Female hand filling glass of water from tap
Why Our Region Doesn’t Have to Imagine a Day Without Water
Agency, Future Water, | | Return

Turn on the tap, and clean water flows out. The Tampa Bay region enjoys a reliable water supply and we don’t have to think twice about the work and infrastructure that brings water to our homes.

On Imagine a Day Without Water, take a moment to think about what would happen if you couldn’t turn on the tap and get clean drinking water. What would that day be like?

  • What would firefighters do?
  • Could hospitals be sanitary without clean tap water?
  • Would restaurants and hotels be able to serve guests?
  • Would farmers be able to water their crops or care for their livestock?
  • Would manufacturing plants that require vast amounts of clean water, such as breweries or paper mills, shut down?

A reliable water supply is the lifeline of our community and the foundation of a strong economy. Our water infrastructure supports every facet of our daily lives, but is faced with unique challenges such as drought, climate variability and population growth.

Water challenges look different to different communities and require local solutions. Investment in water systems should be a national priority with strong leadership to secure our water future.

Imagine a Day Without Water is an opportunity for everyone to learn about their local water systems, the challenges systems face and what utilities are doing to address these challenges.

It started more than 20 years ago when local governments began thinking as one region and moved past parochialism to create Tampa Bay Water. With support from the Florida Legislature, local governments created one regional utility that eliminated the cost differences that divided them, began developing alternative water supplies, and created one of the most diverse and resilient water supply systems in the country.

Today, two decades after its creation, Tampa Bay Water:

  • Successfully operates a diverse, reliable and resilient water supply network that it built and continues to grow for a water-secure future.
  • Manages a balanced water supply portfolio that has enabled environmental recovery and is environmentally sustainable.
  • Provides affordable, high-quality drinking water that meets or is better than all state, federal and local drinking water standards.

Maintains an inclusive, cooperative process with our members and the community for future supply development to sustain our vital economy and environment.

Tampa Bay Water continually plans for the region’s water future through our Long-term Master Water Plan. The long-term planning process accounts for the challenges facing our region by analyzing future demand, conservation potential, supply reliability, water shortage mitigation planning and hydrologic uncertainty.

Short-term decisions are made using Tampa Bay Water’s operating protocols to guide us in selecting water sources to meet demands for safe, clean, affordable water while ensuring environmental sustainability. It’s a system that uses forecasted river water flows, current groundwater levels and rainfall data to determine how to rotate available supplies.

Tampa Bay Water’s infrastructure is maintained through our Capital Improvements Program (CIP) and Asset Management Program.

Tampa Bay Water’s CIP is a comprehensive, five-year plan of capital projects. The CIP framework allows us to identify and prioritize capital projects through a coordinated interdepartmental effort that considers the integration of planning and development, engineering, financing requirements, and future operating and maintenance costs. The program also helps to develop timelines and funding scenarios for each project that identifies a funding source, a projected cash flow, and future operating and maintenance cost estimates.

Tampa Bay Water’s Asset Management Program relies on software for proactive asset management and maintenance. This tool automates all aspects of maintenance operations including equipment history, scheduling, preventive maintenance, work orders, labor and expense tracking, procurement and reporting.

These are a few of the ways Tampa Bay Water addresses water supply challenges so the Tampa Bay region never has to Imagine a Day Without Water. Learn more about the regional water supply at tampabaywater.org.