Tampa Bay Water supplies wholesale drinking water to Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Pinellas County and the cities of New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa. We supply more than 2.3 million people through these member governments.
We are a special district of the State of Florida created to plan, develop and deliver high quality drinking water, and we work to protect our water supply sources. Our 132 employees work together to reliably provide clean, safe drinking water to the region now and for future generations.
Our board of directors consists of two elected officials from each county and one elected official from each city that we serve. At Tampa Bay Water, we work collaboratively to ensure a reliable, environmentally sustainable drinking water supply for the entire region.
The board meets bi-monthly to conduct business and provide policy direction. At each meeting, they vote on an average of 33 agenda action items.
With the retirement of Pasco County Commissioner Ann Hildebrand in November 2012, Tampa Bay Water lost one of its longest serving board members. Hildebrand served on the board of Tampa Bay Water and its predecessor agency for 19 years. She and Pinellas County Commissioner, the late Charles Rainey, were the utility's longest serving board members.
Hildebrand was part of a regional effort to collaborate and cooperate on water supply solutions. Together, those regional leaders brought about:
A plan for developing new and alternative water supplies;
A plan for operating new and existing supplies in an environmentally sustainable way; and
A plan for re-organizing the water supply authority into a true regional utility.
Those plans are reality today, thanks in part to Ann Hildebrand. She has served on Tampa Bay Water's board since it was created in 1998, tasting some of the first water produced at the nation's largest desalination plant, cutting the ribbon on first regional surface water treatment plant, and sitting in the driver's seat on the road to environmental recovery as reliance on groundwater was reduced and water levels in lakes and wetlands improved.
Tampa Bay Water thanks Commissioner Hildebrand for her commitment to regionalism, her leadership and her dedication to public service.
Tampa Bay Water is poised to start construction of a permanent fix for its regional reservoir’s cracked lining. Since opening in 2005, the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir has provided water to the Tampa Bay region. The 15.5-billion gallon facility is the region’s water savings account, storing surplus water during wet times for use during dry times.
However, abnormal cracking in the reservoir’s soil-cement erosion-control layer was discovered in 2006 and has limited the reservoir’s functionality.
In 2011, Tampa Bay Water’s board of directors hired Kiewit Infrastructure South to design a fix for the facility. The cost for renovation design and construction is approximately $129 million and ensures the reservoir’s long-term reliability and performance.
Kiewit’s long-term solution involves removing the existing erosion-control layer, adding drains to the facility and coating the reservoir’s interior with thicker, stronger soil cement.
Design and permitting for the fix were completed in 2012 and construction is slated to begin in February, 2013. Construction will last approximately two years.
Construction will be accomplished in an environmentally responsible and resource-efficient manner. The existing erosion control layer materials will be reused; about 800,000 cubic yards of soil cement and soil will be repurposed as haul road base or in the new soil cement. Ninety acres of high-performance plastic liner will be removed and recycled to reduce waste.
And, even though the reservoir will be under construction, it will still provide the region with up to 4 million gallons per day of drinking water as all rainwater that falls on the site during construction will be collected and used.
Alternative Water Supplies Benefit the Tampa Bay Region
In the 10 years since the first alternative supply, surface water, was introduced to the regional water supply system, Tampa Bay Water has treated and delivered more than 157 billion gallons of surface water to its customers.
The introduction of surface water changed the Tampa Bay region’s water supply portfolio, paving the way for a reliable and sustainable water supply system.
Alternative Supplies Benefit the Region
Tampa Bay Water’s surface water system of three river water intakes, 5 raw-water pumping facilities and a 15.5 billion gallon reservoir, takes advantage of 47-53 inches of rainfall each year. The water is treated at the Tampa Bay Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant. The state-of-the-art, award-winning, 120 million-gallon-per-day Surface Water Treatment Plant is the cornerstone of our surface water system.
Tampa Bay Water was created to ensure an environmentally sustainable, diverse water supply system. Before developing surface water, the region relied solely on groundwater to meet its drinking water needs. Growing demands stressed the environmental systems in and around our wellfields. Developing surface water changed all that. Treated surface water enabled us to relieve wellfields while still meeting the region’s water supply needs. Since 2002, we have reduced our groundwater withdrawals from an annual average of 158 million gallons per day to less than 90 million gallons per day.
After 10 years and $10 million of extensive environmental monitoring, there have been no adverse impacts to Tampa Bay or the Alafia and Hillsborough rivers from surface water withdrawals. The Floridan Aquifer level has increased an average of 6.2 feet in the vicinity of our northern Tampa Bay wellfields.
Twenty years ago, no one was thinking about surface water as a regional option, but today, up to 50 percent of the region’s water needs can be met with surface water.
$2.56 per 1,000 gallons. At ¼ cent
per gallon, water from the tap
remains a bargain compared to
other household expenses.
Tampa Bay Water is a not for profit, governmental agency whose financial structure is maintained through the sale of drinking water to our six member governments. Our capital and operating costs are paid through the collection of a uniform rate that is assessed to all six member governments. We had the economy and our customers in mind during this year's budget cycle. The uniform rate for the 2013 fiscal year remains unchanged from last year at $2.56 per 1,000 gallons, a reflection of the Board's intent to keep the regional economy and the interests of our rate payers in clear view. At ¼ cent per gallon, water from the tap remains a bargain compared to other household expenses.
(costs represent average monthly bill)
Current Assets - $99,563,342
Restricted Assets - $234,985,402
Capital Assets - $1,216,677,761
Water Capacity Rights - $318,058,360
- Deferred Outflow from Derivatives - $-
Bond Issue Costs - $6,742,066
Operating Expenses - $61,463,474
Depreciation Expense - $25,550,967
Interest Expense - $46,995,990
Loss on Disposal of Capital Assets - $2,718,584
Tampa Bay Water Awarded for the 2012
Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
For the fourth consecutive year, Tampa Bay Water was awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for satisfying nationally recognized guidelines in its 2012 fiscal year budget. The award acknowledged the agency and its staff for their exceptional commitment and accomplishments in meeting guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting, and the GFOA's recommended best practices on budgeting.
Tampa Bay Water must meet the public's demand for drinking water day-to-day, week-to-week, 365 days a year. Those demands change daily, depending on a number of factors and can range from an average of 130 million gallons per day to as much as 220 million gallons per day - a swing of nearly 100 million gallons! Within any given day, demand can fluctuate up to 40 million gallons from one hour to the next.
The challenge of operating our complex water supply and delivery system to meet these daily, weekly and monthly differences in demand is compounded by a changing climate. Water supply utility systems across the country are experiencing the same extreme variability in weather patterns. Like other water supply utilities, Tampa Bay Water must understand the impacts of climate variability on our water supplies so we can adapt to meet our customers' demands and increase our system resiliency to weather extremes.
Water from rivers comprises half of Tampa Bay Water's supply portfolio. Our river water sources are the most vulnerable to climate variability because river flow is dependent on rainfall. Changes in rainfall patterns increase the vulnerability of surface water systems, a vulnerability that is expected to increase with continued climate change. As changing weather patterns bring unexpected tropical systems, we must be able to quickly take advantage of the abundant rain. Likewise, we must also plan for the inevitable return of dry conditions and drought.
Climate variability and its impact upon supply reliability is a topic of keen interest at Tampa Bay Water. To further our knowledge, Tampa Bay Water is a member of the Water Utility Climate Alliance, a group of 10 large water supply utilities across the country. We are also a founding member of the Florida Water and Climate Alliance, whose members include the University of Florida Water Institute, Florida State University, three water management districts, and five other major public water supply utilities in Florida. These two groups are dedicated to enhancing climate change research and to developing adaptation strategies, so water utilities can properly manage their supply systems with changing weather patterns in mind, and thereby improve the reliability of the public water supply system serving the public.
Over the past two years, the Florida Water and Climate Alliance has received two grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to evaluate and assess current climate data and models. The collaborative efforts among the members of this group will increase the participants' knowledge and enhance the data and decision-making tools used in water supply management, while also sharing that knowledge with other regional, national, and international utilities, as well as the water management districts here in Florida.
For 10 years, the Alafia River has played an important role in supplying drinking water for the Tampa Bay region, and now it will continue in that role for decades. In 2012, the Southwest Florida Water Management District renewed Tampa Bay Water's permit to withdraw water from the Alafia River for 20 years.
Tampa Bay Water's permitted withdrawals are based on available river flow and are protective of the river and its ecology. The withdrawal schedule maintains the river's designated minimum flow, so no water is withdrawn when flows are at or below that minimum threshold.
Our withdrawals are also protective of the river's periods of high flow, with withdrawals capped at 10 percent of river flow or 60 million gallons per day. Even when the river is at flood stage, our withdrawals are capped. This allows water to reach the edges of the river floodplain during high-flow periods, ensuring protection for all parts of the river ecosystem.
Before the river was used for drinking water, we collected almost three years of water quality and ecologic data to develop a baseline snapshot of the river's health. Since withdrawals started, we have spent approximately $1 million each year to monitor water quality and ecology near all of our surface water resources.
That data is collected and analyzed each year against the baseline condition. With more than 10 years of monitoring data and test results, Tampa Bay Water has proven it can harvest surface water without harming river sources or Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay Water's environmental monitoring continues in order to ensure the region's precious environmental resources are protected in the future.