Water-Related News

Polk Board approves agreements for future water supply

Two implementation agreements that will help build the access to Polk’s future water supply were approved by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners Tuesday.

Those agreements, as part of the Polk Regional Water Cooperative, were for the West Polk Floridan Aquifer Wellfield and the Southeast Wellfield Lower Floridan Aquifer projects. The agreements provide for the design, permitting, construction, operation and maintenance of the projects.

Through the Southeast Wellfield agreement, the county also agreed to pay the proportionate share of the 60 percent design costs for any Water Cooperative member that may be unable to do so at this time. To encourage more member governments to join the agreement, they would later repay the county the respective cost share.

“Polk County is dedicated to working with our municipalities to secure future water supplies for our current and future residents, visitors and businesses,” Deputy County Manager Ryan Taylor said. “These implementation agreements bring us another step closer to securing the supplies, while continuing to work closely with the Southwest Florida Water Management District.”

As a member of the cooperative, the county’s requested portion for the West Polk project is about 980,000 gallons per day. That represents about 11 percent of the projects estimated 2045 water allotment. For the Southeast Wellfield, that figure is about 3.4 million gallons per day. It represents about 25 percent of the 2045 allotment.

For the two projects combined, Polk’s financial obligation in the cooperative is about $3.4 million.