DECF Position: Water Resources

Our Positions


We focus on the critical issue of water preservation and allocation in the face of rapidly increasing demand from both private and for-profit community groups. Our principles and actions are intended to address the common and shared values and needs of Florida residents and businesses. We believe the need to provide water for growing communities and for future generations must override partisan goals or special interests.


Despite progress under past Republican and Democratic administrations, we currently face a perfect storm of diminishing water supply and higher demand. Governmental bodies have used uncertain and changing economic conditions to create a political climate conducive to special interests. This has resulted in a second perfect storm – both the water supply and the benefits of privatization are overestimated, while the need to preserve clean water as a public resource is underestimated.


Despite dried up lakes, advancing saltwater intrusion, and other signs of overuse, no statewide assessment of the availability and sustainability of Florida’s water resources has been done.  A degraded and permissive regulatory climate has induced a free-for-all competition among potential water-users seeking long-term permits, resulting in the auctioning off of our state’s public water resources to the highest bidder. An independent, non-partisan initiative in the 2015 Legislative Session to develop an equitable and responsible public water resources policy would address this crisis.


As stated in the Florida Constitution,  It shall be the policy of the state to conserve and protect its natural resources and scenic beauty. Adequate provision shall be made by law for the abatement of air and water pollution …  and for the conservation of natural resources.


  • Publicly reassert the incalculable economic, social and health values of Florida’s water resources and their critical relationship to the future development of the entire state.
  • Authorize and fund statewide evaluations of water capacity and demands, and create policies to assure equitable allocations of water supplies.
  • Delay issuance of long-term permits until a water management plan is developed.
  • Oppose efforts to privatize Florida’s waters and work to restore environmental safeguards.
  • Restore the balanced management of Florida’s water resources at all government levels.
  • Ensure that growth management laws and policies support sustainable use of water.
  • Support efficient use and reuse of water by developing a priority system for state-funded restoration and conservation projects.
  • Support springs protection legislation and efforts to restore the Everglades.
  • Evaluate the threats of sea level rise to the Biscayne and surficial aquifer systems of South Florida.
  • Oppose hydraulic fracking.



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