Tampa consumers use an enormous amount of water between 70 to 75 million gallons a day, 25 percent of which is currently used for lawn irrigation.
And with population growth in Florida predicted to rebound in coming decades, there's no question that we will need more. We'll either have to find a way to increase our supply, change the way we currently use it, or both.
One of the most promising strategies for meeting this challenge is called indirect potable reuse (IPR), a technique that has been successful in California, Virginia, Texas, Israel and parts of Africa. Tampa City Councilman Charlie Miranda is hopeful that it can be adopted, or at least considered, here.
The trouble is, IPR has an image problem, one that's inextricably related to its descriptive, if derisive (and only partially accurate) nickname: "Toilet to Tap."