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.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.