Title: The Role of Techincal Advisory Group in Formulating the Future of the Lee County Regional Water Supply Authority
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00001370/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Role of Techincal Advisory Group in Formulating the Future of the Lee County Regional Water Supply Authority
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: The Role of Techincal Advisory Group in Formulating the Future of the Lee County Regional Water Supply Authority, by Stanley W. Hole and Jeffrey A. Wilson
General Note: Box 8, Folder 4 ( Vail Conference, 1994 - 1994 ), Item 25
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00001370
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.

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3 By Stanley W. Hole, P.E.,' Member, ASCE,
y / 9and Jeffrey A. Wilson, P.E.

$ABSTRACT: The Lee County Regional Water Supply Authority
(LCRWSA) is an Independent water supply authority created by interlocal
agreements between Lee County, the City of Fort Myers, the City of
Sanibel, and the City of Cape Coral all of whom are major water utility
providers. The Authority has been certified by the Florida Department of
Environmental Regulation. A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) was
formed by the LCRWSA during the initial development stages of the
master planning efforts. The Intent was to Involve the representatives of
the public and private water utilities so that the Master Plan would truly
reflect the needs of the community and represent the collective knowledge
not only of the consultants, but also all the utilities, some of whom have
produced potable water in Lee County for decades. As a direct result of
the TAG efforts, a broad based process was established which promoted
f, consensus among the members and assisted with the identification and
discussion of key Issues affecting the Lee County Regional Water Supply


Enabling legislation for water supply authorities is contained in the Florida Statutes,
Chapter 373, Water Resources, Part I, State Water Resource Plan, subsection 373.1962 This
legislation assigns powers to water supply authorities to develop, store and supply water in
a manner which minimizes the adverse environmental effects of withdrawals; to acquire water
rights; to design, construct, operate and maintain water supply and transmission facilities; and
to issue revenue bonds to finance capital projects. However, water supply authorities are
precluded from local water distribution activities.

'Presented at the October 1, 1993, South Florida Section ASCE Annual Conference, held at Naples, Florida.
'Chairman, Hole, Montes & Associates, Inc., 715 Tenth Street South, Naples, Florida 33939.
2Associate, Hole, Montes & Associates, Inc., 6202-F Presidential Court, Fort Myers, Florida 33919 Telephone (813) 471-7874.

1 5 11

Lee County and the cities of Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Sanibel entered into an
interlocal agreement on May 1, 1990 to create an independent water supply authority known
as the Lee County Regional Water Supply Authority (LCRWSA). The objectives of

1. To ensure an adequate supply of water that is economical to process to meet the
forecasted needs of the several adopted comprehensive plans in Lee County and other
identified needs for the planning horizon for the year 2030 and beyond.

2. To address the feasibility of the proposed requirements of the South Florida Water
Management District (SFWMD) as they relate to Critical Water Supply Problem Areas
and the Basis of Review for Water-Use Permits. The proposed rules address managing
demand for both (G and irrigation uses of water, requirements for reuse of
reclaimed water and tle regionalization of water resources.

3. To develop a master water supply plan to meet the Authority's objectives and to carry
out those activities that are economically feasible and mutually beneficial to its

The intent of the water supply master plan for the LCRWSA is not to repeat the efforts
of other studies, but to consolidate or incorporate the efforts of those studies to provide for
a comprehensive and complete master water supply plan. Water utilities can benefit from
being members of a regional water supply authority. It affords an opportunity for water
utilities to reap benefits of cost savings and water supply reliability that accompanies regional
supply sources. A benefit to the regional water supply authority is that it may draw upon the
experience which has been accumulated by the utilities.

To ensure the integrity and substance of the Master Plan, the Lee County Regional
Water Supply Authority created a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) made up of
representatives of the public and private utilities in the Lee County Area. The suggestions,
thoughts and concerns of the professionals charged with meeting potable water needs were
considered fundamental to this issue. By involving the representatives of the public and
private water utilities, the Master Plan would truly meet the needs of the community and
represent the collective knowledge not only of the consultants, but also all the utilities.

The Technical Advisory Group membership included the following water company

Bonita Springs Utilities, Inc.
City of Cape Coral
City of Fort Myers
Florida Cities Water Company
Greater Pine Island Water Association, Inc.
Gulf Utility Company
Department of Lee County Utilities
Island Water Association, Inc.
Southern States Utilities

The Technical Advisory Group was created with the following issues in mind.

To acquire and utilize the collective knowledge and experience of the Utility
Directors so the Master Plan would be truly useful.

To understand the utilities issues and to the extent possible address their

To explore how the authority can be helpful to utilities in their effort to meet
the long term water demands.

To ensure that goals, objectives and policies are compatible and appropriate.

A series of workshops were hosted for the TAG. Each workshop focused on a key issue, such

Overview of Master Planning Effort

Water Demand Forecast Modeling

Groundwater Source and Quality Modeling; Future Sources; ASR

Emergency Interconnect Analysis and Water Blending

Financing and Funding Operations

Master Plan Formulation

Goals, Policies and Objectives




The initial meeting of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) was to introduce the
Authority's proposed master planning concepts) to the directors of the water utilities. The
Group was briefed on the interlocal agreement and a discussion ensued outlining the reasons
for the Authority's existence and benefits which the utility directors might expect. The
proposed format for the master planning effort was discussed with the utilities. It was agreed,
that as the various activities were underway, future TAG meetings would be held with the
progress of the activities reviewed in detail, suggestions for improvements requested and
modifications made, as deemed appropriate. It was also stressed that the guidance and
direction from the water utility companies would play an important role in determining the
direction and results of the master planning efforts.

Several key issues were raised during the master planning effort: ,- -

This study would be different from ha South Florida Water Management
District nd other) Fave performeW "

Agricultural water demands and demands of self supplied individual potable
systems would be recognized. Any analysis and projections without these
users would cast doubt that would question the integrity of the plan.

The impacts) of surface water and the opportunities to utilize surface water
would be considered.

Outside factors influencing future water demands would be considered.

An appropriate water quality protection program must be considered in
evaluating wellfields as future water supplies.

Water resources do not recognize political boundaries.

Sound financial planning, combined with proven and innovative funding
sources, is critical to the project's success.

Recommendations from the Master Plan will be directed toward long term
regional (county-wide) solutions. Therefore, utilities may elect to proceed with
their planned capital improvements program.

4 s


An important component of this Master Plan effort was to create a computer driven
program based upon a complex array of demographic data which, if properly applied, would
project anticipated water needs and demands,

Traditionally, future water needs were developed by dividing the amount of water used
by the number of customers and creating a per capital daily usage. This value was then
multiplied against projected population. There are, however, substantial inaccuracies inherent
to this approach. Specifically, there are consumer responses to rate changes, various
conservation practices, substantial differences within the residential user group related to
social/economic categories, differences between multi and single-family users, as well as
differences caused by different irrigation practices. There are also a wide variety of
discrepancies found within industrial/commercial communities. Such factors should be taken
into consideration when future projections are made.

Therefore, much effort was placed towards determining the appropriate computer model
that would best accept the variables typically found in Lee County. In customizing such a
program to fit the users of Lee County, a survey questionnaire was developed to assist in this
determination, with information supplied by the utility members of the group. As the model
was developed and customized to suit the needs of Lee County, three of the member utilities
were used to test it by developing future water demand projections. The program is the
property of the Authority, with staff members trained in its use. The selected model was
designed for urban/rural use but was modified to reflect agriculture demands by incorporating
the influence of various soil types, crops, irrigation systems and rainfall.


It is important for each utility to understand not only the characteristics of each aquifer
that their utility utilizes, but also the characteristics of the aquifers and current usage for those
of their competing water members. After highlighting key issues for the various aquifers
found in the immediate area, a discussion ensued on two groundwater flow models of the Lee
County aquifers:

S The existing South Florida Water Management District model was based on
modifications to the MODFLOW model of the surficial and intermediate
aquifer system hydraulics.

S The Authority's model represents a newly constructed simulation of the deeper,
brackish Floridian system including hydraulics and water quality changes
S(solute transport).



It was discussed with the TAG that some limited expansion of the Sandstone aquifer
use was possible, but that only two large groundwater supplies exist for future development;
those using freshwater-surficial aquifer in South Lee County and the brackish Upper Floridian
aquifer in North Lee County. Current regulatory proposals concerning wetland impacts would
severely limit or exclude the water table aquifer as a future source of potable water. It was
pointed out that because of low supplies, no viable source of water should be ruled out
without careful consideration of all economic and environmental realities. It was noted that
the Floridian aquifer system was not an unlimited source of water in that more rapid
degradation of water quality would occur with increased withdrawals.

Of concern to the TAG members was the SFWMD's position on water use and
drawdown in wetlands. The draft Lower West Coast Water Supply Plan proposed criteria
allowing zero drawdown while the current standard is one foot. The SFWMD staff revised
their position and agreed that zero drawdown unilaterally is not practical or accurately
predictable for existing modelling techniques. On behalf of the TAG members, the Authority
will continue to work with SFWMD during development of alternative criteria. It was noted
that the Lower West Coast Water Supply Plan proposed the Floridian aquifer as a major future
water supply source with relatively limited data was available regarding quantity and quality.
It was also noted that the Authority's plan would incorporate the solute transport model which
would initiate efforts to quantify water available in the Floridian aquifer system. This and the
modelling during development of the Authority's Master Plan would be used to help guide
revision of the SFWMD's Lower West Coast Water Supply Plan and Policies.


All utilities are concerned that should an emergency condition arises within one of the
utilities, some type of relief must be available to assist in the supply of water. The draft
SFWMD Water Supply Policy Document contained several short term solution strategies.
They included:

Interconnections with utilities having adjacent service areas capable of
delivering 25% of the capacity of the smaller of the two utilities. The
supplying utility would implement short term demand management measures
with a goal to providing 50% of the average daily indoor usage of the smaller
utility to the utility experiencing the emergency.

The district would require each individual utility to submit a detailed plan for
the development of an interconnected system within two years of formal
adoption of this policy.


5. c

Each utility would have to develop rates for water transmitted through these

Utilities would need to assess the feasibility of utilizing aquifer storage and
recovery (ASR) in both rural and urban areas for water supply purposes.

An adequate and dependable water supply for the future dictates the incorporation of
interconnects between water utilities to form a highly integrated regional water system. The
basic function of such a program allows one utility to transfer surplus or "available" water
from their system into a second utility to meet their emergency, as well as supply, demands.
Stich action could delay or eliminate the need for future development of a water supply or
other expensive system expansions.

Interconnects can also be used to further manage the areas potable water system by
enhancing water quality, promoting conservation and encouraging wise use of this valuable
resource. Such measures might provide safeguards or alleviate stress on certain
environmentally sensitive areas. Advantages to system interconnects include:

decreased dependency on single source.

safeguard against mechanical failures.

seasonal wellfield rotation.

protection against source contamination.

soften peak demands on a facility.

Along with the advantages of interconnects, there are also implementation issues which
need to be addressed:

initial capital cost.

facility operation and maintenance cost.

potential water blending issues.

interlocal agreements.



Of particular concern to the TAG members were the water blending issues related to
emergency interconnects between neighboring utilities. The TAG members furnished water
chemistry data for each of their water utilities in order for the Authority to address major
concerns when blending two different finished waters at an interconnect These concerns
stability or aggressiveness tendency for corrosion.
formation of insoluble precipitates which could form cloudy water.
effectiveness of disinfectant.
oxidation in organic taste and odor concerns.

Based upon a prescreening of blending water at interconnects, a series of potential
interconnects were identified for further evaluation using water chemistry data.

Using physical characteristics of the various water distribution and transmission
systems for each utility, a computer hydraulic model was developed to evaluate considerations
for emergency interconnects. This information, furnished by TAG members included skeletal
transmission systems for each utility, pump stations, water treatment plant and storage facility
data. Several modelling assumptions were discussed in detail with the TAG members in order
to accurately reflect each utility's individual system needs.


Water Authorities typically use a variety of sources for funding. In order to fund
activities such as operations and capital projects, several options were worthy of consideration.
These options included:

SFWMD grants.

Water security premium.

Conventional user fees.

Ad valorem tax.

Special assessments.

Annual special assessments.

County wide MSTU.

Tax bonds.

Special service fee.

The TAG members contributed much information associated with the various funding
and financing options, having had first hand knowledge through there respective utility


The basic approach in formulating the Master Plan is to develop a large regional
system comprised of individual members, with the Authority assisting in that development.
The key issues included:

water chemistry.


regional interconnecting grid.

actual route.


Given the forty year planning horizon, the Authority will attempt to optimize the
existing facilities and existing water supply sources. Important elements to be evaluated
during the formation of the Master Plan include:

Existing supply sources.

Existing facilities.

Water demands and needs.

Water resource evaluation.

Hydraulic evaluation of interconnects.


An important responsibility of the Technical Advisory Group was to define the
direction of the Authority. The basic fundamental of the Technical Advisory Group was to
involve the representatives of the public and private water utilities so that the Master Plan
would truly meet the needs of the community and represent the collective knowledge of these
utilities, some of whom have produced potable water in Lee County for decades. It is
important to ensure that Goals, Objectives and Policies are representative of the community
and its members.

A Goal was defined as a long term end toward which programs and activities are
ultimately directed. Similarly, an Objective was defined as a specific intermediate milestone
that is achievable and indicates progress toward a goal. Policies are the way in which
programs and activities are conducted to achieve an identified objective.

Policies must achieve the community's specific objectives and ensure plan
implementation. They provide a basis for ensuring consistency in future decision making and
protection of natural resources.

A series of Technical Advisory Group meetings, attended by representatives from each
S of the nine major water supply utilities in Lee County, were conducted to discuss the
development of Goals, Objectives and Policies. During an initial discussion of the TAG
members an important question was asked "What does the Authority need to do?" Several
areas for Authority involvement were identified, including:



environmental concerns.




funding sources.

stormwater treatment.

permitting assistance.



Over a period of several months, the Authority and the Technical Advisory Group
developed, reviewed, evaluated and modified the Goals and Objectives for the Authority. As
a result of the extraordinary effort put forth by the Technical Advisory Group, a document
incorporating the Goals and Objectives of the collective group was generated, which reflected
the prevailing views of the Group. The Goals and Objectives are included as Appendix 'A'.


In all, the Technical Advisory Group for the Lee County Regional Water Supply
Authority held seven meetings. The meeting locations were rotated throughout the County.
The initial meeting of the Technical Advisory Group was held on August 10, 1992, with a
final meeting being held on June 24, 1993. Meeting attendance ranged from 18 to 29
individuals, with an average attendance of 22. On several occasions, representatives of the
Regulatory Agencies (i.e. South Florida Water Management District) were in attendance.


Hole, Montes & Associates, Inc. is a member of the project team developing the Water
Supply Master Plan for the Lee County Regional Water Supply Authority. Specifically, the
authors responsibilities included initiating, coordinating, conducting and documenting the
Technical Advisory Group meetings.

The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance of Mr. Paul G. VanBuskirk, P.E.,
AICP, Executive Director of the Lee County Regional Water Supply Authority. They also
acknowledge the cooperative efforts of the project team consisting of Hole, Montes &
Associates, Camp Dresser & McKee, ViroGroup/Missimer Division, and Planning &
Management Consultants, Ltd.

11 5.





To ensure an adequate and economical supply of water to meet the forecasted needs within Lee
County through and beyond the year 2030 by optimizing facilities and resources to provide cost
effective water while minimizing adverse impacts on the environment.


To develop and maintain an inventory of water utilities supply and treatment facilities, storage
facilities, sizes and locations of major transmission pipelines, supply sources, allocations under
existing permits, historical water use and available demand projections.

Develop an Autocad compatible information system for physical facilities.

Monitor utility specific data pertaining to capacities, raw and finished water
quality, methods) of treatment.

Define individual water service area boundaries.

Define existing interconnects.

Document any known system problems.

Assist applicants for individual utilities water use permits.


To forecast water use demands by sectors to the Year 2000, 2010, 2020 and 2030.

Develop and monitor on a continuing basis a computer model that will project
municipal water demands within each service area.

Quantify current agricultural, domestic, commercial and industrial self-supplied
water use.

Develop methods to forecast agricultural, domestic, commercial and industrial self-
supplied water use.

Address seasonal demand forecasts.

Lee County Regional Water Supply Authority Goals and Objectives (Draft)
Page 1 of 4



' To identify ground water sources to meet forecasted needs.

Develop, operate, and maintain a computer model that will calculate drawdown
impacts due to pumping in freshwater aquifers and water quality changes in
brackish aquifers due to pumping withdrawals within the region and accurately
project the effects of withdrawals and recharge.

Identify quantity of groundwater than can be withdrawn from each aquifer to meet
municipal water supply needs without causing adverse impacts.


To identify surface water sources available to meet forecasted needs.

Evaluate availability of surface water from the Caloosahatchee River, Gator
Slough, Orange River, Imperial River and other surface water sources to meet or
supplement forecasted needs.

Quantify potential use of stormwater runoff to supplement water supplies.


To ensure municipal water supplies during emergency conditions for health and safety

Investigate feasibility of interconnects.

Identify interconnects for emergency flow.

Determine water quality feasibility of interconnects.

Identify the benefits and constraints related to the potential for transfer of existing
supplies using interconnects.

Design and construct feasible interconnections.

Assist water supply utilities in developing their emergency management plans.


To develop options and alternatives to promote a regional approach to meet water supply needs.

Examine potential for implementation of aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) in
Lee County.

Investigate using storm water runoff to recharge groundwater aquifers and natural
surficial systems. Consider appropriate treatment required for use of such waters
in an ASR program or aquifer recharge program.

Lee County Regional Water Supply Authority Goals and Objectives (Draft) -
Page 2 of 4

Determine areas where regionalization of supply sources, systems and/or facilities
are necessary, beneficial and desirable to meet the forecasted needs through the
year 2030.

Develop, operate and make available to all utilities a computer model of the
transmission/interconnect system of and between the utilities.

Ensure that future water supplies will be located and operated to meet the needs
of the population as a whole and preserve the integrity and quality of the water


To develop conservation and demand management activities and practices which will cost-
effectively reduce the potable water demands to ensure an adequate municipal water supply.

Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of alternative demand management methods.

Encourage water reuse through replacement of irrigation uses with reclaimed water
(appropriately treated wastewater).

Undertake measures to protect the integrity and quality of water supplies in
conjunction with the programs and policies of other local, regional and state

Determine least-cost combinations of demand-side and supply-side alternatives
during normal supply conditions and during drought conditions.


To develop and implement the necessary administrative components, systems, and criteria for
administrative, continuous planning, monitoring and evaluation of the Masterplan.

S Establish a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and Public Advisory Committee
(PAC) to evaluate and monitor water usage and planning efforts.

Monitor and evaluate water demands and needs at least every 5 years.

Establish a system of criteria for planning of future activities.

Establish funding mechanisms for implementation of activities deemed beneficial
and appropriate.

Develop public education and awareness programs.

Assemble, monitor and evaluate water use permit applications.

Encourage County-wide mandatory hook-ups to the greatest extent possible.

* Develop and update a water budget.
Lee County Regional Water Supply Authority Goals and Objectives (Draft)
Page 3 of 4


- -- -- I-- --~--- ---- -I -- sil ---~ ------ -- --- --~.--XII~-ll I


To ensure a water supply for municipal users through development of a regional water grid
system for health and safety considerations.

Investigate regional water treatment facilities.

Investigate regional wellfields.

Investigate a regional water grid system.

Identify the benefits and constraints related to the potential for transfer of existing
supplies using interconnects.

Design and construct feasible interconnects.

Lee County Regional Water Supply Authority Goals and Objectives (Draft)
Page 4 of 4

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