(1) The governing board or the department by regulation shall formulate a plan for implementation during periods of water shortage. As a part of this plan the governing board or the department shall adopt a reasonable system of water-use classification according to source of water supply; method of extraction, withdrawal, or diversion; or use of water or a combination thereof. The plan may include provisions for variances and alternative measures to prevent undue hardship and ensure equitable distribution of water resources.
(2) The governing board or the department by order may declare that a water shortage exists for a source or sources within all or part of the district when insufficient water is or will be available to meet the present and anticipated requirements of the users or when conditions are such as to require temporary reduction in total use within the area to protect water resources from serious harm. Such orders will be final agency action.
(3) In accordance with the plan adopted under subsection (1), the governing board or the department may impose such restrictions on one or more classes of water uses as may be necessary to protect the water resources of the area from serious harm and to restore them to their previous condition.
(4) A declaration of water shortage and any measures adopted pursuant thereto may be rescinded by the governing board or the department.
(5) When a water shortage is declared, the governing board or the department shall cause notice thereof to be published in a prominent place within a newspaper of general circulation throughout the area. Publication of such notice will serve as notice to all users in the area of the condition of water shortage.
(6) The governing board or the department shall notify each permittee in the district by electronic mail or regular mail of any change in the condition of his or her permit or any suspension of his or her permit or of any other restriction on the permittee’s use of water for the duration of the water shortage.
(7) If an emergency condition exists due to a water shortage within any area of the district, and if the department, or the executive director of the district with the concurrence of the governing board, finds that the exercise of powers under subsection (1) is not sufficient to protect the public health, safety, or welfare; the health of animals, fish, or aquatic life; a public water supply; or recreational, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or other reasonable uses, it or he or she may, pursuant to the provisions of s. 373.119, issue emergency orders reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action, including, but not limited to, apportioning, rotating, limiting, or prohibiting the use of the water resources of the district, be taken as the department or the executive director deems necessary to meet the emergency. (8) An affected party to whom an emergency order is directed under subsection (7) shall comply immediately, but may challenge such an order in the manner set forth in s. 373.119.