About the Commission

Purpose
The use of Florida’s fresh water resources is becoming stressed as our demand for water grows. To meet this growing need while protecting water resources and related natural systems requires the development of non-traditional water supplies. Potable reuse is an emerging alternative water supply option that can help to safely meet Florida’s future water needs by providing resiliency during natural drought cycles for decades to come. The purpose of the potable reuse commission (PRC) is to create a consensus driven partnership to develop the framework for the implementation of potable reuse in Florida. The PRC recommendations, proposed legislation and regulatory path will be complete in December 2018 and subsequently submitted to policy makers and regulators for consideration.

Background

In Florida, areas that have an existing water resource constraint or where a water resource constraint is projected to develop during the next twenty years have been designated by the water management districts as a Water Resource Caution Area. Currently 67% of Florida resides within a Water Resource Caution Area resulting in modifications to how we manage water resources. Factors such as increased water demands and impacts to natural systems from groundwater withdrawal drive the need to restore water levels and natural systems. Alternative water supply provides protection for natural resources and water supply as Florida continues to grow.

Alternative water supply development is critical if Florida is to meet its water needs. Potable reuse is a safe reliable water supply that meets Federal and State drinking water standards. Expansion of potable reuse in Florida requires statutory and regulatory framework.

Mission

Develop a framework for potable reuse implementation in Florida to augment future water supply and support water quality initiatives. Advise elected officials and regulatory agencies on statutory and regulatory challenges, and present consensus based solutions.

Potable Reuse Framework Outcomes

  1. Facilitate the expansion of potable reuse to supplement withdrawals from the natural system while protecting the investment of public dollars,
  2. Develop recommendations for legislation, rule development, and incentives for potable reuse,
  3. Identify benefits of potable reuse to environmental restoration and economic development,
  4. Establish potable reuse fact sheet for statewide consistency in public education.

Approach

The PRC will produce documents that succinctly summarize recommendations, resolve issues, and serve as briefing materials for elected officials and regulatory agencies. These will serve as the foundation for a final report, which will include recommendations for the implementation of potable reuse in Florida. Meetings will be publicly noticed in the Florida Administrative Register (FAR) to provide opportunity for stakeholder participation.

 Guiding Principles

  1. Consensus based effort by water professionals and a diverse stakeholder group to identify and address technical, regulatory, and implementation barriers to potable reuse in Florida.
  2. For the 2019 legislative session, the PRC will provide the underlying statutory framework for the implementation of potable reuse.
  3. The PRC will provide leadership in developing the regulatory framework for implementation of potable reuse as an alternative water supply option (right water, right time, and right place).

Membership

The PRC will be comprised of eleven members with the President Elect of Florida WateReuse Association serving as the Chair of the commission. This initiative is a collaborative partnership with Florida Section American Water Works Association (FSAWWA) and Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA) and to reflect the leadership roles, three vice chairs seats provide representation from all three associations. The remaining seven seats characterize the stakeholders directly or indirectly affected by the implementation of potable reuse in Florida. To leverage the agencies expertise and experience in potable reuse in the development of a framework, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the five Water Management Districts will serve as ex-officio and act as advisors to the commission.

Commission Members:

  • WateReuse Florida (2)
  • Utilities (4) Seats Nominated by:
    1. Florida Water Environment Association
    2. American Water Works Association
  • Agriculture
  • Department of Health
  • Environmental Group
  • Public Health/Medical State University Representative
  • Associated Industries of Florida