Five-year plan for alternative water resources
Central Florida’s traditional water supply source has been fresh groundwater from the Floridan aquifer. Over the past twenty years Florida’s water management districts have performed detailed analyses to evaluate the condition of water resources in the region and have determined the Upper Floridan aquifer is nearing its environmentally sustainable limit. Building on Toho’s history of reclaimed water as an alternative water supply (AWS), Toho has been undertaking planning efforts to diversify into other additional AWS sources for well over a decade. In addition to enhancing the use of reclaimed water, Toho’s future portfolio of AWS sources will also include surface water, stormwater and brackish groundwater.
Over the next 5-years, TOWI will focus on significant investments in infrastructure, developing AWS sources and making significant infrastructure improvements throughout our piping networks to enable these sources to be delivered where needed throughout the service area. In the next 5-years, Toho estimates that it will invest nearly $400 million in bringing TOWI to reality. In order to complement our traditional funding sources that include both user rates and system development charges for new connections, Toho is pursuing funding through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program. As an existing recipient of WIFIA funds, Toho has experience with the value of this low interest, flexible borrowing program as a means to help advance large, strategic programs like TOWI.
As a steward of the environment, Toho, through TOWI, will increase the resiliency and environmental sustainability of Toho’s system while planning for the water resources needs in our region for decades to come.