Title: Water Management in South Florida: Setting the Record Straight, Referred to in Memo to Members of the Task Force on Water Issues by W'm Sadowski dated April 28, 1983
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004086/00001
 Material Information
Title: Water Management in South Florida: Setting the Record Straight, Referred to in Memo to Members of the Task Force on Water Issues by W'm Sadowski dated April 28, 1983
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: The Fla Bar Journal May 1983
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Water Management in South Florida: Setting the Record Straight, Referred to in Memo to Members of the Task Force on Water Issues by W'm Sadowski dated April 28, 1983 (JDV Box 54)
General Note: Box 17, Folder 2 ( Task Force on Water Issues, Bills Passed, Articles - 1980s ), Item 29
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00004086
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


Water management in South Florida:

Setting the record straight

By Stanley J. Niego

This article is being written in re-
sponse to the article by Raymond A.
Rea entitled "Drought in Florida:
Nature's Response to 'Comprehen-
sive' Planning," which appeared in
the Environmental and Land Use
Law column, April 1983 issue of The
Florida Bar Journal.' That article
contained numerous unsubstantiated,
sweeping statements, which project
a negative image of the operations of
the South Florida Water Manage-
ment District (SFWMD/District),
and are contrary to the actual state of
affairs. The article only exposes the
author's apparent lack of knowledge,
after several years of employment
with SFWMD, of the purpose and
scope of the District's overall opera-
The purpose of this article is to set
the record straight and provide con-
structive comment regarding pos-
sible steps to accomplish better
coordination of land and water
management in Florida, which, after
all, is the real issue. No one at
SFWMD disputes the need for a co-
ordinated approach to land and
water management. Land use deci-
sions must be made after due con-
sideration of short and long term
water availability and the impact of a
proposed land use on the water re-
source.3 SFWMD has worked hard at
achieving this type of coordination
since it first became involved in the
water use permitting process.

Land use coordination at SFWMD
SFWVMD has been involved in
coordinating its activities with local
government since prior to the enact-
ment of the Local Government Com-
prehensive Planning Act of 1975
(LGCPA).' The LGCPA requires
local governments to include in their
comprehensive plan separate
elements for "future land use" and
"general sanitary sewer, solid waste,
drainage and potable water, cor-
related to principles and guidelines

for future land use."5 The Act also re-
quires the Division of State Planning
to circulate the intended plan to
"appropriate state agencies for
comment and advice,"6 and for "re-
gional agencies" to assist local
government and technical advisory
committees in the preparation of the
comprehensive plan.'
Since the inception of this man-
date, SFWMD has been heavily
involved with the various counties
and municipalities in its 16 county
jurisdiction in the comprehensive
planning process. The District
decided back in 1975 that it was not
enough simply to respond to plans
forwarded to SFWMD for comment
by the Division of State Planning. At
a time when there was only one
planner assigned at the state level for
the purpose of reviewing compre-
hensive plans, SFWMD had two full-
time professional planners assigned
to coordinating with county and
municipal governments in the prep-
aration of the plans. Water resource
data and land use maps prepared by
SFWMD for the "Water Use and
Supply Development Plan"* were
provided to local government. Over
the years the District's planning and
technical staff have reviewed over
135 comprehensive plans.
Now that all local governments
have prepared and adopted compre-
hensive plans, SFWMD is closely
involved in the process of revising
and updating these plans. Water re-
source data, which were initially
developed by SFWMD for large
areas such as the "Upper East Coast
Planning Area,"9 are now being
refined to provide information of im-
mediate value at the local level. The
District is currently involved in a
"model program" with the City of
West Palm Beach to provide detailed
input and review of its latest compre-
hensive plan update, considering
such factors as water resource avail-
ability and location, protection of

environmentally sensitive land,
potable water supply alternatives,
impacts of solid waste disposal and
wastewater discharge, and water
conservation and reuse.10
SFWMD has also been closely
involved with the five Regional
Planning Councils (RCPs) within its
jurisdiction since the passage of the
Florida Environmental Land and
Water Management Act of 1972,
Chapter 380, Florida Statutes."
SFWMD currently has interagency
agreements with four RPCs,
requiring thd District to prepare
detailed technical reports on all
Developments of Regional Impact
(DRI) within its jurisdiction.'1 The
report must consider "the demon-
strated ability of the project area and
Region to absorb the increased
demand for water supply ...." and
such other factors as the drainage
impact of a DRI, impact on the qual-
ity and quantity of the water
resource, and environmental impact,
such as wetland drainage. The DRI
application is circulated to the water
use, surface water management and
environmental staff for technical
review and preparation of the
SFWMD report, which is then
forwarded to the RPC for inclusion
in its final report. All reports are
approved by the District's govern-
ing board. Since 1973, SFWMD has
offered timely comment on 139 DRI
Since 1975, SFWMD has made its
technical expertise regarding surface
water management and water use
available to counties and municipali-
ties considering rezonings, special
exceptions, PUDs, etc., for projects
falling below the DRI threshold."
SFWMD recently introduced a new
program to conduct a consistency
analysis between the water-related
elements of a local government's
comprehensive plan, local codes and
SFWMD rules. SFWMD also reviews
environmental impact statements,



and has a "special projects" staff,
which performs water resource
studies in areas of District and local
A prime example of SFWMD's
efforts to coordinate water manage-
ment considerations with land use
planning is the work that was done
by the District for Dade County in
developing the "Proposed Manage-
ment Plan for the East Everglades.""1
SFWMD provided Dade with the
"water resource underpinning" for
the plan, which included a water
budget and an evaluation of the
water resource effects of various
types of development on the area.17
As a result, in 1981 the county
adopted a series of special "zoning
overlay" ordinances, which limited
housing density over most of the area
to one unit per 40 acres.'"
Thus, the premise of "Drought in
Florida: Nature's Response to 'Com-
prehensive' Planning," [hereinafter

"the article"] a lack of coordination
between land and water managers in
South Florida, seems fundamentally
unsound, based upon SFWMD's
actual operations.

The "management drought" theory
The article asserts, without any
references whatsoever, that the
severe drought experienced by the
entire State of Florida in 1981 was a
"management drought.""' To the
contrary, University of Florida
research commissioned by SFWMD
indicates that the lack of rainfall that
precipitated the water shortage
condition during 1981-82 was of a
frequency that is likely to occur
between once every 50 and once
every 320 years.'0 The article cites as
an example of "management
drought" "the fact that discharges of
fresh water in 1970 to the ocean from
four canals in South Florida averaged
1786 million gallons per day
(MGD).""' Assuming this was in fact
the case, it simply demonstrates the
author's apparent lack of knowledge
of the total water management
system. Water releases are made by
SFWMD from the "water conserva-

CLIENTELE INCLUDES State of Florida Agencies
Metro-Dade County/Attomeys/Lending Institutions
Real Estate Management Companies

(Extensive references available upon request)
Fort Lauderdale Commerce Center
/ OE Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309
/(C ll l= =o (E305, 484-5130
Sarasota/Bradenton Detroit


tion area" system pursuant to a "regu-
lation schedule" established by the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.22
This schedule mandates water re-
leases when water levels exceed what
the Corps establishes as safe from a
flood control and environmental
standpoint. It would certainly be
great if one could know in advance
that a wet period is to be followed by
extended drought, but unfortunate-
ly, that is not the case.
It would indeed be possible for
SFWMD to store greater quantities
of water in the "water conservation
area" system, were it to abandon
totally its commitment toward
environmental management in con-
junction with the Florida Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission and
other state and federal agencies."2 As
recent experiences have demon-
strated, raising water levels above
regulation schedule has a negative
impact on terrestrial wildlife, and
would in the long run cause a shift in
the ecosystem from sawgrass marsh
to an aquatic environment.'4
Because of the close interconnec-
tion between surface and ground-
waters in South Florida, it is unavoid-
able that a prolonged rainfall defi-
ciency will eventually cause a deple-
tion of groundwater resources and
necessitate the implementation of
water use restrictions. The article
asserts that "SFWMD delayed the
implementation of a Districtwide
water shortage plan until May
1982."" What it doesn't state, how-
ever, is that the District's water short-
age plan was the first developed in
Florida and has been used as a model
by other water management districts
in this state and throughout the
Water use permitting at SFWMD
The article also contains the bald
assertion that "consumptive use
permits are generally available from
SFWMD with little regard to the long
term availability of the resource
within the area."*7 As authority for
this proposition, the author cites a
1979 annual report, which indicated
the quantity of water that had been
allocated for public and industrial
use." Absolutely no data were
presented, however, as to the total
available water supply, which would
be necessary to prove an assertion
that water had been overallocated.29
In attempting to avoid long term
overallocation of the water supply,
SFWMD has engaged in an extensive


& Construction Deficiencies
Court Appearances
Research & Documentation
Building Inspections/Reports
Construction Document Evaluation
Construction Compliance

Pre-Closing Inspections
Third Party Evaluations
Testing & Reports
Roofing Investigations
Maintenance Programs
Product Evaluations



research program to survey the
groundwater resource, and through
sophisticated computer modeling,
determine the safe sustainable yields
from the various aquifer systems
where water availability is a poten-
tial problem due to expanding popu-
Computer modeling is also utilized
by SFWMD in the review of indi-
vidual water use applications to
ensure that District criteria regarding
prevention of saltwater intrusion,
avoiding adverse impact to off-site
land uses and environmentally
sensitive areas, and preventing inter-
ference with existing legal uses of
water have been met.3' Applicants
are required to provide the neces-
sary hydrologic information for
input to the District's various
computer models. Detailed hydro-
logical surveys are required of public
water supply systems and large agri-
cultural water users. For golf courses
in water limited areas, the primary
model assumes that the "dry season,"
when water use is at its peak, extends
for 120 days without any rainfall
input. For citrus irrigation in water
limited areas, this same model

assumes that pumping occurs at a
maximum rate for 90 days without
any rainfall input. Based upon this
and other assumptions, the computer
maps the "cone of depression" of the
proposed well, which indicates the
degree to which the water table is
drawn down in the vicinity of the
well. If the "cone of depression"
overlaps with that of another well, or
if the withdrawal presents a danger
of saltwater intrusion or other form
of groundwater contamination, the
allocation is modified or denied.32
Water use allocations are also
modified or denied by SFWMD if it
determines that the water use is not a
"reasonable-beneficial" use. This is
handled by staff on a case-by-case
basis, in accordance with the criteria
set forth in the District's rules and the
State Water Policy." In appropriate
cases, water allocations are based
upon the most efficient method of
utilizing the resource. For example,
in areas where water availability is
limited, quantities allocated for
citrus and other agricultural uses
susceptible to "drip irrigation" or
other low volume techniques are
based upon the utilization of those

techniques. Golf courses within the
SFWMD's jurisdiction have been put
on notice to give strong considera-
tion to the feasibility of using
properly treated wastewater, with
water use permits now issued for a
maximum three-year period.
SFWMD's "modeling" approach is
much more site specific than the
"water crop theory," which the article
indicated was found by the hearing
officer to be hydrologicallyy un-
sound, arbitrary and capricious."34
However, SFWMD does apply the
"water crop" analysis on a regional
level in determining "basin yields."35
The District does not believe that it
has overallocated the water resource
in any area of its jurisdiction. It is im-
portant to note, however, that water
allocations are not given in per-
petuity, and may not be reissued in
appropriate cases. The standard of
"reasonable-beneficial use" is not a
static concept. It is subject to modifi-
cation over time based upon
changing technology and shifting
societal priorities.36 What was
considered a "reasonable-beneficial
use" at the time of permit issuance

i: .':;. i "'" mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
; .. I Please enter my order for the publications) indicated
.. Iincluding any supplements, revisions, replacement
Spages, revised volumes, new additional volumes and
related materials. I understand I may cancel my
A subscription for the supplements, revisions, etc., by
so informing The Harrison Company in writing.
Automatic subscribers will receive preferential
I subscriber prices.
m 12 volumes 100275 ............. $495.00
I plus 5% sales tax when applicable
SUPPLEMENTS per annum...... $149.00
plus 5% sales tax when applicable
On cash sales there is no handling charge and The
Harrison Company will pay postage or freight.
Handling charges plus postage or freight will be
added to all other sales.
S Bill Personal Account -Bill Firm Account
-Check Enclosed
Account # Firm

is the official compilation of the rules and I
regulations of state regulatory agencies which have IDateSignature
been filed with the Department of State pursuant to I THE HARRISON COMPANY, PUBLISHERS
the provisions of Chapter 120. Florida Statutes. I 3110 Cromng Park Norc ro,. Gergd 30071 404) 447-9150
Forty-Three Titles in Twelve Volumes Imimam mmim- .mmmmmm- .m



may not be so considered at the time
of permit renewal.

The need for legislative change
More disturbing that the various
unsupported propositions in the
article regarding SFWMD are the
vague proposals for solving the
alleged management deficiency.
These proposals amount to a parcel-
ing out of the water management
districts' regulatory authority to con-
trol water use to the regional
planning councils and local govern-
ments. There are, no doubt, possible
ways to improve water use
regulation and provide for greater
consideration of water availability
and water resource impact in the
land use decision-making process.
One thing is certain, however, and
that is that decimating the authority
of the state's water management
districts will not lead to better water
management or to greater considera-

tion of water resource impact in that
Mr. Rea proposes that local
governments be given the power of
"zoning water... at the local level"
and suggests that "Preemption
should not be a factor due to pro-
visions of the WRA which specifical-
ly permit local governments to exer-
cise such control contingent upon
notification to the Department of En-
vironmental Regulation."" This
statement disregards the effect of
F.S. 373.217(2), which states that
Part II of the Water Resources Act
"provides the exclusive authority for
requiring permits for the consump-
tive use of water and for authorizing
transportation thereof ."3 F.S.
373.217(2) is wisely included in the
Water Resources Act, as it would be
difficult to imagine a limit to the
difficulties that would ensue if, for
instance, the many municipalities
which presently compete for with-
drawals from the Biscayne Aquifer
were allowed to determine the extent
of those withdrawals. For some, this
would definitely be like "getting the
fox to guard the chicken coop."
Mr. Rea also proposes that county
governments be given the power "to

limit or prohibit the use of water
within its boundaries to outside muni-
cipalities. ."' Does this mean
that the waters of Lake Okeechobee
would only be available to the coun-
ties surrounding the lake, thereby
excluding Dade, Broward, Monroe,
Lee, and other counties?
The water management districts
are a vast repository of technical in-
formation and experience in the area
of water resource management. It is
extremely doubtful that even the
largest of localities within the juris-
diction of any water management
district in this state would be inter-
ested in developing the highly
specialized, technical expertise
necessary to engage in water use per-
mitting and water resource planning.
Assessing the location, extent and
yield of the groundwater resource is
an expensive and arduous task,
which must be performed on both a
regional and site specific basis in
order to regulate groundwater with-
drawals properly. The water manage-
ment districts, which have been estab-
lished along hydrological boundaries,
are ideally suited for this task.
This is not to say that more cannot
be done to improve coordination be-

Don't waste valuable time searching for pleadings and
documents. Index your files with Courtfolio Tabs.
Retrieve important information efficiently.
Look prepared and professional at trials,
hearings and depositions.
Eliminate flimsy tabbing devices.
Save time and money.
Each set consists of:
Two mylar-reinforced table of contents
sheets numbered from bottom up for
maximum efficiency.
20 sheets with mylar-reinforced tab
indexes-will not rip or tear. .
All 2-hole punched. Fits letter and legal size files. o

Iml m mmmm mmml mmmmmimmmm l
Please fW In the chart below. Packaged In sets of five, so minlmumI
order per style and color Is five set. Total mhiimum 10 sets.
0 1 0- 10 sets S 37.50 D 35 sets $131.25
7A O 15 sets S 56.25 0 40 sets $150.00
O 20 sets 75.00 0 45 sets $168.75
B 25 sets s 93.75 0 50 sets $187.50
C 0 30 sets $112.50 e"" a
0 100 sets $344.50
D Only $3.75 per set clusde tax & sipping.
D 1Hawa. Alaska. Puerto Rcoe add $5.00 per 10
sets ordered ie air m delivery Is required.
Firm or Individual Name
Street Address

City State Zip
0 Check enclosed 0 C.O.D. Phone (__ )
O Send me a free EXHIBIT GUIDE brochure.
MAIL TO: Legal Dimensioa P.O. Box 1132, Lagna Beach, CA 92152 FBJ


Choose from 5 styles:
A. Numbered 1-20 both sides.
Use as a complete set or
separate into two sets of 1-10.
B. Numbered 1-20 front,
21-40 back. Use as a
complete set of 1-20 or
21-40, or separate into one
set of 1-10 and one set of 21-30.
C. Numbered 21-40 both sides.
Use as a complete set of 2140
or separate into two sets of 21-30.
D. Numbered 41-60 both sides.
Use as a complete set of 41-60 or
separate into two sets of 41-50.

- C-D. Numbered 21-40 front, 41-60 back.
Higher numbers available at slight additional charge.

Courtfolio Tabs by


P.O. Box 1132 e Laguna Beach. CA 92652
(714) 778-2460



Lm m- m m m m -m -mm m mm- m



tween the water management
districts and land use managers at all
governmental levels. As recently
mandated by the legislature, the
water management districts must
continue in the process of developing
useful information regarding the
location and extent of the ground-
water resource and the location of
prime aquifer recharge areas." Due
regard must be given to this informa-
tion by the officials who make zoning
and other land use decisions. Pro-
grams similar to those of SFWMD
should be established throughout the
state to ensure that local officials re-
ceive adequate advice regarding
water resource questions prior to
making land use decisions.41 Local
officials need to avail themselves of
these programs, when established. In
the event a locality chooses to disre-
gard the recommendations of a
water management district, the regu-
latory authority contained in F.S.
Chapter 373 must be exercised to
prevent overallocation of the water
It has recently become fashionable
in Florida to view water availability
as a limiting factor on growth,
thereby placing the onus for control-
ling growth on the water manage-
ment districts. This might not be
objectionable, if indeed it was the
case. Unfortunately, however, the
advent of "reverse osmosis" tech-
nology, which enables a munici-
pality to produce water in virtually
unlimited quantities from a brackish
or saline source, conceivably allows
unlimited growth if a municipality is
willing to pay the price.43 All the
water management districts can do is
advise local governments as to the lo-
cation and extent of their "potable"
water supplies, and use their regula-
tory authority to prevent overalloca-
tion of that supply. The water
management districts can also use
their surface water management per-
mitting authority" to prevent over-
drainage of surface waters, which
depletes the surface and ground-
water resource.
The legislature and the people of
the State of Florida wisely
established the water management
districts as securely funded, regional
agencies, with the single important
task of managing the state's water
resource. The statutory scheme is
sound and is working for Florida in
the public interest. It would be ex-
tremely unwise to alter that scheme

at a time when the only certainty is
that greater technical expertise and
tighter management, free of compet-
ing political constraints, will be
needed to properly protect and
manage Florida's water supply. 0

Stanley J. Niego is an attorney
with the South Florida Water
Management District. He received
his B.A. from the University of
Michigan in 1968, J.D. from the
University of Florida in 1974 and
M.S. in environmental science
from the University of Florida in
1979. Niego has been an assistant
general counsel with the State of
Florida Department of Environ-
mental Regulation and a research
assistant under the late Dean
Frank E. Maloney at the University
of Florida Water Law Center.

'Rea, Drought in Florida: Nature's
Response to "Comprehensive" Planning, 57
FLA. B.J. 266-269 (April 1983). [hereinafter
cited as Rea].
2Raymond A. Rea was employed, with
some interruption, by the SFWMD
Groundwater Research Division during the
period trom Sept. 1978 to Oct. 1982. This in-
cluded a total of 13 months full-time and 9
months part-time employment. At no time was
Rea involved with the District's Water Use
Permitting Division or the various
coordination functions with local and regional
:'See generally, Rhoads, Peter B.,
Developing a Water Resource Plan for South
Florida, FLA. ENv. & L'aRAN IssUEs, vol. V, No.
4 (April 1978); lole, Stanley W. & Rhoads,
Peter B., Water Resources and Growth
Management in South Florida, FLA. J. WATER
RES. PLANNING AND MCT., vol. 108, no. WR3
(Oct. 1980).
'FLA. STAT. 163.3161 et seq. (1975).
SF\MD was involved in land use planning
with Dade County prior to passage of the
'FLA. STAT. 163.3177(6)(a), (c) (1975).
hid., 163.3184(1)(a).
:ld., 163.3204.
*SFWMD Water Use & Supply Develop-
ment Plan, Executive Summary, Lower East
Coast & Lake Okeechobee (June 1978). The

actual plan now consists of nine volumes and is
subject to constant update and revision.
*See, Brown, Michael P. Aquifer Recovery
Test Data and Analyses for the Floridan
Aquifer System in the Upper East Coast
Planning Area, SFWMD Tech. Pub. 80-1 (Jan.
1980); Reece, flynes & Brown, Hydrogeologic
Data Collected from the Upper East Coast
Planning Area, South Florida Water
Management District, SFWMD Tech. Pub. 80-
5 (May 1980); Khanal, Advanced Water
Supply Alternatives for the Upper East Coast
Planning Area, Parts I and II, SFWMD Tech.
Pub. 80-6 (Aug. 1980). For a listing of
SFWMD technical publications, write the
Office of Public Information, P.O. Box V,
West Palm Beach, Florida 33402-4238.
'"Text accompanying notes 4 through 10
based upon a March 15,1983, interview with P.
K. Sharma, certified A.I.C.P. planner. Sharma
has coordinated review of comprehensive
plans for SFW MD since 1973.
Fla. Laws Ch. 317 (1972).
"2"Development of Regional Impact" is
defined in FLA. STAT. 1380.06(1) as "any
development, which, because of its character,
magnitude or location, would have a
substantial effect upon the health, safety, or
welfare of citizens of more than one county."
'"Text accompanying notes 11 through 13
based upon a March 16, 1983, interview with
Susan Coughanour, SFWMD DRI coordinator.
"The District now formally participates on
development review committees in Dade,
Broward, Palm Beach, Orange, Martin and
Lee Counties, as well as some major
municipalities. This service has been offered
to all of the counties and municipalities within
SFWMD's jurisdiction. Interview with Sally
Lockhart, SF\WMD Planner, March 21, 1983.
intervieww with J. Steve Reel, director,
SFW\MD Special Projects Division, March 21,
SFWMD, Resource Planning Dept. (Oct.,
1973); Southwest Broward County Study
SFWMD (Oct. 1982).
"Dade County Planning Dept., Dept. of
Env. Res. Mgt., SFW\MD, Fla. Dept. of Env.
Reg., Everglades National Park (Oct. 1980).
Interview with Peter B. Rhoads, director,
SFWMD Resource Planning Dept., March 17,
1 See, Dade County Ordinances 81-1,81-121
& 81-122, codified as divisions 1, 2 & 3, Art. II,
Ch. 33B, Dade County Code.
"'Rea, supra note 1, at 266.
2"See, IIuber, Mococle, Foufoula &
Relprt to SFll MD, p. 25 (Nov. 1982): "The
1981 drought is the worst recorded in terms of
rainfall and runoff for the last 48 years." Id. at
50. (Since beginning of keeping systematic
records in 1932). Table 1 of that report, Id. at 4,
indicates that runoff from the Kissimmee
Basin to Lake Okeechobee was less than 20
iprcent of the previously recorded record low
runoff. The lack of water input to Lake
Okeechobee was the primary cause of the
water shortage condition that occurred in
South Florida during 1981-82. Rhoads inter-
view, supra, note 17.
"-Rea, supra note 1. at 266, n.3. Area's
reliance on 1970 data to support his "manage-
ment drought" thesis is curious, in that he
specifically refers to the 1971 drought as a
"climactic drought." Id., at 266. Moreover, the



graph from which the U.S.G.S. data is derived
contains the following caption: total l flow to
ocean from WVest Palm Beach, Hillsborough,
North New River & Miami Canals has been
decreased by construction & operation of
water management facilities." (emphasis
added). That same graph shows that in 1948,
prior to construction of the project, see, note
22, infra, discharges from those same canals
averaged approximately 3,200 million gallons
per day (MGD), or 79 percent more than in
1970 (1,786 MGD). Klein, Armbruster,
McPhearson & Freiberger, Water & the South
Florida Environment, U.S. Geological Survey
Water Resources Investigation No. 24-75, p. 76
2"For a detailed description of the relation-
ship between SFWMD & the Corps, see
OTHER PuRPOSES, H.D. 643,80th Cong. 2d Sess.
(1948), which authorized the "Central and
Southern Florida Flood Control Project."
'For example, SFWMD and the Florida
Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission have
had an interagency agreement regarding
management of the W after Conservation Areas
(WCA's) since Jan. 18, 1952. SFWMD also
serves on the recently appointed "Governor's
Everglades Wildlife Management
Committee," which is addressing the
problems associated with wildlife manage-
ment in the WCA system.
'lThe shift from sawgrass marsh to a more
aquatic environment is demonstrated by
SFWMD's experience with WCA-2A, an area
which has been heavily utilized for water
storage and has endured excessive inundation.
The District is currently engaged in a three-
year program to re-establish the "everglades"
habitat by maintaining seasonal fluctuations in
water levels, with an extended dry period
during each season. This has been difficult to
accomplish in 1983, due to the large quantities
of water that have inundated South Florida.
Rhoads interview, supra note 17.
"Rea, supra note 1, at 267.

"Although SFWMD's "Water Shortage
Plan," Chapter 40E-21, FLA. ADMIN. CODE, was
not formally promulgated as a rule until May
1982, it was developed and utilized during the
1981-82 drought to restrict water usage.
Emergency Governing Board orders were
issued pursuant to authority contained in FLA.
STAT. 6373.175, .246 (1981). See, SFWMD
Orders 81-14, 81-21 and 81-29 (1981).
SRca, supra note 1, at 266. See also, note 2,
Ild.. at 269, n.9.
SRea cites "unpublished data" to conclude
that SFWMD has allocated "41 percent more
water than is actually required for agriculture"
in St. Lucie County, and that as a result,
"SFWMD has been forced to develop a water
shortage plan for this area." Id. In point of fact,
however, the water shortage plan for St. Lucie
County pertains only to surface waters from
the District's canal system, and was adopted
before SFWMD had issued any significant
number of water use permits in the county.
See, 40E-21.212, FLA. ADMIN. CODE (1982),
formerly 16K-31.01, adopted on Dec. 13,1974.
SFWMD first adopted water use rules as
Chapter 16CA-2on Dec. 14, 1973. Virtually no
water use permits were issued in the county,
however, until the two-year grace period for
existing users had nearly expired. See, FLA.
STAT. 373.226(3) (1981). Based upon the
standard for existing users contained in FLA.
STAT. 373.226(2) (reasonable-beneficial use
and allowable under the common law),
permits were issued to existing users based
upon the "Blaney-Criddle" formula
developed by the University of Florida
Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences or
their proportionate share of the annual
average basin yield, whichever was less.
However, all users were subject to the water
shortage plan, which SFWMD regulates by
controlling the elevation of irrigation pump
intakes from the canal system. New users in
this area are subject to the more stringent
criteria of FLA. STAT. 373.223(1) (1981), and
are allocated water from the Floridan and
shallow aquifer, which are not presently
subject to water shortage conditions. \Water
from the canal system is allocated to new users
only in times of abundance. Interview with Dr.
Pat Gleason, director, SFWMD Water Use
Division, March 18, 1983.
3aAbe Kreitman, director, SFWMD
Groundwater Research Division, believes that
basic hydrological data has been developed
by SFWMD for "most major sources of
withdrawal" within SFWVMD. Studies are
commencing on the remaining area of interest,
the shallow aquifer in Martin and St. Lucie
counties. Interview, March 17, 1983. See e.g.,
Rodney T. & Mooney, 11I The Stratigraphy of
the Floridan Aquifer System East and
Northeast of Lake Okeechobee, SFWMD
Tech. Pub. 80-9 (1980); Wedderburn, Knapp,
Waltz and Burns, Hydrogeologic
Reconaissance of Lee County, Florida,
SFWMD Tech. Pub. 82-1 (1982). SFWMD has
also been engaged in an extensive program to
survey and develop a computer simulation
model for the Biscayne Aquifer system since
1973. Initially, an "analog" model was
developed, which was used in preparation of
the "Water Use and Supply Development
Plan," supra, note 8. In 1980 SFW\MD started
work on the "South Florida Water Supply
Model" (SFWSS), which uses newly
developed "digital" computer simulation tech-
niques. SFWSS will enable the District to
simulate the ground and surface water system

from Lake Okeechobee south and to the
western boundary of the WCA system.
Computer graphic techniques under develop-
ment now enable SFWMD to produce three
dimensional illustrations of the water table at
the regional level. SFWSS will also enable the
District t6 further refine its predictive
capability regarding aquifer yields and the
impact of groundwater withdrawals or
climactic conditions on the total system. Data
obtained from the regional model will be used
to fix boundary parameters for site-specific
models used in water use permitting. SFWVMD
is also funding an extensive U.S. Geological
Survey study of the Biscayne Aquifer, which
will provide input data for the SFWSS model.
Rhoads interview, supra note 17.
3 FLA. ADMIN. CODE 40E-2.301(1)(1982).
"For example, SFWMD recently notified
the coastal city of Hallandale that due to
potential saltwater intrusion, water alloca-
tions would not be increased, and might be
reduced in order to stabilize the saltwater
front. Letter from Dr. Patrick Gleason,
director, Water Use Division, to City of
Ilallandale dated Jan. 12, 1983.
3FLA. ADMIN. CODE 40E-2.301(1982).
Subsection (l)(d) of this rule incorporates the
detailed criteria contained in the "State \ ater
Policy" regarding the application of the
"reasonable-beneficial use" standard. See, id.,
17-40.04. The "State Water Policy," which
guides the individual water management
districts (WMD s) in implementing the
"reasonable-beneficial use" standard,
prevents the WMD s from adopting
"conflicting interpretations" or "legislating
their own directives on an ad hoc basis," as
asserted in the Rea article. Rea, supra note 1, at
267. In addition, an examination of the defini-
tion of "reasonable-beneficial use" in FLA.
STAT. 373.019(4) indicates a definite
legislative intent for the WMD s to exercise
economic and technical judgment in the
administration of the standard.
4"Rea, supra note 1, at 267.
"Text accompanying notes 29-32 based
upon Gleason interview, supra, note 29, and
March 15, 1983, interview with Richard
Bower, senior staff hydrologist, SFWlMD.
Water Use Division.
'"Reasonable-beneficial use" is defined in
FLA. STAT. 373.019(4), to require considera-
tion of whether the proposed use is "economic
and efficient." Obviously, this determination
is subject to change, based upon changing
"Rea, supra note 1, at 268.
*T1his provision is improperly noted as a
"but see" footnote to the main statement in the
text. Id. n.25.
"Id. at 268. This is also expressly precluded
by FLA. STAT. 373.217(2).
See, Fla. Laws. Ch. 82-101, 6, codified as
FLA. STAT. 373.0395.
"1The author makes no representation as to
the state of program development at other
water management districts.
'"See, note 32, supra.
1"For example, the Florida Keys Aqueduct
Authority (FKAA) has constructed a 3 MGD
reverse osmosis" plant, which converts
seawater to potable standards at a total cost of
$5.46 per thousand gallons at $.10 per kilowatt
hour. This plant is presently held in reserve for
tourist season peaks and emergencies due to
pipeline failure. Telephone interview, B. L.
Schattner, FKAA deputy executive director,
March 21, 1983.
"See, FLA. STAT. Ch.. 373, Part IV.


We'll make our own
history at the Bar's
"Great Debate," held
during the General
Assembly, Florida Bar
Annual Convention at
Walt Disney World,
June 15-18.

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs