Long-term Master Water Plan Update Approved

Three new water supply projects were moved forward for additional study when Tampa Bay Water’s board approved the 2018 Long-term Master Water Plan update. That plan forecasts that the region will need an additional 10 million gallons of drinking water per day by 2028 and another 10 million gallons per day in 2038. 

Tampa Bay Water’s Long-term Master Water Plan is a 20-year framework for meeting the region’s future drinking water needs. The plan includes analyses of future demand, conservation potential, supply reliability, water shortage mitigation planning and hydrologic uncertainty along with potential water supply projects to ensure adequate drinking water in the future.

The plan is the product of five years of study and analysis. Tampa Bay Water has several options to meet the region’s future needs and time to study those options. Tampa Bay Water is also working with its members on regional demand management, which will stretch existing supplies further and possibly delay the need for capital expenditures for new water supplies.

The Long-term Master Water Plan is a comprehensive examination of supply, demand, system hydraulics, water quality, reliability, public engagement and more. To meet the region’s water needs, the 2018 update plan includes:

  • Conserving up to 11 million gallons per day through regional demand management
  • Optimizing the existing surface water treatment plant and desalination plant to gain 5-10 million gallons per day of additional supply
  • Studying three potential new projects to refine cost, yield and permittability

The three top-ranked new water supply projects in the Master Water Plan are:

  • expanding the regional surface water treatment plant to treat additional water from the Tampa Bypass Canal, Alafia River and C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir
  • expanding the existing desalination plant to treat additional seawater
  • new groundwater via aquifer recharge credits (this project would include a new groundwater wellfield in southern Hillsborough County by purchasing aquifer recharge credits from Hillsborough County via its South Hillsborough Aquifer Recharge Project)

Tampa Bay Water will begin design and permitting on the identified project options for future board consideration. A regional demand management program and projects to optimize our existing infrastructure will go before Tampa Bay Water’s board for consideration in 2019.