SB 244 provides guidance concerning minimum flows and levels (MFLs), reservations, and recovery or prevention strategies.  More specifically, the bill:
  • requires a priority list and schedule to include MFLs and reservations and a list of water bodies that may be affected by water withdrawals in an adjacent water management district 
  • directs the WMDs to provide technical information and staff support to the DEP when it proposes adoption of a reservation, MFL, or recovery or prevention strategy by rule;
  • requires the WMDs to apply any reservation, MFL, or recovery or prevention strategy adopted by the DEP to the applicable water body without having to adopt its own rules;
  • grants authorization for WMDs to enter into interagency agreements designating a single district to conduct or fund non-regulatory water management activities or projects that cross district boundaries

The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee and will now move on to the Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee, its final committee of reference.  The House companion (HB 7 – Pilon, Porter) is now in the Agriculture & Natural Resources Subcommittee but has yet to be heard.