Water is a limited resource in California, and its availability will be further impacted by climate change and new environmental regulations. With shifting climate patterns, and significant long-term water supply uncertainty, it makes sense to reduce water consumption while exploring ways to capture and store water, as well as to increase the availability and use of recycled water.
Facing historic drought, increased attention is turning to water reuse opportunities. Recycled water is highly treated wastewater that meets rigorous California Code of Regulations standards. Recycled water is a local and more sustainable source of water for irrigation than drinking water. Every gallon of recycled water used on landscaping saves a gallon of potable water for drinking and other uses.
The City receives most of its water supply from the City and County of San Francisco’s regional system, that is operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). Although this water supply is predominantly from the Sierra Nevada, delivered through the Hetch-Hetchy aqueducts, it also includes treated water produced by the SFPUC from its local watersheds and facilities in Alameda and San Mateo Counties.
The City reduces pollution entering local creeks and San Francisco Bay in partnership with the Regional Water Quality Control Plant.
Stormwater as a Resource
Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater runoff. Enhancing and maintaining GSI will use natural areas and systems to provide habitat, flood protection, stormwater management, cleaner air, cleaner water, and human health enhancement. Examples of GSI include landscape-based stormwater “biotreatment” using soil and plants ranging in size from grasses to trees; pervious paving systems (e.g., interlocking concrete pavers, porous asphalt, and pervious concrete); tree wells with suspended pavement systems; and other methods to capture and use stormwater as a resource.