570.93 Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; agricultural water conservation and agricultural water supply planning.—
(1) The department shall establish an agricultural water conservation program that includes the following:
(a) A cost-share program, coordinated where appropriate with the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal, state, regional, and local agencies, for irrigation system retrofit and application of mobile irrigation laboratory evaluations for water conservation as provided in this section and, where applicable, for water quality improvement pursuant to s. 403.067(7)(c).
(b) The development and implementation of voluntary interim measures or best management practices, adopted by rule, which provide for increased efficiencies in the use and management of water for agricultural production. In the process of developing and adopting rules for interim measures or best management practices, the department shall consult with the Department of Environmental Protection and the water management districts. Such rules may also include a system to assure the implementation of the practices, including recordkeeping requirements. As new information regarding efficient agricultural water use and management becomes available, the department shall reevaluate and revise as needed, the interim measures or best management practices. The interim measures or best management practices may include irrigation retrofit, implementation of mobile irrigation laboratory evaluations and recommendations, water resource augmentation, and integrated water management systems for drought management and flood control and should, to the maximum extent practicable, be designed to qualify for regulatory incentives and other incentives, as determined by the agency having applicable statutory authority.
(c) Provision of assistance to the water management districts in the development and implementation of a consistent, to the extent practicable, methodology for the efficient allocation of water for agricultural irrigation.
(2) The department shall establish an agricultural water supply planning program that includes the following:
(a) The development of data indicative of future agricultural water supply demands which must be:
1. Based on at least a 20-year planning period.
2. Provided to each water management district.
3. Considered by each water management district in accordance with ss. 373.036(2) and 373.709(2)(a)1.b.
(b) The data on future agricultural water supply demands which are provided to each district must include, but need not be limited to:
1. Applicable agricultural crop types or categories.
2. Historic estimates of irrigated acreage, current estimates of irrigated acreage, and future projections of irrigated acreage for each applicable crop type or category, spatially for each county, including the historic and current methods and assumptions used to generate the spatial acreage estimates and projections.
3. Crop type or category water use coefficients for a 1-in-10 year drought and average year used in calculating historic and current water demands and projected future water demands, including data, methods, and assumptions used to generate the coefficients. Estimates of historic and current water demands must take into account actual metered data as available. Projected future water demands must incorporate appropriate potential water conservation factors based upon data collected as part of the department’s agricultural water conservation program pursuant to subsection (1).
4. An evaluation of significant uncertainties affecting agricultural production which may require a range of projections for future agricultural water supply demands.
(c) In developing the data on future agricultural water supply needs described in paragraph (b), the department shall consult with the agricultural industry, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the Department of Environmental Protection, the water management districts, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the United States Geological Survey.
(d) The department shall coordinate with each water management district to establish a schedule for provision of data on agricultural water supply needs in order to comply with water supply planning provisions in ss. 373.036(2) and 373.709(2)(a)1.b.
History.—s. 56, ch. 2001-279; s. 8, ch. 2005-166; s. 15, ch. 2005-291; s. 5, ch. 2013-177; s. 67, ch. 2014-150.