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The  five Water Management Districts of the State of Florida - St. Johns River, South, Southwest, Suwannee River, and Northwest - have agreed to cooperate and fund a project to develop and maintain a "History of Water Management in Florida."  The long-range goal of the project is to develop and maintain an archive of documents, photographs, maps, plans and other materials important to the history of water management in Florida. It is envisioned the project will provide an electronic archive accessible via the Internet and a physical archive of original materials as future phases of the project are authorized.

The digital archives project was developed by the University of Florida Levin College of Law, Legal Technology Institute, under the direction of Andrew Z. Adkins III, director of the Legal Technology Institute and Ms. Betty Taylor, archivist of the College of Law, with assistance from the Digital Library Center at the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries. Please contact Andrew Z. Adkins III with any questions or comments.

Contributing Collections:

  • Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD) Collection
    Proceedings and materials from the Annual Florida Water Management Conference, hosted by various Water Management Districts. There is one (1) box of documents included with the Northwest Florida Water Management District collection.

  • Lester M. “Buddy” Blain Collection
    Buddy Blain received his B.S. in Education from the University of Florida in 1950 and his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law in 1967. He was the general counsel for the Southwest Florida Water Management District from 1979-1983 during which time he oversaw land acquisitions (over 1,500 parcels of land) for water management projects, regulatory rule development, advice on collegial board procedure and participation in the creation of Florida’s Water Resources Act. He also served on the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Florida’s Environment from 1989-1990. He also served as attorney for the Senate Natural Resources and Conservation Committee during 1969, 1970, and 1971 sessions of the Florida Legislature. He represented Southwest Florida Water Management District, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Florida Cattleman’s Association, and Ringling Museum of Art before Legislature in the 1970's. Mr. Blain initiated and conducted an annual week-long seminar on water management held in Vail, Colorado, starting in 1982 through 1994 (now run by the Water Management Institute, Inc.). The Blain Collection consists of approximately thirteen (13) boxes of articles, conference proceedings, and documents regarding the History of Water Management in Florida.

  • Jake Varn Collection
    Jake Varn received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida in 1966 and his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law in 1972.While a student at the University of Florida, he worked part time with the Southwest Florida Water Management District where he worked in a variety of capacities including such positions as draftsman, surveyor, engineer, groundwater hydrologist, and administrative assistant. While at law school, he worked with Dean Frank Maloney in writing the Model Water Code. The Model Water Code served as the basis for the Florida Water Resources Act of 1972, now Chapter 373 of the Florida Statutes. Upon graduation from law school, he joined the Southwest Florida Water Management District and became the District's first general counsel. He also served as the assistant executive director for the District. In 1979, Governor Bob Graham appointed him Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (currently the Department of Environmental Protection). He served as Secretary of DER until 1981, when Governor Graham appointed him Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation. The Varn Collection consists of approximately thirteen (13) boxes of articles, conference proceedings, and documents regarding the History of Water Management in Florida.

  • Richard Hamann Collection
    Richard Hamann is an Associate in Law and the Assistant Director for the Center for Governmental Responsibility at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. His teaching and scholarship includes Water Law, Environmental Law, Environmentally Sensitive Ecosystems. The Hamann Collection consists of approximately four (4) boxes of articles, conference proceedings, and documents regarding the History of Water Management in Florida.
  • Related Collections
    The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Digital Collections contains related oral histories and can be searched here.
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