Water Reuse

Material Information

Water Reuse


Subjects / Keywords:
Law -- Florida ( LCSH )
Lawyers -- Florida ( LCSH )
Water reuse ( jstor )
Groundwater ( jstor )
Agriculture ( jstor )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida


Abstract For: Vail Water Management Seminar Topic: Water Reuse October 14, 1985
General Note:
Box 6, Folder 6 ( Vail Conference 1986 - 1986 ), Item 55
Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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Abstract For: Vail Water Management Seminar

Topic: WATER REUSE (Multiple Sessions)

Water Reuse is one of the most significant water management issues facing the State
of Florida for the next decade. In this period of explosive growth, our previous
concepts related to utilizing our water resources for a single purpose and then
discarding them cannot be perpetuated. Though this concept is recognized by several
of the Water Management Districts, the Florida Department of Environmental
Regulation (FDER) hasn't developed a regulatory framework to facilitate its
implementation. The concept of implementing water reuse projects through
regulatory mandate is not acceptable. Mechanisms must be put into place to provide
economic and regulatory incentives to facilitate its implementation. Demonstration
projects must be encouraged where appropriate to generate operational data to aid in
the maturation of the regulatory framework.

Two projects initiated by the City of Orlando, Water Conserv I and Water Conserv II,
will be utilized to illustrate some of the problems encountered in implementing reuse
projects. Recommendations will be discussed which were or could have been utilized
to facilitate these projects. Water Conserv I was not implemented as originally
conceived. This was primarily due to the fact that the FDER adopted rules providing
for "zero risk" or non-degradation of background; even though the project had received
conceptual approval from the South Florida Water Management District and the
Florida Legislature and would have served as a model demonstration project for a
potentially cost-effective means of direct aquifer injection. Water Conserv II should
be operational by late-1986 and will be the largest agricultural reuse project of its
kind in the United States. Its success can be attributed to the unique combination of
cooperation between the regulatory agencies, and the urban and agricultural

Issues which must be addressed, as a minimum, include: (a) risk sharing, (b)
availability of alternate disposal techniques, (c) reliability, (d) technical feasibility and
(e) economic incentives.

It must be remembered that in addition to economic and environmental feasibility,
technical feasibility should be the primary concern. The State of Florida offers unique
combinations of physical, topographical, hydrogeological and geotechnical settings.
Each combination of these features offers different technical challenges. An
agricultural reuse project such as Water Conserv II may work extremely well in the
high, sandy soils found throughout the central Florida ridge. However, this type of
concept will probably not be as technically feasible in some of the low-lying citrus
areas in south Florida which require extensive drainage to prevent the roots from
being water-logged from natural groundwater. In this type area it may be more
appropriate to implement an overland flow type system. Typically, however these
systems are associated with different food crops -- some of which are used for direct
human consumption such as tomatoes, celery, etc. Though experience in California
indicates that these systems do not pose health problems, Florida has not approved
such a project to date. The results of an agricultural reuse study performed for the
California Office of Water Recycling could be presented illustrating their regulatory
framework and over twenty agricultural reuse projects which have been implemented.



October 14, 1985

The single most important measure that could be implemented by the State of Florida
to encourage the implementation of these type projects would be a Water Reuse Task
Force which could be given the responsibility to implement these type projects on a
case-by-case basis. This Task Force should be composed of senior staff members of
the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation, several of the Water Manage-
ment Districts, the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, and the
Florida Department of Natural Resources. It may be appropriate to structure this
Task Force so that it would make recommendations to the Governor and Cabinet for
project implementation; similar to the process used in siting power plants.