06-30-97 09:22AM TO 2228410
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Director of Regulatory Affairs
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FROM FHBA 2247933
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You have requested that we provide you with our view of what
"local sources first" means to our user group.
The Florida Home Builders Association represents builders
state-wide and we have even formed an internal Water Policy Task
Force, consisting of builders from all around the state, including
those from water rich and water scarce areas. Included herein is
a copy of our Association's water policies which includes a "local
sources first" policy (policy #7).
Our Association has actively participated in the water debates
in the Legislature over the past three years and the legislation
that emerged this past session. Never have I seen a more
contentious issue develop as did the "local sources first" issue,
which came to head at the end of this past session. Never have I
seen the press miss the boat as completely as they did on the
"local sources first" issue at the end of this past session.
I would note at the outset that the "local sources first"
issue was very divisive in our Association early-on. Afterall, our
builders in water rich Polk County have an interest in preserving
"their" water while builders in Pasco/Pinellas would like to be
able to transport, if needed and economically feasible.
Ultimately, we came to the conclusion that "local sources first"
should not be a mandate. In fact we oppose any such mandate.
The basis for this view is that the concept of "local sources
first" really creates a very divisive nonproductive "Hatfields vs.
Mckoy" problem -- i.e. everyone fighting to protect "their" water.
More importantly, my Association agrees that the solution to water
development and production should be addressed regionally and not
simply locally. Ultimately, the concept of "local sources first"
would be a major change in Florida water law: that water is a
statewide resource. We believe that Florida water law and the
doctrine of the "reasonable beneficial use standard" should be
retained, as is. "Local sources first" in its purest form runs
counter to basic Florida water law.
Further, and most importantly, the issue of "local sources
first" diverts peoples attention from the real issues that persist,
as put forth in the very valuable legislation that was passed this
past session. That is, the Legislature needs to provide meaningful
oversight and review of WMD efforts to produce more water. This
past session, significant provisions were included in
Representative Laurent's bill that require WMD budgetary
accountability in assessing needs and providing water, along with
local government, to meet the needs of all existing and future
uses. Each session, water budgets and needs should be reviewed and
action taken if needs are not being met.
FROM FHBA 2247933
06-30-97 BS:22AM TO 2228410
FROM FHBA 2247933 06-30-97 89:23AM TO 2228418 31 P.3/5
As to our policy re: "local sources first" we do not object to
WMDs balancing and considering the proximity of the proposed source
of water to the area in which it is to be used against other
economically and technically feasible alternatives as part of the
consumptive use "public interest" considerations in the issuance of
a permit. This approach is something that both our water rich and
water scarce builders can live with. However, we would object to
a "shall consider" approach to "local sources first" or any other
mandatory approach which elevates the concept or mandates the
consideration above all other relevant considerations a water
management district must make in the issuance of a consumptive use
08-30-97 09:23AM TO 2228410
FLOZRDA ROMB BUaLDUS AISOCZXTZOQ (f1BA) WATEl StPPLY POLICY
L OR 1 3 1399 LZGISLATIV 188sIOM (Approved 2/26/94)
X fIRZIU DI"RBCTZIV
With its abundant rainfall Florida has more than an adequate supply
of water to meet the demands of man and the natural systems. While
different areas of the state from time to time experience water
supply shortages, the provision of water is a matter of cost. The
Florida Legislature should create a public water supply program
designed to assure there is an adequate, affordable and consistent
supply of water for all present and future users in all parts of
Florida. This public water supply program, together with any
private water suppliers, should implement and provide necessary
water to accommodate growth projected in local comprehensive plans.
rNA PUbLIC WATXr SUPLo POLICIrS
1. There should be a locally/regionally based long range plan for
future public water supplies, This planning process should avoid
any unnecessary cumbersome bureaucratic review process, minimize
state involvement and oversight, rely on a system of citizen and
interested/affected person-entity involvement and enforcement and
enhance predictability in the issuance of permits.
2. While recognizing the viability and propriety of private water
supply providers and other water users, statutory changes should be
..*.. made to provide that local governments or, where created by local
S governments, regional water supply authorities (RWSAs) have primary
responsibility for planning public water supply alternatives or
options and facilitating water supply development. Incentives
should be provided to encourage local governments to create RWSAs
to plan and develop regional water supplies, All local or regional
water supply plans should have common review dates established by
the appropriate water management district (WMD). A process for
mediating and resolving conflicts between plans shall be
established and the appropriate WND shall be a necessary party.
3. There should be a recurring dedicated source of revenues for
use by local governments and RWSAs for planning and developing long
term public water supplies. For example, FBA supports dedicating
a portion of the water management district (WMD) village for water
supply capital facilities expenditures.
4. The long term public water supply plans should be developed
Separate from the local government comprehensive plan process. In
the meantime, the legislature should amend chapter 163, F.S., so
that local governments will not be required to base a potable water
concurrency decision on water supply availability. After
completion and approval of WMD district water management plans and
local water supply plans, the legislature should determine whether
and how these plans should be integrated with the local government
m planning process.
FROM FHBA 2247933
06-30-97 09:24AM TO 2228410
5. WMDs' primary responsibility should be to remain a regulatory
(l body to protect and equitably allocate our water resources. WMDs
should provide water resources information and data to local
governments and RWSAs for use in water supply planning.
6. Chapter 373, F.S., should be amended to require that each WMD
prepare a District Water Management Plan (DWMP) containing water
supply resource information and data. Chapter 373 should clearly
set forth the requirements of the DWMP, including requiring the
adoption of those parts of the DWIP that impact third parties to be
adopted as a rule.
7. In permitting consumptive water use pursuant to chapter 373,
F.S., the chapter should be amended to consider and balance, as
part of the public interest criteria, the proximity of the proposed
source of water to the area in which it is to be used and other
economically and technically feasible alternatives to the proposed
source, including conservation, desalinization, reuse, storawater
and aquifer storage and recovery. The policy of local sources
first should be encouraged and not mandated.
8. There should be economic and regulatory incentives to promote
economically and technically feasible alternatives such as
conservation, water reuse, desalinization and the use of surface
9. Where appropriate, public lands, such as parks, forests and
r" recreational areas, should be made available for multiple uses
S including water supply.
10. The term of water use permits should be as long as possible,
but consistent with the amount of water available to use and the
11. FHBA supports the present authority in chapter 373, F.S., to
reallocate water in Florida based on the reasonable-beneficial use
standard and opposes any policies, proposals or concepts which will
weaken the standard.
12. Accountability of WMDs should be strengthened through enhanced
oversight by both the executive and legislative branch. In
particular, the Legislature should review and approve state water
FROM FHBA 2247933