It is more than odd that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection highlights on its home page a “Performance Dashboard” with not a single measure corresponding to key “Water Management Performance Measures” used by the five water management districts. The WMDs report on fundamental performance measures that FDEP does not utilize on a statewide basis, including:
- Per capita water use
- Residential per capita water use
- Percentage of surface waters with healthy nutrient levels
- Percentage of surface waters with healthy biological condition
- Improving, degrading and stable trends in nitrate concentrations in springs
- Total acres of wetlands or other surface waters authorized by Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) to be impacted and the number of acres required to be created, enhanced, restored and preserved
Instead, the FDEP “Dashboard” reports mostly on secondary and administrative measures, like the amount of money loaned, permit process times, insurance premiums, “customer surveys,” etc. That doesn’t tell us whether Florida’s water environment is getting better or worse.