SUMMARY OF THE
LAND USE AND WATER PLANNING TASK FORCE
May 13, 1994 Meeting
Holiday Inn at the Airport
(Tschinkel) CS/CS/SB'1346 directs the Task Force to make recommendations on the
mechanisms and procedures for establishing and amending water policy. Three additional
appointments to the Task Force will be made -- a representative of the Environmental
Regulatory Commission, one representative of environmental interests and one representative
of regulated interests. The three new members (once appointed), in addition to the three
existing subcommittee Chairs, will form a forth subcommittee to look at the water policy
issue. .This subcommittee should meet before the next Task Force meeting. The timeframe
for the Task Force to formulate and submit its recommendations continues to be October
The Water Management Districts (WMD) are working together with the Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop recommendations to the Task Force. The WMDs
should work in coordination with the Regional Planning Councils in formulating their
recommendations to the Task Force.
The Regional Subcommittee will present its recommendations to the full Task Force at the
July 8, meeting. The other subcommittees will present recommendations at the July 22
Ecosystem Management Pam McVety, Department of Environmental Protection
(McVety) There are primarily three reasons why the Department is developing an ecosystem
management process. First, there is national recognition that the current system of
environmental protection is not good enough. Habitats such as uplands have not been
adequately protected under the existing system. Second, the Federal Government is turning
in this direction. Several Federal agencies are beginning to look into ecosystem management.
Third, in the 1993 merger legislation, the Florida Legislature directed DEP to protect the
functions of entire ecological systems through enhanced coordination of public land
acquisition, regulation, and planning.
What is ecosystem management? The DEP defines ecosystem management as an integrated,
flexible approach to management of Florida's biological and physical environments --
conducted through the use of tools such as planning, land acquisition, environmental
education, regulation, and pollution prevention -- designed to maintain, protect and improve
the state's natural, managed, and human communities.
The first level is to develop a framework and action plan for ecosystem management through
implementation of the Secretary's organizational structure, internal visioning, public
interaction, and consensus building with affected parties. As part of the planning stage, the
Legislature created a new position, the Executive Coordinator for Ecosystem Management,
which will report directly to the Secretary and is responsible for four Director level offices.
The next level is the development level. Twelve broad based committees have been created
to develop a comprehensive ecosystem management implementation strategy that addresses a
systems approach to land acquisition and management, science and technology, education,
planning, pollution prevention, alternative regulatory incentives, audit/evaluation and training.
The committees that were created are:
1. Implementation Strategy: This committee will develop a strategy to guide ecosystem
management, including the desired relationships between existing and needed DEP
programs, and between DEP and other agencies, interest groups, and the general
2. External Steering: The primary purpose of this committee is to obtain the thoughts,
ideas, and concerns of as large a cross section of the citizenry as possible. This
committee will monitor the ecosystem approach and provide outreach to citizens.
3. Land Acquisition/Greenways: It is important that the DEP acquisition program is
coordinated to the highest degree possible with the programs of other governmental
and nongovernmental entities to ensure a systematic approach. A major component of
this effort will involve data collection and sharing between land purchasing entities and
between the acquisition program and other parts of the agency. The committee will
look into what improvements are needed in this regard.
The committee will inventory existing state-owned lands, develop criteria for
determining the types and location of lands needed to complete the state public lands
system, and use that criteria to identify specific lands which need to be acquired.
4. Education Committee: This committee will address environmental education needs
within the department and develop strategies and materials to convey the ecosystem
management philosophy. It will evaluate how internal and external education
programs can be better coordinated. It will produce a quarterly ecosystem
management newsletter to keep interested parties aware of the agency's activities. The
committee will address both short and long-term education needs, and will recommend
a budget to meet those needs.
5. Incentive-Based Regulatory Alternatives: The primary function of this committee is to
develop the concept of net environmental benefit, incentives for its use, and criteria
for its application.
6. Pollution Prevention: This committee will develop strategies to increase pollution
prevention. It will look at all existing programs both inside and outside the agency for
ideas, but should not be constrained by what is currently being done. Prevention is a
concept that has not been implemented to its full potential. The committee should
address prevention activities for government, business, industry, and the general
public. The committee should consider a wide range of prevention alternatives which
can be implemented at all levels of society resulting in a cumulative prevention effect.
7. Science and Technology: This committee will evaluate all aspects of DEP's data
management and technology, and recommend improvements to achieve ecosystem
management goals. These types of evaluations are needed on a periodic basis, so the
committee will make recommendations on the composition of a permanent Science and
Technology Committee. In its evaluation of the agency's science and technology
capabilities and needs, the committee will address the role of research. The
committee will identify existing research and monitoring activities and recommend
additional research to fill in the gaps in our feedback system. It will also make
recommendations on how DEP can better share its data with other governmental and
nongovernmental groups. This committee will have four subcommittees: biological
monitoring, water quality monitoring, data management, and research.
8. Public Land Management: This committee will identify and evaluate other existing
ecosystem management principles, and suggest improvements, as needed, to agency
land management programs. The committee will also address ways to improve
coordination with other governmental and nongovernmental land managers, develop
strategies to bring active management to the millions of acres of largely unmanaged
sovereignty submerged lands, manage and restore state-owned wetlands to maximize
benefits to the ecosystems which contain them, and look into how to increase
volunteerism in public land management. The committee will have four
subcommittees: upland management, wetland management and restoration, submerged
lands management, and exotic species control.
9. Role of Private Landowners: Traditionally, environmental protection efforts have
focused on acquisition and regulation. These two tools are not enough. There is a
substantial amount of private property in Florida which, if sensitively managed, could
help sustain the state's ecosystems. The committee will identify ways to encourage
private landowners to participate in government sponsored, voluntary land stewardship
programs, and will recommend ways to modify government programs as needed to
encourage rather than discourage good stewardship on private lands.
10. Intergovernmental Coordination: This committee will look at how to integrate the
DEP's ecosystem management program with other agency programs that are important
to achieving ecosystem management goals. The committee will consider technology
needs to improve coordination, such as computer linkages and data standardization.
The committee will not address how the needs will be met, only what the needs are.
The Science and Technology Committee will develop strategies for meeting identified
technology needs. The committee will also address organizational changes to facilitate
better coordination. The committee will coordinate with the Task Force on Land Use
and Water Planning which is also working on strategies for better intergovernmental
11. Training Committee: The DEP's implementation of ecosystem management will
involve programs and activities throughout the department. There will be a need to
develop training programs of two types. First, there must be internal programs
including cross-training of staff to implement ecosystem management. Second, there
is a need to go outside the agency to develop private-sector training of agency
employees so that they understand the businesses and industries affected by department
12. Audit and Evaluation: The natural resource audit/evaluation process is the final step,
and a continuing process, in ecosystem management. By this process, programs are
evaluated to determine if their effects on an ecosystem's natural resources are those
that were intended. Two audit procedures are needed. One, which would generally
pertain to resource management of public conservation lands, should be similar to the
current resource management audit process that the Division of Recreation and Parks
now uses to evaluate the effectiveness of management activities on natural and cultural
resources. The other should be designed to evaluate the effectiveness of department
programs relative to the goals of ecosystem management.
The committee should also consider how the Strategic Assessment of Florida's
Environment (SAFE) program, which is currently being revised by the F.S.U. Center
for Public Management, could contribute to the evaluation of DEP programs.
The committee must closely track the activities of the other committees to ensure that
those groups take the evaluation process into consideration in developing their
recommendations. The committee will be convened for two years. The first year will
be spent primarily working with the other committees and looking at the SAFE
program. In the second year, the committee will develop recommendations for an
In developing this process, DEP has travelled around the State and received input from the
public and State agencies and have incorporated the comments that were solicited. The key
to the success of ecosystem management is cooperation among all parties involved.
The implementation of DEP's ecosystem management efforts will be through agency
programs, site specific plans, and partnerships between government, environmental, and
business groups, and the public.
The three goals of DEP's ecosystem management are: better protection and management of
Florida's ecosystems, agency structure and culture based on ecosystem management, and a
public ethic of shared responsibility for the environment.
DEP has five expected results:
1. A new era of cooperative action between all levels of government resulting in
identification of shared goals and implementation of integrated planning and
management across political boundaries.
2. A true partnership between the citizens of the state and their government, in which all
parties recognize a common responsibility for the environment and share a
commitment to active involvement in its protection.
3. An unprecedented statewide environmental resource monitoring database and network
to provide accurate, up to date information on the state of the environment to decision
makers at all levels of government as well as private citizens.
4. Applied use of research and advanced technology to improve communication, data
management, environmental education, program planning, and resource management
5. Achievement of sustainable levels of use of our natural resources to ensure that the
needs of current and future generations for food, water, shelter, a viable economy,
and a clean, healthy, diverse environment are met.
(Moss) The ecosystem groups should focus on: how to further outreach to the community;
tie the school systems into the ecosystem management process; and, address the issue of
(Hamann) It seems that DEP's ecosystem management plan focuses on adaptive
management, interagency cooperation and coordination, education, etc. One of the principles
is ecological integrity, what is the process for identifying ecological integrity?
(McVety) This will be done through the Land Acquisition and Greenways Committee which
will identify the natural systems in Florida that need to be acquired. The Public Lands
Management Committee will determine the management techniques for the determined need.
The focus is primarily on public land.
(Tschinkel) The DEP is taking a good approach toward ecosystem management. What is the
degree to which local governments have adequately considered water availability as a
resource as opposed to water availability as capacity of treatment systems? Most local
governments focus on the latter.
To what degree are local government comprehensive plans reinforcing our community
commitment to certain key natural resource areas? The subcommittees should encourage the
use of best information for resource management purposes. They should also think of Florida
as a community that has invested a lot in certain key resources and the planning process
should recognize these resources.
(McVety) The ecosystem management approach will be building upon what the Land Use
and Water Planning Task Force recommends. The role of local government in protecting
natural systems must be strengthened and partnerships must be built between local, regional
and state governments.
(Hamann) Looking at the Future Land Use Map, there is no process for evaluating a large
area and determining ecological integrity. There is no process in place to change the map in
terms of larger issues and habitat.
(McVety) Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI), DEP, the Water Management Districts,
and others, are identifying critical habitat around the state and trying to compile it in a map
that identifies the lands and resources that must be put into public ownership.
(Tschinkel) Land use decisions are made at the local government level. Data and
information is the most useful at the local government level.
Consumptive Use Permitting Discussion
(Tschinkel) The purpose of the CUP discussion at the last Task Force meeting was to
determine the degree to which water availability should drive the land use planning process.
If someone had property that was under a land use plan and was properly permitted for a
certain level of development, are there any legal expectations for obtaining water for
(Hamann) There is no legal expectation of CUPs. On the other hand, it is real important
that it is communicated to people who are developing the land use plans and the owners of
the property as to the availability of water. There are expectations, but not the legal right to
use the water.
(Shelley) A legal issue arises when there is a link developed between land use and water
planning in terms of consistency. This is a difficult question to answer and is the reason for
the formation of this Task Force.
Many local governments have designated land that results in the denial of a CUP application
due to the lack of available water for the designated land use. The applicants usually
consider this a taking. Theoretically, if the WMDs tell the local governments, in advance,
that an area should be designated a Conservation Area because there is no development
potential, the local government is going to feel very threatened because it would be their
action that results in a lowering of the allowable water withdrawals based on the land use
designation. Are the local governments going to change land use designations based upon the
WMDs information? Is this where we should be going with the EAR process?
(Tschinkel) The Task Force should not recommend that a land use decision should be
consistent with water availability on a statewide basis. Is there a way to focus the planning
process so that the nature and cost of the water is explicit in land use decisions?
(Walker) Why is this issue not taken care of through the Capital Improvements Elements
(CIE) of the local government comprehensive plans?
(Shelley) Because the CIE only deals with publically owned facilities and the issue also
affects privately owned facilities.
(Walker) How can we include timing into the planning process? In other words, "this land
is suitable for this development at the time at which water is available."
(Tschinkel) The Task Force should focus on making the local planning process deal with the
availability of water. Local governments can deal with it by making sure the information is
part of their plan.
(Shelley) The question is "who pays for the water?"
(Robert Christianson, SJRWMD) We have a system in place that addresses this problem.
The Task Force should determine if the existing linkages are specific and adequate. There
exists an allocation process in statute that recognizes water as a public resource and the
WMDs.are given the responsibility and authority exclusively to allocate that resource. There
has not been adequate linkage on the planning side to reflect some regional assessment of
The Needs and Sources assessments will evaluate based on what the local governments state
as their needs 20 years from now. The feedback from this process will be used by the
WMDs to designate, by rule, areas where there is not enough water to meet the projected
needs. Then the question is if there is adequate linkage back into the local comprehensive
planning process for this to be reflected.
(Shelley) We keep referring to the users of the water and exclude the natural systems as
water users. An agency does not exist that has as its' mission the protection of natural
systems as a priority water user.
(Christianson) There are other tools besides the allocation for consumptive use permitting,
such as the minimum flows and levels and the reservation of waters for natural systems. It is
not enough to do just the permitting. In the permitting process, the natural systems impact is
one of the criteria by which the permit is reviewed.
(Tschinkel) There is some concern about the expectations that the new information will be
used. Are there any other mechanisms to coordinate the planning efforts?
(Shelley) What is the status of the establishment of minimum flows and levels?
(Christianson) Only a small portion of the State has adopted minimum flows and levels.
There is a priority scheduling for each of the districts as part of the District Water
Management Plans (DWMP). There is not a date certain for the establishment of the
minimum flows and levels. One of the priorities of the St. Johns River Water Management
District is the identification of those areas that are critical from a natural systems support
standpoint and those which are subject to consumptive use permit request.
(Tschinkel) The information adopted by rule by the WMDs, such as minimum flows and
levels or declaration of water shortage areas, should be translated into the local government
(Shelley) The WMD cannot dictate this to the local government. Potential rules designating
geographic areas of water shortage are adopted through the Strategic Regional Policy Plans.
(Christianson) There is a stronger connection with Ch. 9J-5, F.A.C. This rule requires
local governments to evaluate the ability to meet the projected water needs. There is the
requirement that if the information exists (i.e. the WMDs have declared by rule a water
shortage area) then the local government must use this information in their plan. The
Department of Community Affairs could find the local government comprehensive plan not in
compliance if the information is not used.
(McVety) Theoretically, before you issue Consumptive Use Permits (CUP), the minimum
flows and levels should be known for natural systems. It will be years before this
information will be available, yet the state is way out in front in the issuance of CUPs. This
must be brought into sequence so that the resources are not over-allocated.
(Christianson) The CUPs are periodically reviewed and the most recent information is used
in the renewal process.
(Hamann) The problem is that although the CUPs are only for a limited duration, people
have an expectation that they will continue to be able to use that amount of water at a certain
cost. A big problem is that we are realizing that we have over-allocated the resources and
that the natural systems are becoming stressed and then informing the land owners and local
governments that their expectations of water use must change.
(Christianson) Is this a structural or a performance problem?
(Tschinkel) To the degree that data are not adopted by rule, the WMD should be more
aggressive in this area, but the local governments must react to the information and its
Another structural problem has been that some WMDs have not conserved a portion of the
resource during low flow periods. With a lack of understanding of the minimum flows and
levels and the needs of natural systems, the WMDs should make an estimate as to these
(Orshefsky) In the absence of establishing minimum flows and levels, each CUP decision
withholds some level of the resource from use. Will this also be true of the Needs and
Sources analysis? If the WMDs have not established the minimum flows and levels and the
Needs and Sources analysis are not taken into account, then are the long range regional type
information needed for land use planning provided?
(Christianson) From the SJRWMD's perspective, where minimum flows and levels have
been established, there is a constraint on resource use that is conservative to the resource.
Absent exact information on every system, there is a regional methodology that determines
that if the drawdowns are below an established level, there is a high probability of a use
(Prescod) The process, whatever it may be, must remain flexible because the use of and
receipt of water is not constant.
(Tschinkel) It is important that local governments use the best available data, but it must be
clear what the best available data is.
It was generally agreed that the Task Force will focus on the consumptive use of water by
addressing the development and distribution of best available data and information. In
addition, the Task Force will look at the requirement that local governments must use the best
data and information available.
(Moss) The timing of information availability is important so that local governments and
other planning agencies know exactly what they are dealing with.
(Tschinkel) Another question to answer is: "Are other planning efforts/regulations
realistic/adequate enough to protect the resource?" Conservation/efficiency could be
considered an adjunct to the question of CUPs.
Phil Leary, Florida Farm Bureau Federation Would like to be on the record that the Florida
Farm Bureau is closely following the Task Force and offered assistance if needed in the
The meeting adjourned at 12:00 p.m. The State Issues Subcommittee met in the afternoon.