Elizabeth Ross is an of counsel attorney who joined Gunster in 2015. Beth is board certified by the Florida Bar in state and federal government and administrative practice. Prior to joining the firm, she served as a lead attorney for the South Florida Water Management District. Beth brings more than 30 years of legal experience pertaining to Florida water policy and water resource related matters to Gunster.

Beth is dedicated to resolving complex issues regarding consumptive use permitting, water supply planning, legislation, rule development, alternative water supply development, minimum flows and levels, water reservations, Seminole Tribe Water Rights Compact, reclaimed water reuse regulation, wetland mitigation, enforcement and contract negotiation, litigation, as well as administrative laws governing state agencies and challenges to agency decisions. Beth’s practice is also focused on matters pertaining to the Central Florida Water Initiative and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, as well as all federal regulations concerning the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project. Her legislative experience includes drafting and negotiating Florida’s water supply related laws, where she seeks to provide an unparalleled understanding of Florida’s water laws and policies from inception to implementation.

Beth practices exclusively in the areas of water, environmental and administrative law. She represents clients before all five water management districts, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and various federal agencies. Beth strives to resolve complicated issues faced by Florida’s businesses and other water supply stakeholders. Beth advises agricultural, irrigation, utility, commercial and industrial clients on attaining water rights, crafting regulations with various stakeholders, and developing water supply resources that comply with federal, state and water management district requirements.

  • Former lead counsel for South Florida Water Management District’s water supply mission
  • Rule development for the Applicant’s Handbook for Water Use Permit Applications within the SFW/MD
  • Rule development for the Lake Okeechobee restricted allocation area
  • Rule development for the Central Florida Coordination area
  • Legislation drafting and negotiation concerning water supply and administrative law
  • Development and implementation of regional water supply plans
  • Representation regarding revisions to the State’s Water Resource Implementation Rule (Ch. 62-40, F.A.C.) and CUP consistency rules
  • Renewal of all irrigation permits for South Florida Water Management District
  • Counseling to integrate the District’s water supply program with the federal regulation schedules, including for Lake Okeechobee and the Adaptive Protocols Document
  • Lead attorney implementing the Water Rights Compact Among the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the South Florida Water Management District
  • Chambers and Partners, “Leaders in their Field,” Environment, 2021-23
  • Member of Gunster’s environmental law practice ranked “Band 1” by Chambers USA, 2017-21
  • The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Environmental Law, 2021-24
    • Water Law, 2023-24
  • Palm Beach Illustrated, “Top Lawyers,” Environmental Law, 2021-22
  • Jupiter Magazine, “Top Lawyers,” Environmental Law, 2021 & 2023


  • “Emerging Issues Related to Florida’s Water Supply,” speaker, AWRA Florida Annual Meeting, August 2023
  • “Emerging Water Supply Issues, Including an Update on the Central Florida Water Initiative (Parts 1 & 2),” 36th annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Florida Chamber Foundation, July 2022
  • “Preparing Florida’s Water Supply Programs for ‘Next Gen’ Sources,” 33rd annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Florida Chamber Foundation, July 2019
  • “Legislative updates and emerging issues,” co-presenter, 28th Annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference, Jan. 25, 2019
  • The changing landscape of water: How to save on hotel water demands and expenses,” co-author, Hotel Executive, Nov. 25, 2018
  • Public-Private Partnerships Can ‘Bridge the Gap’ to Resource Sustainability,” The Florida Bar Journal, Vol. 92, No. 2, February 2018
  • South Florida U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Update, AWRA Florida Annual Meeting, August 2017
  • “Emerging Water Supply Issues – A Water Rights Perspective,” Florida Chamber’s Environmental Network Environmental Permitting Summer School, July 2017
  • “Reuse of Reclaimed Water and Florida’s Consumptive Use Permit Program,” AWRA National Conference, November 2016
  • “Finding Certainty in the New World of Alternative Water Supply Sources,” The Florida Bar Journal, co-author, September/October 2016
  • “Payment for Environmental Services,” Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference, August 2016
  • “Florida’s Water Supply Challenges: Issues and Answers – Central Florida Water Initiative, A Legal Perspective,” 30th Annual Environmental Permitting School, Florida Chamber Foundation, July 2016
  • “Hot Topics in Water Resources Management and Regulation in Florida,” American Society of Civil Engineers Florida section 2016 annual conference, Jacksonville, July 2016
  • “Update on Rules and Regulations,” South Florida Aquatic Plant Management Society, June 2016
  • “Overview of Florida’s Legal Framework as related to Use of a Spreadsheet-Based Screening Model for the Upper Kissimmee Basin,” American Society of Civil Engineers, May 2016
  • “2016 Legislative Update – The Year of Water,” AWRA Conference, January 2016
  • “Babcock Ranch and Transfers of Water Across Water Management District Boundaries,” Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Section, Continuing Legal Education, 2006
  • Board certified
    • state and federal government and administrative practice
  • Palm Beach County Bar Association
  • Florida Supreme Court, certified mediator
  • Place of Hope, volunteer, 2009-present
  • Palm Beach County Youth Court, volunteer magistrate, 2008-present

Find a Professional

by Name

by Practice/Office