Florida Senate - 2017 SB 1300 By Senator Gibson 6-01134-17 20171300__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to water oversight and planning; 3 establishing the Water Oversight and Planning Advisory 4 Council to address water issues in the state; 5 providing membership and terms; providing meeting 6 requirements; requiring the Department of 7 Environmental Protection to provide staff to the 8 council; providing reimbursement for certain expenses; 9 providing council duties; requiring interdepartmental 10 investigation with the Department of Education to 11 promote water conservation education and practices; 12 requiring the council to annually submit its long 13 range plans to the department, each water management 14 district, the Governor, and the Legislature; requiring 15 the council to provide its findings and 16 recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature 17 biennially; providing an effective date. 18 19 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 20 21 Section 1. (1) The Water Oversight and Planning Advisory 22 Council, an advisory council as defined in s. 20.03, is 23 established adjunct to the Department of Environmental 24 Protection as the statewide oversight council for issues 25 impacting water supply and water supply planning, water quality 26 restoration and protection, flood protection and flood plain 27 management, and natural systems protection and restoration. 28 (2) The Water Oversight and Planning Council shall consist 29 of 15 members as follows: 30 (a) Two members appointed by the Governor. 31 (b) One representative from the Department of Agriculture 32 and Consumer Services appointed by the Commissioner of 33 Agriculture. 34 (c) One representative from the Department of Environmental 35 Protection appointed by the Secretary of Environmental 36 Protection. 37 (d) One representative from Sierra Club Florida appointed 38 by the club. 39 (e) One representative from the Florida Home Builders 40 Association appointed by the association. 41 (f) One representative from the Florida Chamber of Commerce 42 appointed by the chamber. 43 (g) One representative from Associated Industries of 44 Florida appointed by the association. 45 (h) One member appointed by the Speaker of the House of 46 Representatives. 47 (i) One member appointed by the President of the Senate. 48 (j) One representative from each of the five water 49 management districts appointed by each district’s executive 50 director. 51 (3)(a) The council shall meet at least quarterly, and each 52 meeting within any one year must be held in a different location 53 in the state. Additional meetings may be held upon the call of 54 the chair. A majority of the members of the council constitutes 55 a quorum. Council meetings may be conducted by conference call, 56 teleconferencing, or similar technology. 57 (b) Members of the council shall serve for a term of 4 58 years. A vacancy occurring during a member’s term must be filled 59 in the same manner as the initial appointment. The council shall 60 be chaired by a member chosen by majority vote. 61 (c) The Department of Environmental Protection shall 62 provide the council with staff necessary to assist the council 63 in the performance of its duties. 64 (d) Members of the council shall serve without compensation 65 but are entitled to reimbursement of expenses as provided in s. 66 112.061. Reimbursements made pursuant to this paragraph may be 67 paid from appropriations provided to the Department of 68 Environmental Protection by the Legislature in the General 69 Appropriations Act. 70 (4) Recognizing that water is an essential public resource 71 that benefits the entire state and must be carefully managed to 72 ensure its sustainability, the Water Oversight and Planning 73 Council shall use the best science available to: 74 (a) Review and monitor regional water supply plans 75 developed by the water management districts under s. 373.709, 76 Florida Statutes. 77 (b) Use data provided by the water management districts and 78 others with peer-reviewed scientific data to: 79 1. Recommend 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year forecasting plans 80 to ensure the state has the appropriate quantities and quality 81 of water at the appropriate times of the year for people, 82 agriculture, and the protection and restoration of natural 83 systems. 84 2. Identify and inventory existing sources of potable 85 water. 86 3. Identify new sources of water for potable uses, 87 agricultural uses, industrial uses, and protection and 88 restoration of natural systems. 89 4. Identify the largest consumers of water by water 90 management district and overall statewide. 91 (c) Consolidate and compile existing water data supplied by 92 the water management districts and others with peer-reviewed 93 scientific data into a standardized format for creation of an 94 electronic water data center. The water data center shall be 95 housed within the Florida Geological Survey and be available to 96 the public. 97 (d) Building upon the reports previously submitted by the 98 Department of Environmental Protection, investigate techniques, 99 financial incentives, and regulatory mechanisms to promote or 100 require water conservation. 101 (e) Working with the Department of Education, investigate 102 ways to promote water conservation education and practices. 103 (f) Promote reuse of reclaimed water and treated wastewater 104 for nonpotable purposes, such as landscape irrigation and 105 farming, as appropriate. 106 (g) Review recommendations contained in the regional water 107 supply plans developed under s. 373.709, Florida Statutes. 108 (h) Assess mechanisms to ensure water management districts 109 expedite the protection and restoration of natural systems, 110 including by expanded use of reservations of water under s. 111 373.223(4), Florida Statutes. 112 (i) Investigate mechanisms to incentivize the construction 113 of technologies, such as desalination and reuse to produce new 114 sources of potable water. 115 (j) Review the impact of underground activity, including 116 drilling, hydraulic fracturing, chemical injection, mining, and 117 stormwater injection, which may impact or pollute the state’s 118 aquifers, surface waters, or natural systems. 119 (k) Randomly sample dredging projects from permits issued 120 by the water management districts to assess the impacts of 121 dredging activities on natural systems. 122 (l) With input from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation 123 Commission, develop recommendations to protect natural systems, 124 including lakes, springs, wetlands, marshes, wildlife habitats, 125 recreational sites, and streams. 126 (m) Make recommendations for improved management of beaches 127 and coastal systems, Everglades restoration, wetland and 128 submerged land protection, and techniques for beach 129 renourishment. 130 (5) By September 1 of each year, the council shall submit 131 its long-range plans developed pursuant to sub-subparagraph 132 (4)(b)1. to the Department of Environmental Protection, each of 133 the water management districts, the Governor, the President of 134 the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. 135 (6) Every other year, beginning on September 1, 2018, the 136 council shall submit its findings and recommendations to the 137 Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the 138 House of Representatives. 139 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.