Planning for the future is an ongoing process at Tampa Bay Water. Our comprehensive Long-term Master Water Plan is updated every five years and includes:
This 20-year plan is a framework for meeting the region’s future drinking water needs in a sustainable, reliable and fiscally responsible manner. Tampa Bay Water is expected to complete its current Long-term Master Water Plan in late summer 2023 and present recommendations to its board in late 2023.
Tampa Bay Water’s current supply is expected to meet the region’s water needs through 2028, with expansion of the Tampa Bay Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant meeting increased needs through 2033. Additional water will be needed in the 2033 timeframe to keep pace with demand. We are investigating potential new supplies now because it can take 10 years or more to investigate, design, permit, fund, build and startup a new water supply project.
Tampa Bay Water is considering several water supply sources to meet the region’s water needs in the 2033 timeframe. The utility and its consultant, with input from its member governments and stakeholders, are developing and evaluating project concepts for each source option.
Fresh water from underground in the Floridan Aquifer can be withdrawn in an environmentally responsible manner to bolster supplies; 13 options are under consideration.
Eight options for withdrawing salty groundwater and cleaning it to drinking water standards through reverse osmosis are being evaluated.
Surface water is an important part of the region’s drinking water network; additional surface water can be safely harvested, stored and cleaned to meet the region’s needs; 82 options are being considered.
Seven options for desalting seawater are being evaluated; seawater from Tampa Bay is a current water supply source for the region.
Reclaimed water is wastewater that has been highly cleaned and recovered for useful purposes, such as lawn irrigation, power generation, wetland augmentation, dust control and more. Reclaimed water can be recycled for direct or indirect drinking water uses. For example, reclaimed water can be cleaned to drinking water standards then sent directly to homes and businesses for use. Or it can be used to augment an existing supply, like a river, where it is blended with the source water, withdrawn and cleaned to drinking water standards, then sent directly to homes and businesses for use; 43 reclaimed options are under consideration.
Eight concepts that do not fit into the source categories are also under evaluation. These concepts include interconnects with other utilities and converting large potable uses to alternative sources.
Tampa Bay Water’s consultant is currently evaluating more than 120 concepts against coarse screening criteria. The top 50 projects from that screening will be evaluated further in fine screening. The top 10 projects will go through a final screening process, which will result in a short list of approximately five projects for consideration by Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors.
Potential projects will be evaluated using the detailed criteria, which are based upon Master Water Plan goals approved by Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors:
Project concepts will be evaluated in detail, and the top-ranked projects will be recommended for board approval in late 2023. Approved project(s) be pursued as the region’s next drinking water supply, including extensive feasibility studies to determine yield, permittability and refine cost estimates.
For more than 20 years, Tampa Bay Water has been committed to a dynamic public outreach process to improve its projects and programs. By working cooperatively with our member governments, the business community and residents, we have been able to improve our service to the Tampa Bay community.
The Long-Term Master Water Plan is no exception. Stakeholder input has already shaped the plan and will continue to do so over the next year. We are meeting regularly with our member governments and key stakeholders to understand concerns and what information stakeholders need to be comfortable with new supply options. Tampa Bay Water also conducts public opinion surveys on a regular basis to gain valuable insights on residents’ opinions on a variety of water-related matters.
If you would like to schedule a speaker for your community, business or civic group:
Surface Water Expansion
Seawater Desalination Plant Expansion
South Hillsborough Wellfield via Aquifer Recharge Credits
Optimization & Demand Management