January 22, 2020
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CS/HB 7177

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to water resources; amending s. 373.227,
3F.S.; revising provisions of the comprehensive statewide
4water conservation 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, evaluations, and assessments;
12revising requirements for goal-based water conservation
13plans submitted by public water supply utilities as part
14of consumptive use permit applications; deleting an
15obsolete provision requiring the Department of
16Environmental Protection to submit a report on the program
17to the Governor, the Legislature, and substantive
18legislative committees by a specified date; amending s.
19298.66, F.S.; revising provisions prohibiting the
20obstruction of certain drainage works; amending s.
21373.0361, F.S.; providing for the inclusion of wastewater
22utilities, reuse utilities, and the department in the
23regional water supply planning process; amending s.
24373.079, F.S.; revising provisions relating to the
25authority of a water management district governing board
26to employ an executive director, an inspector general,
27professional persons, and personnel; prohibiting governing
28board intervention during review of specified permit
29applications; providing for expiration of such
30prohibition; revising provisions authorizing a water
31management district governing board to delegate certain
32authority to the executive director; requiring the
33governing board to provide a process for referring certain
34denials to the board for final action; amending s.
35373.083, F.S.; revising provisions authorizing a water
36management district governing board to delegate certain
37authority to the executive director; deleting a provision
38prohibiting governing board members from intervening in
39the review of certain applications; amending s. 373.085,
40F.S.; requiring water management districts and
41governmental agencies to encourage public-private
42partnerships for procurement of materials for
43infrastructure and restoration work projects; amending s.
44373.118, F.S.; authorizing a water management district
45governing board to delegate certain authority to the
46executive director; requiring a water management district
47governing board to provide a process for referring
48application and petition denials to the board for final
49action; exempting such delegations from rulemaking under
50ch. 120; amending s. 373.236, F.S.; reducing the frequency
51of compliance reports during the term of a consumptive use
52permit; providing an exception; amending s. 373.250, F.S.;
53requiring water management districts, in consultation with
54the department, to adopt rules relating to reclaimed water
55feasibility evaluations for consumptive use permit
56applicants; providing rule requirements; encouraging reuse
57utilities and water management districts to periodically
58coordinate and share information relating to reclaimed
59water; requiring water management districts to initiate
60certain rulemaking by a specified date; amending s.
61403.0877, F.S.; deleting a provision limiting the
62authority of water management districts or the department
63to require certification from a professional for specified
64activities; providing an effective date.
66Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
68     Section 1.  Section 373.227, Florida Statutes, is amended
69to read:
70     373.227  Water conservation; legislative findings;
71legislative intent; objectives; comprehensive statewide water
72conservation program requirements.-
73     (1)  The Legislature recognizes that the proper
74conservation of water is an important means of achieving the
75economical and efficient utilization of water necessary, in
76part, to constitute a reasonable-beneficial use. The overall
77water conservation goal of the state is to prevent and reduce
78wasteful, uneconomical, impractical, or unreasonable use of
79water resources. The Legislature finds that the social,
80economic, and cultural conditions of the state relating to the
81use of public water supply vary by service area and that public
82water supply utilities must have the flexibility to tailor water
83conservation measures to best suit their individual
84circumstances. The Legislature encourages the use of efficient,
85effective, and affordable water conservation measures. Where
86water is provided by a public water supply utility, the
87Legislature intends that a variety of conservation measures be
88made available and used to encourage efficient water use. To
89achieve these conservation objectives, the state should
90emphasize goal-based, accountable, tailored, and measurable
91water conservation programs for public water supply. For
92purposes of this section, the term "public water supply utility"
93includes both publicly owned and privately owned public water
94supply utilities that sell potable water on a retail basis to
95end users.
96     (2)  To implement the findings in subsection (1), the
97department, in cooperation with the water management districts
98and other stakeholders, shall develop a comprehensive statewide
99water conservation program for public water supply. The program
101     (a)  Encourage utilities to implement water conservation
102programs that are economically efficient, effective, affordable,
103and appropriate;
104     (b)  Allow no reduction in, and increase where possible,
105utility-specific water conservation effectiveness over current
107     (c)  Be goal-based, accountable, measurable, and
108implemented collaboratively with water suppliers, water users,
109and water management agencies;
110     (d)  Include cost and benefit data on individual water
111conservation practices to assist in tailoring practices to be
112effective for the unique characteristics of particular utility
113service areas, focusing upon cost-effective measures;
114     (e)  Use standardized public water supply conservation
115definitions and standardized quantitative and qualitative
116performance measures for an overall system of assessing and
117benchmarking the effectiveness of water conservation programs
118and practices;
119     (f)  Create a Conserve Florida Clearinghouse or inventory
120for water conservation programs and practices available to
121public water supply utilities which will provide an integrated
122statewide database for the collection, evaluation, and
123dissemination of quantitative and qualitative information on
124public water supply conservation programs and practices and
125their effectiveness. The clearinghouse or inventory should have
126technical assistance capabilities to aid in the design,
127refinement, and implementation of water conservation programs
128and practices. The clearinghouse or inventory shall also provide
129for continual assessment of the effectiveness of water
130conservation programs and practices;
131     (g)  Develop a standardized water conservation planning
132process for utilities; and
133     (h)  Develop and maintain a Florida-specific Conserve
134Florida Clearinghouse Guide water conservation guidance document
135containing a menu of affordable and effective water conservation
136practices to assist public water supply utilities in the design
137and implementation of goal-based, utility-specific water
138conservation plans tailored for their individual service areas
139as provided in subsection (5) (4).
140     (3)  The Conserve Florida Clearinghouse Guide is recognized
141as an appropriate tool to assist public water supply utilities
142in developing goal-based water conservation plans to meet the
143water conservation requirements for obtaining consumptive use
144permits. Water management districts and public water supply
145utilities are encouraged to use the guide in developing water
146conservation plans, reporting on the implementation of water
147conservation practices and measures included in consumptive use
148permits, evaluating proposals for financial cost sharing of
149water conservation activities, and assessing the effectiveness
150of water conservation projects.
151     (4)(3)  Regarding the use of water conservation or drought
152rate structures as a conservation practice, a water management
153district shall afford a public water supply utility wide
154latitude in selecting a rate structure and shall limit its
155review to whether the utility has provided reasonable assurance
156that the rate structure contains a schedule of rates designed to
157promote efficient use of water by providing economic incentives.
158A water management district shall not fix or revise rates.
159     (5)(4)  As part of an application for a consumptive use
160permit, a public water supply utility may propose a goal-based
161water conservation plan that is tailored to its individual
162circumstances as a partial or entire alternative to the water
163conservation requirements adopted by the appropriate water
164management district. The public water supply utility is
165encouraged, but not required, to use the Conserve Florida
166Clearinghouse Guide in developing its goal-based water
167conservation plan. The plan shall include a schedule for
168implementing the water conservation goal or goals. The plan must
169include a means for measuring progress towards the water
170conservation goal or goals must be measurable.
171     (6)  If a public water supply utility elects to develop a
172goal-based water conservation plan, the utility shall submit the
173goal or goals and the plan to the appropriate water management
174district. The plan must be designed to achieve the water
175conservation goal or goals approved by the district in a cost-
176effective manner, considering the utility's customers, service
177area, and other individual circumstances of the utility. The
178water management district shall review the goal or goals and
179approve them if they are consistent with s. 373.223(1) and
180approve the plan if it meets the requirements of this section.
181If the utility provides reasonable assurance that the plan will
182achieve effective water conservation at least as well as the
183water conservation requirements adopted by the appropriate water
184management district and is otherwise consistent with s. 373.223,
185the district must approve the plan which shall satisfy water
186conservation requirements imposed as a condition of obtaining a
187consumptive use permit. The conservation measures included in an
188approved goal-based water conservation plan may be reviewed
189periodically and updated as needed to ensure efficient water use
190for the duration of the permit. If the plan fails to meet the
191water conservation goal or goals by the timeframes specified in
192the permit, the public water supply utility shall revise the
193plan to address the deficiency or employ the water conservation
194requirements that would otherwise apply in the absence of an
195approved goal-based plan.
196     (5)  By December 1, 2005, the department shall submit a
197written report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of
198the House of Representatives, and the appropriate substantive
199committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives on the
200progress made in implementing the comprehensive statewide water
201conservation program for public water supply required by this
202section. The report must include any statutory changes and
203funding requests necessary for the continued development and
204implementation of the program.
205     (7)(6)  The department or a water management district may
206adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to carry out
207the purposes of this section.
208     Section 2.  Section 298.66, Florida Statutes, is amended to
210      298.66  Obstruction of drainage canals, etc., prohibited;
211damages; penalties.-
212     (1)  A No person may not willfully, or otherwise, obstruct
213any public canal, drain, ditch, or watercourse or damage or
214destroy any public drainage works constructed in or maintained
215by any district.
216     (2)(1)  Any person who shall willfully obstructs obstruct
217any public canal, drain, ditch or watercourse or damages or
218destroys shall damage or destroy any public drainage works
219constructed in or maintained by any district is, shall be liable
220to any person injured thereby for the full amount of the injury
221occasioned to any land or crops or other property by reason of
222such misconduct, and is shall be liable to the district
223constructing the drainage said work for double the cost of
224removing the such obstruction or repairing the such damage.
225     (3)(2)  Any person who Whoever shall willfully, or
226otherwise, obstructs obstruct any public canal, drain, ditch, or
227watercourse, impedes or obstructs impede or obstruct the flow of
228water therein, or damages or destroys shall damage or destroy
229any public drainage works constructed in or maintained by any
230district commits shall be guilty of a felony of the third
231degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s.
233     Section 3.  Subsection (1) of section 373.0361, Florida
234Statutes, is amended to read:
235     373.0361  Regional water supply planning.-
236     (1)  The governing board of each water management district
237shall conduct water supply planning for any water supply
238planning region within the district identified in the
239appropriate district water supply plan under s. 373.036, where
240it determines that existing sources of water are not adequate to
241supply water for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial
242uses and to sustain the water resources and related natural
243systems for the planning period. The planning must be conducted
244in an open public process, in coordination and cooperation with
245local governments, regional water supply authorities,
246government-owned and privately owned water and wastewater
247utilities, multijurisdictional water supply entities, self-
248suppliers, reuse utilities, the department, and other affected
249and interested parties. The districts shall actively engage in
250public education and outreach to all affected local entities and
251their officials, as well as members of the public, in the
252planning process and in seeking input. During preparation, but
253prior to completion of the regional water supply plan, the
254district must conduct at least one public workshop to discuss
255the technical data and modeling tools anticipated to be used to
256support the regional water supply plan. The district shall also
257hold several public meetings to communicate the status, overall
258conceptual intent, and impacts of the plan on existing and
259future reasonable-beneficial uses and related natural systems.
260During the planning process, a local government may choose to
261prepare its own water supply assessment to determine if existing
262water sources are adequate to meet existing and projected
263reasonable-beneficial needs of the local government while
264sustaining water resources and related natural systems. The
265local government shall submit such assessment, including the
266data and methodology used, to the district. The district shall
267consider the local government's assessment during the formation
268of the plan. A determination by the governing board that
269initiation of a regional water supply plan for a specific
270planning region is not needed pursuant to this section shall be
271subject to s. 120.569. The governing board shall reevaluate such
272a determination at least once every 5 years and shall initiate a
273regional water supply plan, if needed, pursuant to this
275     Section 4.  Subsection (4) of section 373.079, Florida
276Statutes, is amended to read:
277     373.079  Members of governing board; oath of office;
279     (4)(a)  The governing board of the district shall is
280authorized to employ:
281     (a)  An executive director, ombudsman, and such engineers,
282other professional persons, and other personnel and assistants
283as it deems necessary and under such terms and conditions as it
284may determine and to terminate such employment. The appointment
285of an executive director by the governing board is subject to
286approval by the Governor and must be initially confirmed by the
287Florida Senate. The governing board may delegate all or part of
288its authority under this paragraph to the executive director.
289However, the governing board shall delegate to the executive
290director all of its authority to take final action on permit
291applications under part II or part IV or petitions for variances
292or waivers of permitting requirements under part II or part IV,
293except for denials of such actions as provided in s. 373.083(5).
294The executive director may execute such delegated authority
295through designated staff members. Such delegations shall not be
296subject to the rulemaking requirements of chapter 120. The
297governing board must provide a process for referring a denial of
298such application or petition to the governing board for the
299purpose of taking final action. The executive director must be
300confirmed by the Senate upon employment and must be confirmed or
301reconfirmed by the Senate during the second regular session of
302the Legislature following a gubernatorial election.
303     (b)  The delegation required by this subsection shall
304expressly prohibit governing board members from individually
305intervening in any manner during the review of an application
306before such application is referred to the governing board for
307final action. This paragraph does not prohibit the governing
308board as a collegial body from acting on any permit application
309or supervising, overseeing, or directing the activities of
310district staff. This paragraph shall expire on June 1, 2011,
311unless reenacted by the Legislature.
312     (c)(b)1.  The governing board of each water management
313district shall employ An inspector general, who shall report
314directly to the board. However, the governing boards of the
315Suwannee River Water Management District and the Northwest
316Florida Water Management District may jointly employ an
317inspector general, or provide for inspector general services by
318interagency agreement with a state agency or water management
319district inspector general.
320     2.  An inspector general must have the same qualifications
321prescribed and perform the applicable duties of state agency
322inspectors general as provided in s. 20.055.
323     Section 5.  Subsection (5) of section 373.083, Florida
324Statutes, is amended to read:
325     373.083  General powers and duties of the governing board.-
326In addition to other powers and duties allowed it by law, the
327governing board is authorized to:
328     (5)  Execute any of the powers, duties, and functions
329vested in the governing board through a member or members
330thereof, the executive director, or other district staff as
331designated by the governing board. The governing board may
332establish the scope and terms of any delegation. However, if the
333governing board delegates shall delegate to the executive
334director all of its authority to take final action on permit
335applications under part II or part IV or petitions for variances
336or waivers of permitting requirements under part II or part IV,
337and the executive director may execute such delegated authority
338through designated staff. Such delegations shall not be subject
339to the rulemaking requirements of chapter 120. However, the
340governing board must shall provide a process for referring a any
341denial of such application or petition to the governing board
342for the purpose of taking to take final action. Such process
343shall expressly prohibit any member of a governing board from
344intervening in any manner during the review of an application
345prior to such application being referred to the governing board
346for final action. The authority to delegate under in this
347subsection is supplemental to any other provision of this
348chapter granting authority to the governing board to delegate
349specific powers, duties, or functions.
350     Section 6.  Subsection (1) of section 373.085, Florida
351Statutes, is amended to read:
352     373.085  Use of works or land by other districts or private
354     (1)(a)  In order to promote water quantity and water
355resource development, projects that improve flood control, and
356conservation of lands, the district and other governmental
357agencies shall encourage public-private partnerships by
358collaborating, when possible, with those partnerships when
359procuring materials for infrastructure and restoration work
360projects, consistent with district and state procurement
362     (b)  The governing board has authority to prescribe the
363manner in which local works provided by other districts or by
364private persons will connect with and make use of the works or
365land of the district, to issue permits therefor, and to cancel
366the permits for noncompliance with the conditions thereof or for
367other cause. It is unlawful to connect with or make use of the
368works or land of the district without consent in writing from
369its governing board, and the board has authority to prevent or,
370if done, estop or terminate the same. The use of the works or
371land of the district for access is governed by this section and
372is not subject to the provisions of s. 704.01. However, any land
373or works of the district which have historically been used for
374public access to the ocean by means of the North New River Canal
375and its tributaries may not be closed for this purpose unless
376the district can demonstrate that significant harm to the
377resource would result from such public use.
378     Section 7.  Subsection (5) is added to section 373.118,
379Florida Statutes, to read:
380     373.118  General permits; delegation.-
381     (5)  To improve efficiency, the governing board may
382delegate its powers and duties pertaining to general permits to
383the executive director. The executive director may execute such
384delegated authority through designated staff. However, when
385delegating the authority to take final action on permit
386applications under part II or petitions for variances or waivers
387of permitting requirements under part II, the governing board
388must provide a process for referring a denial of such
389application or petition to the governing board for the purpose
390of taking final action. Such delegations shall not be subject to
391the rulemaking requirements of chapter 120.
392     Section 8.  Subsection (4) of section 373.236, Florida
393Statutes, is amended to read:
394     373.236  Duration of permits; compliance reports.-
395     (4)  Where necessary to maintain reasonable assurance that
396the conditions for issuance of a 20-year permit can continue to
397be met, the governing board or department, in addition to any
398conditions required pursuant to s. 373.219, may require a
399compliance report by the permittee every 10 5 years during the
400term of a permit. The Suwannee River Water Management District
401may require a compliance report by the permittee every 5 years
402through July 1, 2015, and thereafter every 10 years during the
403term of the permit. This report shall contain sufficient data to
404maintain reasonable assurance that the initial conditions for
405permit issuance are met. Following review of this report, the
406governing board or the department may modify the permit to
407ensure that the use meets the conditions for issuance. Permit
408modifications pursuant to this subsection shall not be subject
409to competing applications, provided there is no increase in the
410permitted allocation or permit duration, and no change in
411source, except for changes in source requested by the district.
412This subsection shall not be construed to limit the existing
413authority of the department or the governing board to modify or
414revoke a consumptive use permit.
415     Section 9.  Paragraphs (c) and (d) are added to subsection
416(3) of section 373.250, Florida Statutes, subsections (4) and
417(5) of that section are renumbered as subsections (5) and (6),
418respectively, and a new subsection (4) is added to that section,
419to read:
420     373.250  Reuse of reclaimed water.-
421     (3)  The water management district shall, in consultation
422with the department, adopt rules to implement this section. Such
423rules shall include, but not be limited to:
424     (c)  Provisions to require permit applicants to provide, as
425part of their reclaimed water feasibility evaluation for a
426nonpotable use, written documentation from a reuse utility
427addressing the availability of reclaimed water. This requirement
428shall apply when the applicant's proposed use is within an area
429that is or may be served with reclaimed water by a reuse utility
430within a 5-year horizon, as established by the reuse utility and
431provided to the district. If the applicable reuse utility fails
432to respond or does not provide the information required under
433paragraph (d) within 30 days after receipt of the request, the
434applicant shall provide to the district a copy of the written
435request and a statement that the utility failed to provide the
436requested information. The district is not required to adopt, by
437rule, the area where written documentation from a reuse utility
438is required, but the district shall publish the area, and any
439updates thereto, on the district's website. This paragraph may
440not be construed to limit the ability of a district to require
441the use of reclaimed water or to limit a utility's ability to
442plan reclaimed water infrastructure.
443     (d)  Provisions specifying the content of the documentation
444required in paragraph (c), including sufficient information
445regarding the availability and costs associated with the
446connection to and the use of reclaimed water, to facilitate the
447permit applicant's reclaimed water feasibility evaluation.
448     (4)  Reuse utilities and the applicable water management
449district or districts are encouraged to periodically coordinate
450and share information concerning the status of reclaimed water
451distribution system construction, the availability of reclaimed
452water supplies, and existing consumptive use permits in areas
453served by the reuse utility.
454     Section 10.  The water management districts shall initiate
455rulemaking no later than July 1, 2011, to implement the
456requirements of s. 373.250(3)(c) and (d), Florida Statutes, as
457created by this act.
458     Section 11.  Section 403.0877, Florida Statutes, is amended
459to read:
460     403.0877  Certification by professionals regulated by the
461Department of Business and Professional Regulation.-
462     (1)  Nothing in this section shall be construed as specific
463authority for a water management district or the department to
464require certification by a professional engineer licensed under
465chapter 471, a professional landscape architect licensed under
466part II of chapter 481, a professional geologist licensed under
467chapter 492, or a professional surveyor and mapper licensed
468under chapter 472, for an activity that is not within the
469definition or scope of practice of the regulated profession.
470     (1)(2)  If an application for a permit or license to
471conduct an activity regulated under this chapter, chapter 373,
472chapter 376, or any permitting program delegated to a water
473management district by a state agency, or to undertake
474corrective action of such activity or program ordered by the
475department or a water management district, requires the services
476of a professional as enumerated in subsection (1), the
477department or governing board of a water management district may
478require, by rule, in conjunction with such an application or any
479submittals required as a condition of granting a permit or
480license, or in conjunction with the order of corrective action,
481such certification by the professional as is necessary to ensure
482that the proposed activity or corrective action is designed,
483constructed, operated, and maintained in accordance with
484applicable law and rules of the department or district and in
485conformity with proper and sound design principles, or other
486such certification by the professional as may be necessary to
487ensure compliance with applicable law or rules of the department
488or district. The department or governing board of a water
489management district may further require as a condition of
490granting a permit or license, or in conjunction with ordering
491corrective action that the professional certify upon completion
492of the permitted or licensed activity or corrective action that
493such activity or corrective action has, to the best of his or
494her knowledge, been completed in substantial conformance with
495the plans and specifications approved by the department or
497     (2)(3)  The cost of such certifications by the professional
498shall be borne by the permittee or the person ordered to correct
499the permitted activity.
500     (3)(4)  A permitted or licensed activity or corrective
501action that is required to be so certified upon completion of
502the activity or action may not be placed into use or operation
503until the professional's certificate is filed with the
504department or board.
505     Section 12.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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