2020 Florida Statutes
Declaration of policy.
Declaration of policy.
373.701 Declaration of policy.—It is declared to be the policy of the Legislature:
(1) To promote the availability of sufficient water for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses and natural systems.
(2)(a) Because water constitutes a public resource benefiting the entire state, it is the policy of the Legislature that the waters in the state be managed on a state and regional basis. Consistent with this directive, the Legislature recognizes the need to allocate water throughout the state so as to meet all reasonable-beneficial uses. However, the Legislature acknowledges that such allocations have in the past adversely affected the water resources of certain areas in this state. To protect such water resources and to meet the current and future needs of those areas with abundant water, the Legislature directs the department and the water management districts to encourage the use of water from sources nearest the area of use or application whenever practicable. Such sources shall include all naturally occurring water sources and all alternative water sources, including, but not limited to, desalination, conservation, reuse of nonpotable reclaimed water and stormwater, and aquifer storage and recovery. Reuse of potable reclaimed water and stormwater shall not be subject to the evaluation described in s. 373.223(3)(a)-(g). However, this directive to encourage the use of water, whenever practicable, from sources nearest the area of use or application shall not apply to the transport and direct and indirect use of water within the area encompassed by the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project, nor shall it apply anywhere in the state to the transport and use of water supplied exclusively for bottled water as defined in s. 500.03(1)(d), nor shall it apply to the transport and use of reclaimed water for electrical power production by an electric utility as defined in s. 366.02(2).
(b) In establishing the policy outlined in paragraph (a), the Legislature realizes that under certain circumstances the need to transport water from distant sources may be necessary for environmental, technical, or economic reasons.
(3) Cooperative efforts between municipalities, counties, utility companies, private landowners, water consumers, water management districts, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are necessary in order to meet water needs in a manner that will supply adequate and dependable supplies of water where needed without resulting in adverse effects upon the areas from which water is withdrawn. Such efforts should employ all practical means of obtaining water, including, but not limited to, withdrawals of surface water and groundwater, reuse, and desalination, and will require cooperation and well-coordinated activities. Municipalities, counties, and special districts are encouraged to create multijurisdictional water supply entities or regional water supply authorities as authorized in s. 373.713.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2010-205; s. 1, ch. 2013-177.