Exploring All Optionsby Jeff L. Brown, Contributing Editor;
Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2001, Vol. 71, Issue 8, Pg. 42-47
Document Type: Feature article
To relieve environmental stress around the Tampa Bay area's existing groundwater wells, Tampa Bay Water—the regional water supplier—is implementing a Master Water Plan that includes the development of several alternative sources. The largest single new source is surface water, which will come from the Hillsborough River, the Alafia River, and a flood control canal called the Tampa Bypass Canal. To capture that surface water Tampa Bay Water is constructing a set of interrelated projects called the Enhanced Surface Water System. A 15 billion gal (57 billion L) off-stream reservoir will make the system more sustainable by creating a reserve capacity to help meet demand during the dry season without drawing water from natural sources. Tampa Bay Water is pursuing a second major alternative source—seawater—with the design and construction of a 25 mgd (95 ML/d) desalination plant that is expected to be the largest in the Western Hemisphere. The plant's design keeps environmental impacts to a minimum by withdrawing water from the cooling-water discharge of an adjacent power plant rather than directly from the bay. The plan also includes limited additional groundwater sources, a central treatment facility, and several large-diameter pipeline projects. The plan will help Tampa Bay Water meet the increasing demand while cutting well-field pumping from its current level of 158 mgd (598,000 m³/d) to 121 mgd (458,000 m³/d) by 2003 and to 90 mgd (341,000 m³/d) by 2008.
Subject Headings: Power plants | Bays | Surface water | Canals | Environmental issues | Water supply | Groundwater | Rivers and streams | North America | Florida | Tampa | United States
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