May 26, 1981
RE: Proposed Policy Statement
iPy/vty e "ts in /4 se of
of Teguesta v. Jupiter Inlet Corporation, 371 So.2d 663, (Fla. 1979).
i- F18- 6 ffore the adoption of the Florida Water Resources Act
of 1972, fthe owner's right of use was not absolute. ITnrtw, Florida
followed the reasonable use rule adopted by most eastern states. The
right of use was bounded byreasonabene;e and beneficial useefthe
.a". Koch v. Wick, 87 So.2d 47, (Fla. 1956 and Village of Teguesta
v. Jupiter Inlet Corporation, 371 So.2d 663,A(Fla. 1979).
This "right of use" s o o property ownerwas not abolished
by the adoption of the Florida Water Resources Act of 1972 (Ch. 373,
Fla. Stat.) weve, z"vh-4- was further limited and
qualified by the provisions of Part II of that Act I hin those
water management districts where consumptive use permitting has
been implemented1 Under-h LZhwi the owner Awbju !-et1 I y
using water from his land oe entitled to secure an initial permit
authorizing the continuation of that use (whoen. pemitin -v.t
u-meeah-i-g-- if the use s a reasonable-beneficial use as defined
in Section 373.019, Fla. Stat., and Ji allowable under t- o n
law of the state. Section 373,226(2), Fla. Stat. er who seek
to commence new uses must meet t di fereni- .rire!Lt
mentsin Section 373.223, Fla. Stat.aini the event the existing
use or new use requirements are not satisfied the property owner ,.
has no right to make consumptive use of underlying or surface i
_It has been .,-rr, 1 H-n I -- i .........I...... .... .. .^ ..
quantity of water adjacent to or beneath t orty U
the proposed use meets the requirementseo4*sr pectidnc 373.226 .easo
sumptive use of any i-^rf a fiar. wate f Section 3 6 and
373.219, Fla. Stat.r* h be on-
.,teuiLJe portion oi EL iJ&-l2lni ylUUnd wL i.-T"ij iF io -7
diFor example, the owner of a parcel of land adjacent to the
Gulfor riparian owners do may not have an absolute right to withdraw and use any ofrticular
the water beneath that land ior by withdrawing the water, the water
resources in the area are reuiremened with imminent damage from salt
373.223,water intrusion. Stat., an owner is not authorized to make a con-
absolute right to any rinite portion of e water beneath his land,
373.219, Fla. Stat.p
For example, the owner of a parcel of land adjacent to the
Gulf of Mexico may not have the right to withdraw and use any of
the water beneath that land if, by withdrawing the water, the water
resources in the area are threatened with imminent damage from salt
water intrusion. The that te* property owner has'*&&
absolute right to finite portion of kkee water beneath his land,
p^"-i~tR 4 "^/ i f f-mj
j!^.^^^;P~a ^tm!Z ^ ~a.
I I I I 4 .1
:/T~j IA R /SrCdZIL~CL~~C~dZ~i~i;Ot4 ~CC4J.
This "right of use," held by property owners, was not
abolished by-the adoption of the Florida Water Resources Act of
1972 (Ch. 373, Fla. Stat-) but rather was further limited and
qualified by the provisions of Part II of the Act.
Within those water management districts where consumptive
use permitting has been implemented, the owner with an existing
use of sttng water from his land is entitled to secure an initial
permit authorizing the continuation of that use if the use is a
reasonable-beneficial use, as defined in Section 373.019, Fla. Stat.,
and is allowable under the common law of the state. Section
373.226(2), Fla. Stat. 4i.A
Aft er- -imp entation-of a consumptive use permitting program,
ownerss who seek to commence new usesAmust meet different limiting
requirements. These are set forth in Section 373.223, Fla. Stat.
and require that the applicant must establish that the proposed
use of water:
(a) is a reasonable-beneficial use;
(b) will not interfere with any presently existing
legal use of water; and
(c) is consistent with the public interest.
In the event the existing use p~tthe new use requirements
are not satisfied,the property owner has no right to make consumptive
use of underlyingA surface water.
Owners of overlying property riparian owners do not have
an absolute right to use any particular quantity of water adjacent
to or beneath their property. Unless the proposed use meets the
requirements of the administrative system of water management a&04
ia no r aclcQL lr -- Under Ch. 373, Fla. Stat., the overriding
interest of the public can operate to preclude any use of the
underlying.ground waters in appropriate circumstances.
The balance between competing applications is struck at that
point which best serves the public interest. Section 373.233(1),
Fla. Stat. In the event competing applications are equally
qualified, perference is given to renewal appithations over initial
applications."Sectior- 373.233(2), Fla. Stat. This should become
a continuous balancing process because, as situations and climatic
conditions change, the location of the balance point between
competing uses will shift to preserve what is bestfor the public
* Domesti cq umr in of water by individual users is exempted
from th pn8 ptie use permit requirements of the Act.
Section /33.19(l)(, Fla. Stat.