Section 373.0831, Florida Statutes 2004
373.0831 Water resource development; water supply development.--
(1) The Legislature finds that:
(a) The proper role of the water management districts in water supply is primarily planning and water resource development, but this does not preclude them from providing assistance with water supply development.
(b) The proper role of local government, regional water supply authorities, and government-owned and privately owned water utilities in water supply is primarily water supply development, but this does not preclude them from providing assistance with water resource development.
(c) Water resource development and water supply development must receive priority attention, where needed, to increase the availability of sufficient water for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses and natural systems.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that:
(a) Sufficient water be available for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses and the natural systems, and that the adverse effects of competition for water supplies be avoided.
(b) Water management districts take the lead in identifying and implementing water resource development projects, and be responsible for securing necessary funding for regionally significant water resource development projects.
(c) Local governments, regional water supply authorities, and government-owned and privately owned water utilities take the lead in securing funds for and implementing water supply development projects. Generally, direct beneficiaries of water supply development projects should pay the costs of the projects from which they benefit, and water supply development projects should continue to be paid for through local funding sources.
(d) Water supply development be conducted in coordination with water management district regional water supply planning and water resource development.
(3) The water management districts shall fund and implement water resource development as defined in s. 373.019. The water management districts are encouraged to implement water resource development as expeditiously as possible in areas subject to regional water supply plans. Each governing board shall include in its annual budget the amount needed for the fiscal year to implement water resource development projects, as prioritized in its regional water supply plans.
(4)(a) Water supply development projects which are consistent with the relevant regional water supply plans and which meet one or more of the following criteria shall receive priority consideration for state or water management district funding assistance:
1. The project supports establishment of a dependable, sustainable supply of water which is not otherwise financially feasible;
2. The project provides substantial environmental benefits by preventing or limiting adverse water resource impacts, but requires funding assistance to be economically competitive with other options; or
3. The project significantly implements reuse, storage, recharge, or conservation of water in a manner that contributes to the sustainability of regional water sources.
(b) Water supply development projects which meet the criteria in paragraph (a) and also bring about replacement of existing sources in order to help implement a minimum flow or level shall be given first consideration for state or water management district funding assistance.
(c) If a proposed alternative water supply development project is identified in the relevant approved regional water supply plan, the project shall receive:
1. A 20-year consumptive use permit, if it otherwise meets the permit requirements under ss. 373.223 and 373.236 and rules adopted thereunder.
2. Consideration for priority funding pursuant to s. 373.1961(2) if the project meets one of the criteria in this subsection.
History.--s. 11, ch. 97-160; s. 10, ch. 2004-381.