Black & Veatch, a global leader in water solutions and critical infrastructure, has announced its selection to develop a water sustainability blueprint for rainfall-reliant Winter Haven, Florida, and its water utility serving more than 37,000 customers.
The planned, integrated master plan will adopt a “One Water” approach championed by the U.S. Water Alliance and other advocacy groups. The approach is based in all forms of water – drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, reclaimed water, indirect and direct potable reuse, and groundwater – as a singular resource to be managed sustainably. The Black & Veatch team, with national environmental engineering and design firm Brown and Caldwell, will assess Winter Haven’s water resources and utility systems, then help the roughly 43,000-resident central Florida city chart how to integrate its land- and water-use planning, incorporate its lakes and restore its natural systems while promoting citywide water sustainability and economic growth for at least the next half century.
Winter Haven has been especially proactive in addressing its water future, having joined the Polk Regional Water Cooperative (PRWC) to support regional efforts to better manage impacts from land use, aquifer withdrawals, and drainage on water supplies and natural systems. The City Commission adopted a Sustainable Water Management Plan (SWMP) in 2010 that established a long-term approach that recognized how water is connected to Winter Haven’s economic future and quality of life.
“This master plan is incredibly important for Winter Haven to meet all of the water challenges we expect over the next 50 years, and it’s our hope that this effort will become a catalyst for positive change not only for our community, but other communities in Florida and beyond,” said Mike Britt, Winter Haven’s project manager.
More than a century old, Black & Veatch has worked on hundreds of master plans for water utilities nationwide – from small community water systems to planning multi-billion-dollar capital improvement programs (CIPs). In addition to providing expertise in One Water master planning, Black & Veatch uses dynamic tools to help utilities adapt their plans, capital prioritization and CIP management activities as circumstances and priorities change.
“It’s always professionally rewarding to do these types of projects,” said Jon Dinges, a Black & Veatch project manager. “We are excited to support Winter Haven in their One Water goal to lead its community in controlling their destiny with natural, finite and valuable water resources.”