February 27, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board today agreed to help pay for a $235 million project to produce 25 million gallons of water per day to meet water supply needs in the Tampa Bay area.

Known as the System Configuration II project, the Tampa Bay Water project would take additional water from the Hillsborough River and Tampa Bypass Canal during mid- to high-flow periods to be treated and stored in TBW’s C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir.

The project will enable future water supply demands to be met using non-groundwater sources.

As part of the project, Tampa Bay Water will expand its surface water treatment plant and the Tampa Bypass Canal pump station to enable higher surface water flows from the river and the canal to be captured and the use of the reservoir to be increased. The project also includes four pipeline interconnects that will enhance the distribution of water throughout Tampa Bay Water’s regional system.

Tampa Bay Water anticipates having the entire project completed by September 2010. The project is contingent on Tampa Bay Water’s ability to secure the necessary permits.

The District’s share of the costs will not exceed $116 million, with approximately $52 million from the District general fund, $52 million from six District basin boards, and $10 million in state funding.

To meet its funding needs, the Governing Board transferred nearly $36 million in funds that had been budgeted for the Tampa Bay Regional Reclaimed Water and Downstream Augmentation Project. The downstream augmentation component of the project was eliminated as a result of permitting difficulties and minimum flow work by the District on the lower Hillsborough River and Tampa Bypass Canal.

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