Water-Related News

Polk Regional Water Cooperative proposes new water supply projects

AUBURNDALE — Polk Regional Water Cooperative board members voted unanimously Wednesday to seek state funding for three projects proposed to take care of public supply needs here for the next 20 years.

Estimated cost of the projects, which would likely be developed in phases over several years, is $619.8 million. They would produce at least 42 million gallons per day.

Two would supply water by tapping a relatively unexplored, brackish section of the aquifer in wellfields east of Frostproof and in northwest Lakeland and a third would try to increase aquifer storage by damming sections of the Peace Creek drainage canal to create a series of reservoirs.

Any water derived from these projects would be shipped via an extensive pipeline system to local utilities that needed additional water.

It is unclear how these projects would affect local water rates.

The costs of developing these new alternative water sources are estimated to be between $2.02 and $3.03 per 1,000 gallons. Conventional water sources in use now typically cost between 80 cents and $1 per 1,000 gallons.

The plan is to blend the current and future water supplies to keep costs as low as possible.