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City of Melbourne’s water system at Lake WashingtonConsumptive Use Permitting Consistency

WMD CUPcon Rulemaking Update

During the November 2013 Governing Board meetings, the Suwannee River, South Florida, Southwest Florida and Northwest Florida Water Management Districts will be requesting authorization to publish the notice of proposed rules to amend their consumptive use permitting rules in accordance with the statewide effort to improve consistency. For more information and links to the updated rules please view our CUPcon Rulemaking page.

Modification to CUP Consistency Initiative

The Department has modified the proposed schedule for the Consumptive Use Permitting Consistency Initiative (CUPcon). The remaining CUPcon topics that the Department and the Water Management Districts will continue to work on include:

  • Types of Permits/Permit Thresholds
  • Water Conservation for Public Water Supply
  • Reuse
    • Substitution credits
    • Impact Offsets
  • Administrative Changes
    • Consistent permit application forms
    • Re-organization of applicant’s handbook
    • Make 10-yr compliance report requirements consistent with DEP guidance memo and existing statutes
    • Consistent pumpage reporting forms and other monitoring forms
    • Develop standard “limiting conditions” for permits

The completion of the CUPcon rulemaking will be done by the Water Management Districts and is expected to be completed during Fall 2013. No further rulemaking associated with the CUPcon Initiative is expected to occur.

CUPcon Initiative

The Department of Environmental Protection is leading a statewide effort to improve consistency in the Consumptive/Water Use Permitting Programs implemented by the Water Management Districts. The individual water management district consumptive use permitting rules, while all developed under the authority of Ch. 373, F.S., are inconsistent among the districts. While some of the differences may be based on differing physical and natural characteristics, others are the result of development of separate rules and procedures developed over time. This results in confusion for the regulated public, particularly along the border areas of the districts, and inequitable treatment of similar applicants in different districts. Additionally, the development of separate procedures and rules is costly and inefficient. 

The Department’s goals include:

  • Make programs less confusing for applicants, particularly those who work in more than one District;
  • Treat applicants equitably statewide;
  • Provide consistent protection of the environment;
  • Streamline the process; and
  • Incentivize behavior that protects water resources, including conservation.

In November and December 2011, the Department held 10 small group meetings around the state. The Department met with stakeholders from the following groups: public water supply, agricultural water use, industrial use, recreational and small commercial self supply, and environmental interests. The stakeholders identified many issues that should be addressed to improving consistency in consumptive use permitting. The Department and the Water Management Districts formed a core team that coordinated CUPcon Issue Workgroups in developing solutions for the issues identified during stakeholder meetings. Changes developed to promote consistency and efficiency will be codified through policy, rulemaking, or legislation as appropriate.






Janet Llewellyn
Policy Administrator

Kathleen P. Greenwood
Environmental Consultant

Last updated: February 20, 2014