2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XXVIII NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 373 WATER RESOURCES
SECTION 036Florida water plan; district water management plans.
373.036 Florida water plan; district water management plans.—
(1) FLORIDA WATER PLAN.—In cooperation with the water management districts, regional water supply authorities, and others, the department shall develop the Florida water plan. The Florida water plan shall include, but not be limited to:
(a) The programs and activities of the department related to water supply, water quality, flood protection and floodplain management, and natural systems.
(b) The water quality standards of the department.
(c) The district water management plans.
(d) Goals, objectives, and guidance for the development and review of programs, rules, and plans relating to water resources, based on statutory policies and directives. The state water policy rule, renamed the water resource implementation rule pursuant to s. 373.019(25), shall serve as this part of the plan. Amendments or additions to this part of the Florida water plan shall be adopted by the department as part of the water resource implementation rule. In accordance with s. 373.114, the department shall review rules of the water management districts for consistency with this rule. Amendments to the water resource implementation rule must be adopted by the secretary of the department and be submitted to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives within 7 days after publication in the Florida Administrative Register. Amendments shall not become effective until the conclusion of the next regular session of the Legislature following their adoption.
(2) DISTRICT WATER MANAGEMENT PLANS.—
(a) Each governing board shall develop a district water management plan for water resources within its region, which plan addresses water supply, water quality, flood protection and floodplain management, and natural systems. The district water management plan shall be based on at least a 20-year planning period, shall be developed and revised in cooperation with other agencies, regional water supply authorities, units of government, and interested parties, and shall be updated at least once every 5 years. The governing board shall hold a public hearing at least 30 days in advance of completing the development or revision of the district water management plan.
(b) The district water management plan shall include, but not be limited to:
1. The scientific methodologies for establishing minimum flows and levels under s. 373.042, and all established minimum flows and levels.
2. Identification of one or more water supply planning regions that singly or together encompass the entire district.
3. Technical data and information prepared under s. 373.711.
4. A districtwide water supply assessment, which determines for each water supply planning region:
a. Existing legal uses, reasonably anticipated future needs, and existing and reasonably anticipated sources of water and conservation efforts; and
b. Whether existing and reasonably anticipated sources of water and conservation efforts are adequate to supply water for all existing legal uses and reasonably anticipated future needs and to sustain the water resources and related natural systems.
5. Any completed regional water supply plans.
(c) If necessary for implementation, the governing board shall adopt by rule or order relevant portions of the district water management plan, to the extent of its statutory authority.
(d) In the formulation of the district water management plan, the governing board shall give due consideration to:
1. The attainment of maximum reasonable-beneficial use of water resources.
2. The maximum economic development of the water resources consistent with other uses.
3. The management of water resources for such purposes as environmental protection, drainage, flood control, and water storage.
4. The quantity of water available for application to a reasonable-beneficial use.
5. The prevention of wasteful, uneconomical, impractical, or unreasonable uses of water resources.
6. Presently exercised domestic use and permit rights.
7. The preservation and enhancement of the water quality of the state.
8. The state water resources policy as expressed by this chapter.
(e) As part of the district water management plan, each governing board, in cooperation with local governments, shall develop a list of critical wetlands to be acquired using funds from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
1. The governing boards shall consider all of the following criteria in designating a wetland for inclusion on the list:
a. The ecological value of the wetland, as determined by the physical and biological components of the environmental system.
b. The effect of the wetland on water quality and flood mitigation.
c. The ecosystem restoration value of the wetland.
d. The inherent susceptibility of the wetland to development due to its geographical location or natural aesthetics.
2. Before adopting or amending its list of critical wetlands, each governing board must notify the owner of any property that the district contemplates including on the list. At any time, an owner who wishes to have his or her property removed from the list must submit by certified mail to the district a letter requesting such removal. The letter must indicate that the owner wishes for his or her property to be removed from the list and must sufficiently identify such property to the governing board. The governing board shall approve a removal request that meets the requirements of this subparagraph at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
(f) At its option, a governing board may substitute an annual strategic plan for the requirement to develop a district water management plan and the district water management plan annual report required by subparagraph (7)(b)1., provided that nothing herein affects any other provision or requirement of law concerning the completion of the regional water supply plan and the strategic plan meets the following minimum requirements:
1. The strategic plan establishes the water management district’s strategic priorities for at least a future 5-year period.
2. The strategic plan identifies the goals, strategies, success indicators, funding sources, deliverables, and milestones to accomplish the strategic priorities.
3. The strategic plan development process includes at least one publicly noticed meeting to allow public participation in its development.
4. The strategic plan includes separately, as an addendum, an annual work plan report on the implementation of the strategic plan for the previous fiscal year, addressing success indicators, deliverables, and milestones.
5. The strategic plan includes a list of critical wetlands to be acquired using funds from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, pursuant to paragraph (e).
(3) The department and governing board shall give careful consideration to the requirements of public recreation and to the protection and procreation of fish and wildlife. The department or governing board may prohibit or restrict other future uses on certain designated bodies of water which may be inconsistent with these objectives.
(4) The governing board may designate certain uses in connection with a particular source of supply which, because of the nature of the activity or the amount of water required, would constitute an undesirable use for which the governing board may deny a permit.
(5) The governing board may designate certain uses in connection with a particular source of supply which, because of the nature of the activity or the amount of water required, would result in an enhancement or improvement of the water resources of the area. Such uses shall be preferred over other uses in the event of competing applications under the permitting systems authorized by this chapter.
(6) The department, in cooperation with the Executive Office of the Governor, or its successor agency, may add to the Florida water plan any other information, directions, or objectives it deems necessary or desirable for the guidance of the governing boards or other agencies in the administration and enforcement of this chapter.
(7) CONSOLIDATED WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT ANNUAL REPORT.—
(a) By March 1, annually, each water management district shall prepare and submit to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, the department, the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a consolidated water management district annual report on the management of water resources. In addition, copies must be provided by the water management districts to the chairs of all legislative committees having substantive or fiscal jurisdiction over the districts and the governing board of each county in the district having jurisdiction or deriving any funds for operations of the district. Copies of the consolidated annual report must be made available to the public, either in printed or electronic format.
(b) The consolidated annual report shall contain the following elements, as appropriate to that water management district:
1. A district water management plan annual report or the annual work plan report allowed in subparagraph (2)(f)4.
2. The department-approved minimum flows and minimum water levels annual priority list and schedule required by s. 373.042(3).
3. The annual 5-year capital improvements plan required by s. 373.536(6)(a)3.
4. The alternative water supplies annual report required by s. 373.707(8)(n).
5. The final annual 5-year water resource development work program required by s. 373.536(6)(a)4.
6. The Florida Forever Water Management District Work Plan annual report required by s. 373.199(7).
7. The mitigation donation annual report required by s. 373.414(1)(b)2.
8. Information on all projects related to water quality or water quantity as part of a 5-year work program, including:
a. A list of all specific projects identified to implement a basin management action plan, including any projects to connect onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems to central sewerage systems and convert onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems to enhanced nutrient-reducing onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, or a recovery or prevention strategy;
b. A priority ranking for each listed project for which state funding through the water resources development work program is requested, which must be made available to the public for comment at least 30 days before submission of the consolidated annual report;
c. The estimated cost for each listed project;
d. The estimated completion date for each listed project;
e. The source and amount of financial assistance to be made available by the department, a water management district, or other entity for each listed project; and
f. A quantitative estimate of each listed project’s benefit to the watershed, water body, or water segment in which it is located.
9. A grade for each watershed, water body, or water segment in which a project listed under subparagraph 8. is located representing the level of impairment and violations of adopted minimum flow or minimum water levels. The grading system must reflect the severity of the impairment of the watershed, water body, or water segment.
(c) Each of the elements listed in paragraph (b) is to be addressed in a separate chapter or section within the consolidated annual report, although information common to more than one of these elements may be consolidated as deemed appropriate by the individual water management district.
(d) Each water management district may include in the consolidated annual report such additional information on the status or management of water resources within the district as it deems appropriate.
(e) In addition to the elements specified in paragraph (b), the South Florida Water Management District shall include in the consolidated annual report the following elements:
1. The Lake Okeechobee Protection Program annual progress report required by s. 373.4595(6).
2. The Everglades annual progress reports specified in s. 373.4592(4)(d)5., (13), and (14).
3. The Everglades restoration annual report required by s. 373.470(7).
4. The Everglades Trust Fund annual expenditure report required by s. 373.45926(3).
History.—s. 6, part I, ch. 72-299; ss. 2, 3, ch. 73-190; s. 122, ch. 79-190; s. 3, ch. 97-160; s. 7, ch. 98-88; s. 164, ch. 99-13; s. 4, ch. 2005-36; s. 38, ch. 2006-1; s. 11, ch. 2010-205; s. 24, ch. 2011-4; s. 32, ch. 2011-34; s. 4, ch. 2012-150; s. 33, ch. 2013-14; s. 73, ch. 2014-17; s. 3, ch. 2016-1; s. 37, ch. 2018-110; s. 3, ch. 2020-150; s. 1, ch. 2022-76.