Title: 1995 Annual Report of the New Water Sources Initiative, Introduction
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004734/00001
 Material Information
Title: 1995 Annual Report of the New Water Sources Initiative, Introduction
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Resource Projects Department of the Wouthwest Florida Water Management District
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
General Note: Box 28, Folder 15 ( 1995 Annual Report of the New Water Sources Initiative - January 1996 ), Item 3
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00004734
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

January 1996


This introductory chapter presents an overview of the Southwest Florida Water Management District
(District), a historical perspective of District activities leading to the development of the New Water
Sources Initiative (NWSI) Program, and a statement of the objectives of the NWSI Annual Report.

1.1 District Overview

The District is one of five regional agencies which was established by the state legislature to manage
water and water-related resources for the people of Florida. Initially a flood control agency, the
District's responsibilities have expanded over the years in response to a growing need for a more
comprehensive approach to water management. While the mission of the District has remained
essentially the same to manage and protect water and related natural resources areas of
responsibility now encompass water supply, flood protection, water quality management and natural
systems management.

The District encompasses all or part of sixteen counties on the west-central coast of Florida,
extending from Levy County in the north to Charlotte County in the south, and from the Gulf of
Mexico east to Polk and Highlands counties (Figure 1-1). The District contains 98 local
governments spread over approximately 10,000 square miles, with a total population in 1990 in
excess of 3.3 million people.

Subject to the general oversight powers of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
(FDEP), District policies are established by an 11-member governing board. Each of eight major
watersheds within the District also have a Basin Board to provide local perspectives to water
management issues. All board members are appointed by the Governor of the State of Florida and
confirmed by the Senate.

1.2 History of New Water Sources Initiative Program

Ground water from the Floridan aquifer serves as the primary water source in the District.
Population growth and corresponding increases in water use over the past several decades have
placed tremendous stress on the Floridan aquifer system. In 1989, the District identified three areas
in which ground-water resources were stressed. These areas were designated as "Water Use Caution
Areas" (WUCAs) by the District Governing Board. In 1992, the entire Southern Ground-Water
Basin was designated as the Southern Water Use Caution Area (SWUCA). The SWUCA includes
the Eastern Tampa Bay and Highlands Ridge WUCAs (Figure 1-2). State Water Policy now refers
to these areas as "Water Resource Caution Areas."

The District's Water Supply Needs and Sources: 1990-2020 plan was completed in 1992. The plan
documented a multi-year, multi-disciplinary study of existing and projected water supply needs in
the District and potential sources to meet those needs. Three major policies guided the development

Southwest Florida Water Management District 1-1

1995 NWSI Annual Report

1995 NWSI Annual Report

Figure 1-1.

Southwest Florida

Water Management District
Location Map

10 0 10 20
scaein mes


Municipality --
County Boundary ---
SWFWMD Boundary-
Basin Board Boundary -

Withlacoochee River Basin 0
Coastal Rivers Basin O
Green Swamp Basin 0
Hillsborough River Basin 0
Northwest Hillsborough Basin 0
Pinellas-Anclote River Basin 0
Alafia River Basin O
Peace River Basin 0
Manasota Basin 0

Southwest Florida Water Management District

1995 NWSI Annual Report
Figure 1-2.
SWater Use Caution Areas
\ Location Map

Northern Tampa Bay WUCA
Southern WUCA
Eastern Tampa Bay WUCA
Highlands Ridge WUCA

NOTE: The Southern Water Use Caution Area
as adopted in 1994 includes the Eastern
Tampa Bay and Highlands Ridge Water
Resource Caution Areas.

10 0 10 20
scale in miles

Southwest Florida Water Management District 1-3

of the District's Needs and Sources plan. These policies, which are incorporated in the District
Water Management Plan (SWFWMD, 1995), are as follows:

(1) Local sources will be developed to the greatest extent practicable prior to importing
water from a distant source.

(2) Conservation is considered a source of new water to reduce existing demands and
meet future needs, and will be aggressively pursued by the District through Chapter
40D-2, (Water Use Permitting) Florida Administrative Code.

(3) All future public supply sources developed outside the service area will be developed
and operated by the appropriate regional water supply authority.

The 1992 Needs and Sources study projected that water demands in the District would increase from
1.5 billion gallons per day in 1990 to 2.4 billion gallons per day in 2020. It should be noted that the
demand projections in the study did not include the per capital water use reductions or the
agricultural efficiency improvements which were later proposed. The 1992 study concluded that
future water demands would not likely be met in the southern half of the District unless greater than
anticipated conservation occurs and alternative sources of water are developed. The District
subsequently developed a management plan for the Eastern Tampa Bay and Southern Water Use
Caution Areas which identify regulatory and non-regulatory measures to promote water use
efficiency and the utilization of water sources other than fresh ground water (SWFWMD, 1993b).

An important non-regulatory measure is the District's ability to provide incentives to local
governments in the form of shared funding for projects that are consistent with overall District and
Basin priorities. Funding for District programs is primarily derived from ad valorem taxes. The
Governing Board has the ability to levy up to 0.5 mill ($0.50 of tax per $1,000 of assessed property
value) for administrative needs, regulatory efforts, and other District-wide initiatives. The Basin
Boards may also each assess up to 0.5 mill for local water management projects.

Local basin projects are typically sponsored via one of two funding mechanisms: (1) the annual
Cooperative Funding Program, whereby each Basin Board selects project proposals submitted by
local governments and other public or private entities and then shares each project's cost with its
proposer, or (2) as Basin Initiatives, in which a specific Basin Board can proactively identify
projects it wishes to fund, with or without a local partner.

A third funding mechanism was established in 1993 when the District Governing Board adopted
the "New Water Sources Initiative" as part of its Fiscal Year 1994 budget. The purpose of this
dedicated fund is to enhance financial assistance opportunities for "alternative" water source
projects. "Alternative" water sources are sources other than traditional ground-water sources such
as conservation, reclaimed water, stormwater reuse, surface water, and desalination.

As a statement to their commitment, the District Governing Board has allocated $10 million each
year as a multi-year funding source for eligible NWSI projects. The District Basin Boards have also
contributed a combined total of $10 million per year beginning in Fiscal Year 1995. Local

Southwest Florida Water Management District

1995 NWSI Annual Report

January 1996

governments collectively provide $20 million per year to match District funds. Eligible NWSI
projects generally receive 25 percent of their funding from the District Governing Board, 25 percent
from the appropriate Basin Board(s), and the remaining 50 percent from the local cooperator(s).
The 25 percent Basin Board contribution may be split among one or more basins depending on the
geographical area served by the project. Individual Basin Board contributions will vary between
zero and 25 percent and are proportional to the share of benefits received in the basin.

Each year local cooperators submit project proposals to the District for NWSI funding consideration.
Proposed projects are evaluated and compared using a set of criteria which reflect District priorities
for NWSI projects. The NWSI criteria are grouped into qualification criteria and prioritization
criteria. Projects are assigned scores for each of the criteria and are ranked based on their
comparative scores. All projects must meet the qualification criteria to be eligible for NWSI
funding. The qualification criteria are: (1) positive environmental impacts, (2) cooperator history,
(3) consistency with the District Water Management Plan and local Comprehensive Plan(s),
(4) project permittability, and (5) project schedule.

The prioritization criteria are: (1) degree to which the stress on the water resource will be relieved
or avoided by the project, (2) location of the project relative to designated Water Use Caution Areas,
(3) cost-effectiveness, (4) degree to which the project addresses District initiatives other than water
supply, i.e., flood control, water quality, and natural systems, (5) degree of local/regional support
and participation, and (6) additional efforts by the cooperator which would enhance the long-term
impact of the project.

Forty-six projects with associated costs totaling $250 million were submitted to the District in 1994
for NWSI funding consideration. Twelve "cornerstone" projects were selected the first year based
on recommendations by District staff, Advisory Committees (Public Supply, Industrial, Agricultural,
and Green Industry), and geographically-based "action groups" made up of members from all water
use sectors. Four additional projects have been approved for funding in Fiscal Year 1996. When
fully implemented, the 16 projects could provide up to 150 million gallons per day of water to meet
current and water future needs. The 16 NWSI projects will provide additional benefits which
include rehydration of stressed lakes and wetlands, reduction of ground-water withdrawals,
improved surface water quality, ground-water recharge, enhancement of wildlife habitat, and flood
control improvements.

1.3 Objectives of the 1995 NWSI Annual Report

The 1995 NWSI Annual Report has been developed to inform local governments, state agencies,
state officials, and other interested public on intent of the NWSI program and to provide specific
project information including a description of the scope, budget, and status of currently funded
projects. The report also provides guidance to local governments, Basin Boards, and the District
Governing Board in selecting alternative water source projects for future NWSI funding. The report
provides a framework for project selection by estimating the availability of alternative water sources,
reviewing major issues regarding source development, and providing recommendations for future
projects. It is anticipated that the report will be updated annually.

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1995 NWSI Annual Report

January 1996

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