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Water Versus Development in Florida

IJED, Vol. 4 No. 3, (2002)

Water consumption in Florida has been governed by a political institutional arrangement since 1972. In 1983, Consumptive Use Permitting was added to assure that new uses of water would be: reasonable and/or beneficial; not interfere with present legal uses; and within the public interest. The tradeoff is that water must provide for different human activities, yet have adequate supplies to maintain the natural environment. Florida is also a high growth state where economic development is significant. This study examines water in Florida at two points in time, 1980 and 1990 to see the impact of the governance institutional system, economic development, and land use on freshwater withdrawal. There is cautious optimism that in the 1990 model, withdrawal showed a slight movement towards the governance institutional arrangement.

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