Tampa Bay Water Celebrates 25 Years of Innovative Regional Drinking Water Solutions
| | Return

News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brandon Moore
(727) 791-2304 | (727) 470-0702

CLEARWATER, Fla. (June 09, 2023) – Tampa Bay Water celebrates 25 years of innovation and regional cooperation that keeps drinking water flowing through millions of taps across Tampa Bay. More than 2.5 million residents count on Tampa Bay Water – most without even knowing it – because it is the wholesale drinking water supplier to Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties and the cities of New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa.

On June 10, 1998, six local governments cemented a regional solution that was two years in the making. The move was remarkable – an accomplishment that is as impressive today as it was 25 years ago. It represented a paradigm shift from parochialism to regionalism, ending the region’s “water wars” and creating a true regional utility.

With support from the Florida legislature, the local governments united under Tampa Bay Water, eliminated the cost differences that divided them and went to work to diversify the water network. Tampa Bay Water added river water and desalinated seawater sources. As a result, the need for groundwater was cut in half, reversing the environmental toll of years of over pumping, while still meeting the growing demand for drinking water.

“Over the last quarter century, Tampa Bay Water has done what it was created to do: end water wars, restore the environment, and eliminate the costly legal battles that once plagued our member governments,” said Chuck Carden, General Manager of Tampa Bay Water.

25 years 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.

“It’s a remarkable accomplishment to cut the amount of groundwater we use in half while meeting the region’s growing needs,” said Carden. “We are proud of our progress and appreciate the support of our community, board of directors, member governments and the water management district to provide a reliable, affordable and sustainable drinking water supply for the Tampa Bay region.”

Tampa Bay Water remains a celebrated model of successful regional cooperation. The utility is committed to meeting future water supply challenges that face the Tampa Bay region. To accomplish this, Tampa Bay Water is in the process of finalizing the fifth update to the Long-term Master Water Plan, a 20-year blueprint for meeting the region's drinking water needs.

About Tampa Bay Water

Tampa Bay Water is the largest wholesale water supplier in Florida, providing high-quality drinking water to its members that, in turn, supply water to more than 2.5 million residents of the Tampa Bay area. Tampa Bay Water member governments include Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties and the cities of New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa. To learn more, visit tampabaywater.org.