, the Environmental Regulation Commission, or the state Legislature.


What are the purposes of the FWP ?

The FWP is intended to serve several interrelated purposes, including:

Provide a broad overview of agency responsibilities and actions related to implementing statutory
directives on water resources, including those contained in the Florida Water Resources Act, the
Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act, and the State Comprehensive Plan.

Coordinate the identification, communication, and resolution of water issues.

Express water management goals and guide their implementation.

Assist in implementation of water policies.
Develop regional and statewide implementation strategies to achieve FWP goals.

Promote partnership and coordination among the many parties involved in water management.

Aid in program evaluation and accountability.

Goals of the FWP

The overall goal of the FWP is to assure long-term sustainability of Florida's water resources for the benefit
of the state's economy and quality of life. Key guidance statements contained in Florida law are used as







the goals for each chapter of the FWP. These include the following:


Water Supply:
Florida shall assure the availability of an adequate supply of water for all competing uses deemed
reasonable and beneficial and shall maintain the functions of natural systems and the overall present level
of surface and ground water quality. It is the intent of the Legislature that future growth and development
planning reflect the limitations of the available ground water or other available water supplies. (s. 373.0395,
F.S.)
Flood Protection:
Require local governments, in cooperation with regional and state agencies, to adopt plans and policies to
protect public and private property and human lives from the effects of natural disasters (s.
187.201(7)(b)25., F.S.).

Encourage the development of a strict floodplain management program by state and local governments
designed to preserve hydrologically significant wetlands and other natural floodplain features. (s.
187.201((8)(b)8. F.S.).
Water Quality:

It is declared to be the public policy of this state to conserve the waters of the state and to protect, maintain,
and improve the quality thereof for public water supplies, for the propagation of wildlife and fish and other
aquatic life, and for domestic, agricultural, industrial, recreational, and other beneficial uses and to provide
that no wastes be discharged into any waters of the state without first being given the degree of treatment
necessary to protect the beneficial uses of such water. (s. 403.021(2), F.S.).

Florida shall improve and restore the quality of waters not presently meeting water quality standards. (State
Comprehensive Plan, s. 187.201(8)(a), F.S.).
Natural Systems:
Conserve forests, wetlands, fish, marine life, and wildlife to maintain their environmental, economic,
aesthetic, and recreational values. 187.201(10)(b)1., F.S.).
Reserve from use that water necessary to support essential non-withdrawal demands, including navigation,
recreation, and the protection of fish and wildlife. (s. 187.201(8)(b)14. F.S.).
Coordination:
Systematic planning capabilities shall be integrated into all levels of government in Florida with particular
emphasis on improving intergovernmental coordination and maximizing citizen involvement (s.
187.201(26)(a), F.S.)

Fundamental Principles of the FWP

The FWP is based on two fundamental ecosystem management principles:

Water resources must be managed to meet the water needs of people while maintaining,
protecting, and improving the state's natural systems; and,
Effective management of water resources requires collaboration and cooperation among all
affected parties.
The plan strives to implement both of these principles through integration of a variety of planning,
acquisition, operational and regulatory approaches. The plan is issue-driven, and focuses on defining key
water resource issues, strategies for addressing those issues, and specific actions to be taken. It also
recognizes the need to regularly assess progress toward implementation. Importantly, the FWP clearly
recognizes the balancing of competing public interests required in statewide comprehensive planning, and











that social and economic considerations such as water supply, protection of private property rights,
economic development, and public involvement are crucial to long-term success of water resource
programs. The DEP and the five WMDs are committed to fostering these principles.

What is the legal force of the FWP?

The FWP is not self-executing. Provisions of the plan are intended to guide future actions of DEP and the
WMDs, but are not binding unless adopted as a rule under the Administrative Procedures Act (Chapter 120,
F.S.). One such rule is the DEP Water Policy Rule (Chapter 62-40, F.A.C., also referred to as the State
Water Policy), which provides goals, objectives, and guidance for the development and review of programs,
rules and plans relating to water resources. All WMD rules must be consistent with provisions of this rule,
which was first adopted in 1981 and has been amended several times since. The rule was most recently
amended by the Environmental Regulation Commission in December of 1993 and March, 1995.

Relationship of the FWP to Other State Level Planning

The FWP is intended to be coordinated with the State Land Development Plan (prepared by the
Department of Community Affairs), and the Florida Transportation Plan (prepared by the Department of
Transportation). To be effective, each of these plans must be mutually compatible, as well as consistent
with the State Comprehensive Plan (Chapter 187, F.S.). However, these plans are not yet fully integrated.
The state Task Force on Land Use and Water Planning made many specific recommendations in their
December, 1994 Report on how to better link the three state plans together, as well as how to link them to
regional and local plans. The general relationship of the FWP to other state level planning is shown in
Figure 1. The 1995 Legislature may consider statutory changes to plan requirements, but the FWP
attempts to foster linkages to the extent possible under current law.

Three specific measures are being used to help assure coordination between the three state-level plans:

The Florida Water Plan development process includes representatives from the Department of
Community Affairs and the Department of Transportation.

The Governor's Office is involved in the preparation of all three plans and is working to assure
compatibility.

The Florida Water Plan will reflect as appropriate elements of the State Land Development Plan
currently being revised by the DCA.

The Florida Water Plan must focus on direct water-related issues and activities, but also fully recognizes its
interdependence with other state objectives in the State Comprehensive Plan.

Plan Evaluation and Revision

To remain current, the FWP must be revised and updated regularly to reflect progress toward
implementation, changing circumstances, or improved understandings of water resource problems. The
process and schedule for development and revision of the Fwp are illustrated in Figure 2. Annual
evaluations of progress toward implementation (see Chapter Six) are a key step in that ongoing
assessment and evaluation process.







Figure 1: State-Level Plan Relationships










Figure 2: Florida Water Plan Process


JULY
Formation of a
DEP/WMD DWNIP
-Plan Review Group.
/ ,I


SEPTEMBER
Uniform DWMP format
and guidelines adopted.
\


*V7 l T 5Xt 1 1T r


I1 Y 11MIYI zi
Revised WMD
scopes of work.


NOVEMBER
WMD draft scopes of


work
DECEMBER
Deadline of November,
1994 set for completion of
District Water Management
Plans (DWMPs).


developed.


DE(
Seventh
techni
create
approach


JUNE
Multlagency Plan
Work Group formed
to establish content and
DECEMBER format for the FLORIDA
Florida Water Policy WATER PLAN.
revised sets minimum
contents and review process
for DWMPs, sets DECEM
deadline of November 1, Synthesis & In
1995 for completion of of priority regic
Florida Water Plan. strategies, and


OCTOBER


A


Interim Draft DWMPs DEP
developed by each WMD. assign
devel
MEMBER NOVEMBER
een DEP/WMD WNMD completion of
cal committees DWMPs, In
d for consistent consultation with DEP.
hes In DWMPs.


UGUST
/AVMD work
ments made for
nnlno lth Plan


NOVEMBER
Adoption of portions
of the Plan by rule,
and begin Plan
implementation.
BER /
tegration
nal Issues, 5-Year I
schedules. Re|


MARCH APRIL
Public workshops
held In each region
of the state.


Evaluation
ports


pr"' "g









Organization of the FWP

The FWP is organized into six issue areas: General Issues, Water Supply, Flood Protection, Water Quality,
Natural Systems, and Coordination and Evaluation. For each issue area, the relevant goals and policies
adapted from the State Comprehensive Plan, the Florida Water Resources Act, the Florida Air and Water
Pollution Control Act, and other pertinent laws and rules are presented. This is followed by the legal basis
for management, background information for each subject area, a synopsis of key issues, general
strategies being applied to address each issue, and selected action steps.













Chapter One: General Issues


General Goals:

Section 2 of the Florida Environmental Reorganization Act of 1993, which merged the former Departments
of Environmental Regulation and Natural Resources into the Department of Environmental Protection
contained several broad goal provisions related to protection and management of Florida's water
resources, including:
(1) The protection, preservation, and restoration of air, water, and other natural resources of this state are
vital to the social and economic well-being and the quality of life of the citizens of this state and visitors to
this state.
(2) It is the policy of the Legislature:
(a) to develop a consistent state policy for the protection and management of the environment and
natural resources.
(b) to provide efficient governmental services to the public.
(c) to protect the functions of entire ecosystems through enhanced coordination of public land
acquisition, regulatory, and planning programs.
(d) to maintain and enhance the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the environmental agencies
of the state in the most efficient and effective manner.
(e) to streamline governmental services, providing for delivery of such services to the public in a
timely, cost-efficient manner.
In response to the merger legislation, the Department of Environmental Protection adopted the following
statement of its mission:
The mission of the Department of Environmental Protection is to: Protect, Conserve, and Manage
Florida's Environment and Natural Resources. The Department accomplishes its mission in a
manner that:
1) provides stewardship of Florida's ecosystems so that the state's unique quality of life
may be preserved for present and future generations
2) protects the public health and safety
3) provides for responsible and wise use of the state's mineral, cultural and living
resources
4) provides efficient and equitable service to the public
5) provides consistent and impartial implementation of the law.

Background Information

Many issues in water management can not be neatly compartmentalized into any of the single subject area
chapters of the Florida Water Plan (FWP): Water Supply, Flood Protection, Water Quality, and Natural
Systems. For example, lands are often placed into public ownership for all four of these purposes.
Similarly, the need for coordination and public education are common to all aspects of water management.
This chapter is meant to summarize broad issues that are central to Florida's water management challenge
and describe strategies and action steps which will have effects that cut across all parts of the FWP.








General Issue 1: There are inadequate links between land
and water planning, and between planning and permitting
programs, causing conflicts and inefficiencies.

In 1993, the Florida Legislature created the Task Force on Land Use and Water Planning. After a year of
deliberation, the group concluded that while Florida has developed some of the strongest land and water
protection laws in the country, there is no clearly defined link in the state's comprehensive planning
framework between the water resource decisions of the water management districts and the land use
planning and management decisions of local governments. Legislation is needed to fully address this
concern, but some progress-can be made with existing authorities and programs to help coordinate and
integrate land and water planning. The FWP strives for improved cooperation and coordination between the
water-related programs of state and federal agencies, the water management districts, and the growth
management efforts of local governments, particularly in terms of improved technical assistance and
information services.

General Issue Strategy 1.1: Where possible, improve the linkages
between land and water planning.

Selected Action Steps:
1. Seek to fully integrate the Florida Water Plan with the Florida Land Development Plan, Florida
Transportation Plan, and Ecosystem Management. (DEP, 1996.)
2. Continue to provide technical and/or financial assistance for Local Comprehensive Plans and
Strategic Regional Policy Plans. (DEP, WMDs, DCA, & GFWFC, Ongoing.)
3. Seek legislative enactment of appropriate recommendations of the Task Force on Land Use
and Water Planning. (DEP & WMDs, 1995-96.)
4. Assess DEP and WMD permitting programs to identify potential opportunities for increasing
coordination between planning and permitting functions. (DEP & WMDs, 1996.)

General Issue 2: The failure of government the private
sector, and the general public to take shared responsibility
for sustaining Florida's water resources is hindering the
effectiveness of water management efforts.

The success of Florida's water resource and ecosystem management efforts is dependent on an informed
public. It is important for Floridians to understand the basic issues of water management and to accept
shared responsibility for protecting and wisely managing our increasingly threatened water resources. The
FWP places a high priority on raising the level of environmental awareness of Floridians and visitors, and
encouraging the participation of individuals and organizations in conserving and protecting our water
resources.

General Issue Strategy 2.1: Promote joint responsibility for
sustaining water resources.

Selected Action Steps:











1. Expand water resource and environmental education. (DEP & WMDs, 1995-Continuing.)
2. Assess internal and external environmental education programs to identify strengths,
weaknesses and recommended improvements for greater effectiveness and coordination, with
particular emphasis on incorporation of water and ecosystem management concepts. (DEP &
WMDs, 1996 Continuing.)
3. Work to develop a shared ethic of environmental stewardship and involvement with the citizens
of Florida as part of ecosystem management initiatives. (DEP & WMDs, 1996 Continuing.)
4. Through existing programs, enhance the roles of local governments in planning and
management of water resources and related natural systems. (DEP & WMDs -Ongoing.)

General Issue 3: In the past, water management usually
was not approached on a watershed basis, leading to
disjointed, uncoordinated governmental actions which
created permitting confusion and failed to protect water
resources and related natural systems.

Pursuant to legislation that created the DEP, the department is focusing more of its resources on the
management of entire ecosystems. The DEP's definition of Ecosystem Management is:
An integrated approach to management of Florida's biological and physical environments --
conducted through the use of tools such as planning, land acquisition, environmental education,
regulation, and pollution prevention -- designed to maintain, protect, and improve the state's
natural, managed, and human communities.
A central tenet of ecosystem management is that to protect ecosystems, we must protect and restore the
critical processes upon which the ecosystems depend. The FWP will foster the application of ecological
principles to the management of hydrologic systems. Watersheds generally will be the basic management
units.

General Issue Strategy 3.1: Promote and implement watershed and
ecosystem approaches. The department and the water management
districts will target ecosystems for priority attention and support
enhancement and integration of existing efforts such as the SWIM
and National Estuary Programs rather than duplicate ongoing
ecosystem management initiatives.

Selected Action Steps:
1. Provide leadership in implementing ecosystem management principles. (DEP, Ongoing.)
2. Create and improve ecosystem management partnerships with public and private entities. (DEP,
Ongoing.)








3.. Create an Ecosystem Selection Working Group (ESWG). The ESWG will be responsible for
selecting those ecosystems that need priority attention and management by permanent teams.
DEP & WMDs, 1994-95, Ongoing.)
4. Expand geographically based management and planning by establishing management teams
for selected additional ecosystems and developing ecosystem area implementation strategies.
(DEP & WMDs, 1995 Ongoing.)
5. Develop effective mechanisms to track permits and their impacts on a watershed basis. (DEP &
WMDs, Ongoing.)
6. Provide permit review staff with access to GIS tools necessary to evaluate permit applications on
a watershed basis. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
7. Enhance and implement six demonstration ecosystem management area implementation
strategies: Suwannee River, Everglades, Hillsborough River, St. Johns River, Wekiva River, and
Apalachicola River. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
8. Implement Florida Bay restoration, including the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Plan.
(SFWMD & DEP, Ongoing.)
9. Implement provisions of the Everglades Forever Act. (SFWMD & DEP, Ongoing.)

General Issue Strategy 3.2: Improve land acquisition and land
management programs to enhance protection and management of
water resources on a watershed or ecosystem basis.
State land acquisition programs are directed at a broad variety of purposes, including recreational,
environmental, flood control, historic and forestry resources, most of which are mutually supportive. These
purposes show great opportunities for using acquisition programs as components of a statewide, integrated
water resource management strategy.

The most recent and largest example of Florida's commitment to preserving its natural resources is the
Preservation 2000 (P2000) program. P2000 is intended to provide for a three billion dollar bond program to
finance various land acquisition efforts over a ten-year period, with 50 percent of the bond funds earmarked
for the Conservation and Recreation Lands (CARL) program and 30 percent for Save Our Rivers (SOR),
which also receives funds from documentary stamp collections. Save Our Rivers is implemented by the
water management districts with administrative oversight by the DEP. The SOR fund is the primary source
for environmental land purchases by the water management districts, and has been used in conjunction
with federal, state, and local government funding to acquire lands needed to conserve, protect, or restore
water resources.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Evaluate the reciprocal impacts of activities on public and private properties in identified
ecosystems. Coordinate management activities in identified ecosystems through groups of
representatives of private property owners and public managers in the ecosystems. (DEP & WMDs,
Ongoing.)
2. Imlement the "Greenline Concept", through which DEP and the WMDs delineate areas of
concern adjacent to state parks and other state lands, and seek to incorporate such areas into
local government comprehensive land use planning. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
3. Improve coordination of land acquisition and management planning efforts of governments and
non-profit groups through: a) enhanced coordination of long-term strategic acquisition, at statewide
and regional scales, b) greater involvement of citizens, and c) increased access to land acquisition
and greenways data bases. (DEP & WMDs, 1996-Continuing.)











4. Develop a strategic plan with a comprehensive map of existing public and private conservation
lands and land interests (e.g. easements) and additional lands that should be under some degree
of protection to complete a statewide ecological conservation system. (DEP, WMDs, & GFWFC,
1997.)
5.. Support innovative approaches to land acquisition, such as cooperative funding and
management. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)

General Issue 4: Available information is often inadequate
to support water resource protection, restoration and
management actions.

While knowledge of the general processes and dynamics of water resources and related natural systems
has increased rapidly in recent years, system-specific understandings are often inadequate to reliably
predict the consequences of major management actions. Data associated with individual permit
applications generally is of limited value for addressing system-wide questions. Scientific research needed
to acquire system-wide information is usually very expensive, must be carefully designed, and requires long
time frames to accomplish. However, management plans usually cannot wait until detailed understanding
of each hydrologic unit or system is available, and many decisions must be made on the basis of best
available information and professional judgement. This requires a heavy reliance on presumptions based
on general scientific principles, and continuing efforts to assure that research related to water resources
and natural systems is targeted at answering key management issues and reducing the level of uncertainty
with which management programs must contend.

General Issue Strategy 4.1: Seek to assure that collection of water
data by DEP, the WMDs, the Corps of Engineers, and local
governments is directed at answering priority management questions,
and is analyzed in a method applicable to making water management
decisions.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Implement Chapter 62-40 revisions on data management. (DEP & WMDs, 1995 Ongoing.)
2. Foster development and enhanced cooperative use of GIS technology and information by DEP
and WMDs. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
3. Continue the use of DEP/WMD convention committees to recommend uniform approaches to
technical problems, and where appropriate, policy issues. (DEP & WMDs 1995 Ongoing.)
4. Through existing mechanisms such as the State Clearinghouse, NEPA, and CZMA federal
consistency reviews, facilitate early consultation between DEP, WMDs, and the Corps of Engineers
regarding water resource data collection and hydrographic modeling for federal flood control
projects.
5. Continue the cooperative program with the USGS to collect, compile, and publish statewide
water data on a five-year basis.








General Strategy 4.2: Where water resource understandings are
deficient, apply adaptive management techniques, and balance
uncertainty in favor of avoiding irretrievable long-term commitments
which may jeopardize water resources or the long-term public interest.
The nature of water resource management is such that decisions often involve some uncertainty,
particularly in terms of understanding the dynamics of specific hydrologic systems and the linkages
between hydrology and long-term ecological response. While considerable understanding exists about
hydrologic-ecologic interrelationships in general, system-specific understandings are often inadequate to
provide a high degree of confidence in the effectiveness of some major management actions. But
management decisions, particularly those related to restoration, must be made in a timely manner, and
usually cannot await detailed understandings. One approach for dealing with uncertainty in decision-making
is termed "adaptive management", whereby timely but cautious actions are taken within an ecosystem
perspective, based on general scientific principles, experience gained from other systems, and the best
available information for the specific area. This use of professional judgement is followed by monitoring of
water resource or environmental response and comparison of observed results with those that were
predicted. Management actions may then be modified, if necessary, based on the knowledge gained. A
major objective of this approach is to avoid irretrievable commitments that may prove to be harmful to water
resources or otherwise be contrary to the long-term public interest.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Create ecosystem management committees to coordinate data gathering, information
assessment, and development of management strategies within selected ecosystem management
project areas. (DEP, WMDs, GFWFC, other state, federal, and local agencies, and private
interests, 1996-Ongoing.)
2. Convene additional convention committees to identify priority areas and approaches for water
management. (DEP & WMDs, 1996.)












Chapter Two: Water


Supply

Water Supply Goal

Florida shall assure the availability of an adequate supply of water for all competing uses deemed
reasonable and beneficial and shall maintain the functions of natural systems and the overall present level
of surface and ground water quality. Florida shall improve and restore the quality of waters not presently
meeting water quality standards. (State Comprehensive Plan, s.187.201(8)(a), F.S.)

Legal Basis for Management

Florida Statutes and rules contain an abundance of general guidance on protection and management of
water resources and related natural systems, including the following provisions pertinent to water supply:
It is the intent of the Legislature that future growth and development planning reflect the limitations
of the available ground water or other available water supplies. (s. 373.0395, F.S.)
Ensure that new development is compatible with existing local and regional water supplies. (s.
187.201((8)5. F.S.)
Reserve from use that water necessary to support essential non-withdrawal demands, including
navigation, recreation, and the protection of fish and wildlife. (s. 187.201(8)(b)14. F.S.)
Encourage the development of local and regional water supplies within water management districts
instead of transporting surface water across district boundaries (s. 187.201(8) F.S.)
It is the policy of the state that the citizens of Florida shall be assured of the availability of safe
drinking water. (s. 403.851, F.S.)
The encouragement and promotion of water conservation, and reuse of reclaimed water, as
defined by the department, are state objectives. (s. 403.064, F.S.; also s. 373.250, F.S.)
To obtain a [consumptive use] permit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the applicant must
establish that the proposed use of water: (a) Is a reasonable-beneficial use as defined in s.
373.019(4); (b) Will not interfere with any presently existing legal use of water; and (c) Is consistent
with the public interest. (s. 373.223, F.S.)
Assure availability of an adequate and affordable supply of water for all reasonable-beneficial
uses. Uses of water authorized by a permit shall be limited to reasonable-beneficial uses. (s. 62-
40.310(1)(a), F.A.C.)
Provide for the management of water and related land resources (s. 373.016(2)(a), F.S.)
Champion and develop sound water conservation practices and public information programs. (s.








62-40.310(1 )(c), F.A.C.)
Encourage the use of water of the lowest acceptable quality for the purpose intended. (s. 62-
40.310(1)(e), F.A.C.)
Encourage demand management and the development of alternative water supplies, including
water conservation, reuse of reclaimed water, desalination, storm water reuse, recharge, and
aquifer storage and recovery. (s. 62-40.310(1)(g), FA.C.)
In implementing consumptive use permitting programs, a reasonable amount of reuse of reclaimed
water shall be required within water resource caution areas, unless objective evidence
demonstrates that such reuse is not economically, environmentally, or technically feasible. (s. 62-
40.416(2), F.A.C.)
Protect aquifers from depletion through water conservation and preservation of the functions of
high recharge areas. (s. 62-40.310(1)(h), F.A.C.)
It is the intent of the Legislature that utilities develop reclaimed water systems, where reclaimed
water is the most appropriate alternative water supply option, to deliver reclaimed water to as many
users as possible through the most cost-effective means, and to construct reclaimed water system
infrastructure to their owned or operated properties and facilities where they have reclamation
capability. (s. 373.1961(2))
It is also the intent of the Legislature that the water management districts which levy ad valorem
taxes for water management purposes should share a percentage of those tax revenues with water
providers and users, including local governments, water, wastewater, and reuse utilities, municipal,
industrial, and agricultural water users, and other public and private water users, to be used to
supplement other funding sources in the development of alternative water supplies. (s.
373.1961(2), F.S.)
The governing boards of the water management districts where water resource caution areas have
been designated shall include in their annual budgets an amount for the development of alternative
water supply systems, including reclaimed water systems, pursuant to the requirements of this
subsection. (s. 373.1961(2) (a), F.S.)

Background Information
Water supply has emerged as a critical issue for the 1990's and beyond. In 1950, Florida's total fresh water
withdrawal was about 2.9 billion gallons per day, serving a population of 2.77 million. By 1990, withdrawals
had increased 158 percent to 7.5 billion gallons for a population of about 13 million. Approximately 4.7
billion gallons (or 63%) is from ground water sources. The sheer numbers are complicated further by the
State's development patterns. Even though Florida has extensive water resources, a major water use
concern is that approximately 80 percent of the state's population live in coastal areas where fresh water
supplies are most limited. In these areas, the increasing demands for cheap, dependable, high quality
water for agriculture, industry, and a burgeoning population are beginning to exceed the limits of easily
developed sources.

Florida's water supply challenge is directly linked to the state's rainfall characteristics and natural water
cycles. If one considers the natural water budget within which Floridians must cope, the need for prudent
management becomes obvious. While the state's average yearly rainfall is approximately 53 inches,
about 38 inches is lost to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration. About 8 inches goes to sea as
stream discharge or runoff -- leaving only about 7 inches to recharge aquifers, maintain lake levels and
supply the needs of humans. Additionally, Florida's precipitation patterns are extremely variable -
spatially, seasonally, and from year to year. Unpredictable extremes of flood and drought are a natural part
of the Florida scene, and one region of the state can experience high rainfall while another is experiencing
drought. It is the variability and extremes of Florida's rainfall patterns, coupled with the state's high
population growth rate that pose the greatest challenge to Florida's water supply planning. Figures 3 and 4
show statewide total withdrawals of fresh water and the relative amounts withdrawn for various uses.











Figure 3: Statewide Total Fresh Water Withdrawals


Figure 4: Percentage of Total Fresh Water Withdrawals by Use












Water supply planning must consider all feasible sources, including surface waters. But surface waters
support a variety of fish and wildlife that are dependent on or adapted to natural fluctuations in flow or water
levels, and the periods of greatest human demand usually are also the time when aquatic systems are
under greatest natural stress. Water managers must assure that human water demands do not overstress
these natural systems. Due to the state's relatively flat topography and variable rainfall, our natural surface
water systems are seldom dependable sources of public water supplies. In-stream reservoirs also are not
generally acceptable in terms of environmental impacts. Nonetheless, in 1990, about 37 percent of the
state's total fresh water withdrawals were from surface waters.

Florida has one of the most productive aquifer systems in the United States. Large quantities of water are
obtainable from each of the state's principal aquifers. The state also contains 27 of the 78 first-magnitude
springs (greater than 100 cubic feet per second average flow) in the nation. Because of its availability and
generally high quality, ground water is the principal source of fresh water for public supply, rural domestic,
industrial and commercial, and irrigation uses. About 90 percent of Florida's population depends on ground
water for its drinking water. Clearly, ground water is one of Florida's most valuable natural resources.
Ground water in Florida is particularly vulnerable to contamination. The state is covered nearly everywhere
by a thin layer of surficial sands that overlie a thick sequence of limestone and dolomite. Depth to ground
water throughout the state is relatively shallow; ranging from 0-100 feet, with 10-20 feet being most
common. Even though ground water is taken from deeper aquifers for many uses, the combination of
relatively shallow ground water, highly transmissive geologic formations, permeable surface sands, and
rapid conversion of the Florida landscape to development present a continuing threat to the state's ground
water supplies. Once ground water is contaminated, cleanup is very costly and sometimes impossible.
Prevention of pollution is far more economical than remediation.

The 1994 Task Force on Land Use and Water Planning called for the FWP to identify areas where water
resources are in need of restoration or protection. In terms of water supply, the current formal recognition
of such areas is accomplished through WMD establishment of Water Resource Caution Areas by rule. Four
of the five WMDs have designated one or more areas as Water Resource Caution Areas (WRCAs) as
called for in State Water Policy (see Figure 5).








Figure 5


NORTHWEST
FLORIDA WMD


SUWANNEE
RIVER WMD


ST. JOHNS
RIVER WMD


SOUTHWEST
FLORIDA
WMD


Water

Resource

Caution Areas

(WRC As)

in Florrda


SOUTH FLORIDA
WMD


Source: Florida's Water Management Districts
February, 1995









Water Supply Issue 1: Demands on ground and surface
water supplies are exceeding or threatening to exceed
sustainable yields in localized areas.

Because most water supplies in Florida are dependent on rainfall for replenishment, seasonal and longer-
term weather patterns can seriously affect water availability. Overpumping of water from underlying aquifers
can result in salt water intrusion, as well as cause significant harm to wetlands and associated natural
systems. To emphasize this situation, during the 1989 drought, the South Florida, Southwest Florida and St.
Johns River water management districts all imposed some form of additional water use restrictions.
While the circumstances vary in each district, the consistent message is that localized shortages are
emerging. The individual District Water Management Plans (DWMPs) address the water supply issues of
each region in detail. The WMDs are developing a variety of measures to help lessen impacts on natural
systems and achieve safe yields. These include increased efficiency and conservation, protection and
augmentation of recharge areas, reuse of reclaimed water and storm water, aquifer storage and recovery,
surface water storage, desalination, creation of regional water supply authorities and other measures. In
addition, all five districts and DEP have been working closely together to provide a consistent approach to
water supply planning.

As water supplies become more scarce, there is increasing need to explore alternative technologies. This
issue, taken broadly, includes reuse of reclaimed water, beneficial use of stormwater, desalination, aquifer
storage and recovery, enhanced use of surface waters and a variety of other approaches. Reuse is such
an important topic and holds such potential, it is discussed separately under Water Supply Strategy 4.5,
below. While such sources may not have been considered in the past due to technical difficulties, treatment
requirements, or cost, their attractiveness has increased as cheap and dependable sources have become
more scarce. Key aspects of using alternative technologies include how to fund projects, make best use of
existing or modified regulatory approaches, and develop dependable techniques.

While the need to conserve our most precious resource has never been clearer, the perception of Florida
as water-rich continues to work against widespread acceptance of effective conservation practices.
Increasingly, the water management districts and DEP have included conservation and reuse in their
regulatory approaches while providing technical and financial assistance, and raising public awareness.
The crux of this issue is how to best instill and maintain a water conservation ethic in all water use sectors.

The DEP Water Policy Rule states that: 'The overall water conservation goal of the state shall be to
prevent and reduce wasteful, uneconomical, or unreasonable use of the water resources. Conservation of
water shall be required unless not economically or environmentally feasible." (s.62-40.412, F.A.C.)

Water Supply Strategy 1.1: Promote water conservation.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Implement revisions to DEP Water Policy Rule (Chapter 62-40, F.A.C.). (DEP & WMDs, 1995.)
2. Implement water conservation programs through public education,technical assistance and
consumptive use permitting programs. (WMDs, local governments & utilities, Ongoing.)












Water Supply Strategy 1.2: Promote efficient allocation of limited
water among competing uses.

As local demands for water supplies reach the limits of available resources, we are seeing greater compe-
tition between urban, industrial and agricultural users. These user groups, in turn, are in ever-greater
competition with the needs of already-stressed ecological systems. However, the solution is not a simple
matter of improving water distribution networks. If Florida's economy and quality of life are to be sustained,
water supply programs must recognize and account for the water needs of natural systems and other
water-related or water-dependent public interests. The FWP has a major emphasis on promoting efficient
allocation of limited water among competing uses.

One of the most basic tenets of State Water Policy, which guides actions of the department and districts, is
that programs must strive to assure safe, affordable, and reliable supplies for all reasonable-beneficial
uses. The term "reasonable-beneficial" is defined to mean,

The use of water in such quantity as is necessary for economic and efficient utilization for a
purpose and in a manner which is both reasonable and consistent with the public interest (s.
373.019(4), F.S.)

Consumptive use permitting is the primary tool employed by the WMDs to assure that water resources are
used in a reasonable and beneficial manner. Pursuant to s. 373.223, F.S., in order to obtain a consumptive
use permit in Florida, the applicant must establish that the proposed use of water:
(a) is a reasonable-beneficial use
(b) Will not interfere with any presently existing legal use of water; and
(c) Is consistent with the public interest

This three-part test considers the finite limits of water availability. It includes examination of all options to
prevent withdrawals from causing significant harm to the resource.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Continue efforts to develop alternative water allocation strategies for the Southern Water Use
Caution Area and the Peace River basin. (SWFWMD & DEP, 1996.)
2. Continue to implement consumptive use permitting programs pursuant to requirements of
Chapter 373, F.S., Chapter 62-40, F.A.C., and WMD Rules. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)

Water Supply Issue 2: Depletion of easily developed local
water sources is increasing pressure for interdistrict
transfers of water.

As easily-developed sources become more scarce, there is growing pressure to explore options for long-
distance water transport across WMD boundaries. Some areas in northern Florida are increasingly viewed
by water suppliers in more populated areas to the south as attractive solutions to projected water supply
deficits. However, such transfers must be considered in terms of long-term sustainability of water resources








and be assessed in context with other, often competing, public interests that are involved in water
management. The State Comprehensive Plan states that it is state policy to "Encourage the development
of local and regional water supplies within water management districts instead of transporting water across
district boundaries (s. 187.201, F.S.). The process and general criteria for deciding if proposed transfers of
ground water are in the public interest are prescribed in s.373.2295, F.S. Further guidance is provided in
Florida Statutes, including the following:

"Cooperative efforts between municipalities, counties, WMDs, and DEP are mandatory in order to
meet water needs...in a manner which supply adequate and dependable supplies of water where
needed without resulting in adverse effects upon the areas from which the water is withdrawn..."(s.
373.196(1), F.S.).
In the performance of, and in conjunction with, its other powers and duties, a water management
district shall not deprive, directly or indirectly, any county wherein which water is withdrawn to the
prior right to supply reasonable and beneficial needs of the county or any of the inhabitants or
property owners therein." (s. 373.1961(5), F.S.)
In short, meeting future water supply needs will require close cooperation between cities and counties within
each WMD, and if interdistrict water transfers are allowed, the WMDs must assure that the area being
supplied does not benefit at the expense of the area where the withdrawal occurs. In keeping with state law
and this basic concept, the DEP Water Policy Rule requires that any transfer or use of ground water across
WMD boundaries must have the approval of the district where the withdrawal occurs (s. 62-40.422(1),
F.A.C.), and any such transfers of surface water must have the approval of both WMDs (s. 62-40.422(2),
F.A.C.).

Water Supply Strategy 2.1: Promote optimization of local sources
before consideration of water transport across WMD boundaries.

Selected Action Steps

1. Require that local sources, demand management measures,and alternative sources be
developed to the greatest extent practicable, considering the environmental, economic, and
technical feasibility of such alternatives, before development of sources outside a utility's local
surface area.
2. Encourage, assist in, and where appropriate, require the development and efficient use of
alternative sources of water, including reuse of reclaimed water, greywater use, desalination,
beneficial use of storm water, cisterns, and other appropriate alternative sources to insure water
availability, and reduce the demand for conventional sources to maximize and maintain existing
sources.
3. Assure that proposals for interdistrict transfer of water are fully assessed pursuant to provisions
of s. 373.2295, F.S. and s. 62-40.422, F.A.C. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)

Water Supply Issue 3: Inadequate information regarding
quantities, locations, and avaabilabity of water supplies to
support new growth hinders efforts to keep demands
within sustainable yields of the resource.

In order for the three-part consumptive use permitting test to be applied effectively, it is critical that
information on quantities, location and availability of water resources be reliable and readily available to the











WMD consumptive use permitting programs. This information is also critical for local government efforts to
assure that planned growth and development will not exceed the limits of water availability. Water supply
planning is underway by the WMDs, but defining the limits of Florida's water resources requires ongoing
research, which is both expensive and time consuming.

Water Supply Strategy 3.1: Enhance capabilities of DEP and WMD
programs to ensure safe, affordable and reliable supplies for all
reasonable-beneficial uses.
All five WMDs have developed or are developing water supply needs and sources plans. Needs and
sources planning is intended to provide the framework for water supply development and management for
at least two decades. As part of a statewide effort to improve the consistency and continuity of water use
data, DEP and the WMDs participate in a cooperative program with the United States Geological Survey
(USGS) to collect, compile, and publish water use data for Florida on a five-year basis. Comparison of
existing and projected demands with future sources allows the identification of additional needs for water
supply development. This advance planning identifies opportunities to address growing needs before they
become critical or damage water and related natural systems.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Exercise general supervisory authority over the WMDs to promote efforts to obtain adequate
information about the availability of water supplies. (DEP, Ongoing.)
2. Implement revisions to the DEP Water Policy Rule (Chapter 62-40, F.A.C.) adopted by the
Environmental Regulation Commission on December 1, 1994 and March 24, 1995. (DEP & WMDs,
Ongoing.)
3. Expedite completion of ground water basin availability inventories pursuant to s. 373.0395, F.S.
(WMDs, Ongoing.)
4. On priority hydrologic units or systems, expedite establishment of minimum flows and levels
pursuant to s. 373.042, F.S. and schedules in District Water Management Plans. (WMDs,
Ongoing.)
5. Carry out water supply planning, including estimates of safe or sustainable yields according to
the schedules in District Water Management Plans. (WMDs, Ongoing.)
6. Administer water shortage plans and water conservation programs. (WMDs, Ongoing.)
7. Assist, as appropriate, in the costs of water supply development. (WMDs, Ongoing.)
8. Continue the cooperative program with the USGS to collect, compile, and publish statewide
water use data on a five-year basis. (DEP, WMDs, and USGS, 1995 Ongoing.)


Water Supply Strategy 3.2: Improve coordination between state and
regional water management programs and local government
comprehensive planning, particularly in terms of providing technical
information and assistance to local governments.








Selected Action Steps:


1. Provide technical assistance and available water supply information to Regional Planning
Councils and local governments in a form applicable to regional policy development and local
government comprehensive planning. (WMDs, Ongoing.)
2. Utilize innovative methods to assist local governments in achieving concurrency between water
supply and planned growth.
3. Through the existing plan review process, increase emphasis on review of the Conservation and
Potable Water elements of local government comprehensive plans to assure that they reflect the
limitations of available ground water and other available water supplies, pursuant to provisions of s.
373. 0395, F.S. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)


Water Supply Issue 4: The quality of water supplies has
been degraded in many locations and the viavity of
existing supplies is increasingly threatened by
contamination.

There can be no separation of quality and quantity in water supply planning. Water pollution can diminish
water supplies as surely as overdrafting an aquifer. While primary concerns relate to contamination from
chemicals or pathogens, as explained in Chapter Four, overwithdrawals also can cause contamination by
inducing saltwater intrusion. Three important aspects of protecting the quality of water supplies in Florida
are: wellhead protection, protection of recharge areas, and ensuring compliance with federal and state
Safe Drinking Water Acts.

Wellhead protection refers to the protection of potable water wells from ground water contamination. It
involves the management of land use activities near a well to ensure a safe water supply. Florida
accomplishes wellhead protection through both local government and statewide measures. Local
governments are responsible for wellhead protection through their comprehensive plans, local ordinances
and land use regulations. Acquisition of wellfield protection areas is also an option available at the local
level. Technical assistance from DEP and the water management districts is commonly utilized to delineate
areas that are vulnerable to contamination (DRASTIC maps). DEP is also responsible for some aspects of
statewide wellhead protection through its groundwater protection and regulated facilities programs. These
programs regulate and monitor the discharge of pollutants in the environment.

The fundamental issue in protection of recharge areas is ensuring that natural recharge processes are not
disrupted. Ground water recharge potential varies widely around the state, but in many instances,
population growth and attendant development has degraded or is threatening important recharge areas.
Areas receiving significant recharge may also be vulnerable to an increased potential for contamination.
DEP and the water management districts provide technical assistance to local governments in delineating
recharge areas. Protection of recharge areas would greatly benefit from improved linkages between land
and water planning.

Water Supply Strategy 4.1: Protect wellheads and aquifer recharge
areas through a combination of state regulation of potential sources
of groundwater contamination, acquisition, land use regulation by











local governments, and providing technical assistance to local
governments.

Selected Action Steps:

1.Continue development of a statewide wellhead protection program. (DEP, WMDs, & local
Governments, 1996 Continuing.)
2. Review of local government comprehensive plan revisions, and provide technical and financial
assistance. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
3. Develop strategies for aquifer protection, including recharge protection, wellhead protection
measures, and aquifer vulnerability mapping. (DEP & WMDs, 1996.)
4. Provide technical assistance to local governments. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
5. Improve identification and protection of recharge areas on agency-managed lands. (DEP &
WMDs, Ongoing.)
6. Delineate recharge areas according to schedules in District Water Management Plans. (WMDs,
Ongoing.)
7. Continue to develop and support a Model Wellhead Protection Program with NWFWMD and
Leon County. (DEP, NWFWMD, and Leon County, 1996.)


Water Supply Strategy 4.2: As described in Chapter Four, continue
to regulate and manae discharges to ground and surface waters to
protect, maintain, and improve their quality for water supplies,
environmental protection, and other beneficial purposes.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Continue to regulate municipal and industrial waste discharges pursuant to provisions of Chapter
403, F.S., and DEP rules. (DEP, Ongoing.)
2. Continue to implement storm water management programs pursuant to DEP/WMD delegation
agreements. (WMDs, Ongoing.)
3. Implement SWIM programs for priority water bodies. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)


Water Supply Strategy 4.3: Ensure water supply system compliance
with federal and state Safe Drinking Water Acts.

In addition to protecting the quality of water resources, it is critically important to assure the safety of
drinking water delivered at the tap. The federal and state drinking water programs have this objective, and
involve shared responsibilities by EPA, DEP and the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative
Services (HRS). The regulatory programs pertaining to water delivery systems are primarily implemented
by HRS. DEP responsibilities relate primarily to setting water quality standards and requirements for








monitoring.


Selected Action Steps:

1. Enforce drinking water permitting requirements. (DEP & HRS, Ongoing.)
2. Adopt federally mandated drinking water standards. (DEP, Ongoing.)
3. Implement DEP/HRS Interagency Agreement on delegating drinking water programs to eleven
approved County Public Health Units. (DEP & HRS, Ongoing.)


Water Supply Strategy 4.4: Promote alternative water supply
technologies.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Implement revisions to the DEP Water Policy Rule (Chapter 62-40, F.A.C.) adopted by the
Environmental Regulation Commission on December 1, 1993 and March 24, 1995. (DEP & WMDs,
1996.)
2. Implement recommendations of the Reverse Osmosis Work Group concerning disposal of
desalination reject water. (DEP, 1995.)
3. Develop appropriate Aquifer Storage and Recovery criteria. (DEP, WMDs, & EPA, 1997.)
4. Implement alternative water supply funding programs pursuant to s. 373.1961(2), F.S. (WMDs,
1995 Ongoing.)
5. Submit annual reports on alternative water supply funding programs pursuant to s.
373.1961(2)(j), F.S. (WMDs, 1996- Ongoing.)
6. Cooperate with the appropriate entities to implement a seawater desalination facility through the
New Water Resources Initiative. (SWFWMD, West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority, &
Utilities, 1995 Ongoing.)
7. As part of statewide storm water management, encourage the use of storm water for beneficial
purposes such as irrigation, industrial cooling, ornamental ponds, and artificial ground water
recharge for creation of buffers against saltwater intrusion in coastal areas. (DEP & WMDs,
Ongoing.)

Water Supply Strategy 4.5: Promote reuse of reclaimed wastewater.

Reuse involves taking what was once considered to be wastewater, providing a high degree of treatment
and disinfection, and using the resulting high-quality reclaimed water for a new, beneficial use. Extensive
treatment and disinfection ensure that public health and environmental quality are protected. Reuse of
reclaimed water will help the state meet the water supply and wastewater management needs of its
growing population. Recognizing this, both Chapters 373 and 403, F.S., established the encouragement
and promotion of reuse as state objectives.

Florida has implemented a comprehensive, award-winning reuse program to achieve these objectives. A
key component of the reuse program is a set of comprehensive rules governing reuse activities, which are
contained in Chapter 62-610, F.A.C. The Water Policy rule (Chapter 62-40, F.A.C.) requires a reasonable
amount of reuse within designated Water Resource Caution Areas.












Selected Action Steps:

1. Refine and expand existing rules in Chapter 62-610, F.A.C. Include specific rule requirements
for industrial use of reclaimed water, and for ground water recharge and indirect potable reuse.
(DEP, 1996.)
2. For utilities located within Water Resource Caution areas, ensure that permits for domestic
wastewater facilities are consistent with requirements contained in the utilities' consumptive use
permits. (DEP, Ongoing.)
3. Review reuse feasibility studies for domestic wastewater facilities located within Water Resource
Caution Areas. If reuse is feasible, limit deep well injection projects to those serving as backups to
reuse systems. (DEP, 1995 Ongoing.)
4. Implement reuse provisions of Florida Statutes and the Reuse Conventions Report. (DEP &
WMDs, Ongoing.)
5. Place requirements for reuse in consumptive use permits issued to water utilities and users of
water within Water Resource Caution Areas. (WMDs, 1995 Ongoing.)
6. Develop guidelines for reuse feasibility studies for users of water. (DEP, WMDs, & PSC, 1995.)
7. Seek funding ($400,000) for a study of alternative disinfection methods (UV & Ozonation),
conduct the study through contract with a state university, and incorporate the results, as
appropriate, into DEP rules.
8. Prepare annual reports on reuse pursuant to requirements of s. 373.250, F.S. (WMDs,
Ongoing.).
9. Develop draft legislation to establish limitations on other disposal methods and adjustment of
submittal date for annual WMD reuse reports. (DEP, 1996.)










Chapter Three: Flood


Protection and Floodplain


Management

Flood Protection and Floodplain Management Goals

Require local governments, in cooperation with regional and state agencies, to adopt plans and policies to
protect public and private property and human lives from the effects of natural disasters (s.
187.201(7)(b)25., F.S.)
Encourage the development of a strict floodplain management program by state and local governments
designed to preserve hydrologically significant wetlands and other natural floodplain features. (s.
187.201((8)(b)8, F.S.)

Legal Basis for Management:

Florida Statutes contain a variety of expressions of intent regarding public safety and protection of human
lives and property from the effects of floods and other natural disasters. However, local governments
(cities, counties, and special districts) have the primary responsibility for controlling land uses in privately-
owned flood prone areas. While DEP and the WMDs can influence how projects in floodplains and
floodprone areas are constructed, operated and maintained, their powers to directly control land uses are
restricted primarily to properties owned by the agencies. The thrust of their efforts is to use rulemaking
authorities under the Water Resources Act (Chapter 373, F.S.) to implement legislative intent related to
water, and where possible, to support goals and policies expressed in the State Comprehensive Plan
(Chapter 187, F.S.). Examples include the following:
Protect and restore the ecological functions of wetlands systems to ensure their long-term
environmental, economic, and recreational values. (s. 187.201 ((10)(b)7. F.S.)
Promote restoration of the Everglades system and of the hydrological and ecological functions of
degraded or substantially disrupted surface waters. (s. 187.201 ((10)(b)8. F.S.)
Develop and implement a comprehensive planning, management, and acquisition program to
ensure the integrity of Florida's river systems. (s. 187.201 ((10)(b)9. F.S.)
Protect and use natural systems in lieu of structural alternatives and restore modified systems. (s.
187.201(8)4, F.S.)
Consider, in land use planning and regulation, the impact of land use on water quality and quantity;
the availability of land, water, and other natural resources to meet demands; and the potential for
flooding. (s. 187.201((16)(b)6. F.S.)
Avoid transportation improvements which encourage or subsidize increased development in
coastal high-hazard areas or in identified environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands,












floodways, or productive marine areas. (s. 187.201((20)(b)12, F.S.)
Avoid the expenditure of state funds that subsidize development in high-hazard coastal areas. (s.
187.201(9) 3, F.S.)

To develop and regulate dams, impoundments, reservoirs, and other works and to provide water
storage for beneficial purposes. (s. 373.016(2)(c), F.S.)

To prevent damage from floods, soil erosion, and excessive drainage (s. 373.016(2)(d), F.S.)
Encourage nonstructural solutions to water resource problems and give adequate consideration to
nonstructural alternatives whenever structural works are proposed. (s. 62-40.310(3)(a), F.A.C.)

Manage the construction and operation of facilities which dam, divert, or otherwise alter the flow of
surface waters to minimize damage from flooding, soil erosion, or excessive drainage. (s. 62-
40.310(3)(b), F.A.C.)

Encourage the management of floodplains and other flood hazard areas to prevent or reduce flood
damage, consistent with establishment and maintenance of desirable hydrologic characteristics
and associated natural systems.(s. 62-40.310(3)(c), F.A.C.)

Encourage the development and implementation of a strict floodplain management program by
state, regional, and local governments designed to preserve floodplain functions and associated
ecosystems. (s. 62-40.310(1)(d), F.A.C.)

Avoid the expenditure of public funds that encourage or subsidize incompatible new development
or significant expansion of existing development in flood prone areas (s. 62-40.310(3)(e), F.A.C.)

Minimize flood-related emergencies, human disasters, loss of property, and other associated im-
pacts. (s. 62-40.310(3)(f), F.A.C.)


Background Information

It is not surprising that flooding frequently occurs in a state that originally was one-half wetlands. Human
history in Florida is replete with flooding experiences, most notably the devastating hurricanes of the early
20th century that brought about the system of canals and dikes that make much of south Florida habitable.
The Department of Community Affairs estimates that currently about 1.3 million people, or 13 percent of
the state's 1993 population, live in areas subject to flooding, even from minor hurricanes. The Federal
Emergency Management Administration estimates about 14.25 million acres, or 41 percent, of Florida is
flood prone-the highest percentage of all 50 states.

Floodplains are low-lying lands around rivers and streams, lakes, wetlands, and coastal areas that are
subject to inundation from flood waters. Flood prone areas away from floodplains are low-lying, poorly
drained lands. Flooding occurs when rainfall is too intensive for the land to absorb the extra runoff, when
natural or artificial flow-ways are inadequate to accommodate runoff, or when storm surges inundate
coastal areas.
Flooding in Florida typically is caused by heavy or prolonged rainfall from tropical storms and hurricanes,
large thunderstorms, and winter frontal activity. Rainfall in Alabama and Georgia can cause significant








flooding problems in North Florida as shown during Tropical Storms Alberto and Beryl in 1994. Major flood
events usually occur in early fall and late winter, or during hurricane season. Heavy summer thunderstorms
can cause some degree of flooding problems in nearly every community in the state.

Florida's high vulnerability to flooding demands an adequate response to protect the public health, safety,
and welfare. The economic and social impacts of flooding events can be staggering. For instance,
statewide flood damage from 3 tropical storms and 2 tropical disturbances in 1993 was approximately
$500,000,000. Future public liabilities related to flood losses can be greatly reduced through proper control
of development in floodplains and flood prone areas. The FWP emphasizes the need for close cooperation
between WMDs and local governments to avoid or minimize flood risks to new development.

Flooding Issue 1: Human occupancy and alteration of
flood lains and flood rone areas are threatening public
health, safety and welfare, and are damaging natural
systems.

The cornerstone of any floodplain management strategy is adequate mapping of floodplains and flood
prone areas. However, because floodplain mapping is a complex, expensive, and time-consuming
endeavor, many areas are not adequately mapped. Many floodplain mapping efforts have occurred in
response to specific needs and in specific areas, but a coordinated, statewide approach not been under-
taken. Adequate floodplain mapping is an important link between land use and water resources planning.

The 1994 Task Force on Land Use and Water Planning called for the Florida Water Plan to identify water
resources in need of restoration or protection. For the subject area of flooding, the best current formal
recognition of such areas is the 10-year and 100-year floodplains mapped by various agencies, including
the water management districts. The WMDs, in their respective District Water Management Plans, have
committed to schedules for updating and expanding floodplain mapping. Because many floodplains in
Florida have been altered, restoring their natural functions is an important issue. Protecting the functions of
unaltered floodplains is a critical aspect of statewide ecosystem management efforts. Land acquisition and
management through the Save Our Rivers, Preservation 2000, and Conservation and Recreational Lands
programs provides a very effective tool for protecting and restoring floodplains.

Floodplain management responsibilities are shared among federal, state, regional, and local governments.
Local governments have the most direct control in floodplain management through land use planning and
regulation, land acquisition and management, and as sponsors for the flood insurance program adminis-
tered by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). Water management districts and the
DEP, through surface water management regulations authorized in Part IV of Chapter 373, F.S., also
regulate development activities in floodplains and flood prone areas.

Intergovernmental coordination and clear definition of respective roles is critical because most floodplains
cross jurisdictional boundaries of governments with management responsibilities. Activities upstream and
downstream can affect flow regimes at a given location along a water body, and inconsistent management
approaches can present problems for effective floodplain management. Linking regional water resources
planning and management with local land use planning and management provides an opportunity to
increase coordination among responsible governments. For example, through the work of the Governor's
Suwannee River Task Force, the eleven counties along this river system have coordinated land use
planning within the river's floodplain.
A common misconception in Florida is that the five regional WMDs are responsible for providing flood
protection for new development. However, where drainage and flood protection facilities are provided by
the WMDs, they are usually intended to serve only as part of the primary regional water conveyance
system. Local governments are responsible for restricting land uses in flood prone areas and providing the












secondary water conveyance facilities needed to serve local needs. Special districts, primarily Chapter 298,
F.S., water control districts, have also been created in some areas to construct and operate water control
facilities to serve localized needs. The WMDs have authority to regulate discharges into their facilities and
state policy directs the water management districts and other entities to avoid or minimize adverse
environmental impacts from flood protection structures, to discourage locating public facilities in flood prone
areas wherever possible, and to minimize risks and damages when other locations are not feasible.

At the federal level, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is responsible for most federal flood
protection projects in the state, but usually such projects must have a state or local sponsor. These
projects are subject to an array of federal and state environmental laws, regulations, and executive orders,
and must be coordinated with DEP and the appropriate WMD. It is critical to the success of state and
regional water management programs that federal flood control projects be planned and designed in
concert with other water management strategies and initiatives in the affected basin. Protection and
restoration of water quality and natural systems must be an inherent part of the design and operation of
these projects.

Flooding Strategy 1.1: Foster nonstructural strategies in achieving
flood protection.

Flood protection is addressed in Florida through structural and nonstructural methods. Both approaches, to
be effective, require a thorough knowledge of where floodplains and flood prone areas are and the
expected severity and frequency of flooding.

The structural approach usually includes some combination of canals, dikes, dams, pumping stations, and
reservoirs. These facilities have opened areas for development that otherwise might not be habitable, but
are constructed and operated at considerable public or private expense. Statewide, the annual operation
and maintenance costs, for just the major, regional facilities, exceed $55 million. Continued operation and
maintenance of these facilities is a critical issue in providing flood protection for those areas of the state
which depend on them to protect lives and property.

Experience has shown that the structural approach also has a considerable environmental cost. Many
facilities were constructed when we knew even less about the complex hydrologic cycle of Florida and the
delicate balance its water-related ecosystems depend on. Thus, another important issue for these facilities
is to restore areas that have experienced environmental degradation or reduce adverse environmental
impacts wherever feasible.

The nonstructural approach uses a combination of techniques to minimize encroachment in flood prone
areas. Regulations, for example, strive to ensure that activities in flood prone areas are properly located
and managed, e.g., elevating buildings above the 100-year flood level. Public land acquisition precludes
development in flood prone areas, while providing areas for public recreational (or other) use. Providing
technical assistance such as flood maps or other data to local government land use planning programs
helps direct inappropriate activities away from flood hazard areas.

Nonstructural floodplain management is the preferred approach, both economically and environmentally.
However, in those parts of Florida where the structural approach has been used since the early 1900's, the
nonstructural approach often is not feasible with current development patterns. In these areas, the
challenge is to provide flood protection while minimizing adverse environmental impacts.








Selected Action Steps:


1. Through the Environmental Resource Permitting (ERP) programs of DEP and the WMDs,
assure that the natural flood conveyance capabilities of water courses is maintained. (DEP &
WMDs, Ongoing.)
2. Identify and, where appropriate, designate natural floodways as Works of the District. (SRWMD,
Ongoing.)
3. Incorporate flood protection considerations into land acquisition programs. (DEP & WMDs,
Ongoing.)
4. Implement the DEP Water Policy rule, including those portions that deal with floodplain man-
agement. (DEP & WMDs, 1995-Ongoing.)

Flooding Strategy 1.2: Minimize the impacts from future floods.
Selected Action Steps:
1. Consistent with the primary purposes of WMD facilities, construct, operate and maintain works of
the districts in a manner which minimizes flood hazards to existing development and adverse
impacts to natural systems. (WMDs, Ongoing.)
2. In priority areas, delineate floodplains and floodprone areas, and provide this information to local
governments for land use planning and regulatory program purposes. (WMDs, Ongoing.)
3. Review Developments of Regional Impact ( DRIs) and amendments to local government
comprehensive plans to assure that flooding potential is recognized and that risks are minimized.
(DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
4. Complete the Upper St. Johns Basin Project. (SJRWMD, 1998.)
5. Maintain and operate water control structures in Upper Ocklawaha River Basin. (SJRWMD,
1997-1998).
6. Complete canal conveyance capacity studies (SFWMD, 1993 to 1997):
C-7, C-8, C-23. (1993 to 1997.)
C-15, C-16. (1993.)
C-1W, C-100, C-100B. (1993 to 1995.)
L-10, L-12. (1993 to 1994.)


Flooding Issue 2: Inadequate preparation for flood
disasters and response have increased property damage and
risks to human safety.

The State of Florida Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, administered by the Division of
Emergency Management, coordinates the activities and responsibilities of 23 state agencies, 5 water
management districts, school districts, and numerous private organizations during declared emergencies.
The experiences of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 sharpened the state's awareness of the need to be prepared
for, and respond to, flooding and other natural disasters. The five WMDs have entered into a mutual aid
agreement as part of a Cooperating Emergency Management Plan. This plan and agreement facilitates
providing assistance between agencies in response to natural or other disasters.












The most effective opportunity to improve emergency management procedures, however, is after
emergency situations occur and emergency management procedures are completed. An ongoing
procedure to evaluate the effectiveness of emergency management procedures, after the emergency has
passed, needs to be coordinated among all responsible entities.


Flooding Strategy 2.1: Reduce flood risks to property and human
safety.

Selected Action Steps:
1. Through the ERP programs of DEP and the WMDs, assure that dams and other water retention
or management structures are properly designed, constructed and maintained to minimize flood
risks. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
2. Improve dam safety inspection programs. (DEP & WMDs, 1996).

Flooding Strategy 2.2: Improve provision of flood-related emergency
preparedness and response.

Selected Action Steps:

1.Work with DCA Division of Emergency Management and others to assess and clarify flood
emergency planning and response responsibilities of DEP and the WMDs. ( DEP, WMDs, DCA,
local governments, & Special Districts. 1996 Ongoing.)
2. Work with DCA, FEMA, USACOE and local governments to provide effective response to flood
emergencies. (DEP, WMDs, DCA, FEMA, USACE, & Local Governments, Ongoing.)









Chapter Four: Water Quality

Water Quality Goal

It is declared to be the public policy of this state to conserve the waters of the state and to protect, maintain,
and improve the quality thereof for public water supplies, for the propagation of wildlife and fish and other
aquatic life, and for domestic, agricultural, industrial, recreational, and other beneficial uses and to provide
that no wastes be discharged into any waters of the state without first being given the degree of treatment
necessary to protect the beneficial uses of such water. (s. 403.021(2), F.S.)

Legal Basis For Management

Protection of water quality has been a priority concern in Florida for many years, which is reflected in
numerous provisions of Florida Statutes and DEP rules, including the following:
Protect surface and groundwater quality and quantity in the state. (s. 187.201 (8)(b)10., F.S.)

Eliminate the discharge of inadequately treated wastewater and stormwater runoff into the waters
of the state. 187.201((8)(b)12. and 187.201(23)(b)13., F.S.)

The state should assure a safe and healthful environment through monitoring and regulating
activities which impact the quality of the state's air, water, and food (s. 187.201(6)(b)(2.b., F.S.)

Protect aquifers from depletion and contamination through appropriate regulatory programs and
through incentives (s. 187.201(8)(b)9. F.S.)

To minimize the degradation of water resources caused by the discharge of stormwater (s.
373.016(2)(e), F.S.)

The Department shall include goals in the state water policy for the proper management of
stormwater. (s. 403.0891, F.S.)

It is a goal of the state that all its agencies, the State University System, the State Board of
Communicate Colleges, and all municipalities, counties, regional agencies, and special districts,
develop and implement strategies to prevent pollution, including public information programs and
education programs. (s. 403.073, F.S.)

It shall be a goal of surface water management programs to protect, preserve, and restore the
quality, quantity and environmental values of water resources. (s. 62-40.432(1)(a), F.A.C.)

The primary goals of the state's stormwater management program are to maintain, to the
maximum extent practicable, during and after construction and development, the pre-development
stormwater characteristics of a site; to reduce stream channel erosion, pollution, siltation,
sedimentation, and flooding; to reduce storm water pollutant loadings discharged to waters to
preserve or restore beneficial uses; to reduce the loss of fresh water resources by encouraging the
reuse of storm water; to enhance ground water recharge by promoting infiltration of storm water in
areas with appropriate soils and geology; to maintain the appropriate salinity regimes in estuaries
needed to support the natural flora and fauna; and to address stormwater management on a
watershed basis to provide cost effective water quality and water quantity solutions to specific












watershed problems. (s. 62-40.412(1)(b), F.A.C.)
Restore and protect the quality of ground and surface water by solving current problems and by
ensuring high quality treatment for stormwater and wastewater. (s. 62-40.310(2)(a), F.A.C.)
Identify existing and future public water supply areas and protect them from contamination. (s. 62-
40.310(2)(b), F.A.C.)


Background Information

Surface Water Quality
Good water quality is essential for natural systems, agriculture, industry, recreation, commercial fishing,
public health, and drinking water. Due to the close relationships among natural resources, land use, and
infrastructure, Florida must address surface water management on a watershed basis. Surface water
basins are unique, and, therefore, management programs need to be tailored to the attributes of each
watershed.
To be effective, surface water management programs need to address both point and nonpoint sources of
pollution. Point sources, which are regulated by DEP, include discharges from industries and municipal
wastewater treatment plants. Over the past 25 years substantial progress has been made in reducing
loadings from this type of pollution.

Nonpoint sources include pollution loadings from a variety of sources such as stormwater runoff, and
indirect sources such as dry and wet precipitation from the atmosphere. It includes sediment from erosion,
fertilizers and pesticides from farms and lawns, oil, gasoline and metals from roads and parking lots,
septic tank leachate, and organic solvents. Statewide, this type of pollution is much more serious,
diffused, and difficult to manage. It requires environmental awareness by everyone as part of their daily
routines.

Nonpoint sources such as stormwater runoff and septic tanks are regulated by DEP, the water
management districts, HRS, and local governments. Stormwater runoff now is considered to be the single
most significant source of pollution for Florida's surface waters. Regulatory programs for stormwater
runoff currently address the impacts associated with new construction and redevelopment. However, older
developments (constructed before the establishment of stormwater permitting programs) contribute
significant quantities of contaminated runoff to Florida's waters.
In 1987, the Florida legislature created the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM)
program to address problems that threaten the state's surface water bodies. Revised in 1991, the Act
declared that many natural surface water systems in Florida were degraded or in danger of becoming
degraded. The Act directed the WMDs to design and implement plans for protecting and improving priority
water bodies. To date, 28 systems of lakes, rivers, and estuaries have received funding as SWIM water
bodies (see Table 1). Other water bodies have been identified as SWIM priority water bodies but have not
received funding.

Also in 1987, congress enacted Section 319 of the Federal Clean Water Act, establishing a national
program to address the impacts of nonpoint source pollution. The Act requires all states to assess the
impact of nonpoint sources on their respective water bodies and to develop a plan and program to abate
these impacts. Florida's Nonpoint Assessment and Management Plan was approved by EPA in 1989.
The implementing framework for this program is based on provisions of the Florida Water Resources Act
(Ch. 373, F.S.) and the Florida Air and Water Pollution Control Act (Ch. 403, F.S.), with special emphasis
on SWIM water bodies for receipt of Section 319 federal funding. The focus of the program is to support








the goals and objectives of the State Water Policy (Ch. 62-40, F.A.C.).


While DEP and the WMDs are statutorily the chief stewards for protecting and restoring Florida's water
resources, the public also plays a critical role, particularly in avoiding and helping to clean up nonpoint
source pollution. Many surface water management endeavors require the direct involvement of individuals,
citizen groups, and the private business sector. This involvement may include such diverse activities as
responsible use of pesticides and fertilizers, proper disposal of potential pollutants, participating in cleanup
campaigns and generally practicing good environmental stewardship. The public should be involved in
promoting stormwater utilities, evaluating government programs, and implementing grass roots
educational and cleanup efforts. Partnerships are needed between government agencies, the general
public and the private sector to help protect and restore water quality of the state's surface waters.

Table 1 : SWIM-FUNDED WATER BODIES


SFWMD SWFWMD SJRWMD SRWMD NWFWMD
Lake Tampa Bay Lake Apopka Suwannee River Lake Jackson
Okeechobee System
Okeechobee Rainbow River/Blue Indian River System Apalachicola
Fla. Run Lagoon Santa Fe River River and Bay
Everglades Banana Lake System System System
Indian River Lower St. Coastal Rivers Pensacola
Lagoon Cysta River/Kings Johns River System Bay
System Bay
Lake Panasoffkee Upper Alligator Lake Deerpoint
Ocklawaha Lake
Biscayne Bay Charlotte Harbor River Aucilla River
System
Lake Tarpon Waccasassa
Lake Thonotosassa River System
Winter Haven Chain
of Lakes
Sarasota Bay



Ground Water Ouality
Since ground water is the source of potable water for over ninety percent of Florida's population, great
care must be exercised to assure that the source aquifers are protected from contamination. Most of the
state's groundwater supply is withdrawn from the Floridan aquifer, which underlies the entire state. Parts of
the Floridan are overlain by clay, which acts as a confining bed, constraining the vertical movement of
water and creating artesian pressure. Where the Floridan aquifer contains poor quality water, other
aquifers are used. In Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, the unconfined to semi-confined Sand and
Gravel aquifer is the principal source of supply. In Dade, Broward, and parts of Palm Beach County the
primary source is the Biscayne, a surficial limestone aquifer that is highly permeable and particularly
vulnerable to contamination. Unnamed surficial and intermediate aquifers are the most important supply
sources along the east coast.
Aquifer protection involves identifying areas that are especially susceptible to contamination, minimizing
the threat from pollution sources, monitoring to detect problems and trends, and cleaning up contaminated
sites. Aquifers that are unconfined or have a confining layer breached by sinkholes are naturally
vulnerable to pollutants introduced at the land surface. Areas where drinking water is supplied by private











wells in an unconfined or semi-confined aquifer are particularly sensitive. As was noted in the Water
Supply Chapter, overpumping (or "mining") ground water can also pose a serious threat to ground water
quality.

The federal Safe Drinking Water Act was passed in 1974 to protect drinking water and the aquifers that
supply it. The Act established a system of national drinking water standards and treatment technologies, a
sole source aquifer protection program, an underground injection control program for disposal of wastes,
and a wellhead protection program.

In 1983 Florida's Water Quality Assurance Act provided funding for new programs that address storage
and disposal of hazardous waste, cleanup of contaminated sites, and statewide ground water quality
monitoring. Also in 1983 the Department of Environmental Regulation established the state's first ground
water rule in Chapter 62-520, Part IV, F.A.C. The rule classifies aquifers as G-l or G-ll (potable) and G-lll
or G-IV (non-potable) on the basis of water quality and geologic confinement. Discharge of any toxic or
carcinogenic materials into ground water is prohibited, except into G-IV aquifers. In addition, discharges to
G-1 or G-2 aquifers must meet the federal primary and secondary drinking water standards beyond a
small zone of discharge allowed for dilution and treatment.

DEP rules regulate numerous activities having the potential to affect ground water quality; some examples
are wastewater treatment plants, wastewater reuse, landfills, hazardous waste, and underground storage
tanks. Other agencies with major roles in the protection of ground water are the WMDs (prevention of salt
water intrusion through regulation of consumptive use of water, surface water management, and well
construction), HRS (regulation of onsite sewage disposal systems), DACS (regulation of fertilizer and
pesticide use), and local governments (regulation of land use).

Water Quality Issue 1: While significant accomplishments
have been made Florida's surface and ground waters
continue to be degraded by point and nonpoint sources of
pollution.

Water Qualit Strategy 1.1: Improve research, data collection and
data sharing hy implementing the action steps associated with
General Issue Strategy 4.1.

Chapter 373, F.S., establishes DEP as the state's lead water quality monitoring agency and central
repository for surface water and ground water information. Section 373.026(2), F.S., directs all local
governments, water management districts, and state agencies to cooperate with the DEP in making data
available to the department. The FWP supports expanded coordination and more efficient use of program
resources related to research, monitoring and data management, including the development and
implementation of a comprehensive water quality monitoring program.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Continue support and expansion of the ground and surface water ambient monitoring networks.








(DEP, WMDs, & local governments, Ongoing.)
2. Reorganize the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) and the Ground Water
Quality Monitoring Network so that data and methodologies may be shared directly. (DEP & WMDs,
1995.)
3. Secure additional funding for both networks. (DEP & WMDs, 1996).
4. Continue to prepare State Water Quality Assessment (305(b) Reports. (DEP, 1995 Ongoing.)
5. Develop statewide GIS coverage and coordinate research activities and data sharing. (DEP,
WMDS, & local governments, 1997.)

Water quality Stategy 1.2: Secure dedicated and adequate funding
for su face water programs, including SWIM.
State, regional, and local agencies already know where many surface water quality problems exist. One of
the principal problems facing water resource managers, however, is the lack of dedicated sources of
funding for implementing adequate surface water protection and restoration programs. State funding for
SWIM programs, in particular, has diminished over recent years. The current source of revenue for SWIM,
the Advanced Disposal Fee required on non-recycled food containers, will diminish as companies meet
recycling targets. For example, in the St. Johns River Water Management District alone, the state's share
of SWIM funding fell from 80 percent in 1987-88 to less than 50 percent by 1992. Similar restrictions have
occurred in other districts. The 1995 Legislature provided no new SWIM funding for fiscal year 1995-96.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Work with the Legislature to secure a specific, continuing funding source for the SWIM program
other than the Advance Disposal Fee. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)


Water Quality Strategy 1.3: Implement statewide stormwater
management.
The EPA still retains authority over the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) munici-
pal stormwater system program. Under this program, local governments are required first to conduct an
inventory of receiving water bodies and stormwater systems that discharge into water bodies. The next
step is to identify ways to reduce the loading into these natural systems. Many local governments have
requested that the WMDs provide help during the permitting process in the form of financial assistance for
stormwater master planning and the development of pollutant load reduction goals (PLRGs).

Selected Action Steps:
1. Administer the state stormwater program, in cooperation with the WMDs and other parties, and
support the concept of watershed management as an integral part of ecosystem management
initiatives. (DEP, WMDs & local governments, Ongoing.)
2. Develop and implement stormwater PLRGs according to schedules presented in District Water
Management Plans, including DEP review. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
3. Assume delegation of the federal NPDES stormwater permitting program. (DEP, 1999).
4. Assist in establishing stormwater utilities. (DEP, WMDs, & local governments, 1992-Ongoing.)
5. Continue to participate in the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control program pursuant to provisions











of Section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Reauthroization Amendments of 1990. (NOAA, EPA, DEP,
DCA, local governments, Ongoing.)
6. Continue to participate in the Nonpoint Source Pollutant abatement program pursuant to s. 319 of
the National Clean Water Act. ( EPA, DEP, WMDs, local governments, Ongoing.)
7. Continue and where possible expand the Pre-application Review Process for Agricultural Surface
Water Management (ASWM) Systems. (DEP, WMDs, & DACs, 1996-Ongoing.)


Water Quality Strategy 1.4: Continue and refine statewide efforts to
reduce impacts from point source pollution.

DEP is responsible for implementing, in accordance with EPA guidelines, the point source portion of the
EPA's NPDES program. Significant reductions in point source pollution (discharges from wastewater
treatment plants and industries) have been achieved since the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972.
Nevertheless, additional reductions in point source discharges will have to be made to restore many lakes
and streams to their full beneficial uses. DEP received delegation of the NPDES point source program in
May, 1995, an action that may increase overall efficiency of the program. In addition to the routine
regulatory approaches, wastewater reuse presents an opportunity for further reducing discharges into
surface water bodies and is a statewide objective established in Florida laws.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Implement the recently delegated federal NPDES point source surface water permitting
program. (DEP & EPA, 1995.)
2. Continue to implement the federally delegated Underground Injection Control program. (DEP,
Ongoing.)
3. Adopt the revised Underground Injection Control rule (Ch. 62-528). (DEP, 1995.)
4. Secure additional resources to increase the number of compliance inspections conducted on all
discharging facilities to the level of service required by rule. (DEP, 2000.)
5. Adopt additional general permit and exemption criteria for small industrial wastewater facilities
pursuant to the recommendations of the Industrial Wastewater Task Force. (DEP, 1995-2000.)
6. Develop and implement Total Maximum Daily Loads for priority water bodies pursuant to
DEP/EPA work program. (DEP, Ongoing.)
7. Continue and amplify existing contract with the Florida Rural Water Association to conduct
technical assistance activities for small wastewater and drinking water facilities to improve
compliance. (DEP, 1996 and Continuing.)
8. Expand DEP technical assistance on pollution prevention, and provide incentives for voluntary
pollution control programs. (DEP, Ongoing.)


Water Quality Strategy 1.5: Update and revise state water quality
standards.

State narrative water quality criteria for nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) are often difficult to implement,







even though they are important indicators of pollution from agricultural runoff, residential runoff, and poorly
functioning septic tanks. In some cases, water-body specific numeric criteria can be developed. In addition,
current DEP water quality standards only reflect differences in class designations (Classes I-V). However,
natural conditions also vary substantially across physiographic regions for different types of water bodies
(e.g., estuaries vs. upland lakes and streams). There is also a need to develop practical measures of
biological integrity.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Update and revise state water quality standards through the Triennial Review and water body
classification process, including Outstanding Florida Waters. (DEP, Ongoing.)
2. Reclassify the Fenholloway River from Class V to Class Ill. (DEP, 1997.)
3. Assess the feasibility of adopting additional numeric nutrient water quality criteria for the
Suwannee River (SRWMD & DEP, 1992 to 1996.)
4. Adoption of rules on contaminated areas, coordination with other parties. (DEP & WMDs,
Ongoing.)

Water quality Strategy 1.6: Develo and implement appropriate
methods to delineate areas vulnerable to ground water
contamination,and devise strategies to prevent pollution of ground
water.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Pursuant to s. 576.045, F.S., in conjunction with DACS, implement programs to reduce
agriculture-related nitrate contamination of groundwater, through enhanced Best Management
Practices (BMPs) for fertilizer use and dairy operations. (DEP& DACS, 1995 Ongoing.)
2. Develop and begin implementing methods to delineate areas vulnerable to other contaminants.
(DEP, 1996-97.)
3. Delineate prime ground water recharge areas. (WMDs, 1995-98)
4. Implement delineated areas program. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
5. Identify pollution prevention measures to be implemented in vulnerable areas. (DEP, WMDs &
local governments, Ongoing.)

Water Quality Strategy 1.7: Reduce the impacts of human-induced
saltwater intrusion on ground water quality.

Saltwater movement, a common occurrence in aquifers along Florida's coast, is a hydrologic
consequence when any significant pumping occurs. Saltwater intrusion becomes an issue when
movement of saline water reaches, or threatens to reach and contaminate, fresh water supplies. This has
been documented in several areas of the state, including inland areas, and must be dealt with by
techniques which adequately protect ground water quality and achieve sustainable yield. Nowhere is the
intricate linkage between water quality and water quantity more aptly demonstrated.

Selected Action Steps:














1. Establish minimum aquifer water levels pursuant to s. 373.042(2), F.S., and schedules in District
Water Management Plans. (WMDs, Ongoing.)
2. Reevaluate and make necessary changes to the consumptive use permitting process to assure
consistency with WMD needs and sources plans and established minimum flows and levels.
(WMDs, Ongoing.)
3. Implement the alternative source initiatives identified in Water Supply Strategy 4.6. (DEP, WMDs,
EPA, Ongoing).
4. Develop strategies and schedules for identifying sustainable yields of priority aquifers and surface
waters used for water supply, and provide this information to Regional Planning Councils, local
governments and water suppliers. (WMDs, 1995 Ongoing.)
5. Develop management strategies via the joint work group on saltwater intrusion. (DEP & WMDs,
1994 1995.)









Chapter Five: Natural


Systems



Natural Systems Goals

Conserve forests, wetlands, fish, marine life, and wildlife to maintain their environmental, economic,
aesthetic, and recreational values. 187.201(10)(b) 1., F.S.)
Goal. Florida shall protect and acquire unique natural habitats and ecological systems, such as wetlands,
tropical hardwood hammocks, and virgin longleaf pine forests, and restore degraded systems to a
functional condition. (s. 187.201(10)(a), F.S.)
Reserve from use that water necessary to support essential non-withdrawal demands, including naviga-
tion, recreation, and the protection of fish and wildlife. (s. 187.201(8)(b)14. F.S.)
[Florida Reorganization Act of 1993] It is the policy of the Legislature: ... To protect the functions of entire
ecological systems through enhanced coordination of public land acquisition, regulatory, and planning
programs. (s. 94-356, 2(c), Laws of Florida)
The Legislature hereby declares the policy of the state to be management and preservation of its
renewable marine fishery resources, based upon the best available information, emphasizing protection
and enhancement of the marine and estuarine environment in a manner as to provide for optimum
sustained benefits and use to all the people of this state for present and future generations. (s. 370.025(1),
F.S.)

Legal Basis For Management
In addition to the provisions cited as goals, the legal basis for managing Florida's natural systems involves
a broad array of statutory and rule provisions, including the following:
[The Department of Environmental Protection shall] Adopt by rule a state water policy, which
shall provide goals, objectives, and guidance for the development and review of programs,
rules, and plans relating to water resources. This state water policy shall be consistent with the
state comprehensive plan and may include such department rules as are specifically identified
in the policy. (s. 403.061(33) and s. 373.026(10), F.S.)
To provide for the management of water and related land resources (s. 373.016(2)(a), F.S.)
To preserve natural resources, fish, and wildlife (s. 373.016(2)(f), F.S.)
Within each section, or the water management district as a whole, the department or the
governing board shall establish ...:
(1) Minimum flows for all watercourses in the area. The minimum flow for a given watercourse
shall be the limit at which further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water
resources or ecology of the area. (s. 373.042(1), F.S.)
The minimum flow and minimum water level shall be calculated by the department and
governing board using the best information available. When appropriate, minimum flows and












levels may be calculated to reflect seasonal variations. (s. 373.042, F.S.)
[Everglades Forever Act] It is the intent of the Legislature to facilitate the surface water
improvement and management process, to assist the district and the Department of Environ-
mental Protection in the performance of their duties and responsibilities, and to provide funding
mechanisms which will contribute to the implementation of the strategies incorporated in the
Everglades Surface Water Improvement and Management Plan ... (s. 373.4592, F.S.)
Utilize, preserve, restore, and enhance natural water management systems and discourage the
channelization or other alteration of natural rivers, streams and lakes. (s. 62-40.310(4)(c),
F.A.C.)
Protect the water storage and water quality enhancement functions of wetlands, floodplains,
and aquifer recharge areas through acquisition, enforcement of laws, and the application of land
and water management practices which provide for compatible uses. (s. 62-40.310(5)(a),
F.A.C.)
Emphasize the prevention of pollution and other water resource problems. (s. 62-40.310(5)(b),
F.A.C.)


Background

Florida's natural systems have evolved in response to seasonal and long-term cycles of drought, fire and
flood. The climatic and landscape characteristics of Florida have produced a delicately balanced web of
life which is adapted to the natural periods of stress and has thrived for millions of years. But over the last
century, landscape changes and widespread modification of water regimes to accommodate economic
development have amplified the natural extremes of drought and flood. Such hydrologic disruptions,
coupled with pollution, reduced incidence of natural fires, and other man-induced impacts, are a
continuing threat to Florida's water resources and associated natural systems.

As Florida's population grows, we face the prospect of progressively greater competition between the
water supply and flood protection needs of people and the needs of already stressed natural systems.
Since adequate water supplies and healthy natural systems are fundamental to sustaining the state's
economy, failure to effectively deal with this threat will ultimately affect the welfare and quality of life of all
Floridians.

Most of the broader, statewide concerns for natural systems relate directly to Florida's continuing rapid
population growth and development, and include the following:
The loss of half of Florida's wetlands, with corresponding loss of fish and wildlife, due to
hydrologic modifications related to drainage, ground water withdrawals, and dredge and fill
activities;
Reduced base flow to streams leading to low flows in downstream areas during dry periods and
higher than normal salinity in estuaries;
Damage to commercial and sport fisheries caused by abrupt changes in salinity levels, resulting
from drainage and flood control facilities that discharge excessive amounts of fresh water to
estuaries during wet periods;
Disruption of the reproductive cycles of estuarine and marine species in some areas where
water control structures have been constructed to impound water supplies or prevent saltwater
intrusion;








Declining water available for natural systems in some areas of the state where water demands
of Florida's burgeoning population are exceeding the sustainable yield of readily available
resources;
The creation of flood hazards, destruction of valuable wildlife habitat and degradation of water
quality caused by development that encroaches into floodplains and flood-prone areas.

While some of the natural systems issues have developed recently, others have been a part of the Florida
scene for many years. They are often the result of inadequate understanding of natural processes; state
and federal management programs that were defined too narrowly; or, inadequate commitment of
resources. However, in recent years substantial progress has been made. The DEP and each WMD is
now involved, to varying degrees, in efforts to resolve statewide water resource issues related to sustaining
Florida's natural systems.


Natural Systems Issue 1: Florida's uni ue ecosystems are
increasing threatened by water-relatec problems
associated with rapid population growth.

The challenge of protecting Florida's natural systems in the face of projected population growth requires a
broad, coordinated management approach : ecosystem management. In recognition of the challenge of
protecting these complex and fragile natural systems, the legislation that created the DEP also
empowered this new department to focus more of its resources on managing entire ecosystems. The
definition of Ecosystem Management adopted by DEP is:

An integrated approach to management of Florda's biological and physical environments -
conducted through the use of tools such as planning, land acquisition, environmental education,
regulation, and pollution prevention designed to maintain, protect' and improve the state's
natural, managed and human communities.

This concept recognizes the interrelated nature of ecological processes, and supports the premise that the
effectiveness of many individual resource protection efforts can be increased if they are parts of a
cohesive, coordinated strategy, tailored to the management needs of specific natural systems. The idea is
not new. It has been applied in varying degrees by many existing programs.
Ecosystem management will be accomplished through a combination of planning, regulatory, acquisition
and restoration programs carried out by DEP and the WMDs in cooperation with other federal, state,
regional and local agencies, as well as private organizations and landowners. A good foundation exists for
statewide application of the DEP Ecosystem Management strategy:

Major work has begun toward restoring the Kissimmee River/Lake Okeechobee/Everglades
systems and dealing with problems of Florida Bay and the Florida Keys.

DEP and the WMDs in north Florida are working with federal agencies, local governments and
the states of Georgia and Alabama to develop comprehensive basin management plans and
interstate compacts to protect the Apalachicola and Suwannee River systems.

DEP and the WMDs, through several interrelated programs, are working with other federal,
state, and local agencies, as well as private organizations to implement the largest land
acquisition program in the U.S. Much of this is specifically designed to protect and help restore
the integrity of water resources and associated natural systems.
Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Plans are being implemented for 26











water bodies of regional and statewide significance, but the 1995 Legislature provided no new
funding for fiscal year 1995-96.

Federally owned lands such as Eglin Air Force Base and several National Forests are the
subjects of concerted interagency ecosystem management efforts.

Natural Systems Strategy 1.1: Use the authorities, programs, and
technical expertise of DEP and the WMDs to promote ecosystem
management.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Further develop and implement recommendations in the DEP Ecosystem Management Plan.
(DEP & WMDs, 1995-96.)
2. Develop and apply ecosystem management techniques for state-owned lands. (DEP, 1996.)
3. Emphasize ecosystem protection in land acquisition. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
4. Continue DEP/WMD cooperation on the Suwannee River, Everglades, Hillsborough River, St.
Johns River, Wekiva River, and Apalachicola Ecosystem Management Area Implementation Plans.
(DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
5. Develop special Basin Criteria for Tomoka River and Spruce Creek. (SJRWMD, 1994-1995.)
6. Develop a Surface Water Management Plan for Orange Creek Basin. (SJRWMD Advisory
Board, 1994 to 1996.)
7. Evaluate whether to initiate development of a Peace River Ecosystem Management Area
Implementation Plan. (SWFWMD & DEP, 1995.)
8. Through the existing plan review process, review revisions to local government comprehensive
plans to assure adequate consideration for protecting wetlands, floodplains, and regionally
significant habitat. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
9. Evaluate and effectively utilize innovative land acquisition and management strategies such as
joint acquisition/management with local governments, federal agencies, and the private sector to
promote ecosystem management. (DEP, WMDs, Federal agencies, local governments, & others,
Ongoing.)


Natural Systems Strategy 1.2: Reduce the loss of biodiversity and
biological productivity.

Over 50 percent of Florida's wetlands have been lost as a result of man's activities since 1900, a
significant reduction in wildlife habitat. Much of the remaining natural area exists in a highly managed
environment controlled by water management systems designed to prevent or minimize impacts of
flooding and criss-crossed by a complex transportation network. Plans for future development must
recognize the effects of man's activities on the waters and land of the state, including the loss of habitat
and other detrimental impacts on wildlife. The acquisition and management of land for ecological
purposes must continue. Research must be increased to determine carrying capacities of various
ecosystems, including water needs. And the effectiveness of environmental regulatory programs must be








maintained.

Selected Action Steps:
1. Review local government comprehensive plan amendments and DRI's for impacts to regionally
significant habitat. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
2. Assist Regional Planning Councils and local governments in identifying natural resources of
regional significance, developing model ordinances, and take other steps to establish protection
for natural systems.
3. Promote stewardship programs for habitat conservation. (SJRWMD, GFWFC, DACS, Ongoing.)
4. Implement recommendations of the DEP 1995 Ecosystem Management Plan. (DEP, WMDs,
and others, Ongoing after spring 1995.)

Natural Systems Strategy 1.3: Implement effective water resource
and pollution control permitting.

The DEP and water management districts have worked closely to develop and implement a consistent
and timely permitting program for surface water management and natural resource protection that uses
statewide criteria to prevent or mitigate development impacts. The state is also evaluating whether to take
over, in the environmental resource permitting (ERP) program, some of the permitting functions of the
Army Corps of Engineers.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Develop and implement basin-specific criteria, tailored to the management needs of the water
resources or associated natural system. (WMDs, Ongoing.)
2. Implement the combined Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) system as defined in law and
rules. DEP & WMDs, 1995-Ongoing.)
3. Continue existing regulation of agriculture and surface water management projects. (WMDs,
Ongoing.)

Natural Systems Strategy 1.4: Maintain and, where feasible, restore
the hydrologic patterns of watersheds and ecosystems, with particular
emphasis on restoring natural patterns of fresh water flow to
estuarine systems.
Some of the state's major natural systems are facing degradation and possible destruction. The benefits
provided by these areas, such as wildlife habitat, water storage and aquifer recharge, may be lost unless
significant efforts are made to protect and restore them. A notable example is the Kissimmee
River/Everglades/Florida Bay ecosystem in south Florida where drainage projects and urban and
agricultural development have significantly altered natural habitat and patterns of water flow. Similar
concerns are involved in the Upper St. Johns River basin and the Green Swamp.

Selected action Steps:

1. Continue the Upper St. Johns River restoration project. (SJRWMD& USACE, completion 1998.)
2. Implement the Kissimmee River restoration project. (SFWMD & USACE, 1995-2012.)
3. Implement the Everglades restoration activities mandated by the Everglades Forever Act of











1994. (DEP, SFWMD, & USACE, 1995-2004.)
4. Continue SWIM program efforts related to reducing excessive fresh water discharges in the
Turkey Creek and St. Lucie subbasins of the Indian River Lagoon estuarine system. (SJRWMD,
Melbourne-Tillman Water Control District, & SFWMD. Ongoing.)
5. Implement protection strategies for the Green Swamp, including the "Land Authority".
(SWFWMD, Ongoing.)
6. Continue cooperative efforts to incorporate restoration of hydrology and natural systems into the
design and construction of new regional transportation facilities such as the Polk County Parkway
and Interstate 4 corridor. (DEP, WMDs, DOT, GFWFC, local governments, & others Ongoing.)

Natural Systems Strategy 1.5: Assure close coordination between
establishment of mitigation banks and land acquisition programs of
state, regional and local government.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Develop statewide restoration priorities, and incorporate these into existing restoration programs,
acquisition programs, and location of mitigation banks. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
2. Develop the South Florida Comprehensive Conservation, Permitting and Mitigation Plan. (DEP,
SFWMD, USACE, EPA, GFWFC & others, 1997.)
3. Based on results of the South Florida CCPMP, review statewide restoration priorities such as
Pollution Recovery Trust Fund (PRTF) projects, and extend this planning strategy statewide. (DEP
& WMDs, 2000.)

Natural Systems Strategy 1.6: Achieve maintenance control of exotic
and noxious aquatic species.

In Florida the primary nuisance species of vegetation include melaleuca, Brazilian pepper and Australian
Pine on land areas and hydrilla on water bodies. These species tend to form monocultures, crowding out
and preventing the regrowth of native species, which have much greater environmental values than the
nuisance species.

((DEP Bureau of Aquatic Plant Management to redraft this discussion and draft specific related
Implementation strategies.)

Selected Action Steps:

1. Promote the use of native plants for landscaping. (WMDs & local governments, Ongoing.)
2. Develop a statewide interagency approach for control of invasive exotic plants. (DEP, WMDs,
GFWFC, Ongoing.)
3. Continue the Melaleuca Task Force. (SFWMD & DEP, Ongoing.)
4. Reduce the infestation of invasive exotic upland plants by 25 percent on state lands. (DEP, 2010)







5. Bring hydrilla, water hyacinth, and water lettuce under maintenance control in public waters.
(DEP, 2000.)
6. Continue exotic plant control and aquatic plant maintenance programs. (SWFWMD & SFWMD,
Ongoing.)

Natural Systems Issue 2: Insufficient actions to establish
minimum flows and levels for Florida's streams, lakes and
aquifers often leaves water managers without a sound
basis for determining and preventing cumulative impacts
to water resources and natural systems caused by water
withdrawals.
A significant element in sustaining Florida's natural systems involves meeting their basic water needs. To
that end, the water management districts are directed by Section 373.042, F.S. to establish minimum
flows for surface water courses and minimum levels of groundwater in aquifers. These represent the
flows and levels at which further withdrawals will cause significant harm to the water resources or ecology
of the area. While this charge may seem straightforward, it is no simple task.
The technical requirements for assessing individual systems vary, depending on the type of water
resource involved. Many of Florida's surface fresh water systems have been greatly modified and must
now be managed for multiple objectives. In these cases, establishing minimum flows and levels may
involve balancing sometimes competing public interests related to natural systems, water supply,
recreation, navigation and water quality. Given the complexity of the research and analysis needed to
support establishment of minimum flows and levels and continuing limitations on funding, the WMDs
must prioritize water bodies for assessment.
Whether pristine or greatly modified surface water systems are involved, efforts must strive to establish
minimum flows and levels that mimic both the stage and duration of high and low water that would be
experienced naturally. A single, minimum low flow or low water level will not afford adequate protection to
natural systems that are the products of many hydrologic, geologic and climatic variables.
Aquifer levels also fluctuate in response to climatic conditions and water withdrawals. Under certain
circumstances, excessively low aquifer levels can trigger salt water intrusion into drinking water supplies,
cause wells to go dry, reduce lake levels, and dry up wetlands.
Once established, minimum flows and levels are adopted by rule and are implemented primarily through
WMD consumptive use permitting programs, construction and operation of works of the districts, in water
shortage declarations, and in conjunction with other authorities pursuant to Chapter 373, F.S. For
instance, DEP and the WMDs have authority under s. 373.223, F.S., to reserve from use such quantities
of water, during the entire year or seasonally, that are required for the protection of fish and wildlife.
Natural Systems Strategy 2.1: Expedite establishment of minimum
flows and levels for priority streams, lakes and aquifers.
Detailed scientific data on individual hydrologic units is often lacking. But in order to implement protective
measures in a timely manner, establishment of minimum flows and levels for surface waters should, to
the extent possible, generally be done through reliance on best available information, based on well-
founded scientific principles and professional judgement.

Selected Action Steps:











1. Continue monitoring of streams, lakes and aquifers to help provide information needed to
establish minimum flows and levels. (WMDs, DEP & USGS, Ongoing.)
2. Carry out establishment of minimum flows and levels according to the schedules in District
Water Management Plans. (WMDs, Ongoing.)
3. As part of establishing minimum flows and levels, reserve from use such quantities of water as
are required for the protection of fish and wildlife. (WMDs, Ongoing.)


Natural Systems Strategy 2.2: Prevent water withdrawals fom
causing significant harm to water resources and associated natural
systems.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Maintain established minimum flows and levels through stringent consumptive use permitting.
(WMDs, Ongoing.)
2. Evaluate the appropriateness of considering mitigation in issuance of consumptive use permits.
(DEP & WMDs, Ongoing-1996.)
3. Where excessive withdrawals are determined to have caused significant harm to water
resources or natural systems, seek to eliminate, reduce, or mitigate the harm by limiting
withdrawals and/or requiring restoration/recovery actions. (WMDs, Ongoing.)









Figure 6: (GRAPHIC SHOWING CONCEPTUAL METHOD [EXAMPLE] OF MINIMUM FLOW/LEVEL
FOR A STREAM AND A LAKE)













Figure 7: (GRAPHIC OF STATE SHOWING BASINS, LAKES, AND STREAMS HIGHUGHTED
ACCORDING TO THEIR SCHEDULE FOR ESTABLISHING MINIMUM FLOWS AND LEVELS)









Chapter Six: Coordination


and Evaluation

Coordination Goal

Systematic planning capabilities shall be integrated into all levels of government in Florida with particular
emphasis on improving intergovernmental coordination and maximizing citizen involvement (s.
187.201(26)(a), F.S.)

Legal Basis for Management

Coordination is absolutely critical to successful implementation of water resource and natural systems
management programs, and is inherent in the basic authorities of DEP and the WMDs. Specific legal
provisions relating to coordination in implementing water resource management programs include the
following:
[The Department of Environmental Protection shall] Adopt by rule a state water policy, which
shall provide goals, objectives, and guidance for the development and review of programs,
rules, and plans relating to water resources. This state water policy shall be consistent with
the state comprehensive plan and may include such department rules as are specifically
identified in the policy. (s. 403.061(33) and s. 373.026(10), F.S.)
It is a goal of the state that all its agencies, the State University System, the State Board of
Community Colleges, and all municipalities, counties, regional agencies, and special
districts, develop and implement strategies to prevent pollution, including public information
programs and education programs. (s. 403.073, F.S.)
Emphasize the prevention of pollution and other water resource problems. (s. 62-
40.310(5)(b), F.A.C.)

Advise, consult, cooperate, and enter into agreements with other agencies of the state, the
Federal Government, other states, interstate agencies, groups, political subdivisions, and
industries affected by the provisions of this act, rules, or policies of the department (s.
403.061, F.S.)
Develop interstate agreements and undertake cooperative programs with Alabama and
Georgia to provide for coordinated management of surface and ground waters. (s. 62-
40.310(5)(b), F.A.C.)

The department shall determine the consistency of federal activities, permits, and funding
decisions with its authorities in the Florida Coastal Management Program. (s. 380.23, F.S.)

Background Information
Having a completed Florida Water Plan is evidence that Florida is serious about effective water resources












management. Effectiveness requires cooperation and coordination at every level of government, and with
the public, to put the FWP into action. Effectiveness also requires that the programs which implement the
FWP, and the plan itself, be evaluated periodically to determine where changes are needed to reflect
improved strategies and new issues. This chapter describes some of the key parties and mechanisms
important to effective implementation and evaluation of the provisions and programs encompassed by the
FWP.
Several state agencies other than DEP have water management related responsibilities. These agencies
include the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission (G&FWFC), the Department of Community Affairs
(DCA), and the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS). The G&FWC conducts
research related to understanding critical habitat and other survival needs of Florida's fresh water and
anadromous fish, endangered species, and game and non-game animals. Identification of regionally
significant habitat areas is a particularly valuable part of this work. The DCA is responsible for developing
the State Land Development Plan, which must be consistent with the State Comprehensive plan and
should be mutually compatible with the Florida Water Plan. DCA also is responsible for review and
certification of local government comprehensive plans for conformance with state planning requirements.
The HRS is responsible for implementing the statewide programs to protect public health, including
regulation of septic tank systems and drinking water distribution systems. In addition, the Department of
Transportation (DOT) is responsible for developing the Florida Transportation Plan, which has significant
implications for water resources and should be mutually compatible with the FWP.

In cooperation with the districts, DEP has overall responsibility for assuring wise use and protection of
Florida's water resources. Sections 373.016 and 373.026, F.S., assign DEP the responsibility for general
supervision of the WMDs, and direct DEP to delegate its water management responsibilities to the
WMDs, to the greatest extent practicable.

Where interstate waters are involved, the states of Georgia and Alabama may also be affected. In most
cases, mechanisms already exist for coordinating with these interests. These mechanisms will be fully
used and refined as needed. The primary mechanisms used to achieve statewide coordination of water
resource management efforts are indicated in Tables 2 and 3, and are briefly explained below.

Water Resources Coordinating Commission

The Water Resources Coordinating Commission (WRCC) is an executive-level advisory and coordination
mechanism, created by Executive Order of the Governor. It is composed of the Lieutenant Governor, the
DEP secretary and the WMD governing board chairs (voting members), and the WMD executive directors
and the directors of the DEP Divisions of Environmental Resource Permitting and Water Facilities. The
stated purpose of the WRCC is "to coordinate and maximize efficiency in the performance of the statutory
duties and responsibilities of DEP and the WMDs to more effectively preserve, protect, and manage the
state's water resources; however, the Commission shall serve in an advisory capacity only."

WMD Executive Directors' Meetings

Regular meetings of the WMD executive directors, with participation by DEP, afford opportunities to
address issues in need of collective attention. The DEP helps establish agendas for the meetings and
participates in technical and policy-level discussions.

DEP/WMD Liaisons








DEP has five liaisons, one assigned to each WMD, to assist the DEP and the WMDs in coordinating with
each other on a variety of issues. The liaison staff are employees of the DEP Office of Water Policy, but
live and work in the districts.

Joint DEP/WMD Development of DEP Water Policy Rule

As directed by Section 373.026(10) and 403.061(33), F.S., DEP adopts by rule a state water policy, which
provides goals, objectives, and guidance for the development and review of programs, rules, and plans
relating to water resources. The DEP Water Policy Rule, Chapter 62-40, F.A.C (also referred to as the
State Water Policy) provides the foundation for DEP and the WMDs to develop long-range plans and
carry out other statutory responsibilities related to water management. The rule is not regulatory, but
consolidates and applies statutory water management policies. Periodic updates of the rule are accom-
plished through a joint DEP/WMD rule development work group.

Issue-Specific Work Groups

Close coordination on major issues is often accomplished through joint DEP/WMD work groups or teams.
Examples of this are the DWMP Plan Review Group, which established the "Format and Guidelines" for
development of the DWMPs, and cooperated on developing the draft Florida Water Plan. Also, 16
separate" conventions" committees worked over a 2-year period to develop recommended approaches
for dealing with specific issues in the DWMPs, such as management of surface water quality, determining
surface and ground water availability, and floodplain mapping. Another such group is the Reuse Coordi-
nating Committee, which consists of representatives of the water management districts, DEP, and the
Public Service Commission.

DEP Review of WMD Rules

Under Section 373.114, Florida Statutes, DEP has exclusive authority to review rules of the WMDs for
consistency with the State Water Policy. If the department determines that a WMD rule is inconsistent with
the State Water Policy, it may order the WMD to initiate rulemaking to amend or repeal the rule. Any such
order may be appealed to the Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission (Governor and Cabinet). To
prevent inconsistencies with State Water Policy, individual WMD programs often employ joint DEP/WMD
rule development teams.

DEP Review of WMD Budgets/Program Auditing

Section 373.536, Florida Statutes, directs the WMDs to submit a tentative budget to DEP annually by
August 5. Within 30 days, DEP must provide its review of and comments on the budget to the district
governing boards, legislative leaders, and the Governor. This review and comment is presented in the
form of a report based on a standard format prescribed by the DEP and agreed upon by all the WMDs.
The data contained in the DEP report are derived from the information submitted by the WMDs.

DEP is not authorized to and does not audit or object to the proposed budgets. This responsibility is with
the Executive Office of the Governor and the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. However,
DEP notes items such as substantial millage rate increases or new or unusually large expenditures. Also,
for certain WMD programs involving DEP-administered funds, DEP conducts periodic financial audits.

Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)

Under Sections 373.026 and 373.046, F.S., DEP may enter into interagency or interlocal agreements with
any other state agency, any water management district, or any local government conducting programs
related to or materially affecting water resources of the state. This mechanism is used to establish the












basis for WMD implementation of delegated or shared programs related to stormwater management,
wetlands permitting, construction of drinking water wells, and other water-related issues. DEP also uses
MOUs to delegate certain of its air and water pollution permitting and enforcement programs to local
governments.

Regional Planning Councils

Florida's eleven Regional Planning Councils (RPCs) have a significant role in coordinating growth
management activities and providing technical assistance to cities and counties for planning purposes.
Pursuant to s.186.507, F.S., each RPCs must develop a Strategic Regional Policy Plan (SRPP) which is
consistent with the State Comprehensive Plan, and which is intended to be used to develop a coordinated
program of regional actions directed at resolving identified problems and needs. An important
component of the SRPPs is identification of resources of regional significance, which include such things
as floodplains, prime recharge areas, major drinking water sources, and regionally significant habitat
areas. It is critical to the success of regional planning and growth management programs that technical
information developed by the WMDs, the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, DEP and other
agencies be made available to the RPCs for use in developing SRPPs. The RPCs, in turn assist in
providing such information to local governments in a form suitable for local planning. This includes
assuring that local government planning adequately considers the limits of water that is available to meet
the potable water supply needs of planned growth and development.

Local Government Technical Assistance and Coordination

DEP provides technical and financial assistance to local governments related to municipal wastewater
treatment, water reuse, and other water pollution control, water quality, and water supply concerns. In
developing, revising, and implementing the Florida Water Plan, coordination with local government is
critical because it is local government that will provide the link between land use planning and water
resources planning. To ensure that the link is made, the department intends to increase opportunities for
local government involvement during FWP revisions and to determine strategies by which the department
and water management districts can best enhance the integration of land use and water resources
planning at the local level.

DEP Rules

The FWP will be implemented primarily through DEP and WMD rules, programs, and budgets. Some
DEP rules (water quality standards and classifications) are required by s. 373.039, F.S. to be included as
part of the Florida Water Plan. Rules that are integral to the FWP include:

State Water Policy, Chapter 62-40, FA.C.
State Water Quality Standards, Chapter 62-3, F.A.C.
Surface Water Quality Standards, Chapter 62-302, F.A.C.
Surface Water Improvement and Management, Chapter 62-43, F.A.C.
Ground Water Classes, Standards, and Exemptions, Chapter 62-520, F.A.C.
Drinking Water Standards, Monitoring, and Reporting, Chapter 62-550, F.A.C.












Table 2. Primary Water Resource Management Coordination Mechanisms
(State, Regional and Local)


Function/Entity

DEP General Supervision Over
WMDs (Policies, Plans and
Programs)


Statewide Ecosystem
Management (DEP)

State Comprehensive Plan
(Governor's Office)
State Land Development Plan
(DCA)
Florida Transportation Plan
(DOT)

Regional Strategic Policy Plans
(RPCs)

Agricultural Interests (DACS)
Local Comprehensive Plans

Local Government Water
Supply Planning, Wastewater
Management, Stormwater
Management, and Solid Waste
Management


Primary Mechanisms

a. Water Resources Coordinating Commission
b. WMD Executive Director's Meetings
c. State Water Policy (Ch. 62-40, F.A.C.)
d. DEP Liaisons to the WMDs
e. Florida Water Plan Work Group
f. Issue-Specific Work Groups (Policy/Rule
Development.)
g. Reuse Coordinating Committee
h. Memoranda of Understanding (Delegation
of Programs/Authorities)
I. Permit Streamlining, Mitigation Banking, etc.)
J. DEP Review of WMD Budgets/Auditing
a. Ecosystem Management Areas/Teams
b. Adaptive Management

Overall Coordination by Office of the Governor

Interagency Planning Committees

Interagency Plan Review Process


a. Florida Water Plan Work Group
b. Plan Review Process (Chapter 186.107(2),
F.S., and Chapter 27E-4, F.A.C.)
Agricultural Water Policy Committee
a. Plan Review Process (Chapter 9J-5, F.A.C.)
b. DEP/WMD Technical and Financial
Assistance Programs












Table 3. Primary Water Resource Management Coordinating Mechanisms
(Federal and Interstate)


Function/Entity

US Army Corps of Engineers
Programs/Projects







US Environmental Protection Agency
Programs


National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) Programs

US Geological Survey Programs

US Soil Conservation Service Programs

US Forest Service Programs

US Fish and Wildlife Service



National Park Service


States of Alabama and Georgia


Primary Mechanisms

a. Public Works Program
b. State Clearinghouse Review Process
c. DEP/USACE Quarterly Meetings
d. Joint DEP/USACE Permit Application
Process (CWA Sec.404)
e. Memoranda of Understanding
f. Potential Delegation of Sec. 404 Permitting to
DEP

a. EPA/DEP Yearly Work Plans/Grants
b. EPA Technical Assistance/Special Projects
c. Delegation of EPA/CWA Programs to DEP

a. Grants
b. Cooperative Agreements/Special Projects

Contracts For Technical Services/Data

Contracts For Technical Services/Data

Ecosystem Management Teams

a. Acquisition Programs
b. Ecosystem Management Teams
c. Special Projects

a. Acquisition Programs
b. Ecosystem Management Teams

a. AFC Tri-State MOU
b. Suwannee River Coordinating Committee
c. St. Marys River Management Group







Coordination and Evaluation Issue 1: Public education
on water resources and public participation in the water
management process is inadequate to ensure public and
legislative support for critical programs and management
actions.

Florida has made substantial progress in environmental education in recent years, particularly in the
public school system. However, efforts targeted on management of water resources remain fragmented
and are not effectively conveying the message to sectors of the public whose strong support is needed for
continuing and enhancing statewide water resource management efforts. Without such support, the ability
of DEP and the WMDs to effectively develop and implement comprehensive long-range strategies is
severely hampered. Also, Florida's challenge of sustaining our water resources and natural systems
cannot be successfully met through the actions of government alone. Success depends heavily on
Florida's ability to educate citizens and visitors, governmental leaders, and the business community about
water resource issues, and to enlist their cooperation and active participation in helping to meet the
challenge.

Coordination Strategy 1.1: Improve public education about Florida 's
water resources.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Perform an inventory/assessment of current public education efforts related to water resources.
(DEP & WMDs, 1996.)
2. Design and implement a water stewardship program for Floridians and visitors. (DEP & WMDs,
1997.)


Coordination Strategy 1.2: Improve public participation in Florida's
water management process.
Enhanced public participation and improved coordination at all levels of government is essential to
improved water management.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Conduct statewide seminars and public meetings on water resources issues, ecosystem
management and other environmental programs to encourage public involvement in water
resource management, both locally and statewide. (DEP & WMDs, 1996 Ongoing.)
2. Solicit public participation in development and revision of the Florida Water Plan. (DEP & WMDs,
1995- Ongoing.)

Coordination and Evaluation Issue 2: Coordination of
water-related programs at all levels of government is











inadeqate to ensure wise use and management of
Florida's water resources.

Coordination Strategy 2.1: Improve internal coordination between
DEP water-related programs.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Include specific Florida Water Plan strategies in the DEP Agency Strategic Plan. (DEP, 1995 -
Ongoing.)
2. Provide water management briefings to the DEP Policy Coordinating Committee. (DEP,
Ongoing.)
3. Publish feature articles on water management in DEP Newsletters and periodicals. (1995-
Ongoing.)
4. Conduct seminars, and encourage DEP program participation in the Annual Florida Water
Management Conference and technical workshops. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)

Coordination Strategy 2.2: Secure dedicated and adequate funding
for implementing DEP responsibilities related to WMD general
supervision and state leave water resource planning, policy
development, and management.

Selected Action Steps:
1. Work with the Governor's Office and the Legislature enhance funding for DEP programs,
including adequate support for improving WMD coordination under the Office of Water Policy.
(DEP, Ongoing.)
2. Evaluate and amend the permit fee structure for all DEP programs to fulfill the legislative
mandate that such programs be, to the greatest extent possible, self-sufficient. (DEP, Ongoing.)
3. Work with the Governor's Office and the legislature to secure adequate funding and staff support
for implementing DEP responsibilities related to WMD general supervision and state level water
resource planning, policy development and management. (DEP & Governor's Office, Ongoing.)
Coordination Strategy 2.3: Improve state-level interagency
coordination on water-related programs.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Implement appropriate recommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Land Use and Water
Planning. (DEP & WMDs, 1996-Ongoing.)
2. Coordinate with DCA on revisions to the State Land Development Plan. (DCA, DEP, & WMDs,

59







1995.)
3. Coordinate with DOT on revisions to the State Transportation Plan. (DEP, 1995.)
4. Coordinate with the Governor's Office on revisions to the State Comprehensive Plan. (DEP &
Governor's Office, Ongoing)
5. Coordinate with DACS on the Pesticide Review Council. (DEP & DACS, Ongoing.)
6. Coordinate with HRS on the Interagency Agreements relating to drinking water and septic tank
management. (DEP & HRS, Ongoing.)


Coordination Strategy 2.4: Improve coordination between DEP and
WMD programs.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Continue and enhance the coordination role of the Water Resources Coordinating Council.
(DEP, WMDs & Governors Office, Ongoing.)
2.Continue and enhance DEP participation in WMD Executive Director's Meetings. (DEP & WMDs,
1995 -Ongoing.)
3. Implement streamlined permitting. (DEP & WMDs, 1996-Ongoing.)


Coordination Strategy 2.5: Improve regional coordination between
the DEP, WMDs and Regional Planning Councils.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Conduct regular executive-level meetings among DEP, the WMDs, and Regional Planning
Councils to evaluate and enhance water resource management. (DEP, WMDs, & RPCs, 1996-
Ongoing.)
2. Establish a regular staff forum among DEP, the WMDs, and Regional Planning Councils to
exchange technical information and facilitate technical assistance to local governments. (DEP,
WMDs, & RPCs, 1996-97-Continuing.)
3. Provide special emphasis on water resource management in agency reviews of Strategic
Regional Policy Plans. (DEP & WMDs, 1995-Ongoing.)
4. Develop mechanisms to make possible the routine sharing of existing permit and GIS
information between DEP and the WMDs. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)


Coordination Strategy 2.6: Improve coordination with local
governments.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Create and/or strengthen technical assistance and review teams to work directly with local
government planners and decision-makers in ecosystem management. (DEP & WMDs, 1996.)











2. Develop regular forums for providing technical assistance to local governments on all water
resource management issues. (DEP, WMDs, & RPCs, 1996-97 Ongoing.)
3. Coordinate with the Florida Local Environmental Regulators Association (FLERA) to broaden
local government participation in statewide water resource management. (DEP, Ongoing.)


Coordination Strategy 2.7: Improve interstate and federal-level
coordination.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Complete the basin assessment for the Apalachicola/Chattahoochee/ Flint River system.
(USACE, DEP, Governor's Office, NWFWMD, Georgia, & Alabama, 1996.)
2. Develop the format for an interstate compact with the states of Georgia, and Alabama on
management of the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint river system. (USACE, DEP,
Governor's Office, NWFWMD, Georgia, Alabama, 1996, Ongoing.)
3. Following completion of ACF basin assessment, develop an interstate compact with the states of
Georgia and Alabama on management of the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint River
system. (USACE, DEP, Governor's Office, NWFWMD, Georgia & Alabama, Ongoing.)
4. Continue efforts of the Suwannee River Coordinating Council to develop a comprehensive
management plan for the Suwannee River basin. (SRWMD, USGS, DEP, DCA, Local
Governments & state of Georgia, Ongoing.)
5. Continue participation in appropriate national water resource-related organizations. (DEP &
WMDs, Ongoing.)
6. Continue cooperative efforts with the state of Georgia on management of the St. Mary's River.
(SJRWMD & state of Georgia, Ongoing.)
7. Maintain close coordination with the Florida Congressional Delegation on water resource-related
issues. (DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)
8. Improve early coordination in the planning and design of federal activities, permits, and funding
decisions to ensure consistency with state watershed management, ecosystem management, and
water quality enhancement efforts. (DEP, WMDs, & USACE Ongoing.)
9. Continue efforts to streamline and coordinate state and federal wetland permitting programs
through the development of a comprehensive State Programmatic General Permit. ( DEP, WMDs,
& USACE, 1997.)


Coordination and Evaluation Issue 3: Inadequate
assessment of progress toward meeting water resource
management goals has hindered efforts to make timely
improvements in program capabilities.

Evaluating the effectiveness of the FWP includes assessing DEP and WMD program success both in
implementing the strategies and schedules specified in the Plan, and in sustaining Florida's water








resources and associated natural systems. Judging the success of statewide efforts toward sustaining
water resources and natural systems must rely on a variety of indicators, many of which are not fully
developed or which require long time frames. The process for evaluation will focus on the following
methods:

Annual Assessment/Status Report

DEP will prepare an annual assessment of its progress toward implementation of the FWP. This report
will focus on the department's compliance with the strategies and schedules in the Florida Water Plan,
and is intended to serve as a status report on statewide water resources management activities.

Five-Year Evaluation/ FWP Revisions

At least once every five years, DEP, in cooperation with the WMDs, other governmental entities, and the
public, will conduct an evaluation of the statewide effectiveness of DEP and WMD strategies toward
meeting water resource management goals established in the FWP. The report will provide the basis for
subsequent revisions to the Florida Water Plan, and will draw heavily from regional assessments
conducted by the WMDs and, as appropriate, from other assessment efforts such as:
DEP Strategic Assessment of Florida's Environment (SAFE) Reports
EPA-sponsored Comparative Risk Reports
DEP Ecosystem Audit and Evaluation Committee Reports
"GAP" Reports of the Florida Commission on Governmental Accountability to the People

Evaluation Strategy 3.1: Implement an annual process to
evaluateprogress on implementation of the FWP and District
WaterManagement Plans.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Prepare operational benchmarks for jointly evaluating program effectiveness. (DEP & WMDs,
1996.)
2. Prepare annual Status Reports on progress toward implementation of each District Water
Management Plan. (WMDs & DEP, 1996 Continuing.)
3. Prepare an annual Status Report on progress on implementation of Florida Water Plan. (DEP &
WMDs. 1996 Continuing.)



Evaluation Strategy 3.2: Implement a long-term process for
evaluation and updating the Florida Water Plan and District Water
Management Plans, including benchmarks for assessing progress.

Selected Action Steps:

1. Continue development and refinement of the Strategic Assessment of Florida's Environment
(SAFE) project. (DEP & FSU, 1996 Ongoing.)
2. Continue production of the s. 305(b) Statewide Water Quality Assessment Reports. (DEP, 1995














- Ongoing.)
3. Complete Ecosystem Audit and Evaluation Reports. (DEP, 1996 Continuing.)
4. Establish a process involving DEP, the WMDs, the Governor's Office, local governments and the
public to conduct 5-year assessments of the FWP and recommend changes. (DEP lead, 1997 -
Continuing.)
5. Prepare Evaluation Report of the statewide effectiveness of DEP and WMD strategies. (DEP &
WMDs, at least every 5 years after 1995).
6. Revise District Water Management Plans at least every five years. (WMDs, 1999 Continuing.)


1










Summary
Florida's economic future and quality of life are inextricably tied to the state's water resources and related
natural systems. How well we fulfill our responsibilities as stewards of these irreplaceable treasures will
in large part determine the legacy that present-day Floridians will leave for future generations. In order to
cope with the complexities of water management in the face of rapid population growth, Florida's
programs must place greater emphasis on comprehensive approaches and long-range planning. They
must provide better perspectives of statewide and regional water resource management needs and
establish cohesive strategies for directing available agency resources toward meeting those needs in the
most cost-effective manner. This draft Florida Water Plan represents a concerted effort by DEP and the
WMDs, involving literally hundreds of participants, to provide a focus on the priority water issues facing
Florida, and identify specific strategies and action steps being implemented to address these issues in a
timely and effective manner.
The draft plan is not complete and further revisions are anticipated. In the coming months the draft will
undergo further agency review, and public workshops will be held around the state to explain the plan
and solicit suggestions from the general public. The Plan will then be revised to incorporate appropriate
suggestions and be submitted for approval by the Secretary of DEP.




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