The excellent news, despite recent crippling assaults on Florida water management, is that the underlying structure is intact. It is still one of the best in the country. The key features are common sense ideas but which are absent in most other states:
- A single water law doctrine for both surface and groundwater.
- Public ownership of water resources with an associated water use permit system.
- Unified management of both water quality and water quantity.
- Regional agencies that can look beyond purely local concerns, but which themselves are under state supervision.
- Ability to tax on a regional and local basis for water management purposes.
- Entire state is within the geographic scope of regional water agencies.
This unusual combination of abilities and powers makes it legally possible for all of Florida to use, manage, and sustain water resources. None of it works, of course, without the necessary political will.