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October 4, 1996 PLVY Jacksonville
Ms. Terri Pride
Department of Environmental Protection
3900 Commonwealth Blvd.
Mail Station 46
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000
Re: Governor's Water Supply Development and Funding Working Group
At the conclusion of the first meeting of the above group on September 30, 1996. we
discussed the "issues" sheet you had prepared and which was distributed at the meeting.
Although the group did not have an opportunity to discuss the compilation of issues at length,
there was some disagreement over whether certain listed topics needed to be discussed at all. It
was my understanding that members of the group were to fax comments on the suitability of
some of the issues compiled on your list, and some effort might be made between meetings to
winnow the list to help better focus the group's discussion when it next meets. With that in
mind, I am sending you the following comments which address the need (or lack thereof) for
discussion on some issues as well as suggestions for some expansion of other issues.
On the longer document entitled "Summary of Suggested Priority Issues..." a listed topic
to be discussed is regulation ofwellfield locations by local governments. Unless the Governor is
interested in this group completely reinventing Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, this does not seem
to be a topic worthy of discussion by this group. Such a change would constitute a radical
departure from current law, would be inconsistent with the recommendations of the Water
Management District Review Commission, and would seem inconsistent with the Governor's
policies up to this point. Such a shift in regulatory authority with regard to water use would not
address the primary issue for consideration by this group which is water supply development and
funding. Rather than have this group spend its limited time discussing an acrimonious issue
which does not get to the heart of the group's charge, it should be purged from the list. I have
similar concerns about the topic described in the same document as "safeguards for donor local
governments in the event of proposed or actual water transfers." Hopefully, any consideration of
057 P02/03 OCT 04 '96 18:04
9047373221 LEWIS LONGMAN WALKER 057 P03/03 OCT 04 '96 18:04
Letter to Ms, Terri Pride
these two issue will come only in the context of exploring and defining roles of public and
private entities regarding water supply.
A critical issue not listed in the context of "related planning and regulatory issues," is the
lack of integration of regulatory requirements between all of the agencies regulating some aspect
of water supply, including the water management districts (WMD), the Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP), the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the Public
Service Commission (PSC). This lack of integration of regulatory requirements between these
agencies is currently a roadblock to effective use of water resources, especially as they affect
investor owned utilities. Current rate-setting policies significantly inhibit the ability of investor
owned water suppliers to recover the cost of construction of facilities necessary to meet WMD
and DEP requirements designed to protect and extend existing water resources. Current
regulatory policies for investor owned utilities regarding reserve margins do not allow planning
for facilities in a manner consistent with the five year facilities planning approaches used by
DEP, WMDs and DCA.
Another critical issue not explicitly listed under the topic "other funding issues," is the
need to provide for realistic and effective rate-setting policies that ensure adequate recovery of
utility costs from current customers for development of water supplies. Current policies
regarding rates which may be charged by investor owned utilities in many cases make water
supply development impossible. Related to this is an additional issue to be considered under the
topic of "Economics-Cost Issues," which is the need to provide economic and regulatory
incentives to encourage development of reliable supplies of water for future users.
Another item lists "ensured participation of affected local governments in developing
RWSPs and determining feasibility of water supply options," as an issue to be discussed.
Ensuring participation on both these counts should not be limited to "affected local
governments." Local governments are not the only entities in the water supply business and they
are not the only entities that will be affected by RWSPs. This issue should extend to all affected
Thank you in advance for you consideration of these comments. If you have any
questions on these issues, please give me a call.
cc: Carlyn Kowalsky