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Manatee County not set to need another water supply for some time Read more here: http://www.braden

While new water supplies will be needed eventually, Manatee County likely has enough potable water through 2034, officials say.

During an almost two-hour presentation Tuesday, Mark Simpson, the Water Division manager, updated the Manatee County Commission about operations and planning, including service areas, facilities, demands and future potable supply plans.

The existing system serves 325,000 people in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

"We currently have enough supply so we don't need to have another supply for quite some time," Simpson said.

Due to water conservation and a dramatic decline in per capita water use, among other factors, a new water supply won't be needed until the future, Simpson said. The county has identified some eventual new supply locations.

"Obviously, you always want to try to conserve water. It is a precious resource," Simpson said. "Sometime, we will need new water supply. It will allow us to push that expense out because we can make better, more efficient use of water."

New supplies will increase costs, Simpson said.

"All the cheap water has been taken," he said. "We picked the low-hanging fruit to start with. We want to stretch that current supply as much as possible."

Commission Chairwoman Betsy Benac said there is a perception in the community the county is running out of water as it grows.