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Formalizing a New Way of Thinking

The SFPUC realized the benefits of merging multiple resources to accomplish innovative projects for many years. One example is the constructed wetland and rainwater harvesting system located at the SFPUC Headquarters Building at 525 Golden Gate Avenue. This system saves potable water, reduce stress on the wastewater system during heavy rains, and serves as a model for decentralized reuse throughout San Francisco. Similarly, SFPUC’s Solar Energy and Resource Recovery programs help harness resources that would otherwise not be utilized, and put them to beneficial reuse. 

While reviewing the successful outcomes of these innovative projects and programs, SFPUC General Manager, Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. recognized that this way of thinking was expanding. To build on this momentum, General Manager Kelly asked staff to formalize a new thought process – OneWaterSF - that could be shared across the SFPUC. 

Establishing a Vision for OneWaterSF

In October 2016 SFPUC staff kicked off OneWaterSF by publishing the OneWaterSF Vision. This document defines the Vision and Guiding Principles, which serve as the foundation for developing and implementing projects and programs that advance OneWaterSF.

OneWater SF Vision

With our OneWaterSF approach, San Francisco will optimize the use of our finite water and energy resources to balance community and ecosystem needs, creating a more resilient and reliable future. 

The OneWaterSF Vision encourages staff to provide greater water and energy resource resiliency and reliability, create opportunities to optimize water infrastructure, and contribute to the livability and sustainability of San Francisco and the environment.  

OneWater SF 2019

Our OneWaterSF 2019 brochure highlights many of our accomplishments and provides examples of project planning currently underway. 

OneWaterSF 2019


Implementing the 2018 Initiatives

With the Vision and Guiding Principles in place, our work focused on identifying new OneWaterSF Initiatives for implementation. We are proud of the shift we’ve made through OneWaterSF. Moving forward, we are committed to strengthening our work by focusing on key, strategic areas. This enables us to emphasize aspects that are critical to our continued OneWaterSF journey. To this end, the 2018 OneWaterSF Initiatives were designed to not only build upon other successful projects and programs, but to strengthen the shift we’ve made in our approach to resource management. For 2018, we identified nine OneWaterSF Initiatives that focus on three key areas:

  • Expand the OneWaterSF vision to all parts of our organization, and externally to other City departments and the community.
  • Promote the use of new technologies and adjustments to business practices that will continue positioning the SFPUC as a utility of the future.
  • Implement projects that match the right resources to the right use.

The 2018 OneWaterSF Initiatives Brochure, published in March, outlines the 2018 Initiatives.

2018 Initiatives

Creating a Path Forward 

The goal of OneWaterSF is to expand implementation, so that ultimately, the OneWaterSF Vision and Guiding Principles are considered in all SFPUC efforts. During the course of 2018, the OneWaterSF team shared progress on the implementation of the both 2017 and 2018 Initiatives and SFPUC projects that embody the Guiding Principles.

Do you have an idea or want to learn more? Let us know.  

Last updated: 12/30/2019 3:36:53 PM