Reviewing Florida water policy

The Florida House of Representatives “Select Committee on Water Policy” is reviewing the state’s water policies and expects to do so for the rest of 2011.   This may prove to be the most thorough review since the 1994 Legislature established a “Water Management District Review Commission.”   That Commission, chaired by Phil Lewis, former President of the Florida Senate, worked 18 months to produce eighty recommendations.  Soon thereafter, most of the Commission’s recommendations became either state law or were adopted as district policy.

Some of the preliminary issues being studied by the House Select Committee are very similar to the subjects carefully studied by the “WMDRC.”  For example:

Committee: “Evaluating whether the current division of responsibilities between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the five WMDs, regional water supply authorites, and local water utilities should be refined….”

WMDRC: [Review] “The need for a system of water management districts and a system of district offices of the Department of Environmental Protection.”

Committee: Evaluating the manner in which water management district board members are selected to determine if modifications to the current selection process are warranted.

WMDRC: [Review] Whether to continue the current system of appointed members of governing boards of water management districts…..

I hope that any statutory changes derived from the House Select Committee on Water Policy help rather than hinder effective water management.   (I have discussed some possible improvements in my book).

More posts to follow.

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