One Water - A Long-Term Vision for Water Management in Hillsborough County
Water changes form - whether vapor, ice, or the liquid found in oceans, rivers, and streams - but all water is part of a worldwide system that recycles the same water repeatedly in the environment. Most water will eventually become someone's drinking water at some point in time, so it is important to conserve and protect all water.
For most of us, the drinking water cycle looks something like this:
- Liquid water from local rivers, reservoirs, or wells is treated at a water treatment plant
- The treated water is distributed through pipelines to your home as drinking water
- After your family uses tap water, it drains into the household's wastewater pipeline and flows to the utility's main wastewater pipeline
- From there, the water system takes the wastewater flow into the area's wastewater treatment plant, where it is treated
- After the wastewater is treated, it is either reused or released back into the environment to begin the cycle again
Since all of Hillsborough County's local sources of water (including rain, stormwater, wastewater, and reclaimed water) are ultimately linked to our local drinking water resources, it only makes sense to manage them together as One Water.
One Water represents a holistic and integrated approach to planning for potable (drinking) water, wastewater, stormwater, and the natural environment within Hillsborough County. The concept rests on the knowledge that all water is interrelated, and all water has value. Matching the right water resource to the right use is an innovative solution to meet growing population demands. Viewing water holistically enables the County to be more flexible and quicker to address threats like storm surge, changing rainfall patterns, and the increased need for resiliency.
The County's One Water approach has six overarching goals:
- Protect and preserve water resources
- Increase water conservation
- Pursue opportunities for integrated water resource management
- Encourage fiscal sustainability and the efficient use and redevelopment of land during the planning and construction of water resources infrastructure
- Construct and manage water resource infrastructure and programs in a fiscally and environmentally sustainable manner
- Expand the use of Low Impact Development (LID) principles in the built environment
The outcomes of One Water will support the County's focus on environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
- Read about the One Water objectives and policies included in the adopted Unincorporated Hillsborough County Comprehensive Plan
- View the One Water Cycle infographic