The opening keynote session will be on the topic of water resources resilience in the U.S.
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, beginning at 8:30 a.m., Phillips will moderate the panel entitled “Florida water resources from Lake Okeechobee to the estuaries: A water management balancing act,” described in the AWRA program as:
This panel will focus on issues facing the management of Lake Okeechobee (Lake) and the estuaries and its effects on water supply, water resources, and environmental restoration throughout south Florida. The panel represents a diverse cross section of Government (state, federal and local), private landowners, tribal entities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and agricultural. The panel will discuss how lake management decisions affect their differing interests and obligations and the varying issues that must be balanced to make decisions. They will focus on the very latest developments affecting the Lake, including the newly passed water policy legislation, status of Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS), schedule and effect of the Hebert Hoover Dike (HHD) repair, endangered species, and status of Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) projects and what can be expected over the coming year. The panel will be structured as a q&A, with interaction form the audience. Materials will include limited PowerPoint slides with maps and other information to guide discussion.
Recognizing the increasingly important role reclaimed water supplies play in balancing the water equation, in 2014 Florida’s Legislature passed a bill requiring a comprehensive study to determine, in part, how the use of reclaimed water could be expanded to assist in meeting future demands. Published in 2015, the report identified a number of impediments and constraints to increasing the use of reclaimed water including regulation and cost. While not regulated as a supply source, reclaimed water reuse must be synchronized with the permitting system. Florida’s Legislature has indicated that additional incentives to reclaimed water are imperative to increasing its use. This two- part course of advanced discussion will focus on the latest issues occurring in the reuse arena including end user concerns, supplementation of reclaimed water from other sources, and regional effects on water quality and water quantity. The panel will represent a diverse cross section of government, utility, environmental, and agricultural interests.
Download a copy of AWRA’s final program for the event.
Phillips is a Florida Bar board certified shareholder who practices in the area of environmental, administrative and governmental law. She leads the firm’s environmental law practice, and serves on the board of directors of AWRA Florida.
Ross is a Florida Bar board certified attorney who has more than 30 years of legal experience pertaining to Florida water policy and water resource-related matters. Before joining Gunster in 2015, Ross was lead attorney for the South Florida Water Management District.
During the course of the annual conference, AWRA Florida is hosting a scavenger hunt networking event at Disney Springs on Nov. 15.
Gunster is a proud sponsor of AWRA’s 2016 annual water resources conference.