Each year Tampa Bay Water considers anticipated water demand, staffing needs and capital improvement expenditures to draft a budget for the following fiscal year. The budget aims to maintain a reliable water supply system in an environmentally sustainable way and maintain cost-effective rates while anticipating future agency needs, such as funding for projects and staff.
For 2023, Tampa Bay Water anticipates providing its members with 197.5 million gallons per day (mgd), an increase of 5.3 mgd over the current year, to meet member governments’ water demand. The proposed budget includes a new purchasing specialist position and, for the first time in the agency’s history, a proposed cost-of-living increase (3 percent) for staff in addition to its merit program to alleviate pressure of the increase in the cost of goods, services and insurance. The 10-year Capital Improvement Program was also presented to the Board with anticipated expenditures of $95.3 million for 2023.
Tampa Bay Water’s proposed 2023 operating budget of $192.3 million calls for a modest increase of one-and-a-half cents in the uniform water rate. The proposed rate is $2.5781 per 1,000 gallons of high-quality drinking water, an increase of 0.5 percent ($0.0147) over the current year. For the average household, which uses about 4,200 gallons of water a month, the proposed rate increase would mean an extra $0.06 in their monthly bill. At less than half a penny per gallon, wholesale tap water remains a value in the Tampa Bay region.
The proposed budget follows the plan laid out to the board last year for small, incremental rate increases over the next several years in anticipation of borrowing a significant amount of debt to fund capital improvement and water quality projects in the 2027-2028 timeframe.
Tampa Bay Water staff presented the proposed budget to its board of directors to gain feedback at the April budget workshop. Feedback from the board and member governments will help staff refine the budget before presenting the final version for approval at the June public hearing.