Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors approved the utility’s 2021 fiscal year budget with no rate increase, maintaining a wholesale drinking water rate of $2.56 per 1,000 gallons for the tenth consecutive year.
“Our rate remains less than a penny per gallon of high-quality drinking water delivered to each government we serve,” said Christina Sackett, Tampa Bay Water’s chief financial officer. “We remain committed to delivering clean, safe, affordable drinking water to the people and businesses of the Tampa Bay area.”
Tampa Bay Water’s $182.8 million budget sets capital and operating costs at a uniform rate paid by all six of its member governments. Highlights of the 2021 budget include funding for the second year of the Tampa Bay Water Wise conservation program, which is designed to save up to 11 million gallons of water per year by 2030. The budget also includes funding for water quality studies and environmental resources permit compliance.
A significant portion of the Capital Improvement Program budget is allocated to replacing aging infrastructure to ensure reliability of the regional water supply system and to important capital improvement projects. The utility’s 10-year capital improvement plan is estimated to cost about $314 million and includes feasibility studies for new water supplies needed to meet the region’s growing drinking water needs. Approximately 44 percent of the capital improvement program budget will be paid by cash on hand and grant funds. The remaining 56 percent is anticipated to be paid for with bond funds in fiscal years 2023, 2026 and 2029.
Tampa Bay Water and Hillsborough County also continue working together to coordinate wholesale and retail water supply system improvements to provide additional drinking water to the fast-growing south-central area of the county ahead of the increase in projected demands.
The projected water delivery to Tampa Bay Water’s member governments in 2021 is 184.7 million gallons per day, a 3.9 million-gallon-per-day increase in regional water demand from the previous year. The utility is planning to meet the region’s 2021 water needs with a blend of its diverse water sources, including: