Introduction

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, identifying alternative ways in which water supply needs can be met for the next 20 years. Local governments that fall within an area subject to a regional water supply plan are required to amend their 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.

Statutory Requirements

Section 373.709, Florida Statutes, Section 163.3177(6)(c)3, Florida Statutes, requires that the 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 to reflect whatever changes in the regional plan affect their 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:

  1. Coordinate appropriate aspects of their comprehensive plan with the appropriate water management district's regional water supply plan. [Section 163.3177(4)(a), Florida Statutes.]
  2. 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 should 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 should also identify conservation and reuse measures to meet future needs. [Section 163.3177(6)(c), Florida Statutes.]
  3. 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 and 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.]
  4. 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, assigned a level of priority for funding. [163.3177(3)(a)4, Florida Statutes.]
  5. 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.  [163.3177(6)(h)1, Florida Statutes.]
  6. 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, transmit the amendments to incorporate the statutory changes as appropriate.  [Section 163.3191(1) and (2), Florida Statutes.] 

Applicable Florida Statutes

Guidelines for Preparing Water Supply Facilities Work Plan

The Department 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.

Water Management Districts’ Regional Water Supply Plans

Access the water management districts’ web sites, including regional water supply plans, with the exception of the Suwannee River Water Management District which has not adopted a regional water supply plan at this time.  The District’s 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:

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

Contacts

  • Joseph Addae-Mensa, Ph.D.

    Planning Analyst
    (850) 717-8476
  • Janet G. Llewellyn

    Policy Administrator, Office of Water Policy, Department of Environmental Protection
    (850) 245-3139
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