Florida’s dry season may be over, but don’t stop conserving water. Not only did this dry season extend into mid-June as expected, demand for water steadily increased.
From October 2020 to April 2021, our member governments’ demand for water increased 8.26 million gallons per day (mgd), or nearly 5%, over the average of the same period from 2016-2020. Demand from Pinellas County, New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa slightly decreased during this time, helping offset demand in Hillsborough and Pasco counties, which increased significantly, at 8 mgd (15%) and 4.5 mgd (13%), respectively. These increases are attributed to an increase in population and its corresponding residential construction growth. Beginning May 1, demand for water skyrocketed by 20-30 mgd and remained elevated because hot, dry weather caused an increase in outdoor irrigation.
Fortunately, Tampa Bay Water is able to meet regional demands under drier-than-normal conditions through a diverse water supply system.
The utility is operating withing its permitted limits on groundwater, and substantial rainfall in November and April allowed Tampa Bay Water to fill and maintain the regional reservoir’s levels going into the dry season. In May, the utility relied heavily on the reservoir to augment supply and, with the rainy season beginning, will be filling the reservoir again with a goal to have it filled by Oct. 1, 2021. The seawater desalination plant also augmented the regional supply from October 2020 to May 2021.
Still, conservation not only helps save money on your water bill, but it helps the environment too. Small changes inside and outside your home will help save water and limit water withdrawn from the environment.
Find more water saving tips at tampabaywater.org/water-saving-tips.