Florida has five water management districts. These water management districts regulate the use of ground or surface water. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection supervises the water management districts.
The water management districts require consumptive use permits to withdraw and use large amounts of ground or surface water. Generally, to obtain one of these permits, the applicant must demonstrate that their use will be reasonable – beneficial, not interfere with another existing legal user, and be consistent with the public interest. Meeting these requirements can involve a host of other considerations, such as efficiency of the water use and the availability of alternative water sources. In several areas of Florida, the use of ground or surface water is limited due to concerns over environmental impacts. In such areas, obtaining a consumptive use permit is more difficult and can involved competing with other water users.
Hopping Green & Sams assists utilities, industry and agriculture in obtaining and maintaining adequate water supplies to meet their needs. Our services have included:
- Assisting clients in obtaining and complying with consumptive use permits from the water management districts;
- Defending consumptive use permits from legal challenges;
- Assisting clients seeking to ensure that future water needs are accurately set forth in regional water supply plans and that reasonable water supply sources are identified to meet those needs; and
- Participating in the development of the statutes and administrative rules governing water supply permitting and planning.