373.2234 Preferred water supply sources.—The governing board of a water management district is authorized to adopt rules that identify preferred water supply sources for consumptive uses for which there is sufficient data to establish that a preferred source will provide a substantial new water supply to meet the existing and projected reasonable-beneficial uses of a water supply planning region identified pursuant to s. 373.709(1), while sustaining existing water resources and natural systems. At a minimum, such rules must contain a description of the preferred water supply source and an assessment of the water the preferred source is projected to produce. If an applicant proposes to use a preferred water supply source, that applicant’s proposed water use is subject to s. 373.223(1), except that the proposed use of a preferred water supply source must be considered by a water management district when determining whether a permit applicant’s proposed use of water is consistent with the public interest pursuant to s. 373.223(1)(c). A consumptive use permit issued for the use of a preferred water supply source must be granted, when requested by the applicant, for at least a 20-year period and may be subject to the compliance reporting provisions of s. 373.236(4). Nothing in this section shall be construed to exempt the use of preferred water supply sources from the provisions of ss. 373.016(4) and 373.223(2) and (3), or be construed to provide that permits issued for the use of a nonpreferred water supply source must be issued for a duration of less than 20 years or that the use of a nonpreferred water supply source is not consistent with the public interest. Additionally, nothing in this section shall be interpreted to require the use of a preferred water supply source or to restrict or prohibit the use of a nonpreferred water supply source. Rules adopted by the governing board of a water management district to implement this section shall specify that the use of a preferred water supply source is not required and that the use of a nonpreferred water supply source is not restricted or prohibited.
History.—s. 4, ch. 2004-381; s. 6, ch. 2006-255; s. 16, ch. 2010-205.