Florida Senate - 2016                                    SB 1400
       By Senator Gibson
       9-01547B-16                                           20161400__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to water oversight and planning;
    3         establishing the Water Oversight and Planning Board to
    4         address water issues in the state; providing
    5         membership and terms; providing meeting requirements;
    6         requiring the Department of Environmental Protection
    7         to provide staff to the board; providing reimbursement
    8         for per diem and travel expenses; providing board
    9         duties; requiring the board to submit its long-range
   10         plans to the department, each water management
   11         district, the Governor, and the Legislature; requiring
   12         the board to provide its findings and recommendations
   13         to the Governor and the Legislature; providing an
   14         effective date.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18         Section 1. (1)The Water Oversight and Planning Board is
   19  established as the statewide oversight board for issues
   20  affecting and impacting water supply and water supply planning,
   21  water quality restoration and protection, flood protection and
   22  flood plain management, and natural systems protection and
   23  restoration.
   24         (2)The Water Oversight and Planning Board shall consist of
   25  15 members as follows:
   26         (a)Two members appointed by the Governor.
   27         (b)One representative from the Department of Agriculture
   28  and Consumer Services.
   29         (c)One representative from the Department of Environmental
   30  Protection.
   31         (d)One representative from Sierra Club Florida.
   32         (e)One representative from the Florida Home Builders
   33  Association.
   34         (f)One representative from the Florida Chamber of
   35  Commerce.
   36         (g)One representative from Associated Industries of
   37  Florida.
   38         (h)One member of the House of Representatives appointed by
   39  the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
   40         (i)One member of the Senate appointed by the President of
   41  the Senate.
   42         (j)One representative from each of the five water
   43  management districts.
   44         (3)(a)The board shall meet at least quarterly, and each
   45  meeting within any one year shall be held in a different
   46  location in the state. Additional meetings may be held upon the
   47  call of the chair. A majority of the members of the board
   48  constitutes a quorum. Board meetings may be conducted by
   49  conference call, teleconferencing, or similar technology.
   50         (b)Members of the board shall serve for a term of 4 years.
   51  A vacancy occurring during a member’s term shall be filled in
   52  the same manner as the initial appointment. The board shall be
   53  chaired by a member chosen by majority vote.
   54         (c)The Department of Environmental Protection shall
   55  provide the board with staff necessary to assist the board in
   56  the performance of its duties.
   57         (d)Members of the board shall serve without compensation
   58  but are entitled to reimbursement for per diem and travel
   59  expenses pursuant to s. 112.061, Florida Statutes.
   60  Reimbursements made pursuant to this paragraph may be paid from
   61  appropriations provided to the Department of Environmental
   62  Protection by the Legislature in the General Appropriations Act.
   63         (4)Recognizing that water is an essential public resource
   64  that benefits the entire state and must be carefully managed to
   65  ensure its sustainability, the Water Oversight and Planning
   66  Board shall use the best science available to:
   67         (a)Review and monitor district regional water supply plans
   68  developed under s. 373.709, Florida Statutes.
   69         (b)Use data provided by the water management districts and
   70  others with peer-reviewed scientific data to:
   71         1.Develop 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year forecasting plans
   72  to ensure the state has the appropriate quantities and quality
   73  of water at the appropriate times of the year for people,
   74  agriculture, and the protection and restoration of natural
   75  systems.
   76         2.Identify and inventory existing sources of potable
   77  water.
   78         3.Identify new sources of water for potable uses,
   79  agricultural uses, industrial uses, and protection and
   80  restoration of natural systems.
   81         4.Identify the largest consumers of water by water
   82  management district and overall statewide.
   83         (c)Consolidate and compile existing water data supplied by
   84  the water management districts and others with peer-reviewed
   85  scientific data into a standardized format for creation of an
   86  electronic water data center. The water data center shall be
   87  housed within the Florida Geological Survey and be available to
   88  the public.
   89         (d)Building upon the reports previously submitted by the
   90  Department of Environmental Protection, investigate techniques,
   91  financial incentives, and regulatory mechanisms to promote or
   92  require water conservation.
   93         (e)Working with the Department of Education, investigate
   94  ways to promote water conservation education and practices.
   95         (f)Promote reuse of reclaimed water and treated wastewater
   96  for nonpotable purposes, such as landscape irrigation and
   97  farming, as appropriate.
   98         (g)Review recommendations contained in the regional water
   99  supply plans developed under s. 373.709, Florida Statutes.
  100         (h)Assess mechanisms to ensure water management districts
  101  expedite the protection and restoration of natural systems,
  102  including by expanded use of reservations of water under s.
  103  373.223(4), Florida Statutes.
  104         (i)Investigate mechanisms to incentivize the construction
  105  of technologies such as desalination and reuse to produce new
  106  sources of potable water.
  107         (j)Review the impact of underground activity, including
  108  drilling, hydraulic fracturing, chemical injection, mining, and
  109  stormwater injection, that may impact or pollute the aquifer,
  110  surface waters, or natural systems.
  111         (k)Randomly sample dredging projects from permits issued
  112  by the water management districts to assess the impacts of
  113  dredging activities on natural systems.
  114         (l)With input from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation
  115  Commission, develop recommendations to protect natural systems,
  116  including lakes, springs, wetlands, marshes, wildlife habitats,
  117  recreational sites, and streams.
  118         (m)Make recommendations for improved management of beaches
  119  and coastal systems, Everglades restoration, wetland and
  120  submerged land protection, and techniques for beach
  121  renourishment.
  122         (5)By September 1 annually, the board shall submit its
  123  long-range plans to the Department of Environmental Protection,
  124  each of the water management districts, the Governor, the
  125  President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of
  126  Representatives.
  127         (6)Every other year, beginning on September 1, 2017, the
  128  board shall submit its findings and recommendations to the
  129  Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the
  130  House of Representatives.
  131         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.