Operator in SCADA room
Flexible Operations Plan Helps Sustainably Meet Demand

At the May meeting, Tampa Bay Water’s board approved the agency’s Operations Plan Biennial Report for submission to the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Every two years, Tampa Bay Water submits an updated operations plan report to the District as a requirement of the Consolidated Water Use Permit. The report outlines changes to our operations plan, such as new or replacement control points or changes in target water levels and how we rotated production among our supply sources based on environmental conditions.

Tampa Bay Water is the only water utility in the United States to combine and deliver drinking water from groundwater, desalinated seawater and surface water sources. And our surface water comes from two river sources, along with the water we store in the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir. Figuring out which sources to use and when to use them is a function of our flexible Operations Plan, and one of the reasons we have successfully achieved environmental recovery in northern Tampa Bay.

This operating protocol guides the agency in selecting water sources to meet the members’ demands for safe, clean, affordable water while ensuring environmental sustainability. Forecasted surface water flows and current groundwater levels and rainfall data help us determine how to rotate production among available supplies to meet demands in an environmentally sound manner.