Water wars redux: Could Tampa-backed bills doom Tampa Bay Water?
For 20 years, the regional water supply agency known as Tampa Bay Water has provided the state with an example of how local governments can cooperate to provide a vital resource to a large metro region.
Now a pair of bills in the Legislature may dismantle the whole thing — and they’re being backed by the City of Tampa.
The fight is over millions of gallons of highly-treated reclaimed water — essentially, wastewater stripped of ammonia, chlorine and other chemicals so that it’s nearly pure enough to drink — which Tampa wants to use in its drinking water supply.
The city could also sell this new source of drinking water. But Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn denied Monday that profit was motivating the city to pursue the project against the wishes of Tampa Bay Water.