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July 31, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board Tuesday approved the renewal and modification of a water use permit (WUP) for Polk County’s Northeast Regional Utility Service Area (NERUSA) to meet the projected population growth through 2013.

Polk County’s NERUSA is a high-growth area that extends north and south of the intersection of U.S. Highway 27 and Interstate 4 in northeast Polk County.

The renewed WUP combines two permits, increases the combined quantities and adds three proposed wells for public supply. The previous annual average permitted quantity was 6,504,600 gallons of water per day (gpd.) The new permitted quantity is 10,918,500 gpd, which is an increase of 4,412,900 gpd.

The increase in quantity is based on an estimated increase in population through 2013. As part of the permit, the county is required to meet all demands from 2014 through 2027 with supplemental water supply projects developed by the county or through partnerships.

As part of the permit, the county is also expected to investigate reuse options and must submit monthly meter readings, an annual report on water use by category and a progress report every five years. The county must also maintain a water conservation rate structure, which may include tiered water rates that increase with the amount of water used by a customer and seasonal rates.

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