The Florida Legislature is poised to fully pass a sustainable water bill this week that will encourage the use of agricultural lands for water retention and storage.
The Florida Senate today took important steps toward creating long-term sustainable water initiatives by passing SB 312- a bill that encourages the use of agricultural lands for water retention and storage.
SB 312, sponsored by Senator Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby), was heard in the Florida Senate today and it is expected to fully pass in the coming days. The Florida House has previously passed this bill.
This bill will make sure greenbelt exemptions, for agriculture landowners participating in water storage programs, are retained. By working to develop alternative water supplies, we can ensure sustainable economic growth.
Specifically, the bill:
Encourages the use of agricultural lands for water retention and storage to aid water management districts and local water authorities in meeting water needs;
Provides that participation in a water farming program will be considered non-income-producing if specified criteria are met; and
Will allow individuals who are helping water management districts with water storage to maintain their greenbelt exemptions.
The Florida Chamber strongly supports the expanded use of alternative water supplies and associated projects that encourage alternative water storage and conservations measures. Supporting conservation and reuse measures are key in protecting Florida’s natural resources and promoting sustainable economic growth.
What Happens Next?
Today the bill rolled to third reading in the Senate. When the Senate takes the bill up again later this week, they are expected to fully pass it.