August 07, 2020
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HB 7177

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to the comprehensive statewide water
3conservation program; amending s. 373.227, F.S.; revising
4provisions of the program to provide for a Conserve
5Florida Clearinghouse and a Conserve Florida Clearinghouse
6Guide to assist public water supply utilities in
7developing goal-based water conservation plans to meet
8water conservation requirements for obtaining consumptive
9use permits; encouraging water management districts and
10public water supply utilities to use the guide for water
11conservation plans, reports, and assessments; revising
12requirements for goal-based water conservation plans
13submitted by public water supply utilities as part of
14consumptive use permit applications; deleting an obsolete
15provision requiring the Department of Environmental
16Protection to submit a report on the program to the
17Governor, the Legislature, and substantive legislative
18committees by a specified date; providing an effective
21Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
23     Section 1.  Section 373.227, Florida Statutes, is amended
24to read:
25     373.227  Water conservation; legislative findings;
26legislative intent; objectives; comprehensive statewide water
27conservation program requirements.-
28     (1)  The Legislature recognizes that the proper
29conservation of water is an important means of achieving the
30economical and efficient utilization of water necessary, in
31part, to constitute a reasonable-beneficial use. The overall
32water conservation goal of the state is to prevent and reduce
33wasteful, uneconomical, impractical, or unreasonable use of
34water resources. The Legislature finds that the social,
35economic, and cultural conditions of the state relating to the
36use of public water supply vary by service area and that public
37water supply utilities must have the flexibility to tailor water
38conservation measures to best suit their individual
39circumstances. The Legislature encourages the use of efficient,
40effective, and affordable water conservation measures. Where
41water is provided by a public water supply utility, the
42Legislature intends that a variety of conservation measures be
43made available and used to encourage efficient water use. To
44achieve these conservation objectives, the state should
45emphasize goal-based, accountable, tailored, and measurable
46water conservation programs for public water supply. For
47purposes of this section, the term "public water supply utility"
48includes both publicly owned and privately owned public water
49supply utilities that sell potable water on a retail basis to
50end users.
51     (2)  To implement the findings in subsection (1), the
52department, in cooperation with the water management districts
53and other stakeholders, shall develop a comprehensive statewide
54water conservation program for public water supply. The program
56     (a)  Encourage utilities to implement water conservation
57programs that are economically efficient, effective, affordable,
58and appropriate;
59     (b)  Allow no reduction in, and increase where possible,
60utility-specific water conservation effectiveness over current
62     (c)  Be goal-based, accountable, measurable, and
63implemented collaboratively with water suppliers, water users,
64and water management agencies;
65     (d)  Include cost and benefit data on individual water
66conservation practices to assist in tailoring practices to be
67effective for the unique characteristics of particular utility
68service areas, focusing upon cost-effective measures;
69     (e)  Use standardized public water supply conservation
70definitions and standardized quantitative and qualitative
71performance measures for an overall system of assessing and
72benchmarking the effectiveness of water conservation programs
73and practices;
74     (f)  Create a Conserve Florida Clearinghouse or inventory
75for water conservation programs and practices available to
76public water supply utilities which will provide an integrated
77statewide database for the collection, evaluation, and
78dissemination of quantitative and qualitative information on
79public water supply conservation programs and practices and
80their effectiveness. The clearinghouse or inventory should have
81technical assistance capabilities to aid in the design,
82refinement, and implementation of water conservation programs
83and practices. The clearinghouse or inventory shall also provide
84for continual assessment of the effectiveness of water
85conservation programs and practices;
86     (g)  Develop a standardized water conservation planning
87process for utilities; and
88     (h)  Develop and maintain a Florida-specific Conserve
89Florida Clearinghouse Guide water conservation guidance document
90containing a menu of affordable and effective water conservation
91practices to assist public water supply utilities in the design
92and implementation of goal-based, utility-specific water
93conservation plans tailored for their individual service areas
94as provided in subsection (5) (4).
95     (3)  The Conserve Florida Clearinghouse Guide is recognized
96as an appropriate tool to assist public water supply utilities
97in developing goal-based water conservation plans to meet the
98water conservation requirements for obtaining consumptive use
99permits. Water management districts and public water supply
100utilities are encouraged to use the guide in developing water
101conservation plans, reporting on the implementation of water
102conservation practices and measures included in consumptive use
103permits, evaluating proposals for financial cost sharing of
104water conservation activities, and assessing the effectiveness
105of water conservation projects.
106     (4)(3)  Regarding the use of water conservation or drought
107rate structures as a conservation practice, a water management
108district shall afford a public water supply utility wide
109latitude in selecting a rate structure and shall limit its
110review to whether the utility has provided reasonable assurance
111that the rate structure contains a schedule of rates designed to
112promote efficient use of water by providing economic incentives.
113A water management district shall not fix or revise rates.
114     (5)(4)  As part of an application for a consumptive use
115permit, a public water supply utility may propose a goal-based
116water conservation plan that is tailored to its individual
117circumstances as a partial or entire alternative to the water
118conservation requirements adopted by the appropriate water
119management district. The public water supply utility is
120encouraged, but not required, to use the Conserve Florida
121Clearinghouse Guide in developing its goal-based water
122conservation plan. The plan shall include a schedule for
123implementing the utility's water conservation goal or goals. The
124plan must include a means for measuring progress towards the
125water conservation goal or goals must be measurable.
126     (6)  If a public water supply utility elects to develop a
127goal-based water conservation plan, the utility shall submit the
128plan to the appropriate water management district for approval.
129The plan must be designed to achieve the water conservation goal
130or goals in a cost-effective manner, considering the utility's
131customers, service area, and other individual circumstances of
132the utility. If the utility provides reasonable assurance that
133the plan will achieve effective water conservation at least as
134well as the water conservation requirements adopted by the
135appropriate water management district and is otherwise
136consistent with s. 373.223, the district must approve the plan
137which shall satisfy water conservation requirements imposed as a
138condition of obtaining a consumptive use permit. The
139conservation measures included in an approved goal-based water
140conservation plan may be reviewed periodically and updated as
141needed to ensure efficient water use for the duration of the
142permit. If the plan fails to meet the water conservation goal or
143goals by the timeframes specified in the permit, the public
144water supply utility shall revise the plan to address the
145deficiency or employ the water conservation requirements that
146would otherwise apply in the absence of an approved goal-based
148     (5)  By December 1, 2005, the department shall submit a
149written report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of
150the House of Representatives, and the appropriate substantive
151committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives on the
152progress made in implementing the comprehensive statewide water
153conservation program for public water supply required by this
154section. The report must include any statutory changes and
155funding requests necessary for the continued development and
156implementation of the program.
157     (7)(6)  The department or a water management district may
158adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to carry out
159the purposes of this section.
160     Section 2.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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