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Tampa Bay Water fends off Tampa in water war skirmish — for now

TALLAHASSEE — The latest skirmish in Tampa Bay’s old water wars ended quickly Tuesday as a bill to allow the City of Tampa to augment its own water supply using highly-treated reclaimed water fell victim to cross-bay politics — and intraparty squabbling.

For once, though, it was the Democrats who decided the fate of a bill in the Republican-dominated legislature.

Tampa and the region’s water authority, Tampa Bay Water, are on opposite sides of a bill that was taken up at the very end of the last meeting this session of the House Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee.

Committee members didn’t debate House minority leader Janet Cruz’s House Bill 1303, which would give Tampa the right to use its reclaimed water to supplement its own water supply.

They adjourned without taking action, likely scuttling the plan this year.