Peace River water authority eyes long-term improvement plans
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CHARLOTTE COUNTY – Although the regional water supply system currently offers capacity that far exceeds demand, an aggressive schedule of water infrastructure projects will be unveiled at the next Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority board meeting.
In the last year, the water authority delivered an average of 25.5 million gallons of water every day to an ever-growing population of more than 900,000 people in its four-county service area, or about 73 percent of capacity. That leaves about 9.2 mgd remaining for future water-use demands.
The water authority’s biggest customer, Charlotte County, is allocated 16.1 million gallons per day from the Peace River Water Treatment Facility, which supplies the vast majority of water to the county. However, Charlotte is projected to use only 14.0 mgd in 2018.
Figuring in population growth estimates and water-use trends, the county will not require additional water supply until 2031. Despite this envious situation, water authority members will discuss a draft five-year capital improvements program and 20-year capital needs assessment at their Feb. 2 meeting.
"The water authority has a very ambitious 20-year capital plan," said Travis Mortimer, capital projects manager for Charlotte County.
Current planning projections for the five-year capital improvements program, from fiscal year 2019 to FY 2023, call for $94.8 million in total projects, with $50.1 million expected to be paid from grant money. Of this total, Charlotte County is targeted to receive $60 million in infrastructure improvements.