Maintaining cost-effective rates while providing clean, safe water to an ever-growing population is no small feat – and one Tampa Bay Water takes very seriously. Every year staff carefully considers anticipated water demand, capital improvement project expenditures and staffing needs to create the following year’s budget. The 2024 proposed budget meets short-term needs while investing in the future water supply for the Tampa Bay region.
For 2024, Tampa Bay Water anticipates providing its members with an average of 197.7 million gallons of water per day (mgd), about 200,000 gallons more per day over 2023. The proposed 2024 operating budget of $199.6 million includes a minimal increase in the wholesale uniform water rate. The proposed rate is just under $2.60 per 1,000 gallons, which is an increase of less than 1% ($.02) over the current year. Even with the increase, wholesale tap water is a great value at less than a penny per gallon.
The proposed budget follows the plan laid out to the board in 2021 that calls for small, incremental rate increases over several years to cover new bond issuances needed to fund capital improvements, water supply projects and water quality projects. The proposed budget does not use rate stabilization funds for fiscal year 2024 but instead reserves those funds for future fiscal years when the agency anticipates increases in annual debt service payments.
Staff also presented the draft 10-year Capital Improvements Program (CIP) with anticipated expenditures of $86.5 million for 30 projects in 2024. The CIP budget takes into consideration the agency’s upcoming capital needs, including funding the South Hillsborough Pipeline, the regional surface water treatment plant expansion and placeholders for water quality improvement projects.
The budget will again be presented to the Board of Directors for approval at a May 15, 2023, Budget Public Hearing and Regular Board meeting.