Section 373.113, Florida Statutes, gives the governing board
of each water management district the authority to adopt rules to
effectuate its powers, duties and functions under Chapter 373.
That authority includes the power to adopt procedural rules. By
rule, then, the governing board could set forth the division of
authority between itself and the various basin boards.
I. WMD GOVERNING BOARD
The Governing Board of the WMD has the authority to implement
and administer the provisions of Chapter 373, F.S. This means
that the Governing Board assumes taxing responsibility for items
which are of general benefit to the people of the state and the
Chapter 373, F.S., provides numerous powers and duties for
the Governing Board. Some of the major areas of responsibility
vested in the Governing Board are:
1. Adopting rules, regulations, and orders.
2. Developing and implementing a regulatory program,
including regulation support, permitting and
3. Contracting and hiring employees or consultants
for the District and Basin Boards.
4. Budget oversight, including preparation of the
district budget and- authority to review and amend
the basin board budgets, as well as taxing authority.
II. Basin Boards
The Basin Boards have been assigned specific functions and
duties by statute which their budgets should reflect. Thus, Basin
Boards assume taxing responsibility for those water resource
development programs of particular benefit to limited or local
segments of the population. Basin Board duties and spending
authority are specifically limited by statute.
A. Basin Board Functions
1. Make individual or collective hydrological
investigations; provide aerial photogrammetry,
remote sensing, and flood plain mapping of basin
water resources; develop hydrologic and
engineering plans for identification, develop-
ment and protection of basin water resources
(5373.0695(l) (a),(b) ).
2. Development of basin plan for local (secondary),
private and public flood control measures
3. Preparation of budget to perform basin functions
consistent with Chapter 373, F.S., and the water
management program of the District. Submittal
of the basin budget to the Governing Board of the
4. Approval of final construction plans of the
district for works within the basin; construction
of basin water management facilities/structures;
Five-Year Basin Plans in accordance with designated
5. Necessary administrative functions of designated
basin activities (S373.0695(1)(e)).
6. Assistance to regional water supply authorities
in the basin as provided in Chapter 373, F.S.,
7. Review of Regional Observation and Monitoring
8. Review of Save Our Rivers.
9. Plugging of uncontrolled artesian wells in the
B. Basin Board Authorized Expenditures
1. Preparation of final plans for and construction,
operation and maintenance of basin water management
facilities and structures (S373.0695(2)(b),(c), and
2. Pay for real property interests *for works of the
3. Road, bridge, railroad and utility modifications
and changes resulting from basin works
4. Aquatic weed control for works of the basin
and local aquatic weed programs of special need
5. Commissions for tax assessors (S373.0697(2)).
6. Necessary administrative functions of designated
basin activities (S373.0695).
7. Engineering studies of works of the basin
III. Budget Modification Process
A. Basin Boards are authorized to fund projects or programs
within their designated duties. The Governing Board may modify or
delete projects or programs contained in Basin Board budgets under
the following conditions:
1. The Governing Board determines that a project is
not within the designated Basin responsibilities; or
2. A project, program or activity is not consistent
with the current water management program of the
the water management district.
B. The Governing Board may add projects, programs or
activities to Basin Board budgets if the Governing Board
determines that a project, program or activity is necessary to
accomplish the current water management program of the District.
C. With any deletions from or modifications or additions to
a Basin Board budget, the Governing Board will forward reasons for
the deletions, modification, or additions to the Basin Board.
Governor Graham's Remarks
at the Southwest Florida Water Management District
Governing Board and Basin Boards Meeting
Nov. 4, 1985
It is a pleasure to be with all of you in Tallahassee today.
This is an excellent opportunity for us all to reassess the
situation in which we find ourselves -- and to remember what
we are here to do.
You were appointed as the members of the governing board, or
the various eight basin boards, of the Southwest Florida Water
To put this in perspective, nearly three million people live
in the hydrological region you serve -- approximately one-fourth
of our total population.
They use approximately 1.5 billion gallons of water a day.
In the next 20 years, the population of your district is
expected to increase to more than 4.1 million people. How will
we meet the water needs of this increasing population? How will
we resolve the competing demands of agriculture, growth centers,
power requirements, and the needs of industry?
These Floridians in your district pay taxes: to protect the
quality and quantity of the water they need today, and will need
in the future.
They are not interested in legal disputes between basin boards
and governing boards. They are even less concerned with the
details of those budget finances which activity. They just want
us to get the job done.
These Floridians, are interested, however, when these disputes
result in double taxation, in a lack of coordination, or
jeopardize in any way the quality of life in the future, or
place the efficient operation of the district at risk.
The growth of population in the part of our state you represent
has been very rapid. The demand is adequate quantities of
high-quality water is rising just as rapidly.
This is no time, and Southwest Florida is no place, for
quibbling. We need to return to the issues of proper water
management for this vital region of our state.
As governor, I have both a strong personal sense of
responsibility for the water issues of our state, and an
institutional duty -- because the governor appoints the people
who set water policy.
The appointment of the Secretary of the Department of
Environmental Regulation, and the members of all governing boards
and basin boards of the Water Management Districts, are the
responsibility of the governor.
The standards used to choose these individuals are extremely
demanding. You can be proud to have met them. These criteria
1. High standards of personal integrity
2. A strong interest in water-related issues, and
3. The ability to collectively represent the entire community
of interests of the region. In this regarding some boards
may be expanded to reflect these interests.
Those who serve one term can presume that you will be asked
to serve a second. Those serving successive terms should presume
that there will be a change upon completion of that term --
not as a personal reflection on you, or your service, but
because we have established a policy of permitting many
Floridians to serve.
The members of the various water boards should recognize
that you are policy makers, and that the staff members are
policy implementers. There is a key distinction to be drawn
between setting policy, and carrying out policy.
One critical policy I expect you to develop is the
clarification of the role of the Southwest Florida Water
Management District Governing Board, and the various basin
boards. This may be accomplished by adopting by rule the
substance of the attached paper.
As a guideline, the governing board assume the authority
to levy taxes concerning items which are of general benefit
to the people of Florida, and of the district. Among the
duties, the governing board has four exclusive functions:
-Adopting rules, regulations and orders
Developing and implementing a regulatory program, including.
regulation support, permitting and enforcement
Contracting and hiring employees or consultants for the
District and Basin boards
And overseeing budgets, including preparation of the
governing board budget, reviewing and amending the basin
board budgets, as well as exercising taxing authority.
The basin boards have been assigned specific functions, which
their budgets should reflect. The basin boards assume taxing
responsibility for water resource development programs which are
of particular benefit to limited or local segments of the
population. The duties and spending authority of the basin
boards are specifically limited by statute.
Basin boards are authorized to fund projects or programs
within their designated duties. The Governing board may modify
or delete projects or programs contained in basin board budgets
if it is not within the designated basin responsibilities or
is not consistent with the current water management program of
the water management district.
With any deletions from or modifications to a basin board
budget, the governing board will forward reasons for the deletions
or modification to the basin board.
It is my expectation, as the governor who appoints the members
to both the governing board and the basin boards, that this
relationship can and will be clarified in a harmonious way.
To accomplish this goal, it is time that.the lawsuit currently
pending between the basin boards and the governing board be
settled and voluntarily dismissed.
Prior to the next court hearing (November 14), I expect
the involved basin boards to meet to discuss their participation
in the lawsuit. Further, individual basin board members involved
in the suit should examine their position prior to that time.
Anyone who currently is serving on any of these boards who is
not committed to settlement needs to reconsider the prospect of
continuing to serve.
We will be undergoing a healing process, in which everyone
involved must participate equally, and positively -- recognizing
each other's sensitivities, and not overreacting to problems
which may from time to time arise.
Our responsibilities to each other, and to the district,
require a restoration of trust among the members of all the
boards and the staff. Courtesy will be a critical factor.
So will communications -- particularly communications about
The role of the chairmen ex-officio will help to set the tone.
I strongly urge you to be the two-way bridge between the basin
boards and the governing board, carrying information and opinions
back and forth between the two bodies.
If the governing board has problems with the basin board
budget, the chairman ex-officio should, to the extent practical,
considering trim constraints, notify the basin board of the
problems prior to a major budget modification so that the
members may attend the next budget workshop to explain their
reasons, if they desire.
The chairmen ex-officio should present the basin board's
rationale to the governing, board for their consideration (but
the chairman ex-officio would vote as he or she sees fit).
Further, the chairman ex-officio should be willing.to
explain the reasons for the governing board's action to the
There will always be some inevitable conflicts and strains
among the nearly 50 individuals who serve on these boards.
We need to make a commitment to seeing that small disputes
do not become major.
We need to face problems head on and resolve them -- and not
resort to back-door attempts to stir things up, to lobby, to
propose lawsuits or legislation, to continue an issue which we
should resolve among ourselves.
It is my firm resolve to keep abreast of the situation with
the Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board
and basin boards.
I have asked Secretary Tschinkel to give me regular reports
on our progress toward harmony and understanding.
I thank you all for coming together in a spirit of cooperation
to resolve our conflicts amicably. And I thank you for your
willingness to serve the people -- all the people -- of the
This is the spirit we will need to do our job properly --
the spirit of cooperation, communication and courtesy, in which
we have come together today.
I know that all of you meet the high standards for
appointment and continued service which Florida requires -- and
I am confident that, from this day forward, we will refocus
our efforts upon our goals, and accomplish them.