Outdoor watering
Regional Water Demand 6% Higher Than Last Year
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From Oct. 1, 2022, to Aug. 31, 2023, Tampa Bay Water delivered an average of 201.6 million gallons of water per day (mgd) to its member governments, approximately 6% higher than the first 11 months of the previous fiscal year and higher than the budgeted delivery of 197.5 mgd. Regional water supplies during this time were 59% groundwater (121.18 mgd), 38% surface water (78.17 mgd) and 3% seawater (4.86 mgd).

Despite below average and inconsistent rainfall and very hot summer temperatures, the agency is ending its fiscal year Sept. 30 with a nearly full reservoir because of increased river flows from Hurricane Idalia. The Tampa Bay Water Desalination Plant is typically offline each summer because of higher river flows from the rainy season. It was taken offline a little earlier this year, in March, due to work at Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Plant and will be back online before the end of the year.

At the end of August, the 12-month running average pumping rate for the Consolidated Permit Wellfields was 87.13 mgd, under the permitted limit of 90 mgd. The annual average pumping rate for the South-Central Hillsborough Regional Wellfield is still about 1.5 mgd above the permit limit. We anticipate reducing the rate in 2024, but it will depend on lower demands in the winter and early spring in southern Hillsborough County, additional flow through the permanent Brandon Booster Station and sustained higher delivery at the County’s Central Point of Connection.

Water levels in the aquifer, lakes and wetlands across the northern wellfields have increased this summer, although at a slower rate than usual because of the hot dry spring and inconsistent summer rains. Water levels are lower this year than last year but significantly higher than they were prior to groundwater pumping reductions implemented when Tampa Bay Water was formed. An El Niño weather pattern, which usually brings wetter and cooler weather, is expected this fall and winter in Florida and could continue to refill the lakes and wetlands heading into spring 2024.

As we look toward Fiscal Year 2024, Tampa Bay Water will continue to balance our supply sources to meet the region’s water demands. You can help by conserving water and using only what you need. Learn ways to save water indoors and outdoors at tampabaywater.org/water-saving-tips, and visit Tampa Bay Water Wise to learn about available rebates on water-efficient fixtures.