PERMITTING OF CONSUMPTIVE USES OF WATER

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373.203 Definitions.–

(1) “Abandoned artesian well” is defined as an artesian well:

(a) That does not have a properly functioning valve;

(b) The use of which has been permanently discontinued;

(c) That does not meet current well construction standards;

(d) That is discharging water containing greater than 500 milligrams per liter of chlorides into a drinking water aquifer;

(e) That is in such a state of disrepair that it cannot be used for its intended purpose without having an adverse impact upon an aquifer which serves as a source of drinking water or which is likely to be such a source in the future; or

(f) That does not have proper flow control on or below the land surface.

(2) An “artesian well” is defined as an artificial hole in the ground from which water supplies may be obtained and which penetrates any water-bearing rock, the water in which is raised to the surface by natural flow, or which rises to an elevation above the top of the water-bearing bed. “Artesian wells” are defined further to include all holes, drilled as a source of water, that penetrate any water-bearing beds that are a part of the artesian water system of Florida, as determined by representatives of the Florida Geological Survey or the Department of Environmental Protection.

(3) “Plugging” is defined as plugging, capping, or otherwise controlling a well as deemed appropriate by the department or by the appropriate water management district.

(4) “Waste” is defined to be the causing, suffering, or permitting any water flowing from, or being pumped from, an artesian well to run into any river, creek, or other natural watercourse or channel, or into any bay or pond (unless used thereafter for the beneficial purposes of irrigation of land, mining, or other industrial purposes of domestic use), or into any street, road or highway, or upon the land of any person, or upon the public lands of the United States or of the state, unless it is used thereon for the beneficial purposes of the irrigation thereof, industrial purposes, domestic use, or the propagation of fish. The use of any water flowing from an artesian well for the irrigation of land shall be restricted to a minimum by the use of proper structural devices in the irrigation system.

CHAPTER 373

WATER RESOURCES

PART I

STATE WATER RESOURCE PLAN (ss. 373.012-373.200)

PART II

PERMITTING OF CONSUMPTIVE USES OF WATER (ss. 373.203-373.250)

PART III

REGULATION OF WELLS (ss. 373.302-373.342)

PART IV

MANAGEMENT AND STORAGE OF SURFACE WATERS (ss. 373.403-373.468)

PART V

FINANCE AND TAXATION (ss. 373.470-373.591)

PART VI

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS (ss. 373.603-373.71)

PART I

STATE WATER RESOURCE PLAN

373.012 Topographic mapping.

373.013 Short title.

373.016 Declaration of policy.

373.019 Definitions.

373.023 Scope and application.

373.026 General powers and duties of the department.

373.033 Saltwater barrier line.

373.036 Florida water plan; district water management plans.

373.0361 Regional water supply planning.

373.0391 Technical assistance to local governments.

373.0395 Groundwater basin resource availability inventory.

373.0397 Floridan and Biscayne aquifers; designation of prime groundwater recharge areas.

373.042 Minimum flows and levels.

373.0421 Establishment and implementation of minimum flows and levels.

373.043 Adoption and enforcement of rules by the department.

373.044 Rules; enforcement; availability of personnel rules.

373.046 Interagency agreements.

373.047 Cooperation between districts.

373.056 State agencies, counties, drainage districts, municipalities, or governmental agencies or public corporations authorized to convey or receive land from water management districts.

373.069 Creation of water management districts.

373.0691 Transfer of areas.

373.0693 Basins; basin boards.

373.0695 Duties of basin boards; authorized expenditures.

373.0697 Basin taxes.

373.0698 Creation and operation of basin boards; other laws superseded.

373.073 Governing board.

373.076 Vacancies in the governing board; removal from office.

373.079 Members of governing board; oath of office; staff.

373.0795 Severance pay for water management district employees.

373.083 General powers and duties of the governing board.

373.0831 Water resource development; water supply development.

373.084 District works, operation by other governmental agencies.

373.085 Use of works or land by other districts or private persons.

373.086 Providing for district works.

373.087 District works using aquifer for storage and supply.

373.088 Application fees for certain real estate transactions.

373.089 Sale or exchange of lands, or interests or rights in lands.

373.093 Lease of lands or interest in land and personal property.

373.096 Releases.

373.099 Execution of instruments.

373.103 Powers which may be vested in the governing board at the department’s discretion.

373.106 Permit required for construction involving underground formation.

373.107 Citation of rule.

373.109 Permit application fees.

373.113 Adoption of rules by the governing board.

373.1131 Consolidated action on permits.

373.114 Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission; review of district rules and orders; department review of district rules.

373.116 Procedure for water use and impoundment construction permit applications.

373.117 Certification by professional engineer.

373.118 General permits.

373.119 Administrative enforcement procedures; orders.

373.123 Penalty.

373.129 Maintenance of actions.

373.136 Enforcement of regulations and orders.

373.139 Acquisition of real property.

373.1391 Management of real property.

373.1395 Limitation on liability of water management district with respect to areas made available to the public for recreational purposes without charge.

373.1401 Management of lands of water management districts.

373.145 Information program regarding hydrologic conditioning and consumption of major surface and groundwater sources.

373.146 Publication of notices, process, and papers.

373.149 Existing districts preserved.

373.1501 South Florida Water Management District as local sponsor.

373.1502 Regulation of comprehensive plan project components.

373.171 Rules.

373.1725 Notice of intent by publication.

373.175 Declaration of water shortage; emergency orders.

373.185 Local Xeriscape ordinances.

373.196 Legislative findings.

373.1961 Water production.

373.1962 Regional water supply authorities.

373.1963 Assistance to West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority.

373.199 Florida Forever Water Management District Work Plan.

373.1995 Florida Forever performance measures.

373.200 Seminole Tribe Water Rights Compact.

373.012 Topographic mapping.–

(1) In order to accelerate topographic mapping in this state by the United States Geological Survey, the Department of Transportation is hereby authorized and directed to set aside, to pledge, and to make available annually out of its State Transportation Trust Fund the sum of $30,000; and the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund is hereby authorized and directed to set aside, to pledge and to make available annually out of the Land Acquisition Trust Fund the sum of $10,000; and the South Florida Water Management District out of its funds to be derived out of the proceeds of special assessments of its flood control taxes, is authorized and directed to set aside, to pledge and to make available annually such sum as may be required to meet the needs for topographic mapping of areas affecting said district. Such sums shall be delivered to the Treasurer of the United States or to other proper officer, to be applied by the Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, as to said Department of Transportation and to said Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, toward the payment of not exceeding one-half the cost of standard topographic mapping in this state conducted by the United States Geological Survey and as to said flood control district to be applied toward the payment of such proportion or part of such cost as said district may determine. Provided, however, that said sums authorized in this section for the Department of Transportation and for the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund shall not prevent either of said agencies from providing additional amounts for topographic mapping of areas which either agency may consider of priority status in the interest of said agencies.

(2) To further accelerate the rate at which topographic mapping may be carried on in Florida, any state agency having funds available for the purpose, any county or drainage or reclamation or flood control district organized under the laws of this state, any person, firm or corporation, is authorized to contribute to the cost of such mapping by depositing with the Department of Transportation such amounts as may be determined to be applied in like manner toward topographic mapping in this state as set forth in subsection (1).

(3) The Department of Transportation, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of this state, and the South Florida Water Management District are hereby authorized to make such arrangements or enter into such agreements with the United States as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.

(4) The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, as and when copies of topographic maps are made available to it, shall file such maps in the same manner as other maps and plats of land surveys by the United States, and the maps shall be available for examination by any interested person.

History.–ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, ch. 57-775; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 1, ch. 65-475; ss. 23, 27, 35, ch. 69-106; ss. 2, 3, ch. 73-57; s. 35, ch. 79-65.

373.013 Short title.–This chapter shall be known as the “Florida Water Resources Act of 1972.”

History.–s. 1, part I, ch. 72-299.

373.016 Declaration of policy.–

(1) The waters in the state are among its basic resources. Such waters have not heretofore been conserved or fully controlled so as to realize their full beneficial use.

(2) The department and the governing board shall take into account cumulative impacts on water resources and manage those resources in a manner to ensure their sustainability.

(3) It is further declared to be the policy of the Legislature:

(a) To provide for the management of water and related land resources;

(b) To promote the conservation, replenishment, recapture, enhancement, development, and proper utilization of surface and ground water;

(c) To develop and regulate dams, impoundments, reservoirs, and other works and to provide water storage for beneficial purposes;

(d) To promote the availability of sufficient water for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses and natural systems;

(e) To prevent damage from floods, soil erosion, and excessive drainage;

(f) To minimize degradation of water resources caused by the discharge of stormwater;

(g) To preserve natural resources, fish, and wildlife;

(h) To promote the public policy set forth in s. 403.021;

(i) To promote recreational development, protect public lands, and assist in maintaining the navigability of rivers and harbors; and

(j) Otherwise to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of this state.

In implementing this chapter, the department and the governing board shall construe and apply the policies in this subsection as a whole, and no specific policy is to be construed or applied in isolation from the other policies in this subsection.

(4)(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 section 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.

(5) The Legislature recognizes that the water resource problems of the state vary from region to region, both in magnitude and complexity. It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to vest in the Department of Environmental Protection or its successor agency the power and responsibility to accomplish the conservation, protection, management, and control of the waters of the state and with sufficient flexibility and discretion to accomplish these ends through delegation of appropriate powers to the various water management districts. The department may exercise any power herein authorized to be exercised by a water management district; however, to the greatest extent practicable, such power should be delegated to the governing board of a water management district.

(6) It is further declared the policy of the Legislature that each water management district, to the extent consistent with effective management practices, shall approximate its fiscal and budget policies and procedures to those of the state.

History.–s. 2, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 36, ch. 79-65; s. 70, ch. 83-310; s. 5, ch. 89-279; s. 20, ch. 93-213; s. 250, ch. 94-356; s. 1, ch. 97-160; s. 1, ch. 98-88.

373.019 Definitions.–When appearing in this chapter or in any rule, regulation, or order adopted pursuant thereto, the following words shall, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, mean:

(1) “Coastal waters” means waters of the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of the state.

(2) “Department” means the Department of Environmental Protection or its successor agency or agencies.

(3) “District water management plan” means the regional water resource plan developed by a governing board under s. 373.036.

(4) “Domestic use” means the use of water for the individual personal household purposes of drinking, bathing, cooking, or sanitation. All other uses shall not be considered domestic.

(5) “Florida water plan” means the state-level water resource plan developed by the department under s. 373.036.

(6) “Governing board” means the governing board of a water management district.

(7) “Groundwater” means water beneath the surface of the ground, whether or not flowing through known and definite channels.

(8) “Impoundment” means any lake, reservoir, pond, or other containment of surface water occupying a bed or depression in the earth’s surface and having a discernible shoreline.

(9) “Independent scientific peer review” means the review of scientific data, theories, and methodologies by a panel of independent, recognized experts in the fields of hydrology, hydrogeology, limnology, and other scientific disciplines relevant to the matters being reviewed under s. 373.042.

(10) “Nonregulated use” means any use of water which is exempted from regulation by the provisions of this chapter.

(11) “Other watercourse” means any canal, ditch, or other artificial watercourse in which water usually flows in a defined bed or channel. It is not essential that the flowing be uniform or uninterrupted.

(12) “Person” means any and all persons, natural or artificial, including any individual, firm, association, organization, partnership, business trust, corporation, company, the United States of America, and the state and all political subdivisions, regions, districts, municipalities, and public agencies thereof. The enumeration herein is not intended to be exclusive or exhaustive.

(13) “Reasonable-beneficial use” means the use of water in such quantity as is necessary for economic and efficient utilization for a purpose and in a manner which is both reasonable and consistent with the public interest.

(14) “Regional water supply plan” means a detailed water supply plan developed by a governing board under s. 373.0361.

(15) “Stream” means any river, creek, slough, or natural watercourse in which water usually flows in a defined bed or channel. It is not essential that the flowing be uniform or uninterrupted. The fact that some part of the bed or channel has been dredged or improved does not prevent the watercourse from being a stream.

(16) “Surface water” means water upon the surface of the earth, whether contained in bounds created naturally or artificially or diffused. Water from natural springs shall be classified as surface water when it exits from the spring onto the earth’s surface.

(17) “Water” or “waters in the state” means any and all water on or beneath the surface of the ground or in the atmosphere, including natural or artificial watercourses, lakes, ponds, or diffused surface water and water percolating, standing, or flowing beneath the surface of the ground, as well as all coastal waters within the jurisdiction of the state.

(18) “Water management district” means any flood control, resource management, or water management district operating under the authority of this chapter.

(19) “Water resource development” means the formulation and implementation of regional water resource management strategies, including the collection and evaluation of surface water and groundwater data; structural and nonstructural programs to protect and manage water resources; the development of regional water resource implementation programs; the construction, operation, and maintenance of major public works facilities to provide for flood control, surface and underground water storage, and groundwater recharge augmentation; and related technical assistance to local governments and to government-owned and privately owned water utilities.

(20) “Water resource implementation rule” means the rule authorized by s. 373.036, which sets forth goals, objectives, and guidance for the development and review of programs, rules, and plans relating to water resources, based on statutory policies and directives. The waters of the state are among its most basic resources. Such waters should be managed to conserve and protect water resources and to realize the full beneficial use of these resources.

(21) “Water supply development” means the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of public or private facilities for water collection, production, treatment, transmission, or distribution for sale, resale, or end use.

(22) For the sole purpose of serving as the basis for the unified statewide methodology adopted pursuant to s. 373.421(1), as amended, “wetlands” means those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater at a frequency and a duration sufficient to support, and under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soils. Soils present in wetlands generally are classified as hydric or alluvial, or possess characteristics that are associated with reducing soil conditions. The prevalent vegetation in wetlands generally consists of facultative or obligate hydrophytic macrophytes that are typically adapted to areas having soil conditions described above. These species, due to morphological, physiological, or reproductive adaptations, have the ability to grow, reproduce, or persist in aquatic environments or anaerobic soil conditions. Florida wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bayheads, bogs, cypress domes and strands, sloughs, wet prairies, riverine swamps and marshes, hydric seepage slopes, tidal marshes, mangrove swamps and other similar areas. Florida wetlands generally do not include longleaf or slash pine flatwoods with an understory dominated by saw palmetto. Upon legislative ratification of the methodology adopted pursuant to s. 373.421(1), as amended, the limitation contained herein regarding the purpose of this definition shall cease to be effective.

(23) “Works of the district” means those projects and works, including, but not limited to, structures, impoundments, wells, streams, and other watercourses, together with the appurtenant facilities and accompanying lands, which have been officially adopted by the governing board of the district as works of the district.

History.–s. 3, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 37, ch. 79-65; s. 1, ch. 80-259; s. 5, ch. 82-101; s. 6, ch. 89-279; s. 21, ch. 93-213; s. 15, ch. 94-122; s. 251, ch. 94-356; s. 1, ch. 96-339; s. 1, ch. 96-370; s. 2, ch. 97-160.

373.023 Scope and application.–

(1) All waters in the state are subject to regulation under the provisions of this chapter unless specifically exempted by general or special law.

(2) No state or local government agency may enforce, except with respect to water quality, any special act, rule, regulation, or order affecting the waters in the state controlled under the provisions of this act, whether enacted or promulgated before or after the effective date of this act, until such special act, rule, regulation, or order has been filed with the department. However, any agency empowered to issue emergency orders affecting such waters may enforce such emergency orders prior to filing such orders with the department. Any rule or regulation in effect on the effective date of this act which is not filed with the department within 180 days after the effective date of this act shall be deemed repealed if the notice hereinafter called for shall have been received by the state or local agency issuing such rule or regulation. The department is directed to notify by certified or registered mail every state or local government agency known to be authorized to enforce any special act, rule, regulation or order affecting the waters of the state regarding the provisions of this subsection. The department is directed to review periodically such special acts, rules, regulations, and orders and to recommend to the appropriate agencies or the Legislature the amendment, consolidation, or revocation of inconsistencies or duplications therein.

(3) Any state or local governmental agency or other person having the power of eminent domain or condemnation under the laws of this state must notify the department or the governing board of a water management district prior to exercising that power.

History.–s. 4, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 1, ch. 73-190.

373.026 General powers and duties of the department.–The department, or its successor agency, shall be responsible for the administration of this chapter at the state level. However, it is the policy of the state that, to the greatest extent possible, the department may enter into interagency or interlocal agreements with any other state agency, any water management district, or any local government conducting programs related to or materially affecting the water resources of the state. All such agreements shall be subject to the provisions of s. 373.046. In addition to its other powers and duties, the department shall, to the greatest extent possible:

(1) Conduct, independently or in cooperation with other agencies, topographic surveys, research, and investigations into all aspects of water use and water quality.

(2) Be the central repository for all scientific and factual information generated by local governments, water management districts, and state agencies relating to water resources and, to that end, collect, maintain, and make available such information to public and private users within the state and assist in the acquisition of scientific and factual data from water management districts, local governments, and the United States Geological Survey. All local governments, water management districts, and state agencies are directed to cooperate with the department or its agents in making available to it for this purpose such scientific and factual data as they may have, generate, or possess, as the department deems necessary. The department is authorized to prescribe the format and ensure quality control for all data collected or submitted.

(a) Additionally, the department shall annually publish a bibliography of all water resource investigations conducted in the state.

(b) The department is additionally directed to establish priorities for the development of a computerized groundwater database upon the following principles:

1. Regions deemed prone to groundwater contamination due to land use.

2. Regions that have an identifiable direct connection with any confined aquifer utilized as a drinking water aquifer.

3. Any region dependent on a single-source aquifer.

(3) Cooperate with other state agencies, water management districts, and regional, county, or other local governmental organizations or agencies created for the purpose of utilizing and conserving the waters in this state; assist such organizations and agencies in coordinating the use of their facilities; and participate in an exchange of ideas, knowledge, and data with such organizations and agencies. For this purpose, the department may maintain an advisory staff of experts.

(4) Prepare and provide for dissemination to the public of current and useful information relating to the water resources of the state.

(5) Identify by continuing study those areas of the state where saltwater intrusion is a threat to freshwater resources and report its findings to the water management districts, boards of county commissioners, and public concerned.

(6) Conduct, either independently or in cooperation with any person or governmental agency, a program of study, research, and experimentation and evaluation in the field of weather modification.

(7) Exercise general supervisory authority over all water management districts. The department may exercise any power herein authorized to be exercised by a water management district.

(8)(a) Provide such coordination, cooperation, or approval necessary to the effectuation of any plan or project of the Federal Government in connection with or concerning the waters in the state. Unless otherwise provided by state or federal law, the department shall, subject to confirmation by the Legislature, have the power to approve or disapprove such federal plans or projects on behalf of the state. If such plan or project is for a coastal inlet, the department shall first determine the impact of the plan or project on the sandy beaches in the state. If the department determines that the plan will have a significant adverse impact on the sandy beaches, the department may not approve the plan or project unless it is revised to mitigate those impacts.

(b) To ensure to the greatest extent possible that project components will go forward as planned, the department shall collaborate with the South Florida Water Management District in implementing the comprehensive plan as defined in s. 373.470(2)(a). Before any project component is submitted to Congress for authorization or receives an appropriation of state funds, the department must approve, or approve with amendments, each project component within 60 days following formal submittal of the project component to the department. Department approval shall be based upon a determination of the South Florida Water Management District’s compliance with s. 373.1501(5). Once a project component is approved, the South Florida Water Management District shall provide to the Joint Legislative Committee on Everglades Oversight a schedule for implementing the project component, the estimated total cost of the project component, any existing federal or nonfederal credits, the estimated remaining federal and nonfederal share of costs, and an estimate of the amount of state funds that will be needed to implement the project component. All requests for an appropriation of state funds needed to implement the project component shall be submitted to the department, and such requests shall be included in the department’s annual request to the Governor.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), the use of state funds for land purchases from willing sellers is authorized for projects within the South Florida Water Management District’s approved 5-year plan of acquisition pursuant to s. 373.59 or within the South Florida Water Management District’s approved Florida Forever water management district work plan pursuant to s. 373.199.

(d) The Executive Office of the Governor, pursuant to its duties under s. 373.536(5) to approve or disapprove, in whole or in part, the budget of each water management district, shall review all proposed expenditures for project components in the district’s budget.

(e) The department, subject to confirmation by the Legislature, shall act on behalf of the state in the negotiation and consummation of any agreement or compact with another state or states concerning waters of the state.

(9)(a) Hold annually a conference on water resources developmental programs. Each agency, commission, district, municipality, or political subdivision of the state responsible for a specific water resources development program requiring federal assistance shall present at such conference its programs and projects and the needs thereof. Notice of the time and place of the annual conference on water resources developmental programs shall be extended by mail at least 30 days prior to the date of such conference to any person who has filed a written request for notification with the department. Adequate opportunity shall be afforded for participation at the conference by interested members of the general public.

(b) Upon termination of the water conference, the department shall select those projects for presentation in the Florida program of public works which best represent the public welfare and interest of the people of the state as required for the proper development, use, conservation, and protection of the waters of the state and land resources affected thereby. Thereafter, the department shall present to the appropriate committees and agencies of the Federal Government a program of public works for Florida, requesting authorization for funds for each project.

History.–s. 5, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 4, ch. 74-114; s. 38, ch. 79-65; s. 2, ch. 83-310; s. 11, ch. 86-138; s. 21, ch. 87-97; s. 7, ch. 89-279; s. 252, ch. 94-356; s. 26, ch. 97-160; s. 2, ch. 99-143; s. 1, ch. 2001-172.

373.033 Saltwater barrier line.–

(1) The department may, at the request of the board of county commissioners of any county, at the request of the governing board of any water management district, or any municipality or water district responsible for the protection of a public water supply, or, having determined by adoption of an appropriate resolution that saltwater intrusion has become a matter of emergency proportions, by its own initiative, establish generally along the seacoast, inland from the seashore and within the limits of the area within which the petitioning board has jurisdiction, a saltwater barrier line inland of which no canal shall be constructed or enlarged, and no natural stream shall be deepened or enlarged, which shall discharge into tidal waters without a dam, control structure or spillway at or seaward of the saltwater barrier line, which shall prevent the movement of salt water inland of the saltwater barrier line. Provided, however, that the department is authorized, in cases where saltwater intrusion is not a problem, to waive the requirement of a barrier structure by specific permit to construct a canal crossing the saltwater barrier line without a protective device and provided, further that the agency petitioning for the establishment of the saltwater barrier line shall concur in the waiver.

(2) Application by a board of county commissioners or by the governing board of a water management district, a municipality or a water district for the establishment of a saltwater barrier line shall be made by adoption of an appropriate resolution, agreeing to:

(a) Reimburse the department the cost of necessary investigation, including, but not limited to, subsurface exploration by drilling, to determine the proper location of the saltwater barrier line in that county or in all or part of the district over which the applying agency has jurisdiction.

(b) Require compliance with the provisions of this law by county or district forces under their control; by those individuals or corporations filing plats for record and by individuals, corporations or agencies seeking authority to discharge surface or subsurface drainage into tidal waters.

(3) The board of county commissioners of any county or the governing board of any water management district, municipality or water district desiring to establish a saltwater barrier line is authorized to reimburse the department for any expense entailed in making an investigation to determine the proper location of the saltwater barrier line, from any funds available to them for general administrative purposes.

(4) The department, any board of county commissioners, and the governing board of any water management district, municipality, or water district having competent jurisdiction over an area in which a saltwater barrier is established shall be charged with the enforcement of the provisions of this section, and authority for the maintenance of actions set forth in s. 373.129 shall apply to this section.

(5) The board of county commissioners of a county, or the governing board of a water management district, a municipality, or a water district having jurisdiction over an area in which a saltwater barrier line is established, may expend funds from any available source for the purpose of constructing saltwater barrier dams, dikes, and spillways within existing canals and streams in conformity with the purpose and intent of the board in establishing the saltwater barrier line.

History.–s. 2, ch. 63-210; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 14, ch. 78-95; s. 40, ch. 79-65; s. 85, ch. 79-164; s. 10, ch. 2000-212.

Note.–Former s. 373.194.

373.036 Florida water plan; district water management plans.–

(1) FLORIDA WATER PLAN.–In cooperation with the water management districts, regional water supply authorities, and others, the department shall develop the Florida water plan. The Florida water plan shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) The programs and activities of the department related to water supply, water quality, flood protection and floodplain management, and natural systems.

(b) The water quality standards of the department.

(c) The district water management plans.

(d) Goals, objectives, and guidance for the development and review of programs, rules, and plans relating to water resources, based on statutory policies and directives. The state water policy rule, renamed the water resource implementation rule pursuant to s. 373.019(20), shall serve as this part of the plan. Amendments or additions to this part of the Florida water plan shall be adopted by the department as part of the water resource implementation rule. In accordance with s. 373.114, the department shall review rules of the water management districts for consistency with this rule. Amendments to the water resource implementation rule must be adopted by the secretary of the department and be submitted to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives within 7 days after publication in the Florida Administrative Weekly. Amendments shall not become effective until the conclusion of the next regular session of the Legislature following their adoption.

(2) DISTRICT WATER MANAGEMENT PLANS.–

(a) Each governing board shall develop a district water management plan for water resources within its region, which plan addresses water supply, water quality, flood protection and floodplain management, and natural systems. The district water management plan shall be based on at least a 20-year planning period, shall be developed and revised in cooperation with other agencies, regional water supply authorities, units of government, and interested parties, and shall be updated at least once every 5 years. The governing board shall hold a public hearing at least 30 days in advance of completing the development or revision of the district water management plan.

(b) The district water management plan shall include, but not be limited to:

1. The scientific methodologies for establishing minimum flows and levels under s. 373.042, and all established minimum flows and levels.

2. Identification of one or more water supply planning regions that singly or together encompass the entire district.

3. Technical data and information prepared under ss. 373.0391 and 373.0395.

4. A districtwide water supply assessment, to be completed no later than July 1, 1998, which determines for each water supply planning region:

a. Existing legal uses, reasonably anticipated future needs, and existing and reasonably anticipated sources of water and conservation efforts; and

b. Whether existing and reasonably anticipated sources of water and conservation efforts are adequate to supply water for all existing legal uses and reasonably anticipated future needs and to sustain the water resources and related natural systems.

5. Any completed regional water supply plans.

(c) If necessary for implementation, the governing board shall adopt by rule or order relevant portions of the district water management plan, to the extent of its statutory authority.

(d) In the formulation of the district water management plan, the governing board shall give due consideration to:

1. The attainment of maximum reasonable-beneficial use of water resources.

2. The maximum economic development of the water resources consistent with other uses.

3. The management of water resources for such purposes as environmental protection, drainage, flood control, and water storage.

4. The quantity of water available for application to a reasonable-beneficial use.

5. The prevention of wasteful, uneconomical, impractical, or unreasonable uses of water resources.

6. Presently exercised domestic use and permit rights.

7. The preservation and enhancement of the water quality of the state.

8. The state water resources policy as expressed by this chapter.

(3) The department and governing board shall give careful consideration to the requirements of public recreation and to the protection and procreation of fish and wildlife. The department or governing board may prohibit or restrict other future uses on certain designated bodies of water which may be inconsistent with these objectives.

(4) The governing board may designate certain uses in connection with a particular source of supply which, because of the nature of the activity or the amount of water required, would constitute an undesirable use for which the governing board may deny a permit.

(5) The governing board may designate certain uses in connection with a particular source of supply which, because of the nature of the activity or the amount of water required, would result in an enhancement or improvement of the water resources of the area. Such uses shall be preferred over other uses in the event of competing applications under the permitting systems authorized by this chapter.

(6) The department, in cooperation with the Executive Office of the Governor, or its successor agency, may add to the Florida water plan any other information, directions, or objectives it deems necessary or desirable for the guidance of the governing boards or other agencies in the administration and enforcement of this chapter.

History.–s. 6, part I, ch. 72-299; ss. 2, 3, ch. 73-190; s. 122, ch. 79-190; s. 3, ch. 97-160; s. 7, ch. 98-88; s. 164, ch. 99-13.

373.0361 Regional water supply planning.–

(1) By October 1, 1998, the governing board shall initiate water supply planning for each water supply planning region identified in the district water management plan under s. 373.036, where it determines that sources of water are not adequate for the planning period to supply water for all existing and projected reasonable-beneficial uses and to sustain the water resources and related natural systems. The planning must be conducted in an open public process, in coordination and cooperation with local governments, regional water supply authorities, government-owned and privately owned water utilities, self-suppliers, and other affected and interested parties. A determination by the governing board that initiation of a regional water supply plan for a specific planning region is not needed pursuant to this section shall be subject to s. 120.569. The governing board shall reevaluate such a determination at least once every 5 years and shall initiate a regional water supply plan, if needed, pursuant to this subsection.

(2) Each regional water supply plan shall be based on at least a 20-year planning period and shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) A water supply development component that includes:

1. A quantification of the water supply needs for all existing and reasonably projected future uses within the planning horizon. The level-of-certainty planning goal associated with identifying the water supply needs of existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses shall be based upon meeting those needs for a 1-in-10-year drought event.

2. A list of water source options for water supply development, including traditional and alternative sources, from which local government, government-owned and privately owned utilities, self-suppliers, and others may choose, which will exceed the needs identified in subparagraph 1.

3. For each option listed in subparagraph 2., the estimated amount of water available for use and the estimated costs of and potential sources of funding for water supply development.

4. A list of water supply development projects that meet the criteria in s. 373.0831(4).

(b) A water resource development component that includes:

1. A listing of those water resource development projects that support water supply development.

2. For each water resource development project listed:

a. An estimate of the amount of water to become available through the project.

b. The timetable for implementing or constructing the project and the estimated costs for implementing, operating, and maintaining the project.

c. Sources of funding and funding needs.

d. Who will implement the project and how it will be implemented.

(c) The recovery and prevention strategy described in s. 373.0421(2).

(d) A funding strategy for water resource development projects, which shall be reasonable and sufficient to pay the cost of constructing or implementing all of the listed projects.

(e) Consideration of how the options addressed in paragraphs (a) and (b) serve the public interest or save costs overall by preventing the loss of natural resources or avoiding greater future expenditures for water resource development or water supply development. However, unless adopted by rule, these considerations do not constitute final agency action.

(f) The technical data and information applicable to the planning region which are contained in the district water management plan and are necessary to support the regional water supply plan.

(g) The minimum flows and levels established for water resources within the planning region.

(3) Regional water supply plans initiated or completed by July 1, 1997, shall be revised, if necessary, to include a water supply development component and a water resource development component as described in paragraphs (2)(a) and (b).

(4) Governing board approval of a regional water supply plan shall not be subject to the rulemaking requirements of chapter 120. However, any portion of an approved regional water supply plan which affects the substantial interests of a party shall be subject to s. 120.569.

(5) By November 15, 1997, and annually thereafter, the department shall submit to the Governor and the Legislature a report on the status of regional water supply planning in each district. The report shall include:

(a) A compilation of the estimated costs of and potential sources of funding for water resource development and water supply development projects, as identified in the water management district regional water supply plans.

(b) A description of each district’s progress toward achieving its water resource development objectives, as directed by s. 373.0831(3), including the district’s implementation of its 5-year water resource development work program.

(6) Nothing contained in the water supply development component of the district water management plan shall be construed to require local governments, government-owned or privately owned water utilities, self-suppliers, or other water suppliers to select a water supply development option identified in the component merely because it is identified in the plan. However, this subsection shall not be construed to limit the authority of the department or governing board under part II.

History.–s. 4, ch. 97-160.

373.0391 Technical assistance to local governments.–

(1) The water management districts shall assist local governments in the development and future revision of local government comprehensive plan elements or public facilities report as required by s. 189.415, related to water resource issues.

(2) By July 1, 1991, each water management district shall prepare and provide information and data to assist local governments in the preparation and implementation of their local government comprehensive plans or public facilities report as required by s. 189.415, whichever is applicable. Such information and data shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) All information and data required in a public facilities report pursuant to s. 189.415.

(b) A description of regulations, programs, and schedules implemented by the district.

(c) Identification of regulations, programs, and schedules undertaken or proposed by the district to further the State Comprehensive Plan.

(d) A description of surface water basins, including regulatory jurisdictions, flood-prone areas, existing and projected water quality in water management district operated facilities, as well as surface water runoff characteristics and topography regarding flood plains, wetlands, and recharge areas.

(e) A description of groundwater characteristics, including existing and planned wellfield sites, existing and anticipated cones of influence, highly productive groundwater areas, aquifer recharge areas, deep well injection zones, contaminated areas, an assessment of regional water resource needs and sources for the next 20 years, and water quality.

(f) The identification of existing and potential water management district land acquisitions.

(g) Information reflecting the minimum flows for surface watercourses to avoid harm to water resources or the ecosystem and information reflecting the minimum water levels for aquifers to avoid harm to water resources or the ecosystem.

History.–s. 55, ch. 89-169; s. 8, ch. 89-279.

373.0395 Groundwater basin resource availability inventory.–Each water management district shall develop a groundwater basin resource availability inventory covering those areas deemed appropriate by the governing board. This inventory shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) A hydrogeologic study to define the groundwater basin and its associated recharge areas.

(2) Site specific areas in the basin deemed prone to contamination or overdraft resulting from current or projected development.

(3) Prime groundwater recharge areas.

(4) Criteria to establish minimum seasonal surface and ground water levels.

(5) Areas suitable for future water resource development within the groundwater basin.

(6) Existing sources of wastewater discharge suitable for reuse as well as the feasibility of integrating coastal wellfields.

(7) Potential quantities of water available for consumptive uses.

Upon completion, a copy of the groundwater basin availability inventory shall be submitted to each affected municipality, county, and regional planning agency. This inventory shall be reviewed by the affected municipalities, counties, and regional planning agencies for consistency with the local government comprehensive plan and shall be considered in future revisions of such plan. It is the intent of the Legislature that future growth and development planning reflect the limitations of the available groundwater or other available water supplies.

History.–s. 6, ch. 82-101.

373.0397 Floridan and Biscayne aquifers; designation of prime groundwater recharge areas.–Upon preparation of an inventory of prime groundwater recharge areas for the Floridan or Biscayne aquifers as a part of the requirements of s. 373.0395(3), but prior to adoption by the governing board, the water management district shall publish a legal notice of public hearing on the designated areas for the Floridan and Biscayne aquifers, with a map delineating the boundaries of the areas, in newspapers defined in chapter 50 as having general circulation within the area to be affected. The notice shall be at least one-fourth page and shall read as follows:

NOTICE OF PRIME RECHARGE
AREA DESIGNATION

The (name of taxing authority) proposes to designate specific land areas as areas of prime recharge to the (name of aquifer) Aquifer.

All concerned citizens are invited to attend a public hearing on the proposed designation to be held on (date and time) at (meeting place) .

A map of the affected areas follows.

The governing board of the water management district shall adopt a designation of prime groundwater recharge areas to the Floridan and Biscayne aquifers by rule within 120 days after the public hearing, subject to the provisions of chapter 120.

History.–s. 2, ch. 85-42.

373.042 Minimum flows and levels.–

(1) Within each section, or the water management district as a whole, the department or the governing board shall establish the following:

(a) Minimum flow for all surface watercourses in the area. The minimum flow for a given watercourse shall be the limit at which further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water resources or ecology of the area.

(b) Minimum water level. The minimum water level shall be the level of groundwater in an aquifer and the level of surface water at which further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water resources of the area.

The minimum flow and minimum water level shall be calculated by the department and the governing board using the best information available. When appropriate, minimum flows and levels may be calculated to reflect seasonal variations. The department and the governing board shall also consider, and at their discretion may provide for, the protection of nonconsumptive uses in the establishment of minimum flows and levels.

(2) By November 15, 1997, and annually thereafter, each water management district shall submit to the department for review and approval a priority list and schedule for the establishment of minimum flows and levels for surface watercourses, aquifers, and surface waters within the district. The priority list shall also identify those water bodies for which the district will voluntarily undertake independent scientific peer review. By January 1, 1998, and annually thereafter, each water management district shall publish its approved priority list and schedule in the Florida Administrative Weekly. The priority list shall be based upon the importance of the waters to the state or region and the existence of or potential for significant harm to the water resources or ecology of the state or region, and shall include those waters which are experiencing or may reasonably be expected to experience adverse impacts. By January 1, 2003, each water management district’s priority list and schedule shall include all first magnitude springs, and all second magnitude springs within state or federally owned lands purchased for conservation purposes. The specific schedule for establishment of spring minimum flows and levels shall be commensurate with the existing or potential threat to spring flow from consumptive uses. Springs within the Suwannee River Water Management District, or second magnitude springs in other areas of the state, need not be included on the priority list if the water management district submits a report to the Department of Environmental Protection demonstrating that adverse impacts are not now occurring nor are reasonably expected to occur from consumptive uses during the next 20 years. The priority list and schedule shall not be subject to any proceeding pursuant to chapter 120. Except as provided in subsection (3), the development of a priority list and compliance with the schedule for the establishment of minimum flows and levels pursuant to this subsection shall satisfy the requirements of subsection (1).

(3) Minimum flows or levels for priority waters in the counties of Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas shall be established by October 1, 1997. Where a minimum flow or level for the priority waters within those counties has not been established by the applicable deadline, the secretary of the department shall, if requested by the governing body of any local government within whose jurisdiction the affected waters are located, establish the minimum flow or level in accordance with the procedures established by this section. The department’s reasonable costs in establishing a minimum flow or level shall, upon request of the secretary, be reimbursed by the district.

(4)(a) Upon written request to the department or governing board by a substantially affected person, or by decision of the department or governing board, prior to the establishment of a minimum flow or level and prior to the filing of any petition for administrative hearing related to the minimum flow or level, all scientific or technical data, methodologies, and models, including all scientific and technical assumptions employed in each model, used to establish a minimum flow or level shall be subject to independent scientific peer review. Independent scientific peer review means review by a panel of independent, recognized experts in the fields of hydrology, hydrogeology, limnology, biology, and other scientific disciplines, to the extent relevant to the establishment of the minimum flow or level.

(b) If independent scientific peer review is requested, it shall be initiated at an appropriate point agreed upon by the department or governing board and the person or persons requesting the peer review. If no agreement is reached, the department or governing board shall determine the appropriate point at which to initiate peer review. The members of the peer review panel shall be selected within 60 days of the point of initiation by agreement of the department or governing board and the person or persons requesting the peer review. If the panel is not selected within the 60-day period, the time limitation may be waived upon the agreement of all parties. If no waiver occurs, the department or governing board may proceed to select the peer review panel. The cost of the peer review shall be borne equally by the district and each party requesting the peer review, to the extent economically feasible. The panel shall submit a final report to the governing board within 120 days after its selection unless the deadline is waived by agreement of all parties. Initiation of peer review pursuant to this paragraph shall toll any applicable deadline under chapter 120 or other law or district rule regarding permitting, rulemaking, or administrative hearings, until 60 days following submittal of the final report. Any such deadlines shall also be tolled for 60 days following withdrawal of the request or following agreement of the parties that peer review will no longer be pursued. The department or the governing board shall give significant weight to the final report of the peer review panel when establishing the minimum flow or level.

(c) If the final data, methodologies, and models, including all scientific and technical assumptions employed in each model upon which a minimum flow or level is based, have undergone peer review pursuant to this subsection, by request or by decision of the department or governing board, no further peer review shall be required with respect to that minimum flow or level.

(d) No minimum flow or level adopted by rule or formally noticed for adoption on or before May 2, 1997, shall be subject to the peer review provided for in this subsection.

(5) If a petition for administrative hearing is filed under chapter 120 challenging the establishment of a minimum flow or level, the report of an independent scientific peer review conducted under subsection (4) is admissible as evidence in the final hearing, and the administrative law judge must render the order within 120 days after the filing of the petition. The time limit for rendering the order shall not be extended except by agreement of all the parties. To the extent that the parties agree to the findings of the peer review, they may stipulate that those findings be incorporated as findings of fact in the final order.

History.–s. 6, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 2, ch. 73-190; s. 2, ch. 96-339; s. 5, ch. 97-160; s. 52, ch. 2002-1; s. 1, ch. 2002-15.

Note.–Former s. 373.036(7).

373.0421 Establishment and implementation of minimum flows and levels.–

(1) ESTABLISHMENT.–

(a) Considerations.–When establishing minimum flows and levels pursuant to s. 373.042, the department or governing board shall consider changes and structural alterations to watersheds, surface waters, and aquifers and the effects such changes or alterations have had, and the constraints such changes or alterations have placed, on the hydrology of an affected watershed, surface water, or aquifer, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall allow significant harm as provided by s. 373.042(1) caused by withdrawals.

(b) Exclusions.–

1. The Legislature recognizes that certain water bodies no longer serve their historical hydrologic functions. The Legislature also recognizes that recovery of these water bodies to historical hydrologic conditions may not be economically or technically feasible, and that such recovery effort could cause adverse environmental or hydrologic impacts. Accordingly, the department or governing board may determine that setting a minimum flow or level for such a water body based on its historical condition is not appropriate.

2. The department or the governing board is not required to establish minimum flows or levels pursuant to s. 373.042 for surface water bodies less than 25 acres in area, unless the water body or bodies, individually or cumulatively, have significant economic, environmental, or hydrologic value.

3. The department or the governing board shall not set minimum flows or levels pursuant to s. 373.042 for surface water bodies constructed prior to the requirement for a permit, or pursuant to an exemption, a permit, or a reclamation plan which regulates the size, depth, or function of the surface water body under the provisions of this chapter, chapter 378, or chapter 403, unless the constructed surface water body is of significant hydrologic value or is an essential element of the water resources of the area.

The exclusions of this paragraph shall not apply to the Everglades Protection Area, as defined in s. 373.4592(2)(h).

(2) If the existing flow or level in a water body is below, or is projected to fall within 20 years below, the applicable minimum flow or level established pursuant to s. 373.042, the department or governing board, as part of the regional water supply plan described in s. 373.0361, shall expeditiously implement a recovery or prevention strategy, which includes the development of additional water supplies and other actions, consistent with the authority granted by this chapter, to:

(a) Achieve recovery to the established minimum flow or level as soon as practicable; or

(b) Prevent the existing flow or level from falling below the established minimum flow or level.

The recovery or prevention strategy shall include phasing or a timetable which will allow for the provision of sufficient water supplies for all existing and projected reasonable-beneficial uses, including development of additional water supplies and implementation of conservation and other efficiency measures concurrent with, to the extent practical, and to offset, reductions in permitted withdrawals, consistent with the provisions of this chapter.

(3) The provisions of this section are supplemental to any other specific requirements or authority provided by law. Minimum flows and levels shall be reevaluated periodically and revised as needed.

History.–s. 6, ch. 97-160.

373.043 Adoption and enforcement of rules by the department.–The department has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this chapter.

History.–s. 8, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 5, ch. 74-114; s. 81, ch. 98-200.

373.044 Rules; enforcement; availability of personnel rules.–The governing board of the district is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this chapter. Rules and orders may be enforced by mandatory injunction or other appropriate action in the courts of the state. Rules relating to personnel matters shall be made available to the public and affected persons at no more than cost but need not be published in the Florida Administrative Code or the Florida Administrative Weekly.

History.–s. 4, ch. 29790, 1955; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 3, ch. 84-341; s. 82, ch. 98-200.

Note.–Former s. 378.151.

373.046 Interagency agreements.–

(1) The department may enter into interagency agreements with or among any other state agencies conducting programs or exercising powers related to or affecting the water resources of the state. Such agreements may establish principal-agency or contract relationships; provide for cross-deputization of enforcement personnel; provide for consolidation of facilities, equipment, or personnel; or provide such other relationships as may be deemed beneficial to the public interest. Such interagency agreements shall be promulgated in the same manner as rules and regulations, subject to chapter 120. All state agencies conducting programs or exercising powers relating to or affecting the water resources of the state are hereby authorized to delegate such authority to the department or any of the several water management districts pursuant to such interagency agreements.

(2) The St. Johns River Water Management District and the Southwest Florida Water Management District shall enter into an interagency agreement allowing the Southwest Florida Water Management District to process all permit applications for activities within Polk County requiring a permit from the St. Johns River Water Management District.

(3) Each water management district is authorized to adopt rules or enter into interagency agreements with the Department of Environmental Protection providing that the water management districts shall have an opportunity to review and comment upon matters within the jurisdiction of each district that are addressed by reclamation activities subject to the provisions of ss. 378.201-378.212 or s. 378.601. Activities covered by such rules or interagency agreements shall not be subject to the permitting requirement of part IV of this chapter. However, to the extent that any dam, impoundment, dike, levee, work, or appurtenant work remains after completion of all reclamation activities, such facilities shall be subject to the requirements of part IV of this chapter pertaining to operation, maintenance, and abandonment. A water management district, upon entering into such interagency agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection, shall provide notice of such action by publication in a newspaper having general circulation in the affected area.

(4) The Legislature recognizes and affirms the division of responsibilities between the department and the water management districts as set forth in ss. III. and X. of each of the operating agreements codified as rules 17-101.040(12)(a)3., 4., and 5., Florida Administrative Code. Section IV.A.2.a. of each operating agreement regarding individual permit oversight is rescinded. The department shall be responsible for permitting those activities under part IV of this chapter which, because of their complexity and magnitude, need to be economically and efficiently evaluated at the state level, including, but not limited to, mining, hazardous waste management facilities and solid waste management facilities that do not qualify for a general permit under chapter 403. With regard to postcertification information submittals for activities authorized under chapters 341 and 403 siting act certifications, the department, after consultation with the appropriate water management district and other agencies having applicable regulatory jurisdiction, shall be responsible for determining the permittee’s compliance with conditions of certification which were based upon the nonprocedural requirements of part IV of this chapter. The Legislature authorizes the water management districts and the department to modify the division of responsibilities referenced in this section and enter into further interagency agreements by rulemaking, including incorporation by reference, pursuant to chapter 120, to provide for greater efficiency and to avoid duplication in the administration of part IV of this chapter by designating certain activities which will be regulated by either the water management districts or the department. In developing such interagency agreements, the water management districts and the department should take into consideration the technical and fiscal ability of each water management district to implement all or some of the provisions of part IV of this chapter. Nothing herein rescinds or restricts the authority of the districts to regulate silviculture and agriculture pursuant to part IV of this chapter or s. 403.927. By December 10, 1993, the secretary of the department shall submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives regarding the efficiency of the procedures and the division of responsibilities contemplated by this subsection and regarding progress toward the execution of further interagency agreements and the integration of permitting with sovereignty lands approval. The report also will consider the feasibility of improving the protection of the environment through comprehensive criteria for protection of natural systems.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 403.927, when any operating agreement is developed pursuant to subsection (4), the department shall have regulatory responsibility under part IV of this chapter for aquaculture activities that meet or exceed the thresholds for aquaculture general permits authorized pursuant to ss. 370.26 and 403.814.

(6) When the geographic area of a project or local government crosses water management district boundaries, the affected districts may designate a single affected district by interagency agreement to implement in that area, under the rules of the designated district, all or part of the applicable regulatory responsibilities under this chapter. Interagency agreements entered into under this subsection which apply to the geographic area of a local government must have the concurrence of the affected local government. The application under this subsection, by rule, of any existing district rule that was adopted or formally noticed for adoption on or before May 11, 1995, is not subject to s. 70.001.

History.–s. 9, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 3, ch. 85-211; s. 41, ch. 89-279; s. 22, ch. 93-213; s. 253, ch. 94-356; s. 16, ch. 96-247; s. 7, ch. 97-160; s. 20, ch. 98-333; s. 17, ch. 2000-364.

373.047 Cooperation between districts.–Any water management district is authorized to advise flood control districts or other water management districts of the state in processing matters with the federal government and to render such technical assistance as may be helpful to the efficient operation of such other districts.

History.–s. 1, ch. 61-245; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 2, ch. 86-22.

Note.–Former s. 378.52.

373.056 State agencies, counties, drainage districts, municipalities, or governmental agencies or public corporations authorized to convey or receive land from water management districts.–

(1)(a) When it is found to be in the public interest and for the public convenience and welfare, and for the public benefit, and necessary for carrying out the works or improvement of any water management district referred to in this chapter for the protection of property and the inhabitants in the district against the effects of water, either from its surplus or deficiency, and for assisting the district in acquiring land for the purposes of the district at least public expense, any state agency, any county, any drainage district, any municipality, or any governmental agency or public corporation in this state holding title to land is hereby authorized, in the discretion of the proper officer or officers, the county commissioners of any county, or the governing board of any agency referred to in this section, to convey the title to or to dedicate land, title to which is in such agency, including tax-reverted land, or to grant use rights therein to any water management district.

(b) The land to which this section applies shall be located within the boundaries of the water management district.

(2) Land granted or conveyed to the district or dedicated to the purposes thereof, or use rights in such land granted thereto, shall be for the public purposes of the district, and may be made subject to the condition that in the event such land is not so used, or if used and subsequently its use for such purpose is abandoned, that granted shall cease as to the district and shall automatically revert to the granting agency.

(3) Any county, municipality, drainage district, or other taxing agency holding title to land through tax reversion, foreclosure, or forfeiture, or through other procedure by which tax title vested in such agency, may, pending the determination of needs of such district, withhold from sale or other disposition from time to time such land as in the judgment of such agency may be needed or helpful in facilitating the purposes of this chapter. In the event more than one taxing agency holds tax title to the same land, resulting in multiple reversion, each of the agencies may grant to such district such right, title, or interest as it may have in such land.

(4) Any water management district within this chapter shall have authority to convey or lease to any governmental entity, other agency described herein or to the United States Government, including its agencies, land or rights in land owned by such district not required for its purposes under such terms and conditions as the governing board of such district may determine. In addition to other general law authorizing the grant of utility easements, any water management district may grant utility easements on land owned by such district to any private or public utility for the limited purpose of obtaining utility service to district property under such terms and conditions as the governing board of such district may determine.

(5) Any land granted or conveyed to such district, or dedicated to the purposes thereof, or the use right of which has been granted thereto shall not be subject to the district taxes or other taxes or special assessments so long as such title or such rights remain in such district.

(6) All rights-of-way of a water management district which are within the boundaries of a drainage district shall not be liable for maintenance taxes of the drainage district.

History.–ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ch. 25213, 1949; s. 6, ch. 61-497; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 3, ch. 86-22; s. 10, ch. 2001-256.

Note.–Former s. 378.46.

373.069 Creation of water management districts.–

(1) At 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 1976, the state shall be divided into the following water management districts:

(a) Northwest Florida Water Management District.

(b) Suwannee River Water Management District.

(c) St. Johns River Water Management District.

(d) Southwest Florida Water Management District.

(e) South Florida Water Management District.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other special or general act to the contrary, the boundaries of the respective districts named in subsection (1) shall include the areas within the following boundaries:

(a) Northwest Florida Water Management District.–Begin at the point where the section line between Sections 26 and 27, Township 4 South, Range 3 East intersects the Gulf of Mexico; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 2, Township 1 South, Range 3 East; thence east along the Tallahassee Base Line to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 1 North, Range 4 East; thence north along the range line to the northwest corner of Section 6, Township 1 North, Range 5 East; thence east along the township line to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 2 North, Range 5 East; thence north along the range line to the northeast corner of Section 24, Township 2 North, Range 5 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of the east 1/2 of Section 13, Township 2 North, Range 5 East; thence north to the northwest corner of the east 1/2 of Section 13, Township 2 North, Range 5 East; thence east along the section line to the southeast corner of Section 12, Township 2 North, Range 5 East; thence north along the range line to the northeast corner of Section 24, Township 3 North, Range 5 East; thence west along the Watson Line to the southwest corner of Lot Number 168; thence north along the line between Lot Numbers 168 and 169, 154 and 155 to the Georgia line; thence westward along the Georgia-Florida line to the intersection of the south boundary of the State of Alabama; thence west along the Alabama-Florida line to the intersection of the northwest corner Alabama-Florida Boundary; thence south along the Alabama-Florida line to the Gulf of Mexico; thence east along the Gulf of Mexico, including the waters of said Gulf within the jurisdiction of the State of Florida, to the Point of Beginning.

(b) Suwannee River Water Management District.–Begin in the Gulf of Mexico on the section line between Sections 29 and 32, Township 15 South, Range 15 East; thence east along the section lines to the southwest corner of Section 27, Township 15 South, Range 17 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 3, Township 15 South, Range 17 East; thence east along the section line to the easterly right-of-way line of State Road No. 337; thence northerly along said easterly right-of-way line of State Road No. 337 to the southerly right-of-way line of State Road No. 24; thence northeasterly along said southerly right-of-way line of State Road No. 24 to the Levy-Alachua county line; thence south along the Levy-Alachua county line, also being the range line between Range 17 and 18 East to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 11 South, Range 17 East; thence easterly along the Levy-Alachua county line, also being the township line between Townships 11 and 12 South, to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 11 South, Range 18 East; thence north along the range line to the northwest corner of Section 19, Township 9 South, Range 19 East; thence east along the section line to the southeast corner of Section 13, Township 9 South, Range 19 East; thence north along the range line to the northwest corner of Section 6, Township 9 South, Range 20 East; thence eastward along the township line to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 8 South, Range 20 East; thence north along the township line to the northwest corner of Section 18, Township 8 South, Range 21 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 15, Township 8 South, Range 21 East; thence south along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 23, Township 8 South, Range 21 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 26, Township 8 South, Range 21 East; thence south along the section line to the southwest corner of the north 1/2 of Section 25, Township 8 South, Range 21 East; thence east along a line to the northeast corner of the south half of Section 25, Township 8 South, Range 21 East; thence south along the range line to the southwest corner of Section 30, Township 8 South, Range 22 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 32, Township 8 South, Range 22 East; thence south along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 16, Township 9 South, Range 22 East; thence eastward along the section line to the southeast corner of the west 1/8 of Section 18, Township 9 South, Range 23 East; thence northward to the northeast corner of the west 1/8 of Section 18, Township 9 South, Range 23 East; thence west to the southwest corner of Section 7, Township 9 South, Range 23 East; thence northward along the Bradford-Clay County line to the northeast corner of Section 36, Township 8 South, Range 22 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of the east 1/2 of Section 25, Township 8 South, Range 22 East; thence north to the northeast corner of the west 1/2 of Section 24, Township 8 South, Range 22 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 13, Township 8 South, Range 22 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 25, Township 7 South, Range 22 East; thence east along the section line to the southeast corner of Section 24, Township 7 South, Range 22 East; thence north along the Bradford-Clay County line to the intersection of the south boundary of Baker County; thence west along the Baker-Bradford County line to the intersection of the east boundary of Union County; thence west along the Union-Baker County line to the southwest corner of Section 18, Township 4 South, Range 20 East; thence north along the range line to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 3 South, Range 19 East; thence west along the township line to the intersection of the east boundary of Columbia County; thence north along the Baker-Columbia County line to the intersection of the north boundary line of the State of Florida; thence westward along the Georgia-Florida line to the northwest corner of Lot Number 155; thence south along the line between Lot Number 154 and 155, 168 and 169 to the Watson Line; thence east along the Watson Line to the northeast corner of Section 24, Township 3 North, Range 5 East; thence south along the range line between Ranges 5 and 6 East to the southeast corner of Section 12, Township 2 North, Range 5 East; thence west along the section line to the northwest corner of the east 1/2 of Section 13, Township 2 North, Range 5 East; thence south to the southwest corner of the east 1/2 of Section 13, Township 2 North, Range 5 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 24, Township 2 North, Range 5 East; thence south along the range line between Ranges 5 and 6 East to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 2 North, Range 5 East; thence west along the township line between Townships 1 and 2 North to the northwest corner of Section 6, Township 1 North, Range 5 East; thence south along the range line between Ranges 4 and 5 East to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 1 North, Range 4 East; thence west along the Tallahassee Base Line to the northwest corner of Section 2, Township 1 South, Range 3 East; thence south along the section line to the Gulf of Mexico; thence along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, including the waters of said gulf within the jurisdiction of the State of Florida, to the point of the beginning.

(c) St. Johns River Water Management District.–Begin at the intersection of the south boundary of Indian River County with the Atlantic Ocean; thence west along the Indian River-St. Lucie County line to the intersection of the west boundary of St. Lucie County; thence south along the Okeechobee-St. Lucie County line to the southeast corner of Section 1, Township 34 South, Range 36 East; thence west along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 10, Township 34 South, Range 36 East; thence south along the section line to the southeast corner of Section 9, Township 34 South, Range 36 East; thence west along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 18, Township 34 South, Range 36 East; thence south along the range line between Ranges 35 and 36 East to the southeast corner of Section 12, Township 34 South, Range 35 East; thence west along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 13, Township 34 South, Range 35 East; thence south along the section line to the southeast corner of Section 35, Township 34 South, Range 35 East; thence west along the township line between Townships 34 and 35 south to the southwest corner of Section 35, Township 34 South, Range 34 East; thence north along the section line to the Okeechobee-Osceola County line; thence west along the Okeechobee-Osceola County line to the southwest corner of Section 34, Township 32 South, Range 33 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 3, Township 31 South, Range 33 East; thence east along the township line between Townships 30 and 31 South to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 30 South, Range 33 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 33 and 34 East to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 30 South, Range 33 East; thence west along the township line between Townships 29 and 30 south to the southwest corner of Section 31, Township 29 South, Range 33 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 32 and 33 East to the northwest corner of Section 6, Township 28 South, Range 33 East; thence east along the township line between Townships 27 and 28 south to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 27 South, Range 32 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 32 and 33 East to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 26 South, Range 32 East; thence west along the township line between Townships 25 and 26 South to the southwest corner of Section 33, Township 25 South, Range 32 East; thence north along the section line to the Orange-Osceola County line; thence westerly along the Orange-Osceola County line to the Southwest corner of Section 31, Township 24 South, Range 32 East; thence north along the range line to the intersection with the northerly right-of-way line of State Road 528, also known as the Bee Line Expressway; thence westerly along the northerly right-of-way line of State Road 528 to the intersection with the northerly right-of-way line of State Road 528A; thence westerly along the northerly right-of-way line of State Road 528A to the westerly right-of-way line of U.S. Highway 441; thence northerly along the right-of-way line to the section line between sections 22 and 27 of Township 22 South, Range 29 East; thence west along the section lines to the Northeast corner of Section 25, Township 22 South, Range 28 East; thence south along the range line between Ranges 28 and 29 East to the Southeast corner of Section 36, Township 22 South, Range 28 East; thence west along the township line between Townships 22 and 23 South to the Northeast corner of Section 2, Township 23 South, Range 27 East; thence south to the Southeast corner of Section 11, Township 23 South, Range 27 East; thence west along the section lines to the Southwest corner of Section 7, Township 23 South, Range 27 East, also being the Lake-Orange County line; thence south along the range line between Ranges 26 and 27 East to the southwest corner of Section 18, Township 26 South, Range 27 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 19, township 26 South, Range 27 East; thence south along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 32, Township 26 South, Range 27 East; thence east along the township line between Townships 26 and 27 South to the northeast corner of Section 5, Township 27 South, Range 27 East; thence south along the section lines to the southerly right-of-way line of State Road 600; thence westerly along the southerly right-of-way line of said State Road No. 600 to the west boundary of Section 27, Township 27 South, Range 26 East; thence north along the section lines to the northeast corner of Section 16, Township 25 South, Range 26 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 9, Township 25 South, Range 26 East; thence north along the section lines to the Lake-Polk County line; thence west along the county line to the southwest corner of Section 32, Township 24 South, Range 26 East; thence into Lake County, north along the section lines to the northeast corner of Section 30, Township 24 South, Range 26 East; thence west along the section lines to the northeast corner of Section 28, Township 24 South, Range 25 East; thence north along the section lines to the northeast corner of Section 16, Township 24 South, Range 25 East; thence west along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 16, Township 24 South, Range 25 East; thence north along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 8, Township 24 South, Range 25 East; thence west along the section lines to the range line between Ranges 24 and 25; thence north along the range line to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 23 South, Range 24 East, also being on the township line between Townships 22 and 23 South; thence west along the township line to the northwest corner of Section 6, Township 23 South, Range 24 East, also being on the Sumter-Lake County line; thence north along the Sumter-Lake County line, also being the range line between Ranges 23 and 24 East, to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 18 South, Range 23 East, and the Marion County line; thence west along the Sumter-Marion County line, also being the township line between Townships 17 and 18 South, to the westerly right-of-way line of Interstate Highway 75; thence northerly along the westerly right-of-way line of Interstate Highway 75 to the Alachua-Marion County line, said line also being the township line between Townships 11 and 12 South; thence west along the Alachua-Marion County line to the northwest corner of Section 3, Township 12 South, Range 19 East, and the Levy County line; thence westerly along the Levy-Alachua County line, also being the township line between Townships 11 and 12 South, to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 11 South, Range 18 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 18 and 19 East to the northwest corner of Section 19, Township 9 South, Range 19 East; thence east along the section line to the southeast corner of Section 13, Township 9 South, Range 19 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 19 and 20 East to the northwest corner of Section 6, Township 9 South, Range 20 East; thence easterly along the township line between Townships 8 and 9 South to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 8 South, Range 20 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 20 and 21 East to the northwest corner of Section 18, Township 8 South, Range 21 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 15, Township 8 South, Range 21 East; thence south along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 23, Township 8 South, Range 21 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 26, Township 8 South, Range 21 East; thence south along the section line to the southwest corner of the north 1/2 of Section 25, Township 8 South, Range 21 East; thence east to the northeast corner of the south 1/2 of Section 25, Township 8 South, Range 21 East; thence south along the range line between Ranges 21 and 22 East to the southwest corner of Section 30, Township 8 South, Range 22 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 32, Township 8 South, Range 22 East; thence south along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 16, Township 9 South, Range 22 East; thence eastward along the section line to the southeast corner of the west 1/8 of Section 18, Township 9 South, Range 23 East; thence northward to the northeast corner of the west 1/8 of Section 18, Township 9 South, Range 23 East; thence west to the southwest corner of Section 7, Township 9 South, Range 23 East; thence northward along the Bradford-Clay County line to the northeast corner of Section 36, Township 8 South, Range 22 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of the east 1/2 of Section 25, Township 8 South, Range 22 East; thence north to the northeast corner of the west 1/2 of Section 24, Township 8 South, Range 22 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 13, Township 8 South, Range 22 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 25, Township 7 South, Range 22 East; thence east along the section line to the Bradford-Clay County line; thence north along the Bradford-Clay County line to the intersection of the south boundary of Baker County; thence west along the Baker-Bradford County line to the intersection of the east boundary of Union County; thence west along the Baker-Union County line to the southwest corner of Section 18, Township 4 South, Range 20 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 19 and 20 East to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 3 South, Range 19 East; thence west along the township line between Townships 2 and 3 South to the Baker-Columbia County line; thence north along the Baker-Columbia County line to the north boundary line of the State of Florida; thence easterly along the Florida-Georgia line to the Atlantic Ocean; thence southerly along the Atlantic Ocean, including the waters of said ocean within the jurisdiction of the State of Florida to the point of beginning.

(d) Southwest Florida Water Management District.–Begin at the intersection of the north boundary of Lee County with the Gulf of Mexico; thence eastward along the Lee-Charlotte County line to the Southeast corner of Section 33, Township 42 South, Range 24 East; thence North into Charlotte County, along the section lines to the Northeast corner of Section 4, Township 42 South, Range 24 East; thence East along the township line between Townships 41 and 42 South to the Southeast corner of Section 36, Township 41 South, Range 25 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 6, Township 41 South, Range 26 East; thence east along the section line to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 40 South, Range 26 East; thence North along the range line between Ranges 26 and 27 to the Northeast corner of Section 1, Township 40 South, Range 26 East, and the Charlotte-Desoto County line; thence east along the Charlotte-Desoto County line to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 39 South, Range 27 East; thence north along the DeSoto-Highlands County line to the intersection of the South boundary of Hardee County; thence north along the Hardee-Highlands County line to the southwest corner of Township 35 South, Range 28 East; thence east along the north boundary of Township 36 South to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 36 South, Range 28 East; thence south along the range line to the southeast corner of Section 12, Township 37 South, Range 28 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 15, Township 37 South, Range 29 East; thence south along the section line to the southeast corner of Section 34, Township 37 South, Range 29 East; thence east along the township line to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 38 South, Range 29 East; thence south along the range line to the southeast corner of Section 1, Township 39 South, Range 29 East; thence east along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 11, Township 39 South, Range 30 East; thence north along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 35, Township 38 South, Range 30 East; thence east along the township line to the southeast corner of the west 1/4 of Section 35, Township 38 South, Range 30 East; thence north along the 1/4-section line of Sections 35, 26, and 23, Township 38 South, Range 30 East to the northeast corner of the west 1/4 section of Section 23, Township 38 South, Range 30 East; thence west along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 23, Township 38 South, Range 30 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 2, Township 37 South, Range 30 East; thence west along the township line to the southwest corner of Section 34, Township 36 South, Range 30 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 3, Township 36 South, Range 30 East; thence west along the township line to the southwest corner of Section 31, Township 35 South, Range 30 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 29 and 30 East, through Townships 35, 34, and 33 South, to the northeast corner of Township 33 South, Range 29 East, being on the Highlands-Polk County line; thence west along the Highlands-Polk County line to the southeast corner of Township 32 South, Range 28 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 28 and 29 East, in Townships 32 and 31 South, to the northeast corner of Section 12 in Township 31 South, Range 28 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 7, Township 31 South, Range 29 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 17, Township 30 South, Range 29 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of the west 1/2 of Section 17, Township 30 South, Range 29 East; thence north along the 1/2-section line to the northeast corner of the west 1/2 of Section 5, Township 30 South, Range 29 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 32, Township 29 South, Range 29 East; thence north along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 19 in Township 29 South, Range 29 East; thence west along the north boundaries of Section 19, Township 29 South, Range 29 East, and Sections 24, 23, 22, 21, and 20, Township 29 South, Range 28 East, to the northwest corner of said Section 20; thence north along the section line to the intersection of said section line with the west shore line of Lake Pierce in Township 29 South, Range 28 East; thence following the west shore of Lake Pierce to its intersection again with the west section line of Section 5, Township 29 South, Range 28 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 5, Township 29 South, Range 28 East; thence east along the township line to the southwest corner of Section 33, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of the southwest 1/4 of the southwest 1/4 of Section 28, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence east along the 1/4-section line to the intersection of said 1/4-section line with Lake Pierce; thence follow the shore line northeasterly to its intersection with the 1/2-section line of Section 28, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence north on the 1/2-section line to the northwest corner of the southeast 1/4 of Section 28, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence east to the northeast corner of the southeast 1/4 of Section 28, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence south along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 3, Township 29 South, Range 28 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 3, Township 29 South, Range 28 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 23, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 16, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 16, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 8, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 5, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence west along the township line to the intersection of said township line with Lake Marion; thence following the south shore line of Lake Marion to its intersection again with said township line; thence west along the township line to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 37 South, Range 27 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 27 and 28 East to the intersection of said range line with Lake Marion; thence following the west shore of Lake Marion to its intersection again with the range line between Ranges 27 and 28 East; thence north along said range line, in Townships 27 and 26 South, to the northeast corner of Township 26 South, Range 27 East, being on the Polk-Osceola County line; thence west along the Polk-Osceola County line to the northwest corner of Township 26 South, Range 27 East; thence south along the range line between Ranges 26 and 27 East to the southwest corner of Section 18 in Township 26 South, Range 27 East; thence east along the section line to the southeast corner of said Section 18; thence south along the section lines to the southwest corner of Section 32 in Township 26 South, Range 27 East; thence east along the section line to the southeast corner of said Section 32; thence south along the section lines to the southerly right-of-way line of State Road 600 (U.S. Route 17 and 92) in Township 27 South, Range 27 East; thence westerly along the southerly right-of-way line of said State Road No. 600 to the West boundary of Section 27, Township 27 South, Range 26 East; thence north along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 16, Township 25 South, Range 26 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 9, Township 25 South, Range 26 East; thence north along the section line to the Lake-Polk County line; thence west along the county line to the southwest corner of Section 32, Township 24 South, Range 26 East; thence into Lake County, north along the section lines to the northeast corner of Section 30, Township 24 South, Range 26 East; thence west along the section lines to the northeast corner of Section 28, Township 24 South, Range 25 East; thence north along the section lines to the northeast corner of Section 16, Township 24 South, Range 25 East; thence west along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 16, Township 24 South, Range 25 East; thence north along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 8, Township 24 South, Range 25 East; thence west along the section lines to the range line between Ranges 24 and 25; thence north along the range line to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 23 South, Range 24 East, also being on the township line between Townships 22 and 23 South; thence west along the township line to the northwest corner of Section 6, Township 23 South, Range 24 East also being on the Sumter-Lake County line; thence north along the Sumter-Lake County line, also being the range line between Ranges 23 and 24, to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 18 South, Range 23 East and the Marion County line; thence west, along the Sumter-Marion County line, also being the township line between Townships 17 and 18 South, to the westerly right-of-way line of Interstate Highway 75; thence northerly along the westerly right-of-way line of Interstate Highway 75 to the Alachua-Marion County line, said line also being the township line between Townships 11 and 12 South; thence west along the Alachua-Marion County line to the northwest corner of Section 3, Township 12 South, Range 19 East and the Levy County line; thence westerly along the Levy-Alachua County line, also being the township line between Townships 11 and 12 South, to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 11 South, Range 17 East; thence north along the Levy-Alachua County line, also being the range line between Ranges 17 and 18 East, to the southerly right-of-way line of State Road No. 24; thence southwesterly along said southerly right-of-way line to the easterly right-of-way line of State Road No. 337; thence southerly, along said easterly right-of-way line of State Road No. 337, to the south line of Section 35, Township 14 South, Range 17 East; thence west along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 3, Township 15 South, Range 17 East; thence south along the section lines to the southwest corner of Section 27, Township 15 South, Range 17 East; thence west to the Gulf of Mexico; thence south along the Gulf of Mexico, including the waters of said gulf within the jurisdiction of the State of Florida, to the point of beginning.

(e) South Florida Water Management District.–Begin at the intersection of the north boundary of Lee County with the Gulf of Mexico; thence easterly along the Lee-Charlotte County line to the southwest corner of Section 34, Township 42 South, Range 24 East; thence northerly along the section lines to the northwest corner of Section 3, Township 42 South, Range 24 East; thence easterly along the Township line between Townships 41 and 42 South to the southwest corner of Section 31, Township 41 South, Range 26 East; thence northerly along the Range line between Ranges 25 and 26 East to the northwest corner of Section 6, Township 41 South, Range 26 East; thence easterly along the Township line between Townships 40 and 41 South to the southwest corner of Section 31, Township 40 South, Range 27 East; thence northerly along the Range line between Ranges 26 and 27 East to the Charlotte-DeSoto County line; thence easterly along the Charlotte-Desoto County line to the west line of Highlands County; thence northerly along the Highlands-Desoto County line and along the Highlands-Hardee County line to the northwest corner of Township 36 South, Range 28 East; thence east along the north boundary of Township 36 South to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 36 South, Range 28 East; thence south along the range line to the southeast corner of Section 12, Township 37 South, Range 28 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 15, Township 37 South, Range 29 East; thence south along the section line to the southeast corner of Section 34, Township 37 South, Range 29 East; thence east along the township line to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 38 South, Range 29 East; thence south along the range line to the southeast corner of Section 1, Township 39 South, Range 29 East; thence east along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 11, Township 39 South, Range 30 East; thence north along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 35, Township 38 South, Range 30 East; thence east along the township line to the southeast corner of the west 1/4 of Section 35, Township 38 South, Range 30 East; thence north along the 1/4-section line of Sections 35, 26, and 23, Township 38 South, Range 30 East to the northeast corner of the west 1/4 section of Section 23, Township 38 South, Range 30 East; thence west along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 23, Township 38 South, Range 30 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 2, Township 37 South, Range 30 East; thence west along the township line to the southwest corner of Section 34, Township 36 South, Range 30 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 3, Township 36 South, Range 30 East; thence west along the township line to the southwest corner of Section 31, Township 35 South, Range 30 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 29 and 30 East, through Townships 35, 34, and 33 South, to the northwest corner of Township 33 South, Range 30 East, being on the Highlands-Polk County line; thence west along the Highlands-Polk County line to the southwest corner of Township 32 South, Range 29 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 28 and 29 East, in Townships 32 and 31 South, to the northwest corner of Section 7 in Township 31 South, Range 29 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 7, Township 31 South, Range 29 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 17, Township 30 South, Range 29 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of the west 1/2 of Section 17, Township 30 South, Range 29 East; thence north along the 1/2-section line to the northeast corner of the west 1/2 of Section 5, Township 30 South, Range 29 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 32, Township 29 South, Range 29 East; thence north along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 19 in Township 29 South, Range 29 East; thence west along the south boundaries of Section 18, Township 29 South, Range 29 East and Sections 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 in Township 29 South, Range 28 East, to the southwest corner of said Section 17; thence north along the section line to the intersection of said section line with the west shore line of Lake Pierce in Township 29 South, Range 28 East; thence following the west shore of Lake Pierce to its intersection again with the west section line of Section 5, Township 29 South, Range 28 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 5, Township 29 South, Range 28 East; thence east along the township line to the southwest corner of Section 33, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of the southwest 1/4 of the southwest 1/4 of Section 28, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence east along the 1/4-section line to the intersection of said 1/4-section line with Lake Pierce; thence follow the shore line northeasterly to its intersection with the 1/2-section line of Section 28, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence north on the 1/2-section line to the northwest corner of the southeast 1/4 of Section 28, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence east along the 1/2-section line to the northeast corner of the southeast 1/4 of Section 28, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence south along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 3, Township 29 South, Range 28 East; thence east along the section line to the northeast corner of Section 3, Township 29 South, Range 28 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 23, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 16, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 16, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence west along the section line to the southwest corner of Section 8, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence north along the section line to the northwest corner of Section 5, Township 28 South, Range 28 East; thence west along the township line to the intersection of said township line with Lake Marion; thence following the south shore line of Lake Marion to its intersection again with said township line; thence west along the township line to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 27 South, Range 27 East; thence north along the range line between Ranges 27 and 28 East to the intersection of said range line with Lake Marion; thence following the west shore of Lake Marion to its intersection again with the range line between Ranges 27 and 28 East; thence north along said range line, in Townships 27 and 26 South, to the northwest corner of Township 26 South, Range 28 East, being on the Polk-Osceola County line; thence west along the Polk-Osceola County line to the southwest corner of Township 25 South, Range 27 East; thence northerly along the range line between Ranges 26 and 27 East to the northwest corner of Section 18, Township 23 South, Range 27 East; thence easterly along the section lines to the southwest corner of Section 12, Township 23 South, Range 27 East; thence northerly along the section lines to the northwest corner of Section 1, Township 23 South, Range 27 East; thence easterly along the Township line between Townships 22 and 23 South to the southwest corner of Section 31, Township 22 South, Range 29 East; thence northerly along the Range line between Ranges 28 and 29 East to the northwest corner of Section 30, Township 22 South, Range 29 East; thence easterly along the section lines to the westerly right-of-way line of U.S. Highway 441; thence southerly along the westerly right-of-way line to the intersection with the northerly right-of-way line of State Road 528A; thence easterly along the northerly right-of-way line to the intersection with the northerly right-of-way line of State Road 528, also known as the Bee Line Expressway; thence easterly along the northerly right-of-way line of State Road 528 to the intersection with the range line between Township 23 South, Range 31 East and Township 23 South, Range 32 East; thence southerly along the Range line between Ranges 31 and 32 East to the Orange-Osceola County line; thence easterly along said county line between Townships 24 and 25 South to the northeast corner of Section 5, Township 25 South, Range 32 East; thence southerly along the section lines to the southeast corner of Section 32, Township 25 South, Range 32 East; thence easterly along the Township line between Townships 25 and 26 South to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 26 South, Range 32 East; thence southerly along the Range line between Ranges 32 and 33 East to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 27 South, Range 32 East; thence westerly along the township line between Townships 27 and 28 South, to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 28 South, Range 32 East; thence southerly along the Range line between Ranges 32 and 33 East to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 29 South, Range 32 East; thence easterly along the Township line between Townships 29 and 30 South to the northeast corner of Section 1, Township 30 South, Range 33 East; thence southerly along the Range line between Ranges 33 and 34 East to the southeast corner of Section 36, Township 30 South, Range 33 East; thence westerly along the Township line between Townships 30 and 31 South to the northeast corner of Section 4, Township 31 South, Range 33 East; thence southerly along the section lines to the Osceola-Okeechobee County line; thence easterly along said county line to the northeast corner of Section 3, Township 33 South, Range 34 East; thence southerly along the section lines to the southeast corner of Section 34, Township 34 South, Range 34 East; thence easterly along the Township line between Townships 34 and 35 South to the southwest corner of Section 36, Township 34 South, Range 35 East; thence northerly along the section lines to the northwest corner of Section 13, Township 34 South, Range 35 East; thence easterly along the section line to the Range line between Ranges 35 and 36 East; thence northerly along said Range line to the northwest corner of Section 18, Township 34 South, Range 36 East; thence easterly along the section lines to the southwest corner of Section 10, Township 34 south, Range 36 East; thence northerly along the section line to the northwest corner of said Section 10; thence easterly along the section lines to the Okeechobee-St. Lucie County line; thence northerly along said county line to the south line of Indian River County; thence easterly along the St. Lucie-Indian River County line to the Atlantic Ocean; thence southerly along the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico; thence northerly along the Gulf of Mexico, including the waters of said Ocean and of said Gulf and the islands therein within the jurisdiction of the State of Florida, to the point of beginning.

History.–s. 12, part 1, ch. 72-299; s. 6, ch. 73-190; s. 1, ch. 75-125; s. 1, ch. 76-243; s. 113, ch. 77-104; s. 1, ch. 78-65.

373.0691 Transfer of areas.–

(1) At the time of change of boundaries of the respective districts under s. 373.069(3), 1976 Supplement to Florida Statutes 1975, all contractual obligations with respect to an area being transferred to another district shall be assumed by the district receiving such area; all real property interests owned by a district within an area to be transferred shall be conveyed to the district receiving such area; and all equipment, vehicles, other personal property, and records owned, located, and used by a district solely within an area being transferred shall be delivered to the district receiving such area. However, if an area is transferred from a district with a contractual obligation to the United States of America for the operation and maintenance of works within such area, then the deliveries and conveyances required in this section shall be deferred until the United States has approved the assumption of the contractual obligations by the receiving district.

(2) The change of boundaries shall not affect the continuing authority, obligations, and commitments of the water management districts, except as set forth in this section.

History.–s. 2, ch. 76-243; s. 165, ch. 99-13.

373.0693 Basins; basin boards.–

(1)(a) Any areas within a district may be designated by the district governing board as subdistricts or basins. The designations of such basins shall be made by the district governing board by resolutions thereof. The governing board of the district may change the boundaries of such basins, or create new basins, by resolution.

(b) No subdistrict or basin in the St. Johns River Water Management District other than established by this act shall become effective until approved by the Legislature.

(2) Each basin shall be under the control of a basin board which shall be composed of not less than three members, but shall include one representative from each of the counties included in the basin.

(3) Each member of the various basin boards shall serve for a period of 3 years or until a successor is appointed, except that the board membership of each new basin shall be divided into three groups as equally as possible, with members in such groups to be appointed for 1, 2, and 3 years, respectively. Each basin board shall choose a vice chair and a secretary to serve for a period of 1 year. The term of office of a basin board member shall be construed to commence on March 2 preceding the date of appointment and to terminate March 1 of the year of the end of a term.

(4) Members of basin boards shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate at the next regular session of the Legislature; and the refusal or failure of the Senate to confirm an appointment shall create a vacancy in the office to which the appointment was made.

(5) Basin board members shall receive no compensation for services as such; but, while officially on work for the district, they shall receive their actual travel expenses between their respective places of residence and the place where official district business is conducted, subsistence, lodging, and other expenses in the amount actually incurred. These expenses may not exceed the statutory amount allowed state officers and employees. This subsection applies retroactively to the effective date of the creation of each of the five separate water management districts.

(6)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other general or special law to the contrary, a member of the governing board of the district residing in the basin or, if no member resides in the basin, a member of the governing board designated by the chair of the governing board shall be the ex officio chair of the basin board. The ex officio chair shall preside at all meetings of the basin board, except that the vice chair may preside in his or her absence. The ex officio chair shall have no official vote, except in case of a tie vote being cast by the members, but shall be the liaison officer of the district in all affairs in the basin and shall be kept informed of all such affairs.

(b) Basin boards within the Southwest Florida Water Management District shall meet regularly as determined by a majority vote of the basin board members. Subject to notice requirements of chapter 120, special meetings, both emergency and nonemergency, may be called either by the ex officio chair or the elected vice chair of the basin board or upon request of two basin board members. The district staff shall include on the agenda of any basin board meeting any item for discussion or action requested by a member of that basin board. The district staff shall notify any basin board, as well as their respective counties, of any vacancies occurring in the district governing board or their respective basin boards.

(7) At 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 1976, the Manasota Watershed Basin of the Ridge and Lower Gulf Coast Water Management District, which is annexed to the Southwest Florida Water Management District by change of its boundaries pursuant to chapter 76-243, Laws of Florida, shall be formed into a subdistrict or basin of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, subject to the same provisions as the other basins in such district. Such subdistrict shall be designated initially as the Manasota Basin. The members of the governing board of the Manasota Watershed Basin of the Ridge and Lower Gulf Coast Water Management District shall become members of the governing board of the Manasota Basin of the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Notwithstanding other provisions in this section, beginning on July 1, 2001, the membership of the Manasota Basin Board shall be comprised of three members from Manatee County and three members from Sarasota County. Matters relating to tie votes shall be resolved pursuant to subsection (6) by the ex officio chair designated by the governing board to vote in case of a tie vote.

(8)(a) At 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 1988, the area transferred from the Southwest Florida Water Management District to the St. Johns River Water Management District by change of boundaries pursuant to chapter 76-243, Laws of Florida, shall cease to be a subdistrict or basin of the St. Johns River Water Management District known as the Oklawaha River Basin and said Oklawaha River Basin shall cease to exist. However, any recognition of an Oklawaha River Basin or an Oklawaha River Hydrologic Basin for regulatory purposes shall be unaffected. The area formerly known as the Oklawaha River Basin shall continue to be part of the St. Johns River Water Management District. There shall be established by the governing board of the St. Johns River Water Management District the Oklawaha River Basin Advisory Council to receive public input and advise the St. Johns River Water Management District’s governing board on water management issues affecting the Oklawaha River Basin. The Oklawaha River Basin Advisory Council shall be appointed by action of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s governing board and shall include one representative from each county which is wholly or partly included in the Oklawaha River Basin. The St. Johns River Water Management District’s governing board member currently serving pursuant to s. 373.073(2)(c)3. shall serve as chair of the Oklawaha River Basin Advisory Council. Members of the Oklawaha River Basin Advisory Council shall receive no compensation for their services but are entitled to be reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.

(b) Also, the entire area of the St. Johns River Water Management District, less those areas formerly in the Oklawaha Basin, shall cease to be a subdistrict or basin of the St. Johns River Water Management District known as the Greater St. Johns River Basin and said Greater St. Johns River Basin shall cease to exist. The area formerly known as the Greater St. Johns River Basin shall continue to be part of the St. Johns River Water Management District.

(c) As of 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 1988, assets and liabilities of the former Oklawaha River and Greater St. Johns River Basins shall be assets and liabilities of the St. Johns River Water Management District. Any contracts, plans, orders, or agreements of such basins shall continue to be in effect, but may be modified or repealed by the St. Johns River Water Management District in accordance with law. For all purposes for assessing and levying the millage rate authorized under s. 373.503, subsequent to December 31, 1987, including the purposes of certifying the millage rate for fiscal year 1988-1989, pursuant to chapter 200, said millage rate shall be levied retroactive to January 1, 1988.

(9) At 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 1976, a portion of the Big Cypress Basin of the Ridge and Lower Gulf Coast District which is being annexed into the South Florida Water Management District by change of boundaries pursuant to chapter 76-243, Laws of Florida, shall be formed into a subdistrict or basin of the South Florida Water Management District. Such portion shall be designated as the Big Cypress Basin. On or before December 31, 1976, the Governor shall appoint not fewer than five persons residing in the area to serve as members of the governing board of the basin, effective at the time of transfer and subject to confirmation by the Senate as provided in subsection (4).

(a) The initial boundaries of the Big Cypress Basin shall be established by resolution of the governing board of Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District, after notice and hearing, and generally shall encompass the Big Cypress Swamp and southwestern coastal area hydrologic cataloging unit, as indicated on River Basin and Hydrologic Unit Map of Florida–1975, Florida Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Geology Map Series No. 72.

(b) If the governing board shall fail to establish the initial boundaries on or before December 31, 1976, the initial boundaries shall be the same boundaries as described for the Big Cypress Basin of the Ridge and Lower Gulf Coast District.

(c) The governing board of the South Florida Water Management District subsequently may change the boundaries of the basin, but may not abolish the basin.

(10) At 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 1976, the entire area of the South Florida Water Management District, including all areas being annexed into the district pursuant to chapter 76-243, Laws of Florida, but less those areas in the Big Cypress Basin, shall be formed into a subdistrict or basin of the South Florida Water Management District. Such area shall be designated as the Okeechobee Basin.

(a) The governing board of the South Florida Water Management District shall also serve as the governing board of the Okeechobee Basin.

(b) The governing board of the South Florida Water Management District may change the boundaries of the Okeechobee Basin or may subdivide the basin into smaller basins to be governed by basin boards to be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate as provided in subsection (4). However, the basin may not be enlarged to include the area included within the initial boundaries of the Big Cypress Basin.

(c) The local effort required in connection with construction, operation, and maintenance of the cooperative federal project referred to as the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project, which remains after the upper St. Johns portion is transferred to the St. Johns River Water Management District, shall be funded by tax levies on all taxable property within the Okeechobee Basin. In the event the Okeechobee Basin is subdivided into smaller basins, as authorized in paragraph (b), the governing board shall ascertain the equitable pro rata share for each smaller basin and charge back such share so as to ensure that the portion of the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project remaining in the South Florida Water Management District shall continue to be funded on an equal basis throughout the entire Okeechobee Basin as initially described on December 31, 1976.

(11)(a) Basins existing within the Southwest Florida Water Management District, as described in rule 40D-0.061, Florida Administrative Code, may not be abolished or combined without the approval of the Legislature, except that the entire area lying to the East of the Hillsborough County line and presently located within the Hillsborough Basin is hereby annexed into the Peace River Basin. Within the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the entire area lying to the East of the Hillsborough County line and presently located within the Alafia Basin is hereby annexed into the Peace River Basin.

(b) Assets or liabilities of the basin located in those areas transferred from the Hillsborough and Alafia Basins into the Peace River Basin pursuant to this section, including funds held in trust, shall be transferred to the Peace River Basin.

History.–s. 6, ch. 73-190; s. 3, ch. 76-243; s. 1, ch. 77-382; s. 1, ch. 79-50; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 1, ch. 82-64; s. 4, ch. 84-341; s. 1, ch. 85-146; ss. 6, 25, 26, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217; s. 595, ch. 95-148; s. 20, ch. 97-100; s. 8, ch. 97-160; s. 7, ch. 2001-256; s. 7, ch. 2001-258.

373.0695 Duties of basin boards; authorized expenditures.–

(1) The various boards shall be responsible for discharging the following described functions in their respective basins:

(a) The preparation of engineering plans for development of the water resources of the basin and the conduct of public hearings on such plans.

(b) The development and preparation of overall basin plan of secondary water control facilities for the guidance of subdrainage districts and private land owners in the development of their respective systems of water control which will be connected to the primary works of the basin to complement the engineering plan of primary works for the basin.

(c) The preparation of the annual budget for the basin and the submission of such budget to the governing board of the district for inclusion in the district budget.

(d) The consideration and prior approval of final construction plans of the district for works to be constructed in the basin.

(e) The administration of the affairs of the basin.

(f) Planning for and, upon request by a county, municipality, private utility, or regional water supply authority, providing water supply and transmission facilities for the purpose of assisting such counties, municipalities, private utilities, or regional water supply authorities within or serving the basin.

(2) Basin board moneys shall be utilized for:

(a) Engineering studies of works of the basin.

(b) Payment for the preparation of final plans and specifications for construction of basin works executed by the district.

(c) Payment of costs of construction of works of the basin executed by the district.

(d) Payment for maintenance and operation of basin works as carried out by the district.

(e) Administrative and regulatory activities of the basin.

(f) Payment for real property interests for works of the basin.

(g) Payment of costs of road, bridge, railroad, and utilities modifications and changes resulting from basin works.

(3) The works of the basin shall be those adopted by the respective basin boards. Such works may be adopted jointly with other basins and may be within or without the area of the basin.

(4) In the exercise of the duties and powers granted herein, the basin boards shall be subject to all the limitations and restrictions imposed on the water management districts in s. 373.1961.

History.–s. 6, ch. 73-190; s. 3, ch. 74-114; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217; s. 9, ch. 95-323.

373.0697 Basin taxes.–The respective basins may, pursuant to s. 9(b), Art. VII of the State Constitution, by resolution request the governing board of the district to levy ad valorem taxes within such basin. Upon receipt of such request, a basin tax levy shall be made by the governing board of the district to finance basin functions enumerated in s. 373.0695, notwithstanding the provisions of any other general or special law to the contrary, and subject to the provisions of s. 373.503(3).

(1) The amount of money to be raised by said tax levy shall be determined by the adoption of an annual budget by the district board of governors, and the average millage for the basin shall be that amount required to raise the amount called for by the annual budget when applied to the total assessment of the basin as determined for county taxing purposes. However, no such tax shall be levied within the basin unless and until the annual budget and required tax levy shall have been approved by formal action of the basin board, and no county in the district shall be taxed under this provision at a rate to exceed 1 mill.

(2) The taxes provided for in this section shall be extended by the county property appraiser on the county tax roll in each county within, or partly within, the basin and shall be collected by the tax collector in the same manner and time as county taxes, and the proceeds therefrom paid to the district for basin purposes. Said taxes shall be a lien, until paid, on the property against which assessed and enforceable in like manner as county taxes. The property appraisers, tax collectors, and clerks of the circuit court of the respective counties shall be entitled to compensation for services performed in connection with such taxes at the same rates as apply to county taxes.

(3) It is hereby determined that the taxes authorized by this subsection are in proportion to the benefits to be derived by the several parcels of real estate within the basin from the works authorized herein.

History.–s. 6, ch. 73-190; s. 2, ch. 75-125; s. 5, ch. 76-243.

373.0698 Creation and operation of basin boards; other laws superseded.–The provisions of ss. 373.0693-373.0697 shall govern the creation and operation of basin boards within any water management district, the provisions of any other general or special law to the contrary notwithstanding.

History.–s. 5, ch. 84-341.

373.073 Governing board.–

(1)(a) The governing board of each water management district shall be composed of 9 members who shall reside within the district, except that the Southwest Florida Water Management District shall be composed of 11 members who shall reside within the district. Members of the governing boards shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate at the next regular session of the Legislature, and the refusal or failure of the Senate to confirm an appointment creates a vacancy in the office to which the appointment was made. The term of office for a governing board member is 4 years and commences on March 2 of the year in which the appointment is made and terminates on March 1 of the fourth calendar year of the term. Terms of office of governing board members shall be staggered to help maintain consistency and continuity in the exercise of governing board duties and to minimize disruption in district operations.

(b) Commencing January 1, 1999, the Governor shall appoint the following number of governing board members in each year of the Governor’s 4-year term of office:

1. In the first year of the Governor’s term of office, the Governor shall appoint three members to the governing board of each district.

2. In the second year of the Governor’s term of office, the Governor shall appoint three members to the governing board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District and two members to the governing board of each other district.

3. In the third year of the Governor’s term of office, the Governor shall appoint three members to the governing board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District and two members to the governing board of each other district.

4. In the fourth year of the Governor’s term of office, the Governor shall appoint two members to the governing board of each district.

For any governing board vacancy that occurs before the date scheduled for the office to be filled under this paragraph, the Governor shall appoint a person meeting residency requirements of subsection (2) for a term that will expire on the date scheduled for the term of that office to terminate under this subsection. In addition to the residency requirements for the governing boards as provided by subsection (2), the Governor shall consider appointing governing board members to represent an equitable cross section of regional interests and technical expertise.

(2) Membership on governing boards shall be selected from candidates who have significant experience in one or more of the following areas, including, but not limited to: agriculture, the development industry, local government, government-owned or privately owned water utilities, law, civil engineering, environmental science, hydrology, accounting, or financial businesses. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other general or special law to the contrary, vacancies in the governing boards of the water management districts shall be filled according to the following residency requirements, representing areas designated by the United States Water Resources Council in United States Geological Survey, River Basin and Hydrological Unit Map of Florida–1975, Map Series No. 72:

(a) Northwest Florida Water Management District:

1. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Perdido River Basin-Perdido Bay Coastal Area-Lower Conecuh River-Escambia River Basin” hydrologic units and that portion of the “Escambia Bay Coastal Area” hydrologic unit which lies west of Pensacola Bay and Escambia Bay.

2. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Blackwater River Basin-Yellow River Basin-Choctawhatchee Bay Coastal Area” hydrologic units and that portion of the “Escambia Bay Coastal Area” hydrologic unit which lies east of Pensacola Bay and Escambia Bay.

3. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Choctawhatchee River Basin-St. Andrews Bay Coastal Area” hydrologic units.

4. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Lower Chattahoochee-Apalachicola River-Chipola River Basin-Coastal Area between Ochlockonee River Apalachicola Rivers-Apalachicola Bay coastal area and offshore islands” hydrologic units.

5. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Ochlockonee River Basin-St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers and coastal area between Aucilla and Ochlockonee River Basin” hydrologic units.

6. Four members shall be appointed at large, except that no county shall have more than two members on the governing board.

(b) Suwannee River Water Management District:

1. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Aucilla River Basin” hydrologic unit.

2. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Coastal Area between Suwannee and Aucilla Rivers” hydrologic unit.

3. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Withlacoochee River Basin-Alapaha River Basin-Suwannee River Basin above the Withlacoochee River” hydrologic units.

4. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Suwannee River Basin below the Withlacoochee River excluding the Santa Fe River Basin” hydrologic unit.

5. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Santa Fe Basin-Waccasassa River and coastal area between Withlacoochee and Suwannee River” hydrologic units.

6. Four members shall be appointed at large, except that no county shall have more than two members on the governing board.

(c) St. Johns River Water Management District:

1. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “St. Mary River Basin-Coastal area between St. Marys and St. Johns Rivers” hydrologic units.

2. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “St. Johns River Basin below Oklawaha River-Coastal area between the St. Johns River and Ponce de Leon Inlet” hydrologic units.

3. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Oklawaha River Basin” hydrologic unit.

4. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “St. Johns River Basin above the Oklawaha River” hydrologic unit.

5. One member shall reside in the area generally designated as the “Coastal area between Ponce de Leon Inlet and Sebastian Inlet-Coastal area Sebastian Inlet to St. Lucie River” hydrologic units.

6. Four members shall be appointed at large, except that no county shall have more than two members on the governing board.

(d) South Florida Water Management District:

1. Two members shall reside in Dade County.

2. One member shall reside in Broward County.

3. One member shall reside in Palm Beach County.

4. One member shall reside in Collier County, Lee County, Hendry County, or Charlotte County.

5. One member shall reside in Glades County, Okeechobee County, Highlands County, Polk County, Orange County, or Osceola County.

6. Two members, appointed at large, shall reside in an area consisting of St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Dade, and Monroe Counties.

7. One member, appointed at large, shall reside in an area consisting of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, Glades, Osceola, Okeechobee, Polk, Highlands, and Orange Counties.

8. No county shall have more than three members on the governing board.

(e) Southwest Florida Water Management District:

1. Two members shall reside in Hillsborough County.

2. One member shall reside in the area consisting of Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.

3. Two members shall reside in Pinellas County.

4. One member shall reside in Manatee County.

5. One member shall reside in Polk County.

6. One member shall reside in Pasco County.

7. One member shall be appointed at large from Levy, Marion, Citrus, Sumter, Hernando, and Lake Counties.

8. One member shall be appointed at large from Sarasota, Hardee, DeSoto, Charlotte, and Highlands Counties.

9. One member shall be appointed at large from Levy, Marion, Citrus, Sumter, Hernando, Lake, Sarasota, Hardee, DeSoto, Charlotte, and Highlands Counties.

No county described in subparagraph 7., subparagraph 8., or subparagraph 9. shall have more than one member on the governing board.

History.–s. 13, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 11, ch. 75-22; s. 6, ch. 76-243; s. 1, ch. 77-72; s. 3, ch. 80-259; s. 226, ch. 81-259; s. 1, ch. 82-46; ss. 1, 7, 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217; s. 1, ch. 91-18; s. 9, ch. 97-160.

373.076 Vacancies in the governing board; removal from office.–

(1) Vacancies occurring in the governing board of a district prior to the expiration of the affected term shall be filled for the unexpired term.

(2) The Governor shall have authority to remove from office any officer of said district in the manner and for cause defined by the laws of this state applicable to situations which may arise in said district.

History.–s. 14, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217.

373.079 Members of governing board; oath of office; staff.–

(1) Each member of the governing board of the district, before entering upon his or her official duties, shall take and subscribe to an oath, before some officer authorized by law to administer oaths, that the member will honestly, faithfully, and impartially perform the duties devolving upon him or her in office as member of the governing board of the district to which the member was appointed and that he or she will not neglect any of the duties imposed upon him or her by this chapter.

(2) Immediately after their appointment, and every 2 years thereafter, the governing board shall meet at some convenient place and choose some suitable person, who may or may not be a member of the governing board, and who may be required to execute bond for the faithful performance of his or her duties as the governing board may determine, as secretary. Such board shall adopt a seal with a suitable device and shall keep a well-bound book entitled, in effect, “Record of Governing Board of _____ District,” in which shall be recorded minutes of all meetings, resolutions, proceedings, certificates, bonds given by all employees, and any and all corporate acts, which book shall at reasonable times be open to the inspection of any citizen of this state or taxpayer in the district or his or her agent or attorney.

(3) The chair and members of the board shall receive no compensation for services as such; but, while officially on work for the district, they shall receive their actual travel expenses between their respective places of residence and the place where official district business is conducted, subsistence, lodging, and other expenses in the actual amount incurred therefor. These expenses may not exceed the statutory amount allowed state officers and employees. Payment or reimbursement to governing board members for the use of private or charter aircraft may be no greater than that allowed for commercial air travel for equivalent distances. This subsection applies retroactively to the effective date of the creation of each of the five separate water management districts.

(4)(a) The governing board of the district is authorized to employ an executive director, ombudsman, and such engineers, other professional persons, and other personnel and assistants as it deems necessary and under such terms and conditions as it may determine and to terminate such employment. The appointment of an executive director by the governing board is subject to approval by the Governor and must be initially confirmed by the Florida Senate. The governing board may delegate all or part of its authority under this paragraph to the executive director. The executive director must be confirmed by the Senate upon employment and must be confirmed or reconfirmed by the Senate during the second regular session of the Legislature following a gubernatorial election.

(b)1. The governing board of each water management district shall employ an inspector general, who shall report directly to the board. However, the governing boards of the Suwannee River Water Management District and the Northwest Florida Water Management District may jointly employ an inspector general, or provide for inspector general services by interagency agreement with a state agency or water management district inspector general.

2. An inspector general must have the qualifications prescribed and perform the applicable duties of state agency inspectors general as provided in s. 20.055.

(5) The governing board may employ a legal staff for the purposes of:

(a) Providing legal counsel to the governing board on matters relating to the exercise of its powers and duties and to the executive director and district staff on matters relating to the day-to-day operations of the district;

(b) Representing it in all proceedings of an administrative or judicial nature; and

(c) Otherwise assisting in the administration of the provisions of this chapter.

Attorneys employed by the district must represent the legal interest or position of the governing board.

(6) By resolution the governing board may determine the location of its principal office and provide for the change thereof.

(7) The governing board shall meet at least once a month and upon call of the chair.

History.–s. 15, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 1, ch. 82-46; ss. 6, 12, ch. 84-341; s. 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217; s. 23, ch. 93-213; s. 8, ch. 94-235; s. 254, ch. 94-356; s. 1006, ch. 95-148; s. 10, ch. 97-160; s. 21, ch. 2001-256.

373.0795 Severance pay for water management district employees.–

(1) As used in this section, “severance pay” means the actual or constructive compensation, in salary, benefits, or perquisites, of an officer or employee of a water management district, or any subdivision or agency thereof, for employment services yet to be rendered for a term greater than 4 weeks before or immediately following termination of employment. The term does not include:

(a) Earned and accrued annual, sick, compensatory, and administrative leave.

(b) Early retirement provisions established in an actuarially funded pension plan subject to part VII of chapter 112.

(2) After July 1, 1997, a water management district, or any agency or subdivision thereof, may not pay to any of its officers or employees severance pay, except under any of the following conditions:

(a) The severance pay is authorized in an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement providing for it and in effect on July 1, 1997. Collective bargaining agreements or employment contracts extended or entered on or after July 1, 1997, may not contain any provision for severance pay. However, employees classified as managerial, executive, or exempt in the district’s personnel plan who serve at the convenience of the district are subject to the provisions of this section beginning July 1, 1997.

(b) The severance pay is paid from wholly private funds available to the district in the ordinary course of business, the payment and receipt of which would not otherwise violate any provision of part III of chapter 112.

(c) The severance pay is administered under the auspices of part II of chapter 112 on behalf of an agency outside this state and would be permitted under that agency’s personnel system.

(d) The severance pay represents the settlement of an employment dispute; however, such a settlement may not contain any provisions that limit the ability of any party to the settlement to discuss the dispute or settlement.

(3) This section does not operate to create an entitlement to severance pay in the absence of its authorization by a water management district.

History.–s. 33, ch. 97-160.

373.083 General powers and duties of the governing board.–In addition to other powers and duties allowed it by law, the governing board is authorized to:

(1) Contract with public agencies, private corporations, or other persons; sue and be sued; and appoint and remove agents and employees, including specialists and consultants.

(2) Issue orders to implement or enforce any of the provisions of this chapter or regulations thereunder.

(3) Make surveys and investigations of the water supply and resources of the district and cooperate with other governmental agencies in similar activities.

(4) Solicit and accept donations or grants of funds or services from both public and private sources for the planning and implementation of district undertakings and delegations, including, but not limited to, projects, programs, works, and studies.

(5) Execute any of the powers, duties, and functions vested in the governing board through a member or members thereof, the executive director, or other district staff as designated by the governing board. The governing board may establish the scope and terms of any delegation. However, if the governing board delegates the authority to take final action on permit applications under part II or part IV, or petitions for variances or waivers of permitting requirements under part II or part IV, the governing board shall provide a process for referring any denial of such application or petition to the governing board to take final action. The authority in this subsection is supplemental to any other provision of this chapter granting authority to the governing board to delegate specific powers, duties, or functions.

History.–s. 16, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217; s. 1, ch. 97-70; s. 1, ch. 2000-133; s. 2, ch. 2001-256.

373.0831 Water resource development; water supply development.–

(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.

(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) The water management districts shall fund and implement water resource development as defined in s. 373.019. Each governing board shall include in its annual budget the 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 which are consistent with the relevant regional water supply plans and which 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 which meet the criteria in paragraph (a) and also bring about replacement of existing sources in order to help implement a minimum flow or level shall be given first consideration for state or water management district funding assistance.

History.–s. 11, ch. 97-160.

373.084 District works, operation by other governmental agencies.–The district may permit governing bodies of water conservation districts, drainage and other improvement districts, and federal, state and local governments, authorities or agencies to operate and maintain the works of the district under conditions which the governing board may deem advisable.

History.–s. 4, ch. 29790, 1955; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217.

Note.–Former s. 378.161.

373.085 Use of works or land by other districts or private persons.–

(1) The governing board has authority to prescribe the manner in which local works provided by other districts or by private persons will connect with and make use of the works or land of the district, to issue permits therefor, and to cancel the permits for noncompliance with the conditions thereof or for other cause. It is unlawful to connect with or make use of the works or land of the district without consent in writing from its governing board, and the board has authority to prevent or, if done, estop or terminate the same. The use of the works or land of the district for access is governed by this section and is not subject to the provisions of s. 704.01. However, any land or works of the district which have historically been used for public access to the ocean by means of the North New River Canal and its tributaries may not be closed for this purpose unless the district can demonstrate that significant harm to the resource would result from such public use.

(2) Damage resulting from unlawful use of such works, or from violations of the conditions of permit issued by the board shall, if made by other than a public agency, be subject to such penalty as is or may be prescribed by law and in addition thereto by a date and in a manner prescribed by the board, repair of said damage to the satisfaction of said board, or deposit with said board a sum sufficient therefor, and if by a public agency, then at the expense of such agency the repair of said damage to the satisfaction of the board or the deposit with said board of a sum sufficient therefor.

History.–s. 17, ch. 25209, 1949; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 7, ch. 84-341; s. 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217.

Note.–Former s. 378.17.

373.086 Providing for district works.–

(1) In order to carry out the works for the district, and for effectuating the purposes of this chapter, the governing board is authorized to clean out, straighten, enlarge, or change the course of any waterway, natural or artificial, within or without the district; to provide such canals, levees, dikes, dams, sluiceways, reservoirs, holding basins, floodways, pumping stations, bridges, highways, and other works and facilities which the board may deem necessary; to establish, maintain, and regulate water levels in all canals, lakes, rivers, channels, reservoirs, streams, or other bodies of water owned or maintained by the district; to cross any highway or railway with works of the district and to hold, control, and acquire by donation, lease, or purchase, or to condemn any land, public or private, needed for rights-of-way or other purposes, and may remove any building or other obstruction necessary for the construction, maintenance, and operation of the works; and to hold and have full control over the works and rights-of-way of the district.

(2) The works of the district shall be those adopted by the governing board of the district. The district may require or take over for operation and maintenance such works of other districts as the governing board may deem advisable under agreement with such districts.

(3)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 120, the temporary construction, operation, or maintenance of water supply backpumping facilities to be used for storage of surplus water shall not require a permit under this chapter, chapter 253, or chapter 403 from the Department of Environmental Protection if the governing board issues an order declaring a water emergency which order is approved by the Secretary of Environmental Protection. Such approval may be given by telephone and confirmed by appropriate order at a later date. The temporary construction, operation, or maintenance of the facilities shall cease when the governing board or the secretary issues an order declaring that the emergency no longer exists. If the district intends to operate any such facilities permanently under nonemergency conditions, it shall apply for the appropriate required permits from the Department of Environmental Protection within 30 days of rescinding the emergency order.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 120, emergency orders issued pursuant to this subsection shall be valid for a period of 90 days and may be renewed for a single 90-day period.

History.–s. 16, ch. 25209, 1949; s. 2, ch. 29790, 1955; s. 1, ch. 61-147; s. 3, ch. 61-497; s. 2, ch. 63-224; s. 1, ch. 67-206; s. 1, part VI, ch. 72-299; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 4, ch. 82-101; s. 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217; s. 255, ch. 94-356.

Note.–Former s. 378.16.

373.087 District works using aquifer for storage and supply.–The governing board may establish works of the district for the purpose of introducing water into, or drawing water from, the underlying aquifer for storage or supply. However, only water of a compatible quality shall be introduced directly into such aquifer.

History.–s. 1, ch. 72-318; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217.

373.088 Application fees for certain real estate transactions.–The governing board may adopt rules to provide for the assessment and collection of reasonable fees for the processing of applications for sale, easement, lease, exchange, release, nonuse commitment, disclaimer, quitclaim deed, or reissuance or correction of deed with respect to any interest in lands, such fees to be commensurate with the actual cost of processing such applications.

History.–s. 3, ch. 82-101; s. 34, ch. 83-218; s. 2, ch. 89-279; s. 11, ch. 90-217.

373.089 Sale or exchange of lands, or interests or rights in lands.–The governing board of the district may sell lands, or interests or rights in lands, to which the district has acquired title or to which it may hereafter acquire title in the following manner:

(1) Any lands, or interests or rights in lands, determined by the governing board to be surplus may be sold by the district, at any time, for the highest price obtainable; however, in no case shall the selling price be less than the appraised value of the lands, or interests or rights in lands, as determined by a certified appraisal obtained within 120 days before the sale.

(2) All sales of land, or interests or rights in land, shall be for cash or upon terms and security to be approved by the governing board, but a deed therefor shall not be executed and delivered until full payment is made.

(3) Before selling any surplus land, or interests or rights in land, it shall be the duty of the district to cause a notice of intention to sell to be published in a newspaper published in the county in which the land, or interests or rights in the land, is situated once each week for 3 successive weeks (three insertions being sufficient), the first publication of which shall be not less than 30 days nor more than 45 days prior to any sale, which notice shall set forth a description of lands, or interests or rights in lands, to be offered for sale.

(4) The governing board of a district may exchange lands, or interests or rights in lands, owned by, or lands, or interests or rights in lands, for which title is otherwise vested in, the district for other lands, or interests or rights in lands, within the state owned by any person. The governing board shall fix the terms and conditions of any such exchange and may pay or receive any sum of money that the board considers necessary to equalize the values of exchanged properties. Land, or interests or rights in land, acquired under s. 373.59 may be exchanged only for lands, or interests or rights in lands, that otherwise meet the requirements of that section for acquisition.

(5) Any lands the title to which is vested in the governing board of a water management district may be surplused pursuant to the procedures set forth in this section and s. 373.056 and the following:

(a) For those lands designated as acquired for conservation purposes, the governing board shall make a determination that the lands are no longer needed for conservation purposes and may dispose of them by a two-thirds vote.

(b) For all other lands, the governing board shall make a determination that such lands are no longer needed and may dispose of them by majority vote.

(c) For the purposes of this subsection, all lands for which title has vested in the governing board prior to July 1, 1999, shall be deemed to have been acquired for conservation purposes.

(d) For any lands acquired on or after July 1, 1999, for which title is vested in the governing board, the governing board shall determine which parcels shall be designated as having been acquired for conservation purposes.

History.–s. 4, ch. 29790, 1955; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 9, ch. 82-101; s. 2, ch. 85-347; s. 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217; s. 2, ch. 91-288; s. 4, ch. 94-212; s. 5, ch. 94-240; s. 32, ch. 99-247.

Note.–Former s. 378.48.

373.093 Lease of lands or interest in land and personal property.–The governing board of the district may lease any lands or interest in land, including but not limited to oil and mineral rights, to which the district has acquired title, or to which it may hereafter acquire title in the following manner, as long as the lease is consistent with the purposes for which the lands or any interest in land was acquired:

(1) For the best price and terms obtainable, to be determined by the board.

(2) Before leasing any land, or interest in land including but not limited to oil and mineral rights, the district shall cause a notice of intention to lease to be published in a newspaper published in the county in which said land is situated and such other places as the board may determine once each week for 3 successive weeks (three insertions being sufficient), the first publication of which shall be not less than 30 nor more than 90 days prior to the date the board executes the lease, which said notice shall set forth the time and place of leasing and a description of the lands to be leased.

(3) It shall not be necessary to publish the notice as provided by subsection (2) where the lease is made to a person in connection with land acquisition by the district and the lease results in a diminution of the cost to the district in the acquisition of the land.

(4) The governing board of the district may lease existing communications towers and other similar structures which the district owns or which it may hereafter acquire, for the best price and terms obtainable, to be determined by the board.

History.–s. 4, ch. 29790, 1955; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217; s. 11, ch. 92-288; ss. 3, 12, ch. 2001-256.

Note.–Former s. 378.49.

373.096 Releases.–The governing board of the district may release any easement, reservation or right-of-way interests, conveyed to it for which it has no present or apparent future use under terms and conditions determined by the board.

History.–s. 4, ch. 29790, 1955; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217; s. 11, ch. 2001-256.

Note.–Former s. 378.50.

373.099 Execution of instruments.–Any instruments of sale, lease, release, or conveyance executed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be executed in the name of the district by its governing board acting by the chair or vice chair of said board and shall have the corporate seal of the board affixed thereto attested by its secretary and any such instrument shall be effective to pass the title or interest of the district in the property conveyed; provided, the district shall not warrant the title to any property sold, leased, released, or conveyed.

History.–s. 4, ch. 29790, 1955; s. 25, ch. 73-190; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217; s. 596, ch. 95-148.

Note.–Former s. 378.51.

373.103 Powers which may be vested in the governing board at the department’s discretion.–In addition to the other powers and duties allowed it by law, the governing board of a water management district may be specifically authorized by the department to:

(1) Administer and enforce all provisions of this chapter, including the permit systems established in parts II, III, and IV of this chapter, consistent with the water resource implementation rule.

(2) Cooperate with the United States in the manner provided by Congress for flood control, reclamation, conservation, and allied purposes in protecting the inhabitants, the land, and other property within the district from the effects of a surplus or a deficiency of water when the same may be beneficial to the public health, welfare, safety, and utility.

(3) Plan, construct, operate, and maintain works of the district as defined in this chapter.

(4) Determine, establish, and control the level of waters to be maintained in all canals, lakes, rivers, channels, reservoirs, streams, or other bodies of water controlled by the district; to maintain such waters at the levels so determined and established by means of dams, locks, floodgates, dikes, and other structures; and to regulate the discharge into, or withdrawal from, the canals, lakes, rivers, channels, reservoirs, streams, or other bodies of water controlled by the district or which are a work of the district, including review of small watershed projects (Pub. L. No. 83-566).

(5) Expend, at the discretion of the governing board, for purposes of promotion, advertisement, and improvement of the program and objectives of the district, a yearly sum not to exceed 0.25 percent of the moneys collected by taxation within the district.

(6) Exercise such additional power and authority compatible with this chapter and other statutes and federal laws affecting the district as may be necessary to perform such duties and acts and to decide such matters and dispose of the same as are not specifically defined in or covered by statute.

(7) Prepare, in cooperation with the department, that part of the Florida water plan applicable to the district.

(8) Delegate to a local government by rule or agreement the power and duty to administer and enforce any of the statutes, rules, or regulations relating to stormwater permitting or surface water management which the district is authorized or required to administer, including those delegated by a state agency to the district, if the governing board determines that such a delegation is necessary or desirable. Such a delegation shall be made only if the governing board determines that the local government’s program for administering the delegated statute, rule, or regulation:

(a) Provides by ordinance, regulation, or local law for requirements compatible with or stricter or more extensive than those imposed by the statute or the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto;

(b) Provides for the enforcement of such requirements by appropriate administrative and judicial processes; and

(c) Provides for administrative organization, staff, and financial and other resources necessary to effectively and efficiently enforce such requirements.

The governing board shall give prior notice of its intention to enter into an agreement described in this subsection. At a minimum, such notice shall be published in the Florida Administrative Weekly at least 21 days in advance of the governing board’s action. At least once every 6 months, the district shall update its rules to include a list of the agreements adopted pursuant to this subsection to which the district is a party. The list shall identify the parties to, and the date and location of each agreement, and shall specify the nature of the authority delegated by the agreement.

History.–s. 17, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 7, ch. 73-190; s. 2, ch. 80-259; s. 1, ch. 82-46; ss. 3, 25, ch. 88-242; ss. 1, 2, 9, ch. 89-279; ss. 11, 12, ch. 90-217; s. 1, ch. 91-231; s. 3, ch. 91-288; s. 20, ch. 97-160.

373.106 Permit required for construction involving underground formation.–

(1) No construction may be begun on a project involving artificial recharge or the intentional introduction of water into any underground formation except as permitted in chapter 377, without the written permission of the governing board of any water management district within which the construction will take place. Such application shall contain the detailed plans and specifications for the construction of the project.

(2) Each water management district has the exclusive authority to process and issue permits under this section and permits and licenses delegated under s. 403.812, except permits required by the department pursuant to 42 U.S.C. s. 300h until delegated by the department to the districts.

(3) A water management district may do any act necessary to replenish the groundwater of the district. The district may, among other things, for the purposes of replenishing the groundwater supplies within the district:

(a) Buy water;

(b) Exchange water;

(c) Distribute water to persons in exchange for ceasing or reducing groundwater extractions;

(d) Spread, sink, and inject water into the underground;

(e) Store, transport, recapture, reclaim, purify, treat, or otherwise manage and control water for the beneficial use of persons or property within the district; and

(f) Build the necessary works to achieve groundwater replenishment.

History.–s. 18, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 14, ch. 78-95; s. 71, ch. 83-310; s. 2, ch. 84-338; s. 1, ch. 84-341.

373.107 Citation of rule.–In addition to any other provisions within this part or any rules promulgated hereunder, the permitting agency shall, when requesting information for a permit application pursuant to this part or such rules promulgated hereunder, cite a specific rule. If a request for information cannot be accompanied by a rule citation, failure to provide such information cannot be grounds to deny a permit.

History.–s. 3, ch. 79-161.

373.109 Permit application fees.–When a water management district governing board, the department, or a local government implements a regulatory system under this chapter or one which has been delegated pursuant to chapter 403, it may establish a schedule of fees for filing applications for the required permits. Such fees shall not exceed the cost to the district, the department, or the local government for processing, monitoring, and inspecting for compliance with the permit.

(1) All moneys received under the provisions of this section shall be allocated for the use of the water management district, the department, or the local government, whichever processed the permit, and shall be in addition to moneys otherwise appropriated in any general appropriation act. All moneys received by the department under the provisions of this section shall be deposited in the Florida Permit Fee Trust Fund established by s. 403.0871 and shall be used by the department as provided therein. Moneys received by a water management district or the department under the provisions of this section shall be in addition to moneys otherwise appropriated in any general appropriation act.

(2) The failure of any person to pay the fees established hereunder constitutes grounds for revocation or denial of the permit.

History.–s. 19, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 7, ch. 76-243; s. 8, ch. 84-341; s. 27, ch. 87-225; s. 10, ch. 89-279; s. 25, ch. 93-213.

373.113 Adoption of rules by the governing board.–In administering the provisions of this chapter the governing board has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement provisions of law conferring powers or duties upon it.

History.–s. 20, part I, ch. 72-299; s. 83, ch. 98-200.

373.1131 Consolidated action on permits.–

(1) Whenever the implementation of specific authority granted by this chapter, or whenever delegation of another program requiring permits or other authorizations, would result in the department or a water management district processing two or more separate permits or other authorizations for the same activity or project, the department or governing board may procedurally consolidate such separate permits or other authorizations by establishing a single application, permit application fee, noticing procedure, schedule for agency review, and final agency action on the consolidated permit or other authorization.

(2) Procedures to consolidate permitting actions under this section do not constitute rules within the meaning of s. 120.52.

(3) Whenever two or more permits or other authorizations for aquaculture activities have been consolidated into a single process, responsibility for permitting or authorizing such activities shall not be delegated to any unit of local government pursuant to s. 373.103.

History.–s. 17, ch. 96-247.

373.114 Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission; review of district rules and orders; department review of district rules.–

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), the Governor and Cabinet, sitting as the Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission, have the exclusive authority to review any order or rule of a water management district, other than a rule relating to an internal procedure of the district or a final order resulting from an evidentiary hearing held under s. 120.569 or s. 120.57 or a rule that has been adopted after issuance of a final order resulting from an evidentiary hearing held under s. 120.56, to ensure consistency with the provisions and purposes of this chapter. Subsequent to the legislative ratification of the delineation methodology pursuant to s. 373.421(1), this subsection also shall apply to an order of the department, or a local government exercising delegated authority, pursuant to ss. 373.403-373.443, except an order pertaining to activities or operations subject to conceptual plan approval pursuant to chapter 378 or a final order resulting from an evidentiary hearing held under s. 120.569 or s. 120.57.

(a) Such review may be initiated by the department or by a party to the proceeding below by filing a request for review with the Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission and serving a copy on the department and on any person named in the rule or order within 20 days after adoption of the rule or the rendering of the order. For the purposes of this section, the term “party” means any affected person who submitted oral or written testimony, sworn or unsworn, of a substantive nature which stated with particularity objections to or support for the rule or order that are cognizable within the scope of the provisions and purposes of this chapter. In order for the commission to accept a request for review initiated by a party below, with regard to a specific order, three members of the commission must determine on the basis of the record below that the activity authorized by the order would substantially affect natural resources of statewide or regional significance. Review of an order may also be accepted if three members of the commission determine that the order raises issues of policy, statutory interpretation, or rule interpretation that have regional or statewide significance from the standpoint of agency precedent. The party requesting the commission to review an order must allege with particularity, and the commission must find, that:

1. The order is in conflict with statutory requirements; or

2. The order is in conflict with the requirements of a duly adopted rule.

(b) Review by the Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission is appellate in nature and shall be based solely on the record below unless the commission determines that a remand for a formal evidentiary proceeding is necessary to develop additional findings of fact. If there is no evidentiary administrative proceeding resulting from a remand or referral for findings of fact by the commission, then the facts contained in the proposed agency action or proposed water management district action, including any technical staff report, shall be deemed undisputed. The matter shall be heard by the commission not more than 60 days after receipt of the request for review, unless waived by the parties; provided, however, such time limit shall be tolled by a referral or remand pursuant to this paragraph. The commission may refer a request for review to the Division of Administrative Hearings for the production of findings of fact, limited to those needed to render the decision requested, to supplement the record, if a majority of the commission determines that supplementary findings of fact are essential to determine the consistency of a rule or order with the provisions and purposes of this chapter. Alternatively, the commission may remand the matter to the agency below for additional findings of fact, limited to those needed to render the decision requested, to supplement the record, if a majority of the commission determines that supplementary findings of fact are essential to determine the consistency of a rule or order with the provisions and purposes of this chapter. Such proceedings must be conducted and the findings transmitted to the commission within 90 days of the remand or referral.

(c) If the Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission determines that a rule of a water management district is not consistent with the provisions and purposes of this chapter, it may require the water management district to initiate rulemaking proceedings to amend or repeal the rule. If the commission determines that an order is not consistent with the provisions and purposes of this chapter, the commission may rescind or modify the order or remand the proceeding for further action consistent with the order of the Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission only if the commission determines that the activity authorized by the order would substantially affect natural resources of statewide or regional significance. In the case of an order which does not itself substantially affect natural resources of statewide or regional significance, but which raises issues of policy that have regional or statewide significance from the standpoint of agency precedent, the commission may direct the district to initiate rulemaking to amend its rules to assure that future actions are consistent with the provisions and purposes of this chapter without modifying the order.

(d) In a review under this section of a construction permit issued pursuant to a conceptual permit under part IV, which conceptual permit is issued after July 1, 1993, a party to the review may not raise an issue which was or could have been raised in a review of the conceptual permit under this section.

(e) A request for review under this section shall not be a precondition to the seeking of judicial review pursuant to s. 120.68 or the seeking of an administrative determination of rule validity pursuant to s. 120.56.

(f) The Florida Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission may adopt rules to set forth its procedures for reviewing an order or rule of a water management district consistent with the provisions of this section.

(g) For the purpose of this section, it shall be presumed that activity authorized by an order will not affect resources of statewide or regional significance if the proposed activity:

1. Occupies an area less than 10 acres in size, and

2. Does not create impervious surfaces greater than 2 acres in size, and

3. Is not located within 550 feet of the shoreline of a named body of water designated as Outstanding Florida Waters, and

4. Does not adversely affect threatened or endangered species.

This paragraph shall not operate to hold that any activity that exceeds these limits is presumed to affect resources of statewide or regional significance. The determination of whether an activity will substantially affect resources of statewide or regional significance shall be made on a case-by-case basis, based upon facts contained in the record below.

(2) The department shall have the exclusive authority to review rules of the water management districts, other than rules relating to internal management of the districts, to ensure consistency with the water resource implementation rule as set forth in the rules of the department. Within 30 days after adoption or revision of any water management district rule, the department shall initiate a review of such rule pursuant to this section.

(a) Within 30 days after adoption of a rule, any affected person may request that a hearing be held before the secretary of the department, at which hearing evidence and argument may be presented relating to the consistency of the rule with the water resource implementation rule, by filing a request for hearing with the department and serving a copy on the water management district.

(b) If the department determines that the rule is inconsistent with the water resource implementation rule, it may order the water management district to initiate rulemaking proceedings to amend or repeal the rule.

(c) An order of the department requiring amendment or repeal of a rule may be appealed to the Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission by the water management district or any other party to the proceeding before the secretary.

History.–s. 11, ch. 75-22; s. 72, ch. 83-310; s. 26, ch. 93-213; s. 21, ch. 97-160; s. 7, ch. 98-146; s. 8, ch. 2002-261.

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