Karen Chadwick of the Putnam County Environmental Council made a recent post. Before reading her text, please read the following definition and purpose of the Florida Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission, chaired by Florida’s governor:
FLORIDA LAND AND WATER ADJUDICATORY COMMISSION
STATEMENT OF AGENCY ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION
The Florida Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission (the “Commission”) consists of the Administration Commission (Governor and members of the Cabinet). The Governor is the chair of the Commission. The Commission is created pursuant to section 380.07, Florida Statutes, and is charged with implementing numerous statutory responsibilities to protect Florida’s natural resources and environment, ensure a water management system that will reverse the deterioration of water quality and provide optimum utilization of our limited water resources, facilitate orderly and well-planned development, and protect the health, welfare, safety and quality of life of Florida’s residents.
A state commission has issued a final order rejecting a legal challenge dealing with water withdrawals from the St. Johns and Ocklawaha rivers.
The Putnam County Environmental Council argued in the long-running dispute that a St. Johns River Water Management District water-supply plan improperly designated withdrawals from the rivers as “alternative water supplies.” But the Florida Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission, which is made up of Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet members, issued a final order Tuesday siding with the water-management district.
The commission, which has the authority to review actions of water-management districts, took up the issue during a Sept. 29 meeting. “Petitioner’s argument that the challenged water supply development projects do not qualify as ‘alternative water supplies’ is without merit,” the order said. In a document filed in 2012, the Putnam County group pointed to potentially broad ramifications from the case.
“The precedential impact of St. Johns’ (the water-management district’s) designation of these surface water withdrawals as ‘alternative water supplies’ is statewide,” the document said. “Other water management districts have designated or will designate river withdrawals as ‘alternative water supplies’ if St. Johns’ designations are upheld.”