Studies Begin on Future Water Projects
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The tri-county area is projected to need an additional 25 million gallons per day (mgd) by 2043, with 10-20 mgd of that needed by 2033. Tampa Bay Water anticipates and plans for the region’s water needs through its Long-term Master Water Plan; its board of directors moved seven water supply project concepts forward for feasibility studies in November 2023 when it approved the 2023 Long-term Master Water Plan update.

The project concepts have been grouped by source type due to scope similarities: one for new groundwater sources and one for new surface water sources. Feasibility studies for the South Hillsborough Wellfield and desalination plant expansion using seawater were completed in 2021 as part of the 2018 Long-term Master Water Plan; no further studies are needed for these projects.

The feasibility studies for new groundwater sources include:

  • Eastern Pasco Wellfield (brackish and/or fresh water)
  • Consolidated Water Use Permit Increase
  • Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Expansion (with brackish water)

Tampa Bay Water is working on hydrologic modeling and is negotiating project scope and fee with the top-ranked engineering firm. Staff will present the negotiated scope and fee for board approval at the July 2024 meeting.

The feasibility studies for new surface water sources include:

  • North Pinellas Surface Water Treatment Plant and Reservoir
  • Surface Water Treatment Plant at the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir
  • South Hillsborough Surface Water Treatment Plant and Reservoir

Staff are confirming the scope and objectives of this project in preparation to request proposals in May.

During feasibility studies, Tampa Bay Water will refine potential yields, costs, permitability and treatment requirements in addition to engaging the community. Those projects that are economically feasible, environmentally sustainable and reliable will be considered individually or as configurations of projects in the water supply selection process. By November 2027, Tampa Bay Water will recommend to its board project configurations for design and construction to supply drinking water to the region in 2033.

Tampa Bay Water is also evaluating potential direct and indirect potable reuse projects for future consideration. Potable reuse uses reclaimed water for drinking water purposes, either directly or indirectly. Potable reuse is being studied as part of Tampa Bay Water’s developmental alternatives program, which runs concurrent with the feasibility studies. Developmental alternatives are projects that require longer feasibility studies, additional investigation or need time for regulations to be implemented. Any concepts identified through the Developmental Alternatives program will be added to future master water plans for consideration.

Learn more about the projects being studied at futurewater.org.