Projections show Florida’s population topping 6 million people by 2030, with 500,000 new residents heading to Tampa Bay Water’s service area. To continue serving the growing needs of our region, Tampa Bay Water has been exploring new water supply options as part of our Long-term Master Water Plan.
We’re about two years in to this comprehensive planning effort, which includes numerous studies, computer models and analyses of both supply and demand. The current update will be completed in 2018, and will tell us how much water we’ll need and where we need it. That gives us plenty of time to design, permit and build the next new water supply before it’s needed in 2028.
Our project team is investigating four different source waters: groundwater, seawater, surface water and reclaimed water. Each of these sources can produce high-quality drinking water, thanks to advanced processes that filter and disinfect. Our system currently includes groundwater, seawater and surface water. Reclaimed water, wastewater that has been cleaned and recovered for useful purposes, could supplement our existing sources to bolster drinking water supplies without taking more water from the environment.
Project concepts under investigation include:
Aquifer Recharge and Withdrawal: Recharging the Floridan Aquifer using reclaimed water that has been cleaned to drinking water standards, which increases water levels, so groundwater can be withdrawn and treated to produce high-quality drinking water for distribution.
Surface Water Expansion: Withdrawing more water from the Alafia River or adding reclaimed water to the Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant to supplement the existing supply. Reclaimed water may augment the existing river water flow into the plant or it may be cleaned to drinking water standards at a new advanced, multi-barrier facility then blended with high-quality drinking water for distribution.
Tampa Bay Desalination Expansion: Withdrawing more seawater from Tampa Bay or supplementing the existing source with reclaimed water. Reclaimed water may augment the existing flow into the plant or may be cleaned to drinking water standards at a new advanced, multi-barrier facility then blended with high-quality drinking water for distribution.
Gulf Coast Desalination: A new desalination facility co-located with the Anclote Power Plant that would desalinate seawater from the Gulf of Mexico.
Project concepts may change or be eliminated as the project team conducts technical analyses and meets with stakeholders, including regulatory agencies. Variations for each concept are being evaluated, including options being explored by the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County. A ranked list of alternatives will be presented to Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors in late 2018.