Water Policy Update of Dec. 17, 1996

Material Information

Water Policy Update of Dec. 17, 1996


Subjects / Keywords:
Water supply ( jstor )
Funding ( jstor )
Local governments ( jstor )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida


Jake Varn Collection - Water Policy Update of Dec. 17, 1996 (JDV Box 39)
General Note:
Box 29, Folder 5 ( Water Supply Issues Group (File 3 of 3) - 1996 ), Item 6
Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location:
Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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SROM FHBA 2247933

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Affairs Department


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Fax phone: ?QZ 05 t3

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Number of pages including cover chect:

From: Keith Hetrick
Director of Regulatory Affairs

Phone: 904-224-4316
Fax phone: 904-224-7933

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TO: Senior Officers and Mike Hickman, Chair (FHBA Water
Policy Task Force)

FROM: Keith Hetrick

RE: Water Policy Update

DATE: December 17, 1996

Please find attached the following: (1) a copy of FHBA Water
Policies, (2) Water Supply Funding Options, prepared by Vicki
Webber and completed for FHBA a few weeks ago, (3) another copy of
the Governor's Executive Order on water, which I supplied to you at
fall conference, and (4) a copy of the most recent agenda of the
December 6, 1996 meeting of the Governor's Water Supply Development
and Funding Work Group.

On the heals of last session's failed legislative initiatives
on water (which included new convoluted planning processes and no
implementing funding) the Governor, through his Executive Order,
has sought to foster a process for representatives/lobbyists of
major interest groups to come together and attempt to arrive at
consensus on how to better achieve and develop a consistent water
supply in Florida for all users. This includes examining the
extent to which statutory changes are needed regarding land and
water linkages and what, if any, funding options are recommended
and desirable. The Governor is seeking to use this group possibly
to make recommendations to the 1997 Legislature. I do not know if
any report will be forthcoming from this group. The Working Group
has met three (3) times (10/17, 11/8 and 12/6), and is scheduled to
meet 3 more times (12/18, 1/8 and 1/31). It has divided into two
subgroups: one focusing on water supply development and planning
and the other focusing on water supply funding. Jake Varn chairs
the water supply development and planning group and I participate
on the funding group. DEP and the Governor's Office is staffing
and facilitating the meetings.

To date, a lot of information is being assembled by this
group. Rather than inundate you with paper, I'd like to simply
provide you with a brief summary of my perception of the direction
of this effort and a recommended strategy for FHBA this session.

Summary of the Direction of the Governor's Working Group on Water

Please note the 5 basic assumptions and 5 basic principles
agreed upon by the working group on page 17 of the recent 12/6/96
meeting. They resemble FHBA's prime directive. (As such, last
session's approach to water, that is a "water scarcity" approach,
expressed in terms of linking comprehensive plans to ground water
supply availability determinations by the WMDs appears to be dead.

FROM. FHBA 2247933

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Water Policy Update
December 17, 1996
Page 2

Instead, the focus is on water production to meet all existing and
future user needs.] Also, it is important to note that the issues
discussed in the 12/6/96 handout are in transition and do not
reflect any definitive decisions of the Working Group or as yet
definitive buy-in on the part of the principles of representatives.

Water Planning and Development Subaroup

The Water Planning and Development Subgroup is clearly heading
in a direction with mirrors FHBA policies. For example, from a
state (DEP) perspective, DEP's primary function should be to
coordinate WMD activities and there are no real statutory changes
that are needed. A major shift from last session is that the
Governor's Working Group appears to "recognize and acknowledge"
that WMDs should focus on supplying consistent data to local
government and on augmenting and enhancing water supply sources; on
the other hand, the determination of actual solutions and the
actual development and building of infrastructure should be the
responsibility of local government and regional water supply
authorities (RSWAs). [You will recall that last session's
legislation shifted the balance of power in water supply by putting
WMDs (who have the regulatory responsibility for water) more in
charge of the water supply development function and determining
local options; in other words, up-front local government policy
decisions on water supply solutions would have been tied to and
more dependant on WMD determinations of ground water availability.]
In addition, the group recognizes the possibility that state lands
can be used for water supply development.

The Working Group appears to agree that the role of RSWAs
should be to identify a menu of options for water supply
development from which local governments can choose and to provide
action-oriented steps, with flexibility but as much surety as
possible for users. There would be no new planning requirements;
in fact, the planning process should be simplified. Local
government would be encouraged to use sources identified in RWSA
plans. "New" funding sources for certain local water supply
projects might be contingent on those projects being in concert or
compatible with a RWSA plan or at least not at cross purposes with
such a plan.

The needs of self suppliers should be taken into account in
WMD regional water supply plans. And the viability and propriety
of private water suppliers will be recognized. For example, the
group will likely make recommendations that focus on removing
impediments to the private production of water, including PSC
impediments which currently prevent investor-owned water supply
companies from recovering the full cost of reuse projects and
environmentally required activities. In addition, there appears to
be a desire to increase the coordination between the DEP and WMDs

FROM- FHBA 2247933

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Water Policy Update L I 1
December 17, 1996
Page 3

to eliminate current regulatory constraints to aquifer recharge and
recovery and the retention and storage of more surface waters in
order to encourage the development of these possible sources of
water supply.

Water Fundina subGroup

This subgroup is not as far along as the planning &
development subgroup. They are trying to get a handle on the
overall range of funding needs and develop options/combinations of
funding. In addition, they're looking at the factors in
determining equitable cost distribution, roles and responsibilities
in water supply and water resource funding and options for the
administration and distribution of new sources of funding.

One basic premise will probably be that regional flexibility
is needed to achieve optimal funding solutions and a "one-size fits
all" approach would not be best in many cases. Another important
premise likely will be that water supply development should be
funded by the beneficiaries of development projects. I think the
group will try to arrive at some bench mark needs and assessments
based on local government and WMD input.

I do not think that any recommendations from the funding
subgroup will try to solve all problems nor will the group likely
recommend a single funding source. The group will likely identify
existing sources of potential funding and how these can be enhanced
through better usage, through increases, or through restructuring
of how they are used. There will likely be some attempt to
identify the private and public entities which should have
responsibility for funding water supply facilities, in some
priority order, and then an identification of potential new funding
sources, with consideration to the "do-able."

FHBA Water Strategy for 1997 Legislative Session

Presently, I think that FHBA's Water Supply Policies do not
need to be changed prior to this session. I believe the current
policies generally provide us with enough guidance for the 1997
legislative session. As such, unless you all determine otherwise,
I do not believe there is a need for FKBA's Water Policy Task Force
to formally meet in advance of this session to revisit, revise or
amend these polices.

Secondly, although I believe FHBA's current water supply
policies are adequate to deal with the funding issues that may
arise this session, I think that we need your approval on a
strategy that supports FHBA current water supply "funding" policy.
Presently, FHBA's water supply funding policy is to support
"recurring dedicated sources of revenues for use by local

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FROM- FHBA 2247933

FROM- FHBA 2247933

Water Policy Update
December 17, 1996
Page 4

governments and RWSAs for planning and developing long term water
supplies (particularly emphasizing the development of water supply
capital facilities)." Nonetheless, given FHBA's focus on funding,
which is likely to be an important topic on water this session, I
would recommend that you approve the following session strategy
regarding FHBA's current support of "recurring dedicated sources of
funding" for water supply:

1. FHBA should not isolate, target or recommend to the
Legislature any particular or single funding source to pay for
water supply.

2. "Recurring dedicated sources of funding" should include
local government access to "new" legislatively authorized recurring
dedicated broad-based local option funding sources. These sources
should not disproportionately target development but instead
broadly target users. These sources may include local option sales
taxes or local option water utility taxes. Conversely, water
supply projects funded by "new" broad-based local option monies
should benefit those who pay.

3. In addition, the following policies on local access to
local option monies should apply: (1) such monies should primarily
be targeted to capital improvement facility needs, (2) such monies
should not replace, supplant or support the diversion of existing
sources of water funding that would in turn be used to subsidize
other non-water related local services, and (3) such monies should
either support a local water supply strategy that does not impact
other local governments or be compatible with a RWSA water supply
solution or strategy if such monies are to be used in a manner that
would impact other local governments.

We will schedule a conference call the first of the year to
review these suggestions. Thanks for your consideration in this

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