Florida Senate - 2015                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for SB 918
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  04/08/2015           .                                

       Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government (Hays)
       recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment to Amendment (322890) (with title
    2  amendment)
    4         Between lines 446 and 447
    5  insert:
    6         Section 9. Section 373.037, Florida Statutes, is created to
    7  read:
    8         373.037 Pilot program for alternative water supply
    9  development in restricted allocation areas.—
   10         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   11         (a) “Central Florida Water Initiative Area” means all of
   12  Orange, Osceola, Polk, and Seminole Counties, and southern Lake
   13  County, as designated by the Central Florida Water Initiative
   14  Guiding Document of January 30, 2015.
   15         (b) “Lower East Coast Regional Water Supply Planning Area”
   16  means the areas withdrawing surface and groundwater from Water
   17  Conservation Areas 1, 2A, 2B, 3A, and 3B, Grassy Waters
   18  Preserve/Water Catchment Area, Pal Mar, J.W. Corbett Wildlife
   19  Management Area, Loxahatchee Slough, Loxahatchee River,
   20  Riverbend Park, Dupuis Reserve, Jonathan Dickinson State Park,
   21  Kitching Creek, Moonshine Creek, Cypress Creek, Hobe Grove
   22  Ditch, the Holey Land and Rotenberger Wildlife Management Areas,
   23  and the freshwater portions of the Everglades National Park, as
   24  designated by the South Florida Water Management District.
   25         (c) “Restricted allocation area” means an area within a
   26  water supply planning region of the Southwest Florida Water
   27  Management District, the South Florida Water Management
   28  District, or the St. Johns River Water Management District where
   29  the governing board of the water management district has
   30  determined that existing sources of water are not adequate to
   31  supply water for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial
   32  uses and to sustain the water resources and related natural
   33  systems for the planning period pursuant to ss. 373.036 and
   34  373.709 and where the governing board of the water management
   35  district has applied allocation restrictions with regard to the
   36  use of specific sources of water. For the purposes of this
   37  section, the term includes the Central Florida Water Initiative
   38  Area, the Lower East Coast Regional Water Supply Planning Area,
   39  the Southern Water Use Caution Area, and the Upper East Coast
   40  Regional Water Supply Planning Area.
   41         (d) “Southern Water Use Caution Area” means all of Desoto,
   42  Hardee, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties and parts of Charlotte,
   43  Highlands, Hillsborough, and Polk Counties, as designated by the
   44  Southwest Florida Water Management District.
   45         (e) “Upper East Coast Regional Water Supply Planning Area”
   46  means the areas withdrawing surface and groundwater from the
   47  Central and Southern Florida canals or the Floridan Aquifer, as
   48  designated by the South Florida Water Management District.
   49         (2) The Legislature finds that:
   50         (a) Local governments, regional water supply authorities,
   51  and government-owned and privately owned water utilities face
   52  significant challenges in securing funds for implementing large
   53  scale alternative water supply projects in certain restricted
   54  allocation areas due to a variety of factors, such as the
   55  magnitude of the water resource challenges, the large number of
   56  water users, the difficulty of developing multijurisdictional
   57  solutions across district, county, and municipal boundaries, and
   58  the expense of developing large-scale alternative water supply
   59  projects identified in the regional water supply plans pursuant
   60  to s. 373.709.
   61         (b) These challenges have resulted in some cases in failure
   62  to achieve minimum flows and minimum water levels, to mitigate
   63  and avoid harm to the water resource and related natural
   64  systems, to provide adequate water supply for all existing and
   65  projected reasonable-beneficial uses, and to sustain the water
   66  resources and related natural systems within certain restricted
   67  allocation areas.
   68         (c) These factors make it necessary for the Southwest
   69  Florida Water Management District, the South Florida Water
   70  Management District, and the St. Johns River Water Management
   71  District to each take the lead in developing and implementing
   72  one alternative water supply project within a restricted
   73  allocation area as a pilot alternative water supply development
   74  project.
   75         (d) The traditional role of local governments, regional
   76  water supply authorities, and government-owned and privately
   77  owned water utilities will be maintained by requiring the water
   78  management districts to turn over ownership and control of a
   79  pilot project to the project participants if they can secure the
   80  funds to implement the pilot project and resolve any governance
   81  issues over the development, implementation, and operation of
   82  the pilot project.
   83         (e) The development and implementation of one alternative
   84  water supply project each by the Southwest Florida Water
   85  Management District, the South Florida Water Management
   86  District, and the St. Johns River Water Management District
   87  within a restricted allocation area as a pilot project is for
   88  the benefit of the public health, safety, and welfare and is in
   89  the public interest. The pilot projects must provide water
   90  supply and environmental benefits. Consideration shall be given
   91  to projects that provide reductions in damaging discharges to
   92  tide or are part of a recovery or prevention strategy for
   93  minimum flows and minimum water levels.
   94         (3) The Southwest Florida Water Management District, the
   95  South Florida Water Management District, and the St. Johns River
   96  Water Management District shall each designate and implement an
   97  existing alternative water supply project, identified in its
   98  regional water supply plan, as its one pilot project or amend
   99  its regional water supply plan to add a new alternative water
  100  supply project as its one pilot project. The pilot project
  101  designation shall be made no later than July 1, 2016, and is not
  102  subject to the rulemaking requirements of chapter 120 or subject
  103  to legal challenge pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57. Once
  104  designated, the pilot project shall be considered a use
  105  resulting in an enhancement of the water resources of the area
  106  and entitled to a preference over other uses in the event of
  107  competing applications pursuant to s. 373.036(5). A water
  108  management district may designate an alternative water supply
  109  project located within another water management district if the
  110  project is located in a restricted allocation area designated by
  111  the other water management district and a substantial quantity
  112  of water provided by the alternative water supply project will
  113  be used within the designating water management district’s
  114  boundaries.
  115         (4) In addition to their other powers and duties under this
  116  chapter, the governing boards of the Southwest Florida Water
  117  Management District, the South Florida Water Management
  118  District, and the St. Johns River Water Management District have
  119  the following powers and are subject to the following
  120  restrictions in implementing their respective pilot projects
  121  pursuant to this section:
  122         (a) May establish, design, construct, operate, and maintain
  123  water production, treatment and transmission, or other related
  124  facilities for the purpose of supplying water to counties,
  125  municipalities, special districts, publicly owned and privately
  126  owned water utilities, multijurisdictional water supply
  127  entities, other large water users, or regional water supply
  128  authorities.
  129         (b) May not engage in local water supply distribution.
  130         (c) May supply water at a cost not to exceed expenses
  131  directly related to the planning, design, development,
  132  implementation, operation, and maintenance of the pilot project.
  133  The cost of such water shall be established by the governing
  134  board only after a public hearing at which pilot project
  135  customers have an opportunity to be heard concerning the
  136  proposed cost.
  137         (d) Must provide credit toward the pro rata cost of the
  138  water to be supplied from the pilot project to a customer equal
  139  to any expenses incurred by the customer toward the
  140  implementation of the pilot project before the water management
  141  district’s designation and implementation of the pilot project.
  142         (e) In addition to the power to issue revenue bonds
  143  pursuant to s. 373.584, may issue revenue bonds for the purpose
  144  of paying the costs and expenses incurred in carrying out the
  145  purposes of this section or refunding obligations of the water
  146  management district issued pursuant to this section. All
  147  provisions of s. 373.584 relating to the issuance of revenue
  148  bonds which are not inconsistent with this section apply to the
  149  issuance of revenue bonds pursuant to this section. The water
  150  management districts may also issue bond anticipation notes in
  151  accordance with s. 373.584.
  152         (f) May join with one or more other water management
  153  districts, counties, municipalities, special districts, publicly
  154  owned or privately owned water utilities, multijurisdictional
  155  water supply entities, regional water supply authorities, self
  156  suppliers, or other entities for the purpose of carrying out
  157  their powers, and may contract with any such other entities to
  158  finance or otherwise implement acquisitions, construction, and
  159  operation and maintenance, if such contracts are consistent with
  160  the public interest and based upon independent cost estimates,
  161  including comparisons with other alternative water supply
  162  projects. The contracts may provide for contributions to be made
  163  by each party to the contract for the division and apportionment
  164  of resulting costs, including capital, operations and
  165  maintenance, benefits, services, and products. The contracts may
  166  contain other covenants and agreements necessary and appropriate
  167  to accomplish their purposes.
  168         (5) The water management districts may provide up to 50
  169  percent of funding assistance for the pilot project. If the
  170  pilot project selected by a water management district is the
  171  subject of a cooperative funding agreement, the water management
  172  district may not reduce the level of funding assistance
  173  previously committed.
  174         (6) If the pilot project customers form a
  175  multijurisdictional water supply entity to implement and develop
  176  the pilot project selected by a water management district on or
  177  before July 1, 2017, and take substantive steps to develop and
  178  implement the project, such as entering into water supply
  179  contracts, issuing revenue bonds or bond anticipation notes to
  180  finance the project, or awarding construction contracts to
  181  construct the project in whole or in part, the water management
  182  district is prohibited from proceeding with implementation and
  183  development of the selected pilot project. The water management
  184  district may designate a new pilot project within 1 year after
  185  the creation of the multijurisdictional entity and the
  186  completion of at least one substantive step by the
  187  multijurisdictional entity to implement the project.
  188         (7) If the pilot project customers form a
  189  multijurisdictional water supply entity to take over
  190  construction, operation, maintenance, and control of the pilot
  191  project at any time during the life of the pilot project, the
  192  water management district must transfer ownership and control of
  193  the pilot project to the pilot project customers upon repayment
  194  of any revenue bonds or other obligations issued by the water
  195  management district to develop and implement the pilot project
  196  and any outstanding expenses incurred by the water management
  197  district in constructing, operating, and maintaining the pilot
  198  project. Pilot project customers are not responsible for
  199  repayment of any cooperative funding provided by a water
  200  management district for the pilot project. In such an event, the
  201  water management district may develop and implement another
  202  pilot project within a restricted allocation area.
  203         (8) No later than 3 years following designation of the
  204  pilot project pursuant to subsection (3), the Southwest Florida
  205  Water Management District, the South Florida Water Management
  206  District, and the St. Johns River Water Management District
  207  shall each submit a report to the Governor, the President of the
  208  Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the
  209  effectiveness of the pilot project, including the following
  210  information:
  211         (a) A description of the alternative water supply project
  212  selected as a pilot project by the respective water management
  213  districts, including the quantity of water the project has
  214  produced or is expected to produce and the consumptive users who
  215  are expected to use the water produced by the pilot project to
  216  meet their existing and projected reasonable-beneficial need.
  217         (b) Progress made in developing and implementing the pilot
  218  project in comparison to development and implementation of other
  219  alternative water supply projects in the restricted allocation
  220  area.
  221         (c) The capital and operation costs to be expended by the
  222  water management district in implementing the pilot project in
  223  comparison to other alternative water supply projects being
  224  developed and implemented in the restricted allocation area.
  225         (d) The source of funds used or to be used by the water
  226  management district in developing and implementing the pilot
  227  project.
  228         (e) The unit cost of water produced from the pilot project
  229  in comparison to the unit cost of water from other alternative
  230  water supply projects being developed in the restricted
  231  allocation area.
  232         (f) The benefits to the water resources and natural systems
  233  from implementation of the pilot project.
  234         (g) A recommendation as to whether the traditional role of
  235  water management districts regarding the development and
  236  implementation of alternative water supply projects, as
  237  specified in ss. 373.705 and 373.707, should be revised and, if
  238  so, identification of the statutory changes necessary to expand
  239  the scope of the pilot program.
  241  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  242  And the title is amended as follows:
  243         Delete line 3853
  244  and insert:
  245         water quality or water quantity; creating s. 373.037,
  246         F.S.; defining terms; providing legislative findings;
  247         requiring certain water management districts to
  248         designate and implement certain pilot projects;
  249         providing powers and limitations for the governing
  250         boards of such water management districts; providing
  251         funding for certain pilot projects; requiring the
  252         districts to submit a report to the Governor and the
  253         Legislature on the effectiveness of the pilot program;
  254         amending s. 373.042,