Title: Impact of Growth On Water Resources
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00000720/00001
 Material Information
Title: Impact of Growth On Water Resources
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: University of Florida Food and Agricultural Sciences
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Impact of Growth On Water Resources
General Note: Box 7, Folder 1 ( Vail Conference 1987 - 1987 ), Item 113
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00000720
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

MARCH 11-13, 1986




My topic today is: The Impact of Growth on Water
Resources. Florida's population growth is a very
popular subject nowadays, as evidenced by
legislation during the past two years. However,
increases in Florida's population are not new.
Mr. Osterhult would know better than I, but I

Florida's population increased
46% from 1940 to 1950;
78% from 1950 to 1960;
37t from 1960 to 1970;
43% from 1970 to 1980;
and it has increased 15%
from 1980 to 198b. (T)-

Concern tor water resources also is not a new
subject. In 1962, Florida's Soil & Crop Science
Society sponsored a panel discussion on future
water requirements and water supply. And, in 1980
IFAS Professors G. D. Lynne and J. W. Jones
circulated a staff paper, On the Nature of
Agricultural Water Use: Research Needs in Florida,
discussing agricultural water needs and water
allocation goals.

Increasing population and increasing demands on
water resources are worldwide concerns. In areas
of northern China, annual pumping exceeds supply by
25%; Israel suffers from salt water intrusion in
its coastal aquifers; and the major aquifer in the
southern and central United States is diminishing.
12) iisever, depletion of some water supplies
worldwide results from misuse rather than overuse.

In Florida, population increases have not caused a
s..rt! ag of water. Recent emphasis on growth has
made apparent the inefficiencies and inadequacies
of our production and transmission facilities, and
our ways of using water. This new growth awareness
has helped Florida's legislators, planners, and
water users realize the need for wat onater onrton
and reuse measures. We are thinking of new ways
to use, value, transport, and regulate water
resources. Florida's population has increased
steadily over the last 45 years and it will
continue to increase. Nevertheless, growth's main
impact on water resources is the new common
awareness of water as a valuable and precious
resource. The main impact of growth on water
issues is growth management legislation. Growth
management t legislation and its children, the State
dno Regional and Local and Agency plans, will
affect how, wny, when, and where you use water; it
ales will aftect how you use your land.

1 will briefly review the procedural aspects of
growth eanaqtement legislation. Then I will discuss
now growth management legislation affects the how,
why, when, and where of water use.


The State Comprehensive Plan, enacted by the 1985
legislature, provides long-range policies to guide
orderly growth. The legislature will review the
Plan every two years. The Plan was not funded.
Tne Plan is a collection of broad goals and
policies to guide regional planning commissions,
local governments, and agencies as they develop
their plans.

Tne Comprehensive Plan states the following water
resource goal: Florida shall assure the
availability of an adequate supply of water tfor all
competing uses deemed reasonable and beneficial.
This really is a restatement of existing Florida
law. The water resources goal is broken down into
14 policies; I will discuss some of the 14 water
policies in the substantive part of my talk. The
Plan also has sections on land use and agriculture,
tL.ar contain water use policies.

Trne main effect of the State Comprehensive Plan
will be felt as it trickles down through the

regional planning councils' Comprehensive kuitlonu l
Policy Plans. These must be adopted by November
30, 1986. The State Comprehensive Plan also may
affect you through the local government
comprehensive plan. Municipalities must prepare a
comprehensive plan if they do not have one yet or
amend their existing plan, by December 1, 1989.
Counties must amend existing plans or prepare a
plan by December 1, 1987.

Mater users are more likely to be affected by the
State Water Use Plan and the water management
districts' groundwater basin resource availability
inventories. The water use plan and the resource
inventory are not new concepts. Even before the
latest wave of growth management legislation,
Florida law directed that a state water use plan be

In 1972 the legislature directed that the
Department of Natural Resources, headed by the
Governor and Cabinet and through its Division of
Interior Resources should:

"Proceed as rapidly as possible to
study existing water resources in
the state; means and methods of
conserving and augmenting such
waters; existing and contemplated
needs and uses of water for
protection and procreation of
fish and wildlife, irrigation,
mining, power development and
domestic, municipal and industrial
uses, and all other related subjects
including drainage, reclamation,
flood plain or flood hazard areas
zoning, and selection of reservoir
sites." Part I, Section 6,
Ch. 72-299, Laws of Florida.

DNR was further directed to cooperate with the
State Department of Administration, Bureau of
.Planning, or its successor agency, to progressively
formulate %as a functional element of a
comprehensive state plan' an integrated,
coordinated plan for the us and development of the
waters of the state based on the above studies.
This plan was to be known as the state water use
plan and the department was directed, in
formulating it, to give due consideration to:

a.) The attainment of maximum reasonable beneficial
use of water.
b.) The maximum economic development of the water
resources consistent with other uses.
c.) The control of such waters for such purposes as
environmental protection, drainage, flood
control and water storage.
d.) The quantity of water available for application
to a reasonable beneficial use.
e.) The prevention of wasteful, uneconomical,
impractical or unreasonable uses of water
f. Presently exercised domestic use and permit
g.) The preservation and enhancement of the water
quality of the state and the provision to the
state water quality plan.
h.) The state water resources policy is expressed
by the Water Resources Act of 1972.

Each of the governing boards of the two existing
water management districts and the three new water
management districts were directed to cooperate
with the department in conducting surveys and
investigations of water resources and to furnish
the department with all available data of a
technical nature, and to advise and assist the
department in the formulation and drafting of those
portions of the state plan applicable to the

In addition the governing boards of the water
management districts were directed to establish
minimum flows and levels for certain ground water
and surface water at which further withdrawals
would be significantly harmful to the water
resources of the area.

The department was directed to give careful
consideration to the requirements of public
recreation and protection and procreation of fish
and wildlife.

This state water use plan together with the water
quality standards and classifications of the
Department of Pollution Control or its successor
agency was to constitute the Florida Water Plan.

Three years later (in 19751 the Florida
Environmental Reorgahlization Act was passed,


creating the Department of Environmental Regulation
in order to centralize a.thotity over and pinpoint
responsibility for the management of the
envircnerent; the responsibilities of DNR were
transferred to DER insofar as they related to the
state water plan.

During 1975 and 1976 each of the water management
districts began to develop district water use
plans. These evolved into published and
disseminate district water management plans during
1977 ana 1978.

In December, 1978 the Department of Environmental
Regulation issued a draft of a State Water Use
Plan; Pnase I marking the completion of a six year
planning process. This compilation contained an
introduction and overview together with the
executive summaries of the five water management
district plan. This draft was never formally

Despite years of work, it was not until 1981 that
DER adopted a water policy as set forth in Chapter
17-40, F.A.C., to become the first part of a state
water use plan.

Tne new growth management act requires DER to
submit its state water use plan to the legislature.
This was to have been submitted yesterday. The
legislature can ignore it, amend it, or codify the
plan as part of Florioa law. DER requires each
water management district to produce its own agency
plan to implement the policies in DER's State water
Use Plan. The districts' water management plans
must identify specific geographical areas where
water resource problems have reached critical
Levels. 13) The mandate for resource inventories
also pre-dates the growth management legislation.
St. Jonns, South Florida, and Southwest Florida
Water Management Districts have begun work on
their resource inventories.

Since liS, DER has had a State Water Policy,
Chapter 17-4g of the Florida Administrative Code.
Tne Policy provides guidance to water management
districts on general water policy, determination of
a-..eaileb-er.eii h el uses, water transport,
srface water moiaoqment, and minin.uu, flows and


1. Protecting, increasing, stabilizing the supply.

The State Comprehensive Plan contains policy
designeu to ensure a stable supply of adequately
pure fresr, water for all uses. For example, the
state snail identify and protect water recharge
areas and provide incentives for their
conservation; the state shall protect aquifers
from depletion and contamination through
appropriate regulatory programs and through
incentives. (4) These policies can affect how
you use water, and how you use your land.

Yoi will be hearing a lot about "water recharge
areas*. DER's State Water Use Plan defines a
recharge area as a geographic location that
serve. to replenish groundwater naturally by
precipitation or runoff. (5) The water
management districts must identify prime
recharge areas in their resource inventories.
(6) The Southwest District is beginning its
inventory by studying geology, thickness of the
confining layer, rainfall, and evapotranspira-
tion, for each county within the Southwest
District, to come up with recharge by inches per
year at various locations.

Southwest is beginning with Hernando and Citrus
Counties, and it will define "prie recharge
areas as it goes along. IBy way of example, the
United States Geological Survey considers as a
prime recharge area any area in which the
aquifer is recharged by ten inches or more per
year.) The resource inventories will be used in
county comprehensive plans, which also must
xientify prime recharge areas. (7) Each
district must hold a public hearing on its
intent to designate any particular area as a
prime groundwater recharge area.

Southwest District chose Hernando and Citrus
Counties to begin its recharge study because
portions of the aquifer in Hernando and Citrus
are being considered for "G-l" status. This
mvalns special protection for aquifers which are
the only reasonably available source of potable
water for most people in that area.

DEO has proposed amendments to its rule to
provide G1 protection only to unique aquifers,
which are defined as aquifers within certain
prime recharge areas, aquifers within the zone
of influence of major public water supply
wellfield, aquifers providing the only locally
available natural source of drinking water, or
aquifers designated by government agencies as
future public water supplies. (8)

Prime recharge areas and sole source aquifers
and G1 aquifers can affect use of your land if
you own land over or near a specially designated
aquifer. The te Comprehensive Plan requires
that land use planners consider the impact of
land use on water quality and quantity. DER's
State Water Use Plan recommends prohibition or
severe limitation on pollutant discharges to
high recharge areas. The Plan also recommends
similar use restrictions for land within the
cone of influence of a public wellfield, or for
land designated by local government as a future
wellfield site. (9)

Broward County already has restricted use of
fertilizers containing nitrates, and
agricultural use of pesticides, herbicides, and
fungicides, within certain zones. (10)
Southwest Florida Water Management District is
using "Save Our Rivers* funds to purchase "lands
having some unique water management function,
such as special recharge areas essential to
protect water supplies;" for example, "the area
surrounding a drinking water reservoir.* (11)
Protection of the purity of the aquifer can
affect your activities on your land, and you
should be aware of planned rules, policies, and
hearings of your water management district,
regional planning council, and county or city

Other resource protection measures will affect
your ability to use water. Florida law requires
that the water management districts and DER set
siniouo-water levels of the aquifer, and minimum
flows of surface water. The minimum water level
or flow is the level or flow at which further
withdrawals would be significantly harmful to
the water resources of the area. (12)
Determination of minimum levels is a complicated
task, but it would add some certainty to an

emotional issue.

There is no official factual statement from DER
or the water management districts that
establishes that there is any current crisis in
our water supply. All of us would benefit from
basic data on the nature of our source.

Florida law requires that DER, in preparing its
water use plan, consider supply and demand: it
must consider the quantity of water available
for reasonable beneficial use, and it must
consider the amount of presently exercised
domestic use and permit rights. (13) DER's
State Water Use Plan does not set forth current
supply and demand I have been unable to
determine whether R has indeed decided on the
amount of water available and evaluated the
amount of water presently permitted; 1 0o not
know whether such basic data was background
information for DER's Water Use Plan. (14)

Florida law also requires that the water
management districts, in their basin
inventories, specify the potential quantities of
water available for consumptive uses. It seems
to me that it would be efficient and wise to
have basic information about actual existing
supply and demand before raising a hue and
cry about future strains on the supply.

Agricultural landowners should be aware of a
peripheral subject. The State Comprehensive
Plan embodies a preference that agricultural
lands remain in agricultural use. (16)
Preservation of agricultural lands and
protection of recharge areas go hand in hand in
the thinking of some planners. For example, one
growth management idea ties preservation of
agricultural use to water supply. Under this
proposal, public water systems would be taxed ar,
additional $.10 per thousand gallons to fund
purchases of development rights oil agricultural
lands in critical growth management areas. Tne
author of this concept states that "development
rights would probably range from prohibition of
all development to prohibition of selected land
uses that would potentially reduce the yield of
water or the quality of water in these areas."

He raises the spector of major landowners who

G. ^

may succumb to sale of farm land for various
reasons. Presumably, the purchase of
development rights would provide sufficient
financial incentive for the agricultural
landowner to maintain the property in
agricultural use. This idea is being heard in
various guises from different people throughout
the state, and agricultural landowners should be
aware of the high regard some planners have for
continuing agricultural use of their land. (16)

Similar proposals were suggested for the State
Water Use Plan, but these were rejected, and
DER's current plan does not expressly encourage
financial incentives for maintenance and
preservation of agricultural land and water
recharge areas.

2. Using, Reusing, Conserving the Supply.

The State Comprehensive Plan emphasizes water
conservation and reuse. Specifically,
conservation, wastewater recycling, and other
appropriate measures are encouraged to assure
adequate water resources to met agricultural
and other beneficial needs. (17)

This is entirely appropriate, and it will
benefit all of us if the current hysteria over
growth and the growth management legislation can
change the way we think about water. We tend to
take water for granted. *Florida has more
available groundwater than any other state;
there are 7,600 lakes, some 1,700 streams, 13
major coastal rivers, and 7 major tributary
rivers." (18)

The state has an abundant annual average
rainfall of 53 inches, varying from area to
area, and from season to season. For permitted
water users, the water itself costs nothing,
although there are costs of pumpage and

Even the public water supply user, who pays per
gallon of water, usually does not think about
water the way he thinks about electricity. We
dcn't conserve water the way we turn off lights
wner. we leave a room to avoid high electricity
bills. Abundant wAtte allows luxuries such as
swimming pools, dishwashers, washing machines,
green lawns, nice gardens, and the benefit of
productive crops through irrigation. All these
water uses can be maintained only if we rethink
our concept of water. All users need to consider
water as a valuable resource to be conserved or
reused whenever possible'.

AgricLlture is the biggest user of water,
worldwide and in Florida. Agricultural use
worldwide accounts for about 70% of total
*itndrawals. (19) Within Southwest Florida
Water Managenent District, agriculture accounted
for 41% of total permitted withdrawals in 1983.

DEk's Water Use Plan contains a very specific
goal on agricultural water uset by 1995, achieve
a 5% reduction in agricultural water use,
through appropriate conservation measures. What
is a conservation measure? Cut down on the size
of the CUP? Change from strawberries to field
corn? Conversion to drip from traveling
irrigation guns? The Plan suggests that water
use permits require conservation and reuse
whenever environmentally and economically
feasible. (21)

Southwest District recently proposed an
Agricultural Irrigation Monitoring Program to
install and maintain flowmeters on selected farm
wells. 122) The proposal has been opposed by
strawberry and citrus growers. Most of the
opposition centered around who would pay for the

The resource cannot be managed and conserved
efficiently and fairly without knowing how much
water is available and how much water is being
used. This applies to agriculture, industry,
and public users. But there are better ways to
do this than merely the installation of
thousands of flow smters.

Agricultural users, like all water users, should
use the resource in the most efficient and
conservative manner. Agriculture should be sure
that appropriate and efficient irrigation
methods are used. Homeowners should install
water saving devices on showers, toilets,
sprinklers, dishwashers, and clothes washers.

Everyone should work together to conserve thr

One of our topics today is the Issue at
competing uses. Agricultural users should avoid
a defensive or adversary posture on this issue.
As the largest water user, agriculture can
expect that its water use will be examined and
questioned. Agriculture should prepare for this
by making sure it is using water responsibly,
rather than by jealously guarding permitted
withdrawals. Florida law provides that
consumptive use permits shall be issued for uses
that are reasonable-beneficial and in the public
interest. Reasonable-beneficial is defined, in
part, as the amount of water reasonably
necessary for the use. Florida law provides
that agriculture is a reasonable-beneficial use
that is in the public interest. (23)
Agriculture, working together with the water
management districts, can determine the amount
of water reasonably necessary during each season
for each crop.

Florida law provides a method for dealing with
competing applications for water use. This
section is rarely used, and I am not aware of
any situation in which it has been used
appropriately. The law provides that the
governing boards of the water management
districts have the discretion to grant the water
use application which best serves the public
interest. Two uses are compared only when the
two (or more) applications both completely
comply with Florida law and water management
district rules, and the quantity of water is
inadequate for bot" (or the applications for any
other reason are in conflict).

I am not aware of any situation in which it has
been proved that the quantity of water is
inadequate. This section has been aggressively
misused by West Coast Regiotnal Water Supply
Authority over in the Tampae-illaborough County-
Pasco County-Pinellas County area. West Coast
has used it in opposition to a public supply
application and an industrial use application.
In neither case did West Coast claim that the
quantity of water was inadequate.

The competing use section of Florlda law is a
difficult provision that should not be invoked
except when absolutely necessary. The
determination of which use best serves the
public interest is a policy decision that should
be avoided until it is quite clear that there is
not enough water to supply two entirely
different types of uses.

Water users should not view the permitting
process as a competition to acquire the most mgo
before the water runs out. All users should
evaluate their use to determine which
conservation or reuse measures may oe
appropriate. The City of Orlando has begun a
reuse project involving secondary treated, virus
filtered, highly chlorinated effluent for
agricultural irrigation.

These arrangements are appropriate in some areas
of the state, but the treatment and
transportation costs limit the practicality of
this reuse measure on a large scale. Treated
waste water may also be discharged to wetlands
under strict DER rules and again, there are cost
considerations that prohibit this on a large
scale at the present time.

3. Moving the supply to the demand.

One of our growth management problems is the
fact that the best water supplies are not
necessarily located in the areas of high
population. Florida's West Coast and South
Florida suffer from saline water supplies. We
don't settle near wheat fields to have bread, or
near power plants to have electricity. Should we
cluster our population around our water
supplies? Around our prime recharge areas? Or
should we cluster our population for ease of
distribution of water transported as efficiently
as bread end electricity?

The State Comprehensive Plan discourages water
transport as.an alternative. (241 DER's State
Water Policy also discourages transporting water
across district boundaries, except in certain
restricted circumstances. (251 In development
of its State Water Use Plan, DER took an
"undynamic stance" on this most *gut-wrenching
issue", preferring to rely on its State Water
Policy until the issue of water transport is


resolved by the courts. (26)

4. Free market supply and demand.

Some planners and thinkers also have suggested
that free market influences will curb wasteful
water use and encourage conservation. Seasonal
pricing has been suggested to alleviate demands
on the water resource during the winter when the
tourists arrive and farmers increase water use
because of drought or freeze. Peak use
surcharges also have been proposed to tax those
responsible for the greater capacity required to
serve peak demands. Others have suggested
surcharges on agricultural, utility, and
industrial water use. (27)


A lot of planning and thinking is going on now
about water as a result of recent growth management
legislation. The real impact of growth is that we
can no longer take cheap, fresh water for granted.
Agriculture for a long time has been aware of the
value of readily available fresh water. Now,
homeowners, business, industry, and government all
are aware of water and growth and the need to
conserve one while encouraging the other. The
growth in Florida's population is here to stay.
The growth management plans and comprehensive plans
and agency plans and local government agency plans
are here to stay. Agriculture, like other user
groups, can live with growth and growth management,
it it stays informed and responsible. Agricultural
users should bind together, not to present a common
adversarial front to protect your use, but to work
with the water management districts and other users
to protect tne resource for everyone.

15. Chapter 85-57, Section 2,(16)kb)2.,122)1b)10.

16. I. David G. Pyne, *Watvr Supply and Growth
Management: A New Approach', Florida Defenders ot
the Environment Report No. 12, November-December,

17. Chapter 85-57, Section 2,(8)(b)ll, 13, (221bl)4.

18. Edward A. Fernald, Donald J. Batton, Ed., Water
Resources Atlas of Florida, FSU 1984.

19. Sandra Postel, Water: Rethinking Maragement in an
Aae of Scarcity, Worldw.tch Paper 62, December

20. Permitted withdrawals as of January 20, 1984,
Southwest Florida Water Management District
Information Kit, March 1984.

21. Telephone Conversation March 6, 1986 with Gil
Bergquist, DER.

22. Agricultural Water Use Monitoring Recommendation
Summary, Southwest Florida Water Management
District, February 8, 1986.

23. Section 373.016(2) If); 403.021(2), Florida Statutes

24. Chapter 85-57, Section 2, (8) b)3, 4, 7.

25. Rule 17-40.05, Fla. Admin. Code.

26. Telephone Conversation March 6, 1986 with Gil
Bergquist, DER.

27. Stephen Light and Stanley Hole, "The Role of
Florida's Water Management Districts in Growth
Management", Wa, Wataw, Water Rights and
Water Polcy: The Florida Law of Water,
Wetlands and Submerged Lands, Florida Bar CLE,
February 28, 1986.


1. Figures based on U. S. Census population data and
F.-ri;J Estilmat of Population,.University of
Florida Bureau of Economic Research, Population

J. Sunora Postel, Wter: Rethi;nkin Management in an
A.: of Scarcity, Worldwatch Paper 62, December

3. lelepnone Conversation March 6, 1986 with Gil
berqquisr. DER: DEk kule 17-40.09, Fla. Admin.

4. Cr.pter 85-57, Section 2,(8)(0)2.,9.

5. Telephone Conversation March 6, 1986 with Gil
berg)uist, DER.

6. Section 373.09513), Florida Statutes, 1985.

7. Telephone Conversation February 28, 1986, with
DeLie Locklair, Southwest Florida Water Management
District, Project Coordinator for resource

8. Mary F. Smallwood, "Wetlands and Waters of the
State", thter Law, Water Rights and Water Policy:
tr. Flonrl.u Law of Water, Wetlands and
SuQjerlvdi Lands, Flo rda Bar CLE, February 28,

v. Telephone Conversation March 6, 1986 with Gil
bergquist, DER.

10. Broward County Ordinance No. 84-60, Section 7.04,

11. Southwest Florida Water Management District
Hydroscope, January-March. 1984.

12. Section 373.04212), Florida Statutes, 1985; DER
Rule 17-40.08, Fla. Admin. Code.

13. Section 373.036(2) (d) If).

14. Telephone Conversation March 6, 1986 with Gil
bergqulst, DEH.

6. 3_

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