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(1) The Legislature finds that:
(a) The proper role of the water management districts in water supply is primarily planning and water resource development, but this does not preclude them from providing assistance with water supply development.
(b) The proper role of local government, regional water supply authorities, and government-owned and privately owned water utilities in water supply is primarily water supply development, but this does not preclude them from providing assistance with water resource development.
(c) Water resource development and water supply development must receive priority attention, where needed, to increase the availability of sufficient water for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses and natural systems.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that:
(a) Sufficient water be available for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses and the natural systems, and that the adverse effects of competition for water supplies be avoided.
(b) Water management districts take the lead in identifying and implementing water resource development projects, and be responsible for securing necessary funding for regionally significant water resource development projects, including regionally significant projects that prevent or limit adverse water resource impacts, avoid competition among water users, or support the provision of new water supplies in order to meet a minimum flow or minimum water level or to implement a recovery or prevention strategy or water reservation.
(c) Local governments, regional water supply authorities, and government-owned and privately owned water utilities take the lead in securing funds for and implementing water supply development projects. Generally, direct beneficiaries of water supply development projects should pay the costs of the projects from which they benefit, and water supply development projects should continue to be paid for through local funding sources.
(d) Water supply development be conducted in coordination with water management district regional water supply planning and water resource development.
(3)(a) The water management districts shall fund and implement water resource development as defined in s. 373.019. The water management districts are encouraged to implement water resource development as expeditiously as possible in areas subject to regional water supply plans.
(b) Each governing board shall include in its annual budget submittals required under this chapter:
1. The amount of funds for each project in the annual funding plan developed pursuant to s. 373.536(6)(a)4.; and
2. The total amount needed for the fiscal year to implement water resource development projects, as prioritized in its regional water supply plans.
(4)(a) Water supply development projects that are consistent with the relevant regional water supply plans and that meet one or more of the following criteria shall receive priority consideration for state or water management district funding assistance:
1. The project supports establishment of a dependable, sustainable supply of water which is not otherwise financially feasible;
2. The project provides substantial environmental benefits by preventing or limiting adverse water resource impacts, but requires funding assistance to be economically competitive with other options; or
3. The project significantly implements reuse, storage, recharge, or conservation of water in a manner that contributes to the sustainability of regional water sources.
(b) Water supply development projects that meet the criteria in paragraph (a) and that meet one or more of the following additional criteria shall be given first consideration for state or water management district funding assistance:
1. The project brings about replacement of existing sources in order to help implement a minimum flow or minimum water level;
2. The project implements reuse that assists in the elimination of domestic wastewater ocean outfalls as provided in s. 403.086(9); or
3. The project reduces or eliminates the adverse effects of competition between legal users and the natural system.
(5) The water management districts shall promote expanded cost-share criteria for additional conservation practices, such as soil and moisture sensors and other irrigation improvements, water-saving equipment, and water-saving household fixtures, and software technologies that can achieve verifiable water conservation by providing water use information to utility customers.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Florida Statutes Title XXVIII. Natural Resources; Conservation, Reclamation, and Use § 373.705. Water resource development; water supply development - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/fl/title-xxviii-natural-resources-conservation-reclamation-and-use/fl-st-sect-373-705/
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