The Florida Legislature
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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

A Review of the Water Resources Management Program Administered by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Water Management Districts , Report No. 94-17, December 1994

  • The Water Resource Management Program's emphasis on regional flexibility and voluntary cooperation, rather than on strong state direction and centralized control, allows for substantial variation in program implementation. Although the Department and the water management districts are now working cooperatively to improve water resources management, current progress in water resources planning can be contrasted with the delays of the past. Consequently, any conclusions regarding the program structure must consider recently improved performance as well as past performance. Depending on whether greater emphasis is placed on the current level of performance or on program accomplishments over the 20-year history of the program, different conclusions can be offered.
  • The key question is whether the Water Resources Management Program, as it is currently designed, can effectively deal with Florida's water resources problems. Improved water resources planning will likely continue under the current program design, though program performance should be closely monitored. The contribution such planning makes to solving current water resources problems will depend upon improving the relationship between the water resources planning and land use planning processes. Administrative improvements and statutory changes could better ensure the continuity of current planning efforts and better integrate land and water management. However, if the program does not demonstrate effectiveness in managing the state's water resources in the future, major restructuring of the program will become an increasingly viable alternative. At present, it is important to understand the possible costs and benefits of major restructuring prior to considering such an alternative.

    Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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