May 8, 1981
TO: Cliff Beasley
Dr. Robert Koo
f" Barbara Vergara
E. D. Vergara
FROM: J. T. Griffiths
--- React! e-t- me have your commentst. ,-
B-.Y LMcKNOWN "
Wm. McCartney, Executive Dir.
Northwest Florida Water Management District
Rt. I Box 3100
Havana, Fla. 32333
Don Morgan, Executive Director
Suwanee River Water Management District
Rt. 3 Box 64
Live Oak, Fla. 32060
E. Palatka, Fla. 32031 (home)
700 Lewis State Bank Bldg.
TELEPHONE .8!3 682 !H P 0 BOX 89 LAKELAND, FLORIDA 33802
A PROPOSAL FOR AN EQUITABLE ALLOCATION OF WATER
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AND IN TIME OF DROUGHT
FOR INDIVIDUALS AND INDUSTRIAL OR AGRICULTURAL ENTITIES
ISSUE: Is it possible through economic penalties or incentives
to establish a system by which all legal entities within
Florida might share in available water in such an
equitable manner that there would not be economic loss
to the individual in the event of water shortages and
no opportunity to put strains on'the system by the over
use of water by individual entities under any circum-
FACTS: 1. The water available for use by entities in Florida
is a combination of the annual rainfall and the
volume of water in the Floridan or other major
2. The rise or fall-of the potentiometric surface of
the underlying deep aquifer is a function of water
withdrawal from that aquifer and recharge-caused
-3. The amount of recharge .capability has bn -re-
duced-over:- thepa|(t jft .9sPJy-:j ~tnzBadag
of many -natural :to
Ssome i.etent.-een -
creation of res P
time that water ; -1d. ^dxidi-hl al-Wl r.ased
percolation into the aquifer.'
4. Probably the net effect of drainage and manmade
resevoirs represents a net reduction capability
in recharging the Floridan Aquifer and a net in-
crease in recharging the Biscayne Aquifer.
5. There is no inalienable right, moral or legal- for
any individual entity to have a given volume of
water per day.
6. It is generally considered that an individual
should have sufficient water to drink and probably
enough additional with which to keep clean.
7. Some enterprises of which agriculture is an excel-
lent example require certain quantities of water
at certain times of the year if profits from the
enterprise are to be maximized.
8. Operations such as a citrus processing plant or a
vegetable processing plant must have sufficient
water at the time when the agricultural commodity
is mature to process the crop or an economic loss
9. Probably most industrial users and individuals re-
quire a relatively constant amount of water per
day, per week or per month with very little sea-
sonable adjustment required.
10. The use of water for maintaining green lawns,
green parks, green golf courses, clean cars, run-
ning fountains, and probably numerous other acti-
vities provide personal satisfaction to the in-
dividual or to the users of those facilities, but
these uses are non-essential if a critical water
supply shortage exists.
11. All.of the land in Florida has a certain innate
capability to permit the percolation of rainwater
into the Flor.idan or some other- aquifer., The
ratio between water-percolated to the aquifer and
surface runoff are affected by the soili.$r__ cture;
the nature: of f-thM-:under. i hardpan s;
the depth to suchconf i'n Lyer a -al
Sor manz.4e W6ag e~d..
curre and-' whibh directly f aas ..el
-. of- --
been' Mostareas epr
long-termn change .' in.. he.-. ~o4t_
over the past 50 years of recorainLg;'
13. Surface water retention has been dramatically
changed in many local areas as the result of
water management. Some changes have been designed
and intended to take place and others have oc-
curred inadvertently. Most of the changes insofar
as lake levels: are concerned has been deleterious
and unplanned. Most of the change in terms of re-
duced standing water, drier soil, etc., has.been
the result of planned drainage and increased run-
off in individual local areas.
ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
Water management should include the following goals and
probably the priorities are about in the order listed:
1. Maintenance of the quantity and quality of the
water currently in the deep aquifer.
2. The provision for reasonable beneficial use of
water by all entities within the state. Water
should be available at the time, both daily and
seasonal when it is required.
/ 3. A procedure for the equitable reduction for the short-
term of use for non-essential purposes.
4. A procedure to equitably allocate water in the event
of continuing long-term water shortages so as to
minimize the economic impact upon individual or
Procedures for implementing restricted use, as well as
average or maximum use, should wherever possible be designed so
that regulation requires the user to pay for the cost of the
water which he requires. This may involve a much higher charge
for water during shortage periods than in periods of plenty.
The initial allocation of water to an individual or to a busi-
ness enterprise should bear a direct relationship to the ex-
tent that the land involved contributes to the total recharge
capacity or to the total resevoir storage capacity from which
water will ultimately have to.be.withdrawn. The following
examples might serve to illustrate' tthe.suggested -capab-ili-ties:
1. An acre of. crs o4' o- the 'idg etji olk
County which is ~ ,..iii i .-l i ateur ei s
2. A paved parking 4.t'^i~c" -
Ranch Acres in Polc uivry probably-' c6ntributes
the same 50 inches of annual rainfall as direct
runoff into the Kissimmee River and thence into
Lake Okeechobee. It would thus contribute
nothing to the Floridan Aquifer and its right to
water would, if carried.-to-an extreme, require
that it get its.water from Lake Okeechobee or
the Kissimmee River rather than from a shallow
or deep well.
3. An acre of pasture land adjacent to River Ranch
Acres contributes water to both the deep aquifer
and to the runoff reaching the Kissimmee River
with the ratio depending upon the extent of
drainage canals and the rapidity of the rainfall.
4. An individual homeowner on a 50 or 100 foot lot
contributes some water to the deep aquifer and
maybe most or all of the rainfall if the home is
located on deep sand without a close confining
layer of clay or hardpan. The larger the house
in proportion to the size of the lot the greater
the tendency to reduce recharge and increase
contribution to runoff. The closer to the ocean
the greater the contribution to runoff which
i. k i
cannot be stored for future use.
The water storage problems which are continuing to occur
in dry springs on a more frequent basis than in the past are the
direct result of the increase in the population in the State of
Florida; the increase in industrial capability, and the increase
in the water utilized by agriculture. Of these three far and
away the greatest increase in use and reduction in the capability
of the natural soil and water resources of the state to be re-
charged and maintained is the result of increased population in
the state. That problem further exacerbates the water problem
because the population has tended to cluster along the coastal
areas. Many such areas maintain a continuing, negative impact
upon the water resources of the state.
If one starts with the basic water crop concept, one
has a basic and objectively definable criterion for the per-
mitting of water withdrawal and for the restriction of water
usage during times-of shortage. If this critertoni e n-
sidered to be property right which pertains; to01:
then-a device is created by which water transfte.r'
parcel of land to another, from one basin toian ;-from
- .one ::comntyt.. to- anoheayi;ght pe -poe -r;i,. ..th .' ~.;
procedure. which permits: .the individual ent-ity es'
insufficient resources to the total reOharge ae-
it a -price to pay- for the water which he,.or h-
Sboring entities, collectively require...
This cost might well be not only the co si-
and transporting the water, but.a fee to the in iv -
tities which furnished that water for those nds:if
1,000 acres of sand land produced a 10,000 acre inch iftri-
bution to the Floridan Aquifer, but had an annual requirement
of only 5,000 acre inches, it would have an ability to sell
an interest in the Floridan Aquifer based on its water rights
to a shortage area along the west coast of Florida, and by
so doing would forever negate its right to more than 5 acre
inches per acre per year, but would give the west coast entity
the right to that 5 inches in perpetuity, or for at least the
length of the contract.
Such a system might require that within a municipality
each individual home or apartment might be allocated an
amount of water through the municipal system that is sufficient
for drinking, washing, cooking, etc., and this volume of water
would be charged at a standard minimal rate. If an individual
user desires more water than that which is contributed by the
land upon which the home or the apartment is located, an extra
charge would be made. This would result in higher costs per
gallon of water used in a condominium as compared with a home
with a 100 x 100 foot lot. It would be higher for a shopping
center than for the individual homeowner.
If, for example, a citrus processing plant bwned insuf-
ficient land to permit it to pump from the ground sufficient
water to process the volume of fruit which it runs on an annual
basis, it might have to call upon the growers who delivered
fruit to that plant to transfer a portion of their water rights
from their lands to that plant to assure that it had adequate
water to process that individual grower's fruit.
Such a system would permit those who contribute little
to have whatever volume of water they need and want provided
they are willing to pay for it. It would permit those who
contribute to the water resource to utilize at minimal expense
that water which they actually contribute.
Such a system-should provide that the individual who
requires water at a specific time of the year, once permitted,
shall have a right to that water at the time specified even
though it is a dry period. He could not be curtailed except.for
very extreme and urgent conditions. This=-should be- 4e
as a part -of the permitting process. On.- th.e r. ,e
homeowner, the golf. course operator, the iidv'idu&- ass
or industrial enterprise would -be required- to cur.
Suse in. pe d shctages.
in water did not affct" the -an~riual- ncd 1 W ~th :
Thus, ...some.. 1indusiiaet L l s '_ahts!. n ..
month, -but .wih e 'e0 et in
. ..up -1ts -4os4t production With- no- oveieia
Others canriot: do.frI':l. the-: .rbi33j I
time should be a factor in the amountof d.
._Green lawns have a higher esthetic .alue to soni.ihdi-
viduals- and very, little value to others. If a provision
exists so-that the individual homeowner can maintain a green
lawn if he is willing to pay for it, then he makes the
decision how much he curtails water 'use based on his willing-
ness to pay.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
While most of the examples cited above pertain to the
Southwest Florida Water Management District, a.similar set of
criteria could be evolved and worked out county-by-county
throughout the state. Certain initial assumptions and criteria
would have to be arbitrarily set as the result of negotiations
through various special interest groups, but it should be pos-
sible to arrive at criteria for location contribution to water
storage. If a system is to guarantee every individual entity
the opportunity to use water when he needs it, and whenever
possible, the water which he wants and is willing to pay for;
an equitable mechanism to restrict water use and minimize
economic loss during periods of moderate water shortages, as
well as an equitable mechanism for the restriction of water
use ufder conditions where the total resource in the state is
actually being diminished on a continuing basis can be developed
based on contribution to water storage, full knowledge of water
requirements, and voluntary sale or lease of water rights.
Such a procedure will place a financial burden upon the proposed
expanding or new enterprise such that ultimately it will limit
population and industrial development in some areas and maintain
green agricultural land in others.