‘One Water’ master plan latest effort by central Florida city to sustainably manage its water resources
Walnut Creek, Calif.—The engineering and design team of Black & Veatch/Brown and Caldwell has been selected to develop a water sustainability blueprint for Winter Haven, Florida. As home to the “Chain of Lakes”, an important regional water and recreational resource, and with a growing population of more than 37,000 potable-water customers, the City views water resiliency as critical to Winter Haven’s continued prosperity.
The planned, integrated master plan will adopt a “One Water” approach championed by advocacy groups, including the Water Research Foundation (WRF) and the US Water Alliance. 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/Brown and Caldwell team will assess Winter Haven’s water resources and utility systems, then help chart how to integrate its land- and water-use planning, incorporate its lakes and restore/protect 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 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 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 Winter Haven Utility Services Assistant Director Mike Britt.
Brown and Caldwell’s knowledge of One Water planning goes beyond hands-on experience. In 2017, the firm partnered with WRF to develop the Blueprint for One Water, a practical guide for agencies seeking to sustainably and holistically manage water resources, utilized by Winter Haven as a reference document when creating this initiative.
“Winter Haven has already adopted a One Water mindset and philosophy within their organization, and this formal planning effort speaks to their commitment to sustainably managing their water resources,” said Brown and Caldwell Florida One Water Leader Jim Murin. “We are excited to work with Black & Veatch to deliver on Winter Haven’s vision for this important and transformative program.”