Recognizing the importance of adequate water supplies to Florida's future, the Florida Legislature has established a process for water supply planning through Florida's Community Planning Act Water Resources Act. The state's water management districts must periodically evaluate whether adequate water supplies exist to meet the needs of their areas. If a district finds that the water supply will not be adequate, it must prepare a regional water supply plan, that identifies alternative ways in which water supply needs can be met for the next 20 years. Each local government that falls within an area subject to a regional water supply plan is required to amend its comprehensive plan to adopt a water supply plan covering at least a ten-year period. The water supply plan includes a work plan and addresses the water supply sources and facilities necessary to meet existing and projected water use needs, considering the applicable regional water supply plan.
Sections 373.709 and 163.3177(6)(c)3, Florida Statutes, require that a local government's water supply and work plan be updated within 18 months after a water management district's governing board approves an updated regional water supply plan. The purpose of the update is to reflect any changes in the regional plan that affect the local water supply and work plan.
In order to meet water supply and water facilities planning requirements, local government comprehensive plans must address the following:
- Coordinate appropriate aspects of the comprehensive plan with the appropriate water management district's regional water supply plan. [Section 163.3177(4)(a), Florida Statutes.]
- Revise the Potable Water Sub-Element to adopt a water supply facilities work plan covering at least a 10-year planning period to meet existing and projected demand. The work plan must address those water supply facilities for which the local government has responsibility and include the facilities needed to develop alternative water supplies. The work plan must also identify conservation and reuse measures to meet future needs. [Section 163.3177(6)(c), Florida Statutes.]
- Revise the Conservation Element to assess current and projected water needs and sources for at least a 10-year planning period. The analysis must consider the existing levels of water conservation, use, and protection, the applicable policies of the water management district, and the district's approved regional water supply plan. In the absence of an approved regional water supply plan, the analysis must consider the district's approved water management plan. [Section 163.3177(6)(d)3, Florida Statutes.]
- Revise the Capital Improvements Element to identify capital improvements projects to be implemented in the first 5 years of the work plan for which the local government is responsible, including both publicly and privately funded water supply projects necessary to achieve and maintain adopted level of service standards; and adopt a five-year schedule of capital improvements to include those projects as either funded or unfunded, and if unfunded, assign a level of priority for funding. [Section 163.3177(3)(a)4, Florida Statutes.]
- Revise the Intergovernmental Coordination Element to adopt principles and guidelines to be used to coordinate the comprehensive plan with the regional water supply authority (if applicable) and with the applicable regional water supply plan. [Section 163.3177(6)(h)1, Florida Statutes.]
- During the Evaluation and Appraisal review, determine if comprehensive plan amendments are necessary to reflect statutory changes related to water supply and facilities planning since the last update to the comprehensive plan. If necessary, adopt the plan amendments to incorporate the statutory changes as appropriate. [Section 163.3191(1) and (2), Florida Statutes.]
Applicable Florida Statutes
Guidelines for Preparing a Water Supply Facilities Work Plan
The Department of Economic Opportunity has prepared the following two guidebooks to help local governments understand how to prepare a water supply plan and what it should contain, and to explain the data and analysis needed to support comprehensive plan amendments which significantly impact water supply demand or call for an expansion of major water facilities.
- A Guide to the Preparation of the Water Supply Facilities Work Plan - This document addresses the scope and content of the required ten-year water supply facilities work plan, identifies the data and analysis that is needed, and includes recommendations for adopting the work plan into the comprehensive plan. It also identifies sources of information available to local governments. Examples of adopted water supply facilities work plans are included in this document.
- A Guide to the Data and Analysis to Support Comprehensive Plan Amendments - This document describes the water supply and facilities data and analysis that local governments should submit with proposed comprehensive plan amendments, particularly those that would change the Future Land Use Map to significantly increase land use density or intensity. Examples in the guide describe the basic information and analysis that local governments should consider to support the adoption of a proposed land use change.
Water Management Districts' Regional Water Supply Plans
Access the water management districts' web sites, including regional water supply plans. The Districts' websites identify which local governments are required to adopt a water supply facilities work plan. For additional information about the regional water supply plan(s) applicable to your local government or region, the contact person for each district is also listed:
Additional Information and Resources
Please visit the following websites for additional information related to water supply and water conservation, and other water resources, including grants and funding opportunities:
Regional Water Supply Authorities
Regional Water Initiatives and Partnerships
- Central Florida Water Initiative - This initiative focuses on an area that includes southern Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Polk counties. The St. Johns River Water Management District, South Florida Water Management District and Southwest Florida Water Management District, along with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, regional public water supply utilities and other stakeholders are collaborating to develop a unified process to address central Florida's current and long-term water supply needs.
- North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership - The St. Johns River and Suwannee River Water Management Districts and the Department of Environmental Protection formed this partnership and entered into an agreement that formalizes the coordination of water resource management in north Florida.
State of Florida Water Conservation and Related Information
Federal Water Conservation and Related Information
Other Water Conservation and Water-Related Resources