TAMPA, Fla. -- Current water supplies will not meet the Tampa Bay region's future needs.
"The region currently has an adequate supply of water to meet our needs for the next decade," said Ken Heard, Tampa Bay Water's Interim Chief Science and Technology Officer.
Tampa Bay Water is the regional drinking water supplier to Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties, including the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg.
"Currently our system uses ground water, we have river water and desalinated sea water," said Heard.
The issue is the population in the Tampa Bay area continues to increase. More people means more water will be needed.
"We're currently projecting that by the year 2028, about ten years from now, we're going to need about ten million gallons of new supply," said Heard. "By 2040, we're going to need an additional ten million gallons per day."
The company wants to make sure it can meet the water needs of the Tampa Bay region in an environmentally and economically sound way.
"It takes about ten years to build new supplies," said Heard. "So what we want to do is get out in front of that and make sure we're evaluating all the possible alternative."
The company has three goals when it evaluates future supplies are cost, environmental sustainability and reliability. One possibility Tampa Bay Water is looking into is using reclaimed water for more than just watering your garden.
"Drinking water is something we take for granted because we turn on the tap and water is always there," said Heard. This is just about how we go about obtaining that water."
You can help Tampa Bay Water decide where your water should be sourced from by filling out a simple online survey. To take the survey, visit FutureWater.org.