Water-Related News

Hundreds of lakes and wetlands have rebounded since Tampa Bay Water was formed 25 years ago

Residents across the greater Tampa Bay region can enjoy thousands of acres of wetlands and lakes that have slowly rebounded over the past couple decades since Tampa Bay Water stopped the over-pumping of groundwater and ended "the water wars."

A couple decades ago, the water was so low you’d have to trek through dry dirt, cattail grass and fishbones before getting to the water line.

The culprit? Way too much drinking water was being pumped out of a nearby well, depleting the water table that feeds the lake.

“Lake Starvation — that's a great name for it because if you thought you were going to catch a fish and eat, you were going to starve,” he said.

And this was happening to lakes and wetlands near well fields all across the greater Tampa Bay region.

"In the mid-1990s … there were a lot of lakes and wetlands that had zero water for long periods of time. That causes damage to the vegetation, the animals move away, and it can change the structure of the wetlands underneath," said Warren Hogg, who’s been with the utility Tampa Bay Water and its predecessor for 36 years.