The demand in the South Hillsborough County service area has been steadily increasing for the past several years and has sharply increased in the past year. Average demand in this service area for 2023 was 58.8 million gallons of water per day (mgd), an increase of 6 mgd over the previous year.
This surge in demand has pushed the 12-month average pumping rate from the South-Central Hillsborough Regional Wellfield to 27.59 mgd, which is above its permitted limit of 24.95 mgd. Tampa Bay Water staff have been working with Hillsborough County to explore every possible infrastructure and water supply option to keep pace with demands and have identified two new opportunities to bring additional water to this service area.
The first is a Hillsborough County permit on property south of the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir that is currently leased to a sod farm, but the lease is expiring. Hillsborough County is planning a new facility on the property but will not need the full permitted amount for its facility. Tampa Bay Water could acquire approximately 340,000 gallons of water per day that could be transferred to the South-Central Hillsborough Regional Wellfield, increasing the wellfield’s permitted limit to approximately 26 mgd. Staff will bring the permit modification application to the board for approval in the next 2-3 months.
The second opportunity is acquiring part of the water permitted for a property in southern Hillsborough County that is partially transitioning from agricultural to residential. Staff are negotiating with the property owner to acquire 590,100 gallons per day to transfer to Tampa Bay Water’s existing permit and potentially increase that permit by 500,000 gallons per day. The permitted quantity can be combined with the potential South Hillsborough Wellfield using aquifer recharge credits. Tampa Bay Water and Hillsborough County are currently discussing this supply option and a long-term agreement for the credits. Staff will present the permit modification application to the board at its February meeting.