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Partnering for Better Water Management
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Tampa Bay Water and the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) have responsibilities for managing water resources within west-central Florida. Whether it’s formal agreements, including cost sharing, or simply meeting to discuss water issues, our organizations share many common goals and have long partnered on developing and managing sustainable water supplies and resources. Together, we focus on four major areas to advance our common water management and supply goals.

Integrated Hydrologic Model (IHM) and Integrated Northern Tampa Bay Model (INTB)

Tampa Bay Water and SWFWMD have been working together for more than a decade to develop the IHM, and its application in the Northern Tampa Bay region. This model, a sophisticated and powerful computer tool, allows both agencies to simulate the changes in the water levels in aquifers and flows in rivers using the same hydrologic model. Learn more about the IHM here.

Our organizations established the original IHM-INTB model five-year roadmap in 2016, and developed the IHM-INTB website,, in July of this year. We’re proud to have partnered to present five case studies of the INTB model at the 31st Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School in July as well.

Water Permit Use

Since 2014, Tampa Bay Water and SWFWMD have been meeting monthly to determine whether lakes and wetlands on and near the 11 regional wellfields have fully recovered after reducing the groundwater production to 90 million gallons per day, on average. Currently, 50 percent of the monitored wetlands and 90 percent of the monitored lakes have been assessed. Screening of the unmonitored wetlands and initial assessment of all lakes and wetlands covered by the Recovery Assessment Plan should be complete by the end of this year.


We’re currently working to upgrade and automate additional Tampa Bypass Canal gate controls, and we’re working toward a long-term land management agreement for the property surrounding the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, where the region holds most of its water that will help us through the next dry period.

Water Supply Planning

As part of our Master Water Plan, Tampa Bay Water and SWFWMD work together to fund infrastructure construction to develop alternative water supply sources. Tampa Bay Water is currently developing a cooperative funding application for the fiscal year 2019 budget cycle that will expand our High Service Pumping Station to maximize the use of our water supplies.

Coordination, cooperation and a lot of planning go into sustainable water management. We’re looking forward to our continued collaboration with the District on technical and regulatory issues surrounding our water supply.