Adoption of 1995 Florida Water Plan - Letter Dated November 8, 1995

Material Information

Adoption of 1995 Florida Water Plan - Letter Dated November 8, 1995


Subjects / Keywords:
South Florida ( local )
Groundwater ( jstor )
Local governments ( jstor )
Water quality ( jstor )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida


Jake Varn Collection - Adoption of 1995 Florida Water Plan - Letter Dated November 8, 1995 (JDV Box 39)
General Note:
Box 29, Folder 8 ( Florida Water Plan - 1995 ), Item 6
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( O Department of
FLORi'" i Environmental Protection

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building
Lawton Chiles 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard Virginia B. Wetherell
Governor Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000 Secretary

tOV \ A 1,1"
aoron Fields Talahassee
Carton.> n am
To: Interested Parties

From: Virginia B. Wetherell LLf .LU AU. S Q

Date: November 8, 1995

Subject: Adoption of 1995 Florida Water Plan

Many of you have participated over the last year in the drafting of the 1995 Water Plan, including
providing written comments on the August 4, 1995 draft, and participating in the seven public
workshops around the state. The drafting process has benefited from participation of the "Florida
Water Plan Team," which includes the Department of Environmental Protection, the five water
management districts, members of the League of Cities, the Association of Counties, Regional
Planning Councils, the Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Transportation,
several federal agencies, and other public and private parties. The participation and assistance of
Team members, as well as others, is greatly appreciated.

In response to comments on the August 4 draft, we have made important changes in the draft
Plan. A hearing to adopt the revised Plan has been scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on November 27 in
room 609 of the Twin Towers Building, 2600 Blair Stone Road, here in Tallahassee. Public
testimony will be welcome at the hearing.

Attached to this notice is a listing of the significant substantive changes in the August 4 draft. If
you do not have the August 4 draft Plan for comparison with the amendments, please call the
Office of Water Policy (904-488-0784) to obtain another copy. The attachment does not include
editorial improvements, but does provide the detailed substantive amendments we propose to
make. In particular, there are several major areas modified in the Plan.

Water Supply

A number of parties recommended that the Plan give more emphasis to water supply
development, including stormwater retention. We agree that the workshop draft did not
adequately reflect the potential, in some areas of the state, for additional storage. The hearing
draft includes several changes to reflect this potential.

"Protect, Conserve and Manage Fiorda's Environment and Natural Resources"

Printed on recycled paper.

Partnership with Local Government

The workshop draft strongly advocated collaborative approaches with local government, as is in
fact a theme of the overall department initiative in ecosystem management (Please call 904-488-
7454 for a copy of the Ecosystem Management Action Plan.). A number of local governments
recommended that the Plan provide even more emphasis on this area, including specific measures
to foster cooperative approaches with local government. The hearing draft reflects changes made
in response.


Some local governments expressed disagreement with how the department and water
management districts are interpreting statutory requirements for reuse of reclaimed water. The
text has been revised to clarify certain issues, but disagreement may continue about the
determination of reuse feasibility.

Inadequate Links between Land and Water Planning

Several parties favored better coordination of these two important areas. The recent Task Force
on Land Use and Water Planning recommended specific improved linkages, but the draft Plan
attempts to forge stronger linkages under the current statutory framework. The hearing draft
provides additional action steps in this regard.

Again, thank you for your participation in the preparation of the 1995 Water Plan.


Changes Made in August 4, 1995 Workshop Draft of Florida Water Plan

p. 1, line 14.
Since about ninety percent of the state's population relies on ground water as a source of drinking
water, and because ground water is an integral component of Florida's ecosystems. such
contamination can have serious public health, environmental and economic consequences.

p. 4, line 5.
Florida shall assure the availability of an adequate supply of water for all competing uses deemed
reasonable and beneficial and shall maintain the functions of natural systems and the overall
present level of surface and ground water quality. Florida shall improve and restore the quality of
waters not presently meeting water quality standards. (s. 187.201(8Xa). F.S.)

It is the intent of the Legislature that future growth and development planning reflect the
limitations of the available ground water or other available water supplies. (s. 373.0395, F.S.)

The encouragement and promotion of water conservation, and reuse of reclaimed water, as
defined by the department are State objectives. (s. 403.064. F.S.. and s. 373.205. F.S.)
p. 7, line 13.
Importantly, the FWP clearly recognizes the balancing of competing public interests required in
statewide comprehensive planning, and that social, environmental and economic considerations
such as water supply, protection of private property rights, economic development, protection of
natural systems and public involvement are integral to water resources planning. This approach is
consistent with the department's Ecosystem Management Initiative.

p. 7, line 42.
Water resource management must also recognize, however, responsibilities for stewardship of
public resources and protecting the broad public interest. Florida's serious problems of water
supply, water quality, natural systems, and flood protection can be solved only through
recognition of our common goals and interdependencies. The Florida Water Plan, as well as the
Department's overall ecosystem management initiative, seek to achieve boat objective. Examples
of this approach are the EcosystemMan .,magmt comtitziii t to impletimeting r regulations
solutions which are voluntary, incentive-based and provide net environmentalbenefit ecosystem
benefits. fa we as D .par -t effia t., ate. Central to this is the creation of partnerships
with other governmental agencies, businesses, private landowners, and the public at large to
establish greenways, improve providejoint management of regionally significant environmental
areas, and encourage wise stewardship of public and private landsandowners to piotectcritical

D. 9. line 4.
The FWP is organized into six issue areas: General Issues, Water Supply, Flood Protection,

Water Quality, Natural Systems, and Coordination and Evaluation. No issue area can be
considered in isolation from the others because water management must be integrated and

p. 10. line 26.
General Issue 2: The failure of Government, the private sector, and the general public to-take
frequently do not take shared responsibility for sustaining Florida's water resources, is thereby
hindering the effectiveness of water management efforts.

P. 11, line 4.
Through existing programs, enuci the roles o assist Regional Planning Councils, and local
governments and the private sector in planning and management of water resources and related
natural systems. (DEP & WMDs. Ongoing)

p. 11, line 28.
A central tenet of ecosystem management is that to protect ecosystems, we must protect and
restore the critical processes upon which the ecosystems depend. The FWP will foster the
application of ecological principles to the management of hydrologic systems. In effect, the FWP
represents the water resource component of the DEP Ecosystem Management Implementation

D. 12. lines 5-22.
4. Create an E ~sy stem Selection Worzki oup (ESWG). The ESWG wil be spoibleo
seecting those ecosystems that eed priority attention and management by permanent leans. DEP
& VWMDff 1995, goingg)
5. Develop more effective methodologies to delineate three-dimensional watersheds addressing
the interface between ground water and surface water. (DEP. 1997.)
9.-Enhanceand Implement six demonstration ecosystem management area implementation
strategies, in six demonstration areas: Suwannee River, Everglades, Hillsborough River, St. Johns
River, Wekiva River, and Apalachicola River and Bay. (DEP, WMDs, Local Governments &
Others, Ongoing.)
10. Iplq eiint Florida Bay restoration, including tie Florida Keys National Maiheu Sanituary
Plan. (SF'NMD & DEP, Ongoing.)
10. Maintain and support the statewide SWIM program (see Water Ouality Strategy 1.2).
11. Through participation in the Technical Advisory Committees. Management Committees, and
Policy Committees, support and build upon the National Estuary Program/Comprehensive
Conservation and Management Plans for Tampa Bay. Indian River Lagoon. Sarasota Bay. and
Charlotte Harbor. (DEP. WMDs. & Local Governments. Ongoing).

p. 12. line 40 to p. 13. line 12.
1. Evaluate the reciprocal impacts of activities on public and private properties in identified
ecosystems. Coordinate management activities in identified ecosystems through groupsof

representatives of voluntary partnerships with private property owners and public managers-in-the
ecosystems. (DEP, WMDs, & Local Governments. Ongoing.)
2. Expand application of the "Greenline Concept," through a management strategy in which DEP
delineates an areas of concern adjacent to a state parks, and seeks to incorporateresource
management strategies for such areas encourage compatible land management within that area
into WM prgr ns and local government coprensive panning. (DEP, WMDs, & Local
Governments, Ongoing.)
3. Develop a straegic pln with a ciphe ive may of statewide natural resource atlas of
existing public and private conservation lands and land interests (e.g. easements) and additional
lands and waters that should be tude soe degree of protection to complete a statewid
ecological conservation syst will contribute to the long-term biological diversity, water supply,
water quality, floodplain protection. and integrity of natural ecosystems in Florida. (DEP, WMDs,
& GFWFC.and others 1997.)

P. 13. line 38 through D. 14. line 9
1. Implement s. 62-40.43540 F.A.C., revisions on data management which establish DEP as the
lead agency for coordinating the collection of water quality data. and provides guidance on data
reporting and storage. (DEP, WMDs, & Local Governments. 1995 Ongoing.)
2. Foster development and enhanced cooperative use of GIS technology and information by DEP
and WMDs. (DEP, WMDs, Local Governments, & other appropriate parties, Ongoing.)
3. Continue the use of DEP/WMD convention committees to recommend uniform approaches to
technical problems, and where appropriate, policy issues. This will include participation by local
governments and others at appropriate stages. (DEP & WMDs 1995 Ongoing.)
4. Through existing mechanisms such as the State Clearinghouse, NEPA, and CZMA federal
consistency reviews, facilitate early consultation between DEP, WMDs, and the Corps of
Engineers regarding water resource data collection and hydrographic modeling for federal flood
control projects. (DEP. WMDs. & Local Governments. Ongoing.)
5. Continue the cooperative program with the USGS to collect, compile, and publish statewide
water use data on a five-year basis. (DEP. WMDs. & USGS. Ongoing.)
6. Present the results of data acquisition efforts in a form useful to planning as well as regulation
and make reports available to DEP and WMD staff, local governments, and the public. (DEP.
WMDs. and Local Governments. Ongoing.)
7. Evaluate existing monitoring programs. including the Ground Water Monitoring Network and
the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program to determine how best to integrate the programs.
(DEP. 1997.)
8. Attempt to secure a dedicated. adequate funding source for the Surface Water Ambient
Monitoring Program. and to secure additional funding for the Ground Water Ouality Monitoring
Network. to enable both monitoring networks the ability to ensure comprehensive coverage and
data integrity. (DEP. 1997.)

p. 14. line 36.
2. Convene additional convention committees to recommend consistent approaches for addressing
priority water resource information needs. This will include participation by local governments
and others at appropriate stages. (DEP & WMDs. 1996.)

P. 15. line 4.
Florida shall assure the availability of an adequate supply of water for all competing uses deemed
reasonable and beneficial and shall maintain the functions of natural systems and the overall
present level of surface and ground water quality. Florida shall improve and restore the quality of
waters not presently meeting water quality standards (State Comprehensive Plan, s. 187.201(8)(a),
It is the intent of the Legislature that future growth and development planning reflect the
limitations of the available ground water or other available water supplies s. 373.0395. F.S.).

The encouragement and promotion of water conservation, and reuse of reclaimed water, as
defined by the department are State objectives. (s. 403.064. F.S.. and s. 373.205. F.S.)

p. 18, line 2
Water supply plains must consider all feasible sources, induding sauiface waters. However,
surface water, support a variety of fiJs and wildlife tat are dependent adapted to natn al
fluctuationa in flow io waer levels, an d the period s of gratest lhuun demand a alsa at ti' e im
when aquatic systems are unde greatest natural saltess. Water manager nust assure that human
water demuanda do not overstress these natural systems. Due to the state's relatively flat
ltupugaphy and variab let ainfll, us natual suifai. wate systems a e usually not efficient uo
dependableso asu e of public water supplies. Alau, new instieam inse voiuu generally involve
majuou environmental and aiual impactsa, and are discouraged by state water policy. Nonetheless,
in 1990, about 37 percent of lte state's l uttal fles water wididiawals were frozn surface waters.

Florida has one of the most productive aquifer systems in the United States. Large quantities of
water are obtainable from each of the state's principal aquifers. The state also contains 27 of the
78 first-magnitude springs (greater than 100 cubic feet per second average flow) in the nation.
Because of its availability and generally high quality, ground water is the principal source of fresh
water for public supply, rural domestic, industrial and commercial, and irrigation uses. About 90
percent of Florida's population depends on ground water for its drinking water. Clearly, ground
water is one of Florida's most valuable natural resources.
Ground water in Florida is particularly vulnerable to contamination. The state is covered nearly
everywhere by a thin layer of surficial sands that overlie a thick sequence of porous limestone and
dolomite. Depth to ground water throughout the state is relatively shallow; ranging from 0-100
feet, with 10-20 feet being most common. Even though ground water is taken from deeper
aquifers for many uses, the combination of relatively shallow ground water, highly transmissive

geologic formations, permeable surface sands, and rapid conversion of the Florida landscape to
various forms of development present a continuing threat to the state's ground water supplies.
Once ground water is contaminated, cleanup is very costly and sometimes impossible. Prevention
of pollution is far more economical than remediation.

No single solution exists for meeting water supply needs. and a combination of approaches may
often need to be employed. Selected options must ensure long-term sustainability not only for
water resources but also for burgeoning human demands. Water supply planning must consider all
feasible sources. including conservation. reuse. and alternative technologies. Where new supplies
must be developed, strongest consideration must be given to options that are sustainable, such as
conservation. reuse and desalination. The concept of sustainability supports the approach of
optimizing local sources before considering long-distance transport of water or options which
may cause significant harm to water resources or associated natural systems. Where demand
management. alternative sources. and other options have been found inadequate. capture of
surface waters or long-distance transfers across drainage basins or water management district
boundaries may need to be considered. In considering long-distance transport. Florida law (s.
373.196(3). F.S.) requires that such transfers do not cause adverse effects to the area from which
the water is withdrawn.
To be successful, water supply planning must be conducted in concert with other land use. water
resource protection and management objectives, and be tailored to the physical, biological and
socioeconomic circumstances of the particular area. One of the greatest challenges in most areas
is to find suitable ways to store excess water during wet periods for use during droughts. For
most areas of Florida surface storage facilities provide very inefficient and undependable sources
of supply due to physical limitations on storage capacity. rainfall variability, and major losses of
water through evaporation and subsurface leakage. Also. where impounding natural streams is
involved, disruption of flow patterns and other adverse effects usually make such sources difficult
to develop and maintain in a manner which avoids serious environmental and social impacts. For
these reasons, new in-stream impoundments are generally discouraged by state water policy. In
areas with suitable geology. aquifer storage and recovery is becoming an increasingly promising
storage option because it avoids most of the problems associated with surface storage. This
technique involves injecting excess water into aquifers during wet periods, for later withdrawal
and use during dry periods.

In South Florida. additional surface water storage may be achievable through restoration of the
natural storage capacity of some areas. The technical advisory committee of the Governor's
Commission on a Sustainable South Florida concluded that:
In predrainage times. Southeast Florida was a very wet area. Now. drained urban and
agricultural areas coexist with adjacent natural wetlands areas. The predrainage system
was in balance with annual wet and dry rainfall cycles. The modern system seems to be
out of balance. with large flow increases to the ocean. Assuming the modern system
receives the same general amount of rainfall as formerly fell on the predrainage system.

then restoring balance requires retaining more of this water in the system and discharging
less to the ocean. Because drained and natural areas comprise a single interconnected
system. there may be a common solution that solves the region's water problems. It is
likely that just a portion of increased flows to the Atlantic estuaries from Dade. Broward.
and Palm Beach Counties will be sufficient to meet natural system needs and increased
urban needs. This may be the most encouraging result of the analysis. Improving
water conditions in the Everglades and surrounding estuaries does not necessarily mean
hardship for urban and agricultural areas. The urban and agricultural areas could be part
of a solution -- not the problem. Paradoxically. achieving balance in the total South
Florida system, including more natural Everglades and estuaries, will require additional
structural facilities and increased operational flexibility.

p. 20, line 20.
Other promising approaches under certain circumstances include combined withdrawal strategies
for ground water and surface waters, linking water treatment and distribution systems of adjacent
jurisdictions, and creation of regional water supply authorities. While such approaches may not
have been considered in the past due to technical difficulties, treatment requirements, or cost,
their attractiveness has increased as cheap and dependable sources have become more scarce.
Although all five WMDs and DEP have been working closely together and with local
governments to provide in an effort to achieve consistent, environmentally sound approaches to
water supply planning, much remains to be done. Individual District Water Management Plans
(DWMPs) address the water supply issues of each region in detail.
P. 21, line 35.
6. As part of statewide storm water management, encourage the appropriate retention and use of
storm water for beneficial purposes such as irrigation, industrial cooling, ornamental ponds, and
artificial ground water recharge for creation of buffers against saltwater intrusion in coastal areas.
(DEP & WMDs, Ongoing.)

P. 24, line 40.
The fundamental issues in protection of recharge areas is are: (1) ensuring that natural recharge
processes are not disrupted significantly impaired, and (2) reducing the potential for ground water
contamination. Ground water recharge potential varies widely around the state, but in many
instances, population growth and attendant development has degraded or is threatening important
recharge areas. Areas receiving signify t ecrI e ay also b vulnerable to inc
potential fbr contamination. DEP and the water management districts provide technical assistance
to local governments in delineating recharge areas. Protection of recharge areas would greatly
benefit from improved linkages between land and water planning.

P. 26. line 30.
Florida has implemented a comprehensive, award-winning reuse program to achieve these
objectives. A key component of the reuse program is a set of comprehensive rules governing
reuse activities, which are contained in Chapter 62-610, F.A.C. The DEP Water Policy Rule

(Chapter 62-40, F.A.C.) requires a reasonable amount of reuse within designated Water Resource
Caution Areas unless objective evidence demonstrates that such reuse is not economically.
environmentally, or technically feasible.

Selected Action Steps:
1. Refine and expand existing rules in Chapter 62-610, F.A.C. Include specific rule provisions
regarding industrial use of reclaimed water, and for ground water recharge, aquifer sto age and
recovery-and indirect potable reuse, aquifer storage and recovery, use of supplemental water
supplies. and blending of concentrate from desalination processes with reclaimed water. (DEP,
9. Develop daft legislation to establish on otl disposal methods and to dju t
sublittial date fJ i aumual WIM reuse reports. (WMDs, 1996.)

p. 37, line 38.

3. Attempt to secure additia, fdig- for bothmonito networkr a dedicated, adequate
funding source for the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program and to secure additional
funding for the Ground Water Ouality Monitoring Network, to give both monitoring networks the
ability to ensure comprehensive coverage and data integrity. (DEP & WMDs, +996 1997,

p. 39, line 1.
4. Assist local governments in establishing storm water utilities and retrofitting storm water
systems. (DEP, WMDs, & local governments, 1992; Ongoing.)

p. 39, line 32.
5. Obtain point source and nonpoint source loadings and ground water contribution data for
TMDL development. (DEP, Ongoing.)

p. 39, line 40.
9. Through administration of the State Revolving Fund, continue to encourage local government
actions toward improving domestic wastewater management and to fund needed reuse facilities.
(DEP, Ongoing.)

D. 40. line 20.
Water Quality Strategy 1.6: Develop and implement appropriate methods to delineate areas
vulnerable to ground water contamination, and devise strategies to prevent polutin of ground
water provide additional protection to the most vulnerable areas.
Selected Action Steps:

6. Define areas of ground water/surface water interaction through the development of three-
dimensional models and federal requirements relating to public water supplies that are affected by

surface waters (JDI program). (DEP. 1997.)

D. 41. line 20.
5. Develop management strategies via the joint DEP/WMD work group on saltwater intrusion.
This will include involvement by local government and private parties at appropriate stages in the
process. (DEP & WMDs, 1994 1995.)
6. Evaluate the potential for use of reclaimed water to establish barriers to saltwater intrusion.
(DEP. EPA & WMDs. 1996. Ongoing.)

p. 47. line 29.
3. .Continue gulation f aicultut and swfr wat management pojes Cooperate
with agricultural interests to foster land stewardship, alternative permitting processes and
incentives for avoiding impacts of agricultural activities on natural systems. (DEP. WMDs.
NRCS. GFWFC & DACS. Ongoing.)
4. Incorporate TMDLs into point source discharge permits. (DEP, Ongoing.)
5. Continue to promote reuse of reclaimed water. (DEP & WMDs. Ongoing.)
6. Develop effective mechanisms to track permitted activities on a watershed basis: evaluate the
option of issuing discharge permits on a watershed basis. (DEP & WMDs. Ongoing)

p. 48. line 19.
8. Examine the potential for expanded use of reclaimed water to create. restore. and/or enhance
wetland systems. (DEP. EPA & WMDs. 1996. Ongoing.)

p. 50. line 15.
3. As part of establishing minimum flows and levels, reserve from use such quantities of water as
are required for the protection offish and wildlife or the public health and safety (s.373.223(3).
F.S.). (WMDs. Ongoing.)

p. 59. line 5.
DEP has responsibility for a wide variety of water-related programs that can benefit from better
coordination. ranging from pollution control. to management of state-owned lands, marine and
estuarine resources, state parks, and aquatic preserves, to protection and restoration of
ecosystems. The Florida Water Plan can help ensure mutual support between these programs and
help direct available DEP resources to more effectively address priority water issues. The
approach taken in the Plan does not rely on major new expenditures or legislative proposals.
Similarly to the DEP Ecosystem Management Implementation Strategy. the Plan will involve
improvements in the way existing programs are focused, and any additional costs will be met
primarily through combining efforts and reallocating existing program resources. As the Plan is
implemented, close coordination will be maintained between the DEP Ecosystem Management
Implementation Strategy, the DEP Agency Strategic Plan. and the DEP legislative agenda.

Selected Action Steps:

5. Broaden DEP program participation on the FWP/DWMP Work Group. (DEP. 1995.
6. Develop performance indicators to track progress of DEP efforts to implement the selected
action steps specified in the Florida Water Plan. (DEP & WMDs. 1996.)

P. 60, line 11.
Significant progress has been made on improving coordination between DEP and WMD programs
and implementing requirements of the Water Resources Act (Chapter 373. F.S.) and the DEP
Water Policy Rule (Chapter 62-40. F.A.C.). DEP and the WMDs will continue the existing
partnership to effectively implement their water management responsibilities. However. due to
funding limitations. technical difficulties or other constraints. some important aspects such as
establishment of minimum flows and levels have not been fully addressed. Pursuant to
requirements of s. 62-40.510(2b)4(h). F.A.C.. part of ongoing coordination efforts will focus on
developing strategies to identify supplemental funding needed to implement the programs
identified in Chapter 373. District Water Management Plans, the DEP Water Policy Rule, and any
delegated programs.

Selected Action Steps:

5. Continue and enhance the FWP/DWMP Work Group, with particular emphasis on identifying
the amount and sources of supplemental funding needed, and developing consensus on how to
implement the July 20. 1995 revisions to Chapter 62-40. F.A.C. (DEP & WMDs, 1996,