County commissioners again heard the familiar discussion about the county's booming population Thursday afternoon, this time from the perspective of Manatee's water manager John Zimmerman.
"There is water out there; we're not forecasting a shortage for Manatee County," Zimmerman
did let commissioners know that there will be a need for more water as long as people continue to move to the county by the tens of thousands each year.
"We've had a significant change in population projections," Zimmerman
said."Our late January 2006 projections were twice the projected rate of those we projected in 2002.This has made a significant change for our future demands for water."
If the current influx continues, by 2030 Manatee's
water demands will outpace its supply by about 27 million gallons per day.That's why Zimmerman
encouraged commissioners to apply for permits from Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Authority for an additional 10 million gallons per day by 2014, and more in the following years.
The bulk of the county's future water supply will come through permits from Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Authority.That governing board requires that water permits be submitted seven years before they are needed.Zimmerman
said, for that reason, the commission would need to request more water by January 2007.
said figuring credits is a complicated matter and that he
is confident that MARS will result in the county being able to use an additional 8 million gallons per day.
By meeting's end, commissioners voted to proceed with applications for more water in the future.
In addition, Zimmerman
said the commission might need to diversify its water strategy, including the possible use of reverse osmosis and desalination plants, which the commission has rejected in the past.