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New Report Shows that San Francisco Will Save More than 500 Million Gallons of Water due to SFPUC-Led Conservation Efforts
Annual Report Highlights Projected Savings Over Next 30 Years, Along With Efforts to Diversify City’s Water Supply
Posted Date: 12/11/2018 4:00 PM
San Francisco, CA – Water conservation programs and services offered by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) last fiscal year will result in savings of more than 500 million gallons of water over the next 30 years, according to the agency’s annual Water Resources Division report. The report, which was released today at the SFPUC Commission meeting, highlights the agency’s decades-long commitment to water conservation practices.
 
“The SFPUC has become a national leader in advancing sustainable and responsible water usage practices,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “We know that conservation is a way of life now in California, and we are advancing every effort to be at the forefront on this critical issue.” 
 
Through various efficiency programs, the SFPUC estimates that its retail customers will save 516 million gallons during the next 30 years. That is equal to the annual water supply of 9,425 homes.
 
The SFPUC’s Water Resources Division is responsible for the implementation of the agency’s water conservation programs, as well as the development of local water supplies, including groundwater, recycled water and non-potable water programs.
 
The annual report details the following SFPUC accomplishments:
 
  • Conservation assistance programs and public education efforts that have led to San Francisco residents using 42 gallons of water per person, per day, one of the lowest consumption rates in California. 
  • Construction of a recycled water plant that will be used irrigate more than 1,000 acres of green space, including the Golden Gate Park, Lincoln Park and Presidio golf courses. 
  • Construction of four groundwater wells to draw water from San Francisco’s Westside Basin.
  • Continued management of the City’s pioneering non-potable water program, which requires all new developments over 250,000 square feet to treat water onsite to meet irrigation and bathroom demands, helping to reduce potable water usage.
  • Expansion of a grant program to encourage additional non-potable water treatment and reuse practices in breweries and smaller buildings.
  • Additional research on treating recycled water to meet drinking water standards, including a pilot project at the SFPUC headquarters.
 
“In this age of climate change uncertainty, it is essential that the SFPUC diversifies its supply to maintain water reliability for our customers,” said Paula Kehoe, SFPUC Director of Water Resources. “We are implementing innovative new practices in recycled water, groundwater and non-potable water systems that will provide new operational flexibility for our agency. By being proactive in our approach, we are ensuring that our water system in resilient and ready for whatever challenges we may face in the future.”  
 
The collective efforts of the SFPUC’s Water Resources Division reflects the unit’s new OneWaterSF framework, which shifts planning focuses into a more holistic approach. Every undertaking will consider the impacts of one water source on another, and the connections and potential impacts within those system operations.
 
“The SFPUC is committed to both protecting the environment and making sure we have enough water for our customers,” said SFPUC Commissioner Francesca Vietor. “As the climate changes and we see longer periods of drought and heavier storms, water conservation and reuse will ensure that we maintain both a healthy ecosystem for our fish and adequate water supplies for our customers.”
 
A full copy of the Water Resources Division’s annual report, which was released at today’s SFPUC Commission meeting, can be found here
 
For information about the SFPUC’s conservation assistance programs, including free toilets and water-saving devices, clothes washer rebates, and water-wise evaluations, visit sfwater.org/conservation