Exploring Options

water supply

Planning Today for Water Tomorrow

Planning ahead is always smart, especially when it comes to something as important as drinking water. The Tampa Bay region expects to gain half-a-million people by 2030, increasing the demand for drinking water beyond the available supply. That’s why we’re planning now—so we have the right supply ready at the right time to keep our region growing and thriving.

Regional Need, Regional Solutions

We update our Long-term Master Water Plan every five years to ensure our region has new water supplies on tap when needed. Our comprehensive planning effort includes numerous studies, computer models and analyses that examine both supply and demand. The current update will be completed in 2018, and will tell us how much water we’ll need and where we need it. That gives us plenty of time to design, permit and build the next new water supply before it’s needed in 2028.

Exploring Options

Several project concepts are being studied and assessed. Tampa Bay Water is looking at various supply sources because diversity is important to having a reliable supply in a variety of weather conditions. The project concepts may change or be eliminated as the project team conducts technical analyses and meets with stakeholders, including regulatory agencies.

Project concepts still under consideration include:


Surface Water Expansion

  • Alafia River
  • Reclaimed Water

Tampa Bay Desalination Expansion

  • Tampa Bay
  • Reclaimed Water

Aquifer Recharge and Withdrawal

  • Reclaimed Water

Gulf Coast Desalination

  • Gulf of Mexico

Surface Water Expansion: Withdrawing more water from the Alafia River or adding reclaimed water to the Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant to supplement the existing supply. Reclaimed water may augment the existing river water flow into the plant or it may be cleaned to drinking water standards at a new advanced, multi-barrier facility then blended with high-quality drinking water for distribution.

Tampa Bay Desalination Expansion: Withdrawing more seawater from Tampa Bay or supplementing the existing source with reclaimed water. Reclaimed water may augment the existing flow into the plant or may be cleaned to drinking water standards at a new advanced, multi-barrier facility then blended with high-quality drinking water for distribution.

Aquifer Recharge and Withdrawal: Recharging the Floridan Aquifer with high-quality reclaimed water to bolster drinking water supplies and achieve a net benefit to the aquifer. Tampa Bay Water is investigating a number of options and is closely monitoring other similar projects in the region. Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa are both investigating aquifer recharge and withdrawal. Technical information provided on those projects will be incorporated into Tampa Bay Water’s long-term planning process to support a consistent evaluation of all concepts.

Gulf Coast Desalination: A new desalination facility co-located with the Anclote Power Plant that would desalinate seawater from the Gulf of Mexico.