Title: Governor's Water Resource Commission Final Report
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GOVERNOR'S WATER RESOURCE
S" COMMISSION

FINAL REPORT
SUBMITTED TO GOVERNOR BOB MARTINEZ
DECEMBER 1, 1989
I '., -








Introductory Statement to Governor Bob Martinez
From the Governor's Hater Resource Commission


The key to the continued enjoyment of safe, clean water is the wise
stewardship and management of all of Florida's water resources.

Florida has established an excellent foundation for its growth into the
1990's with a unique system of water law. By preserving the concept that
water is held in trust for reasonable-beneficial use, the water use
permitting program provides an equitable distribution of water.
Procedures for establishing water quality standards are adequate to
insure the continued protection of the quality of the state's waters.
However, after reviewing the summary of surface and ground water
resources, and existing laws and regulations, this Commission has several
recommendations. The Commission recognizes that these recommendations
may be resisted but believes they are necessary under your charge of
Executive Order 89-74.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE STATE OF FLORIDA

INTEGRATED COMPREHENSIVE LAND AND HATER USE PLANS

Florida has not established an integrated comprehensive state land and
water use plan. Yet, the basic tools are there. Florida has adopted a
State Comprehensive Plan and required local governments to adopt
comprehensive plans, regional planning agencies to adopt regional plans
and state agencies to adopt agency functional plans. Water management
districts have established efforts to implement regional water use
plans. However, these efforts have ignored the need for an Integrated
State Water Use Plan. There must be assurance of a quality environment
to protect the supply of fresh water for future needs. Florida's
existing planning efforts must be reviewed with "water" in all its forms,
a primary factor. Florida's comprehensive plans, state, regional and
local, must take the next step to implement and coordinate water use
planning, recognizing regional variations.

NEEDS AND SOURCES ASSESSMENTS

The water management districts must complete the development of their
management plans by 1994 and needs and sources analysis by 1991. Such
management plans must include, as a minimum, an inventory and assessment
of water resources in the short and long terms consistent with the State
Water Policy (Chapter 17-40). The result of this effort will be a needs
and sources inventory for use by the water management districts in water
use permitting and by the local and regional governments in comprehensive
planning.

CRITICAL WATER SUPPLY PROBLEM AREAS

The water management districts must designate critical water supply
problem areas for water-short areas. Criteria must be developed for the
use of alternative technology rather than importing water.









TRANSFER OF HATER


Florida has an abundant supply of water, although some areas are running
out of cheap fresh water. The movement of water from one watershed or
basin to another, from one county to another, or from one water
management district to another must be based upon carefully evaluated
criteria. Short-term reduction in available supplies in one watershed
may be allowed when there is no long-term adverse impact to the donor
watershed. Additionally, such a transfer should not take place until
after the users in the receiving watershed. have implemented water
conservation techniques, including wastewater reclamation, reverse
osmosis, xeriscape and other such measures. Hater suppliers may also
consider entering into agreements for the sharing of this resource.

AREA-HIDE HATER SUPPLY AUTHORITIES

Florida has passed the time when area-wide water supply authorities,
established for the purpose of supplying raw water, can be voluntary in
nature. The parochial attitude of allowing one local government to
prevent the formulation of such a cooperative venture in areas where
water is in demand must be revamped in order to maximize use of the
resource. The Legislature should explore the concept of a mandated
area-wide water supply authority, its manner of formation, and finance.

EDUCATION

The existing and future users of water in Florida must develop an
awareness of how precious our water resources are. To this end, the
environmental education programs of all agencies should continue to
stress water conservation as part of their programs. Other coordinated
efforts to promote water related issues should be intensified in our
schools, media, and throughout government.

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

The Governor's Hater Resource Commission also included other
recommendations to protect wellheads, promote interstate cooperation,
remove the limitations on revenue generation within the Northwest Florida
Water Management District, and to promote conservation through rate
setting. It is also recommended that certain mandatory water
conservation measures be imposed state wide.

All of these recommendations will provide a better allocation of the
state's water resources. An important, additional measure which can
provide further assistance for the supply of water is a dedicated funding
source for construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure, development
of alternative water sources, promotion of area-wide water supply
authorities, wellhead protection, water quality testing, and water
conservation. A fee for water use, to be deposited in a trust fund, is
recommended as this dedicated funding source. Low cost loans should be
available as an incentive for the completion of this needed
infrastructure.

The Commission appreciates this opportunity to provide these
recommendations on the future of Florida's water needs.









Table of Contents


Introductory Statement i

Acknowledgements iv


I. Report Summary 1


II. Recommendations 5


III. Continued Viability of Water Resources 10


Appendices (Published Separately)

A. Executive Order Number 89-74 Al

B. Florida's Current Surface and Ground Water Resources B1

1. Inventory of Florida's Surface Water Resources
2. Inventory of Florida's Ground Water Resources

C. Future Outlook for Florida's Hater Resources Projected C1
Water Needs

D. Existing Statutory Authority to Protect Florida's D1
Surface and Ground Hater Resources


E. Threats to Florida's Surface and Ground Hater Resources El


F. Staff for the Governor's Hater Resource Commission Fl










Acknowledgements

The Governor's Water Resource Commission would like to acknowledge the
following individuals who provided testimony to the Commission.

Tom Pelham, Secretary, Department of Community Affairs

Dale Twachtmann, Secretary, Department of Environmental Regulation

Bruce Grady, City Councilman Ward 5, Fort Myers

Irv Kantrowitz, District Chief, Florida District United States Geological
Survey

Bill Lowe, Assistant Director, Division of Water and Sewer, Public
Service Commission

Peter Hubbell, Executive Director, Southwest Florida Water Management
District

Don Morgan, Executive Director, Suwannee River Water Management District.

Douglas Barr, Deputy Executive Director, Northwest Florida Water
Management District

Randall Armstrong, Division Director, Division of Water Management,
Department of Environmental Regulation

Howard Rhodes, Division Director, Division of Water Facilities,
Department of Environmental Regulation

Jeff Elledge, Director, Resource Management, St. Johns River Water
Management District

Chris Howell, Senior Policy Analyst, Northwest Florida Water Management
District

Steve Walker, District Counsel, South Florida Water Management District
































I. Report Summary










Report Summary


Charge to the Governor's Water Resource Commission


In April 1989 Governor Bob Martinez signed Executive Order 89-74
(Appendix A) creating the Governor's Water Resource Commission and
directing it to analyze the current state of Florida's water resources.
To accomplish this task, the Commission was asked to assess the quantity
of water available in Florida, its continued viability as a source of
drinking water and steps necessary to ensure its continued use by all
Floridians. As part of this assessment, the Commission was to determine
if current statutory environmental safeguards are adequate to protect the
state's aquifers. A report of the Commission's findings, including any
proposed legislative initiatives necessary to protect Florida's
resources, was to be provided to the Governor by December 1, 1989.

The Commission was made up of two board members from each of the five
water management districts, including the Chairman of each Board. The
Commission was chaired by James F. Garner III, Chairman of the South
Florida Water Management District and Vice-Chaired by Lynetta Usher
Griner, Chairman, Suwannee River Water Management District. The other
members of the Commission were:


Doran A. Jason, Vice-Chairman

Clifford W. Barnhart, Chairman


Lloyd E. McMullian, Jr.
Vice-Chairman

John L. Minton, Chairman

Saundra H. Gray, Vice Chairman

Samuel L. Thompson
Secretary Treasurer

Michael Zagorac, Jr., Chairman

Samuel D. Updike, Member


South Florida Hater Management District

Northwest Florida Hater Management
District

Northwest Florida Water Management
District

St. Johns River Hater Management District

St. Johns River Water Management District

Suwannee River Water Management District


Southwest Florida Water Management
District
Southwest Florida Hater Management
District


Organization of the Commission's Report


This report to the Governor by the Governor's Water Resource Commission
is structured to provide an overview in this section (Report Summary) of
those issues which the Commission was specifically charged to address. A
more detailed review of areas studied by the Commission may be found in
the appendices to this report.










Similarly, Section II, Recommendations, has been kept brief to focus on
those issues which the Commission felt were of critical importance. A
more detailed discussion of Commission intent regarding the
Recommendations may be found in Section III, Continued Viability of Water
Resources.

Overview of Water Resources

Florida has extensive surface and ground water resources. These water
resources are replenished primarily by the state's abundant rainfall,
which averages 53 inches a year statewide. Although most of the rainfall
(32-47 inches) is lost to evapotranspiration, 0-20 inches a year
infiltrates the soil to recharge ground water and an average of 14 inches
a year runs off into surface waters.

Florida has more than 1,700 streams, over 7,700 freshwater lakes and
reservoirs, and abundant wetland systems. In 1985, freshwater
withdrawals from surface water totaled 2,230 million gallons a day or
about one-third of the freshwater used in the state. Florida's surface
waters support a variety of fish and wildlife. Stormwater runoff from
urban and rural areas, including streets, roads, parking lots,
construction sites, agricultural fields and lawns is the single largest
source of pollution threatening the health of Florida's surface water
resources.

Florida also contains abundant ground water resources. Large quantities
of water are obtainable from the aquifers in most areas of the state.
Because of its abundance, availability and consistent quality, ground
water is the principal source of freshwater for public supply,
irrigation, rural domestic and industrial/commercial use. More than 90
percent of Florida's population depends on ground water for its drinking
water. In addition to its direct use, ground water is the source of
water for the state's spring flow and base flow of streams; ground water
flow also maintains the water level in most of the state's lakes.

Ground water in Florida is particularly vulnerable to contamination.
Florida 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; anywhere 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 covered by permeable sands makes ground water
supplies in Florida particularly vulnerable to contamination from surface
discharges.

More detailed information on Florida's water resources may be found in
Appendices B, C, and E (Florida's Current Surface and Ground Water
Resources, Future Outlook for Florida's Water Resources Projected
Needs, and Threats to Florida's Surface and Ground Water Resources).

Water Resource Statutes and Regulatory Agencies

Requirements for land and water use planning at the local, regional, and
state level are contained in Florida Statutes Chapters 163, 186, 187, and
373. Included in these statutes are the Local Government Comprehensive









Planning and Land Development Regulation Act, the State Comprehensive
Plan and, the State Hater Use Plan. Chapter 373, the Florida Water
Resource Act, deals with all water resources issues including water
supply, flood control, water quality protection .and environmental
considerations; and authorizes formation of the five water management
districts. The prevention of pollution discharges and the cleanup and
restoration of water resources damaged by hazardous wastes, petroleum
products, and other pollutants is addressed by Chapter 376 and is
administered by the Department of Environmental Regulation. Chapter 403
authorizes the Department of Environmental Regulation to prevent,
control, and abate pollution of the waters of the State.

Regulation of the quality and quantity of water in Florida is through the
Department of Environmental Regulation and the five water management
districts. The Florida Water Resources Act gives the Department of
Environmental Regulation general supervisory authority over the water
management districts and directs the Department of Environmental
Regulation to delegate water resource programs to them. The five water
management districts are: Northwest Florida, Suwannee River, St. Johns
River, South Florida, and Southwest Florida water management districts.
The water management districts are authorized to implement flood
protection programs, perform technical investigations, develop water
resource plans--including water shortage plans for times of drought--and
to acquire and manage lands for water management purposes. They
administer major regulatory programs, including surface water management,
consumptive uses of water, aquifer recharge, and well construction.
Funding for water management districts is primarily through ad valorem
taxes.

More detailed information may be found in Appendix D (Existing Statutory
Authority to Protect Florida's Surface and Ground Hater Resources).

Water Resource Problems

Even though Florida is blessed with abundant water resources, a major
water use problem results from the fact that the population is not
distributed in the same areas as the most available freshwater supplies.
Today, much of north Florida is a water surplus area while most of the
State's population is located in major urban areas such as Miami,
Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Tampa, and St. Petersburg along the
southern coasts. Approximately 80 percent of the State's population
lives in coastal areas. Local freshwater supplies may be inadequate to
readily meet the competing needs of agriculture, industry, and public
supply in these populated regions, leading to demands for advanced
treatment technology such as reverse osmosis, or importation of water.
In addition, because most water supplies in Florida are dependent on
rainfall for replenishment, seasonal weather patterns can impact water
availability. To emphasize this situation during 1989 the South Florida,
Southwest Florida, and St. Johns River water management districts all
imposed some form of water use restrictions. Overpumpage of water from
underlying aquifers can result in salt water intrusion and an associated
increase in the cost of treatment of water from these aquifers, while
transportation of water from remote areas where water is more abundant
can be expensive and politically difficult.









A second major water resource concern in Florida is the lack of a
comprehensive, integrated planning process that joins land and water use
planning for the entire State. Consumptive uses of water are regulated
by the five water management districts, a system which recognizes
regional differences in water needs and resources in different regions of
the State. As required by the State Water Policy (Chapter 17-40, Florida
Administrative Code) the water management districts are engaged in
regional water use planning to identify water needs and sources within
their districts. At the same time, all cities and counties are required
by the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development
Regulation Act of 1986 to plan for their future water and land use. The
result is that water and land use planning efforts have not been well
integrated. There needs to be a well defined procedure or requirement to
coordinate water use planning at all levels of government, and to closely
join this critical resource issue to planning for growth through land use
planning. There is a clear need to improve coordination between levels
of government, and between land and water use planning to assure adequate
water supplies for Florida's future.

Compounding the problems of unequal population and water supply
distribution, and the lack of integrated water and land use planning, is
the State's population growth. In the five years between 1982 and 1987,
the population of Florida grew 16.1 percent from 10.4 to 12.0 million.
The population is expected to grow by 12.3 percent in the five years
between 1987 and 1992 to 13.5 million, and 9.2 percent to 14.7 million by
1997. This continuing growth increases demands on the use of the State's
water resources and compounds existing water use problems.

In responding to these identified water resource problems, it is evident
that controlling the influx of new residents and determining where they
are to live are not viable solutions. Florida is going to continue to
grow and people will continue to locate predominately along the coast in
the southern part of the State.

Recognizing this, the Commission has focused its recommendations on those
areas it believes complement existing, well developed regulatory and
planning tools. While the State does have abundant water for future
generations, the Commission believes that assuring the continued
viability of these water resources will require significant new links
between land and water use planning, an increased emphasis on maximizing
the efficient use of locally available resources, and innovative funding
to support water resource programs.


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II. Recommendations









Water Sunolv Plannina


Recommendation 1

* Integrate water and land use planning in the state. This integration
should continue through the state, regional (water management
district, regional planning council, and regional water supply
authority) and local governments (municipal and county) levels.
Planning should be consistent throughout all levels of government.

Recommendation 2

* Require water management districts to complete District Water
Management Plans by 1994, including "needs and sources" assessments by
July 1, 1991. These assessments, presently under development, should
be phased by region and coordinated for consistency between the water
management districts and the Department. All needs and all sources
should be included. Water related elements of local government
comprehensive plans and Comprehensive Regional Policy Plans should be
consistent with District Water Management Plans.

Recommendation 3

* Utilize the statewide ground water quality monitoring network data in
water use planning. Continue efforts to optimize network design and
data enhancement.,

Recommendation 4

* Require local governments to rely on the water management district's
needs and sources assessments to assure water availability prior to
land use commitment. Require water use permits to be consistent with
the needs and sources assessments.

Recommendation 5

* Encourage sound utilization of local and regional water supplies, by
specifying in the State Comprehensive Plan and State Water Management
Plan that local and regional water supplies should be developed prior
to importation.

Recommendation 6

* Authorize area-wide water supply authorities to meet water needs in
critical water supply problem areas. The Legislature should authorize
the mandated formation of area-wide water supply authorities by the
water management district in critical water supply problem areas where
necessary to meet water needs. The water management district should
provide start-up funding or propose funding sources. Local
governments should be allowed time to voluntarily form area-wide water
supply authorities before formation by the water management districts.









Recommendation 7


* Require local governments by statute to implement well head protection
programs for public water supply wells following state guidelines as
they become available. The state should develop and make available to
local governments a model well head protection program, establishing
program elements, and provide assistance. Adequate safeguards should
be included in the Local Government Comprehensive Planning Act to
protect Class I surface waters.

Recommendation 8
* Encourage the Governor to enter into an interstate environmental
control compact (Chapter 403.60, F.S.) with Alabama and Georgia to
protect the quality and quantity of shared water resources.

Critical Nater Supply Problem Areas


Recommendation 9
* Include the following considerations in the designation of critical
water supply problem areas by the water management districts. These
considerations are in addition to existing regulations but are not
limiting.

Demonstration of long-term environmental degradation due to
water resource limitations; or

Stress upon local supplies thus requiring the use of reverse
osmosis, desalination, water reclamation or other appropriate
technologies to meet needs; or

Existing or projected need for importation of water.

Recommendation 10

* Require development of criteria by the Department of Environmental
Regulation and the water management districts- for evaluating the use
of reverse osmosis, desalination, or other appropriate technologies
within critical water supply problem areas in preference to
importation of water.

Recommendation 11

* Encourage water suppliers that have access to water resources that
exceed their planned needs and do not exceed the water use permitting
criteria for the area, to develop and distribute these resources to
areas with critical water needs which have effectively maximized the
use of local water resources.









Recommendation 12


* Require, or continue to require, the following practices in critical
water supply problem areas:

Monitoring of major users.

Water reclamation and conservation measures such as xeriscape.

Denying access to imported water supplies or additional use of
local ground or surface water resources when suitable reclaimed
water is available.

Lowering of water use permit thresholds in critical water
supply problem areas.

Designating the source for specific use(s) or users or
otherwise limiting uses from that source in critical water
supply problem areas.

Conservation


Recommendation 13

* Educate all water users of the state about the fragile nature of
Florida's water resources. Discourage wasteful practices and
encourage water conservation. Continue and improve water resource
education in the schools.

Recommendation 14

* Promote water conservation by restricting statewide, lawn irrigation
during peak daylight hours. Maximize use of reclaimed water for lawn
irrigation.

Recommendation 15

SRequire the Public Service Commission and other rate setting bodies
to set water rates in a manner that will encourage water conservation.

Recommendation 16

* Set reclaimed water rates and distribute water reclamation costs in a
manner to encourage reuse.


Funding

Recommendation 17
* Raise the funding capability for the Northwest Florida Water
Management District to 1 mill of ad valorem tax within the State
Constitution.


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Recommendation 18


* Collect a fee from all users based on water used. Credits shall be
given for aquifer recharge, use of reclaimed water, reverse osmosis,
desalination, or other alternative technologies. Funds shall be
accrued in a Water Resource Trust Fund to be used for the following
purposes:

Alternative sources development (reverse osmosis,
reclamation, conservation, etc.) within critical water
supply problem areas.

Promotion of area-wide water supply authorities and reuse
systems through planning studies, start-up funding, or
low interest rate loans.

Resource protection activities, such as well head
protection and recharge area protection. Priority for
funding should be given first to resource protection
activities in "donor" water supply areas and second to
the recipient critical water supply problem areas.

Water quality testing mandated for public water supply
systems.

Infrastructure improvement or regionalization.

Incentives for conservation by all users.


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III. Continued Viability of Water Resources


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Continued Viability of Water Resources


The Governor's Water Resource Commission was directed by the
Governor to analyze the current state of Florida's water
resources, including the quantity of available water, its
continued viability as a source of drinking water, and steps
necessary to ensure that Floridians may continue to enjoy these
resources. The Commission was also directed, as an integral
part of this analysis, to determine whether current statutory
environmental safeguards can protect the state aquifers.


The Commission believes that implementing the recommendations
contained in this report are the key to insuring the continued
viability of Florida's water resources. The Commission's
recommendations are intended to build on, and complement the
State's existing comprehensive water resource programs which are
detailed in the appendices to this report. While there are
areas that require further improvement, as identified in the
Recommendations and in this section, the Commission has
concluded that existing statutory safeguards and programs
provide a sound basis for future protection of Florida's water
resources.


The purpose of this section is to document and expand on the
Commission's recommendations contained .in the Recommendations
section. Each recommendation is repeated for convenience, and
followed by a more detailed explanation and discussion.


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Water Sunolv Plannina


Recommendation 1

* Integrate water and land use planning in the state. This integration
should continue through the state, regional (water management
district, regional planning council, and regional water supply
authority) and local governments (municipal and county) levels.
Planning should be consistent throughout all levels of government.

Florida lacks a comprehensive, integrated planning process that joins
land and water use planning for the entire state. Consumptive uses of
water are regulated by the five water management districts, a system
which recognizes differences in water needs and resources in different
regions of the state. As required by the State Water Policy, the water
management districts are engaged in regional water use planning to
identify water needs and sources within their district. At the same
time, all cities and counties are required by the Local Government
Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act of 1986 to
.plan for their future water use in land use planning. The result is that
water and land use planning efforts have not been well integrated. There
has not been a well defined procedure or requirement to coordinate water
use planning at all levels of government, and to closely join this
critical resource issue to planning for growth through land use planning.

Specific suggestions for integrating water and land use planning
throughout all levels of government include:

1. Revision of Chapter 373.036, F.S. to improve language associated
with the requirements and process for the development of the State
Water Use Plan and establishment of new requirements for a State
Water Management Plan requiring integrated, consistent planning
throughout all levels of government (Figure 1).

2. Preparation of a State Water Management Plan by the Department of
Environmental Regulation to set the overall water policy for the
State and supplant the Water Use Plan required in Chapter 186, F.S.
The State Water Management Plan would include the State Water Policy
(17-40), the Water Quality Standards (17-3), and any requirements of
the Office of the Governor pursuant to Chapter 186, F.S.

3. Review of the water management district's District Water Management
Plans by the Department of Environmental Regulation to ensure
state-wide consistency with the State Water Management Plan and
State Comprehensive Plan. Each District Water Management Plan will
include a needs and sources assessment and a Watershed Management
Plan for Surface Water Improvement and Management bodies.

4. Requirements that local government comprehensive plans be consistent
with the District Water Management Plans beginning with the 5-year
updates. This consistency requirement should be achieved by
mandating that local government comprehensive and Comprehensive
Regional Policy Plans be consistent with such plans and by


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State Government (DCA)
Department of Community Affairs Oversight of Comprehensive Regional Policy Plans
and Local Government Comprehensive Plans (Chs 163 and 188 F.S) State .
.: .. ................... ....:;


Regional Planning Councils
Comprehensive Regional Policy Plans


Local Government
Local Government Comprehensive Plans
Water Supply Natural Areas
Wastewater Sold Waste
Stormwaler Air Quality
Coastal Waters Capital Facilities


Regional


Local


State Water Policy (DER)
State Water Policy (17-40, FA.C.)
Water Quality Standards System (17-3, FA.C.)

.,.Water Management District Planning
Needs and Sources Plan
Watershed Plans


Local Government Water
Planning


Water Supply Plans
Basn Plans for Stormwater


State Comprehensive Plan
(Ch. 187 F.S.)


Figure 1 State Water Management Plan
(Source: Florida Department oEnvkonmental Regulation)


WATER PLANNING

(Proposed)









incorporating the District Water Management Plans in the relevant
Comprehensive Regional Policy Plan prepared by the regional planning
council. Appropriate appeal processes should be provided for the
resolution of consistency disputes.

Recommendation 2

* Require water management districts to complete District Water
Management Plans by 1994, including "needs and sources" assessments by
July 1, 1991. These assessments, presently under development, should
be phased by region and coordinated for consistency between the water
management districts and the Department. All needs and all sources
should be included. Water related elements of local government
comprehensive plans and Comprehensive Regional Policy Plans should be
consistent with District Water Management Plans.

The Department of Environmental Regulation and the water management
districts have engaged in multiple efforts, including the ground water
basin resource availability inventories, programs to assist in the
preparation of local government comprehensive plans, site specific ground
water models and regional assessments of water resources.

Between now and 1991, the districts will intensify their efforts to
provide technical assistance to local governments. This technical
assistance will include past district water use plans and the current
requirements of Chapter 17-40.

The State Water Policy, Chapter 17-40, requires each water management
district to prepare a District Water Management Plan including assessment
of water needs and sources for the next 20 years. Under this rule, these
plans must be completed no later than November 1, 1994. The Commission
feels that the completion of needs and sources assessments is an
extremely important and integral part of water supply planning and must
be completed by July 1, 1991.

Needs and sources assessments should address present and future water use
demands and a quantitative assessment of available water resources.
Additionally, all needs and all sources should be addressed.

Within the local government comprehensive plans, water related elements
should be consistent with District Water Management Plans and needs and
sources assessments as they are completed. Consistency with the District
Water Management Plans should be required at the 5-year updates of the
comprehensive plans.

Recommendation 3

* Utilize the statewide ground water quality monitoring network data in
water use planning. Continue efforts to optimize network design and
data enhancement.

In 1983 the Department of Environmental Regulation began a ground water
quality monitoring network designed to detect and predict contamination
of Florida's ground water resources. Data from this network will be able
to quantify the cumulative effects of land use on ground water quality


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and to determine if ground water quality is changing over time.
Information from this network will be made available to all governmental
agencies and should be used in water use planning. Efforts that are
currently underway in conjunction with the United- States Geological
Survey and the water management districts to optimize the network design
and enhance the data should continue.

Recommendation 4

* Require local governments to rely on the water management district's
needs and sources assessments to assure water availability prior to
land use commitment. Require water use permits to be consistent with
the needs and sources assessments.

Prior to designating land uses, local governments must assure that water
is available for those lands uses. Water management district needs and
sources assessments shall be used to determine water availability. These
assessments shall also be used in the water management district water use
permitting process.

Recommendation 5

* Encourage sound utilization of local and regional water supplies, by
specifying in the State Comprehensive Plan and State Water Management
Plan that local and regional water supplies should be developed prior
to importation.

To provide adequate supplies for the State's growing population and
protection for sensitive environments, it is recommended that local and
regional water supplies be utilized before water is imported. The more
remote the water source is from the end user, the higher the
transportation costs. Treatment of locally available, lower quality
water supplies can also be expensive. However, from a purely economic
standpoint, it is often less expensive to import water than to treat
locally available water supplies of a lower quality. Movement or
transfer of water across political boundaries often creates opposition
within the area from which the water is transferred because of the belief
that the water may be needed in the future in-the donor area. This
opposition is intensified when there is a perception that the area
receiving the transferred water has not done everything possible in the
development, conservation, use and reuse of locally available water
resources. Thus, local water supplies should receive first consideration
for utilization, including conservation, reclamation, reverse osmosis,
and other alternative technologies, before water is imported.

Recommendation 6

* Authorize area-wide water supply authorities to meet water needs in
critical water supply problem areas. The Legislature should authorize
the mandated formation of area-wide water supply authorities by the
water management district in critical water supply problem areas where
necessary to meet water needs. The water management district should
provide start-up funding or propose funding sources. Local
governments should be allowed time to voluntarily form area-wide water
supply authorities before formation by the water management districts.


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From a review of the material presented to the Commission, it is clear
that Florida is presently facing water supply problems in some areas. It
is also clear that Florida has many of the tools necessary to manage
these problems, especially in the area of public water supply. Local
governments, cities and counties are encouraged in Chapter 373, F.S. to
voluntarily create regional or area-wide water supply authorities and
have the primary responsibility for water supply.

The reasons for forming an area-wide authority are environmental and
economic. An area-wide authority can provide better drought protection,
better wellfield siting, and can better address saline water intrusion,
ground water recharge, and peak water demand. Water conservation is also
more efficient and economic if done on an area-wide basis. An authority
provides this opportunity as well as providing for other forms of water
supply such as reclaimed water distribution. Finally, an area-wide
authority may provide for better procedures for ground water monitoring
and water treatment. From an economic standpoint, an area-wide authority
can take advantage of the economies of scale, of tax-free financing and
provide for the equalization of rates and services.

Therefore, to continue the viability of Florida's water supply, it is
recommended that area-wide water supply authorities be formed where
needed in critical water supply problem areas. If the local governments
are unwilling or unable to form these units themselves, it is advisable
to create a procedure where they could be mandated where the resource
needs become paramount, such as in critical water supply problem areas.
Such a procedure might include the following steps:

1. When a water management district designates a critical water supply
problem area, it must notify the local governments, public utilities
and other public water suppliers within the area. The local
governments, working in cooperation with the water management
district and other water suppliers, shall present a plan to the
water management district within 24 months of notification detailing
regionalization of the public water supply. Regionalization shall
include the local government's proposal for supplying water to the
ultimate distributors of public water. Regionalization. may include
the creation of an area-wide water supply authority.

2. Upon receipt, the water management district shall determine whether
the plan will result in protection and reasonable-beneficial use of
the water supply.

3. If the water management district finds that the plan is
insufficient, it shall mandate the formation of an area-wide water
supply authority. The terms of the creation of the area-wide water
supply authority, as set forth in statute, shall include the number
of board members, manner of reporting, financing, and other
administrative details.

4. Any local government or private water supplier alleging adverse
impact by the creation of an area-wide water supply authority shall
be entitled to a hearing before the Florida Land and Water
Adjudicatory Commission. In the appeal process, the Department of


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Environmental Regulation shall review the plan, and the water
management district's recommendation. Following the review, the
Department of Environmental Regulation shall forward a
recommendation to the Florida Land and Hater Adjudicatory Commission
relative to the creation of the area-wide water supply authority.

5. When a proposed area-wide regional water supply authority crosses
water management district boundaries, the Department of
Environmental Regulation should arbitrate any disputes between the
water management districts.

Recommendation 7

* Require local governments by statute to implement well head protection
programs for public water supply wells following state guidelines as
they become available. The state should develop and make available to
local governments a model well head protection program, establishing
program elements, and provide assistance. Adequate safeguards should
be included in the Local Government Comprehensive Planning Act to
protect Class I surface waters.

Protecting public water supply wells is vitally important in providing an
adequate supply of drinking water and ensuring the health and safety of
the consumer. Once ground water is contaminated, it can be very costly
or sometimes impossible to clean up this resource. Prevention of
pollution is far more economical than reactive remediation.

In 1986, the Department of Environmental Regulation proposed the "G-I
rule" to address well head protection statewide. That rule has been
stalled in legal proceedings. In lieu of the "G-I rule," four counties
have adopted well head protection ordinances and several counties are in
the process of developing their own rules. Local governments have an
advantage over the Department in that they can regulate land use in
addition to discharge restrictions.

Rule 93-5, of the Department of Community Affairs, requires Local
Government Comprehensive Plans to address protection of water quality by
restricting activities known to adversely affect the quality and quantity
of the water source for water wells. There are, however, no guidelines
for counties to follow when developing these restrictions.

Recommendation 8

* Encourage the Governor to enter into an interstate environmental
control compact (Chapter 403.60, F.S.) with Alabama and Georgia to
protect the quality and quantity of shared water resources.

Most of the watershed for the Apalachicola River lies within the state of
Georgia. Land uses and surface water discharges impact the water quality
of both the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers that form the Apalachicola.
Since both of these tributary rivers are controlled by numerous dams, the


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amount and timing of water released has a large impact on the flow in the
Apalachicola River. Water quality and water quantity, including timing
of these flows, effects the health and continued viability of the
estuarine system of the Apalachicola Bay.

Florida shares the water resources of other rivers such as the Perdido,
Ochlockonee, and St. Marys with Alabama and Georgia. It is therefore
desirable that the State of Florida cooperate with the States of Georgia
and Alabama through an interstate environmental control compact to
protect the quality and quantity of their shared.water resources.


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Critical Hater Supply Problem Areas


Recommendation 9

* Include the following considerations in the designation of critical
water supply problem areas by the water management districts. These
considerations are in addition to existing regulations but are not
limiting.

Demonstration of long-term environmental degradation due to water
resource limitations; or

Stress upon local supplies thus requiring the use of reverse
osmosis, desalination, water reclamation or other appropriate
technologies to meet needs; or

Existing or projected need for importation of water.

Chapter 17-40, Water Policy, requires water management districts to
designate areas that have water supply problems which have become
critical or are anticipated to become critical within the next 20 years.
The districts are to identify these "critical water supply problem areas"
in the District Water Management Plans, and adopt these designations by
November 1, 1991. In addition to existing regulations, the water
management districts should consider the three additional items listed
above.

Recommendation 10

* Require development of criteria by the Department of Environmental
Regulation and the water management districts for evaluating the use
of reverse osmosis, desalination, or other appropriate technologies
within critical water supply problem areas in preference to
importation of water.

Local supplies should be utilized to the maximum extent possible prior to
importing water. Criteria need to be developed considering economic,
environmental, and technical feasibility; for evaluating the use of
reverse osmosis, desalination, and other technologies within critical
water supply problem areas. The water management districts should
consider the use of alternative technology as part of the reasonable-
beneficial use evaluation made for each permit.

Recommendation 11

* Encourage water suppliers that have access to water resources that
exceed their planned needs and do not exceed the water use permitting
criteria for the area, to develop and distribute these resources to
areas with critical water needs which have effectively maximized the
use of local water resources.

Available surface and ground water are resources of the state. With the
rapid growth in Florida, there is a problem of distribution in terms of
where water resources are located and where they are needed. While the
development of natural water resources and the sole dependence upon these


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resources in the future should not be encouraged for all users, the use
and distribution of our natural water resources in a reasonable, safe and
environmentally sound manner should be encouraged.

Areas that have water resources that exceed their planned needs and do
not exceed the water use permitting criteria of the area should be
encouraged to develop, and distribute these resources to areas with
critical water needs. Such transfers can benefit citizens in water donor
and water receiving areas without conflict. Such transfers done in an
orderly, coordinated manner reduce impacts upon the resource and aid
water availability.

By doing this through the water use permitting process, the criteria for
using alternative technology will be met. Also, the water use permitting
process will ensure protection of the resource, other legally existing
water users, and that the use is reasonable and beneficial.

Recommendation 12

* Require, or continue to require, the following practices in critical
water supply problem areas:

Monitoring of major users.

Water reclamation and conservation measures such as xeriscape.

Denying access to imported water supplies or additional use of
local ground or surface water resources when suitable reclaimed
water is available.

Lowering of water use permit thresholds in critical water supply
problem areas.

Designating the source for specific use(s) or users or otherwise
limiting uses from that source in critical water supply problem
areas.

Chapter 17-40 requires reuse of reclaimed water and a course of remedial
or preventative actions within designated critical water supply problem
areas. In addition to requirements outlined in 17-40, the practices
listed above shall be continued or required.

Currently, with the exception of Southwest Florida Water Management
District which requires monitoring of some agricultural users, only
public water supply systems and major industrial users are required to
monitor their water use. Although all major users are required to obtain
water use permits from the water management districts, these permits only
establish the maximum withdrawals and are not necessarily indicative of
actual withdrawals. Without an accurate measure of the amount of water
actually used by all major users, it is difficult to effectively manage
the water resources in a critical water supply problem area. Therefore,
to effectively manage the water resources within a critical water supply
problem area, all major water users, including agricultural, industrial
and public supply should be required to monitor and report their water
use to the water management districts.


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Reclaimed water should be used in critical water supply problem areas for
irrigation, lawn watering, and other uses not requiring potable water
quality. This would reduce the stress on the limited potable water
supplies. To accomplish the maximum utilization of reclaimed water, this
recommendation suggests that access to imported water supplies or
additional local surface and ground water resources be denied where
suitable reclaimed water is still available for use.

Water management districts have adopted permit thresholds based upon the
impact on the resource. In areas which are experiencing severe water
resource impacts, the water management districts should consider
reviewing these areas on an individual basis as is contemplated by
Section 373.118, Florida Statutes.

In critical water supply problem areas, the water management districts
can utilize their needs and sources assessment and other best available
information to determine the impact of water withdrawals on the
resource. In such instances, the district should designate the sources
for a particular use such as public water supply or agriculture.


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Conservation


Recommendation 13

* Educate all water users of the state about the fragile nature of
Florida's water resources. Discourage wasteful practices and encourage
water conservation. Continue and improve water resource education in
the schools.

Public awareness is a critical element in the protection and management
of Florida's water resources. Water management districts traditionally
have been active in many aspects of public education, ranging from formal
instructional programs to advising members of decision-making bodies.
Concomitant with Florida's rapid development, however, new environmental
problems have emerged which need to be addressed both through technical
programs as well as enhanced public awareness of the issues involved.
Also, as seemingly more complex issues are identified, the need for
multifaceted, interagency efforts increases.

Efforts should be continued to enhance efficient industrial use of water
and to upgrade agricultural water management irrigation systems.
Conservation programs for public water supplies and local government
programs directed at conservation should be expanded.

Increased coordination is needed between the water management districts
and water supply authorities on the implementation of voluntary and
mandatory water use restrictions. Particular emphasis should be placed
by the water management districts and affected government agencies on
developing uniform standards for the management of water shortages.

Landmark legislation passed by the 1989 session has provided significant
funding to comprehensively address environmental education for all
segments of the population. Through their participation in the
Interagency Coordinating Committee on Environmental Education, water
management districts and the Department of Environmental Regulation will
be able to complement their own educational programs and help implement
and integrate statewide, programs for promoting and maintaining the
delicate relationship between the state's burgeoning population and its
environment.

Recommendation 14

* Promote water conservation by restricting statewide, lawn irrigation
during peak daylight hours. Maximize use of reclaimed water for lawn
irrigation.

Estimates are that 40 to 60 percent of residential water use is for lawn
irrigation. A large volume of water can be conserved if lawn irrigation
is conducted using best management practices.


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Recommendation 15


* Require the Public Service Commission and other rate setting bodies to
set water rates in a manner that will encourage water conservation.

In addition to education, increased cost can serve as strong motivation
for conservation. Such practices as increasing -rate structures,
temporary surcharges, or conservation measures can be imposed to minimize
wasteful water use. Rate structures should be designed to promote
conservation among the largest volume users.

Recommendation 16

* Set reclaimed water rates and distribute water reclamation costs in a
manner to encourage reuse.

Use of reclaimed water results in multiple water resource benefits. In
addition to reducing the demand on water resources, reuse relieves the
need for disposing of the treated wastewater. When reuse is required as
a water conservation measure, the costs associated with this requirement
should be distributed between the suppliers and users in a manner to
encourage reuse.

Determining the distribution of costs between the reclaimed water user
and the supplier, in particular costs associated with the transmission
and distribution infrastructure, plays a key role in whether the state
reuse option will be deemed economically feasible. In most cases, the
economic feasibility test will be the principal criterion in deciding
when reuse will be required. This test should be approached consistently
between the water management districts and the Department of
Environmental Regulation. At a minimum, the decision of when to require
reuse and the level of treatment necessary to meet the needs of the users
should be consistent and coordinated.

The Florida Public Service Commission should exercise its power and
authority to encourage reuse and support reuse agreements, even when
these agreements do not provide for charges for the delivery of reclaimed
water.


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Funding


Recommendation 17

* Raise the funding capability for the Northwest Florida Hater
Management District to 1 mill of ad valorem tax within the State
Constitution.

In March 1976, the voters of Florida approved a constitutional amendment
to fund water management districts with ad valorem taxes. The wording of
the amendment provided 1.0 mill taxing capability for the other four
water management districts, but limited the Northwest Florida Water
Management District to one-twentieth of that amount. The District still
is capped in the State Constitution and in Chapter 373, F.S. at 0.05 mill.

The District's inequitable taxing capability has resulted in insufficient
funding to accomplish several resource management functions critical to
the protection of water quality and quantity in northwest Florida. While
the Legislature has augmented the District's ad valorem taxes with annual
general revenue appropriations, these have not been adequate to cover
additional statutory responsibilities and their ongoing provision is
unlikely.

The Northwest Florida Hater Management District thus is faced with a
financial crisis that threatens the operation of existing programs even
at their current level. Without an enhanced taxing capability, the
District will be forced to undertake continuous and major cutbacks in key
staff and programs, including regulatory functions. At issue is the
District's future viability as an effectual environmental agency.

Recommendation 18

* Collect a fee from all users based on water used. Credits shall be
given for aquifer recharge, use of reclaimed water, reverse osmosis,
desalination, or other alternative technologies. Funds shall be
accrued in a Hater Resource Trust Fund to be used for the following
purposes:

Alternative sources development (reverse osmosis, reclamation,
conservation, etc.) within critical water supply problem areas.

Promotion of area-wide water supply authorities and reuse systems
through planning studies, start-up funding, or low interest rate
loans.

Resource protection activities, such as well head protection and
recharge area protection. Priority for funding should be given
first to resource protection activities in "donor" water supply
areas and second to the recipient critical water supply problem
areas.

Hater quality testing mandated for public water supply systems.

Infrastructure improvement or regionalization.

Incentives for conservation by all users.


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