Emergency Water Supply & Storage Project

The City of Palo Alto completed an emergency water supply and storage project to deliver adequate water supplies in the event of an emergency or natural disaster which could interrupt our regular supply from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Read an article about the City's water supplies.

About the Emergency Water Supply and Storage Project

  • Frequently Asked Questions about the City's Emergency Water Supply Project
  • Staff Report on project status to the Utilities Advisory Commission - March 2013
  • El Camino Park Reservoir Project 
    • Reservoir construction completed in December 2013. Read more about the El Camino Reservoir.
    • Check out this fun video about El Camino Park Reservoir produced by the Mayor's Youth Video Corp.
  • Well Rehabilitation Project
  • Mayfield Pump Station Augmentation Project


About the City's Water Supplies
The City of Palo Alto's primary source of water is the San Francisco Regional Water System (SF RWS) operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). In most years, SFPUC provides 100% of Palo Alto’s potable water supply.

To improve the capacity of the local water distribution system in the event of an emergency, the City initiated the Emergency Water Supply and Storage Project. The Project included the rehabilitation of 5 existing wells, construction of 3 new wells, and construction of a new 2.5 million gallon emergency water storage reservoir. Palo Alto now has adequate storage and pumping capacity to provide emergency back up during an interruption of SF RWS service. The wells may also be available to meet limited dry year requirements.
Palo Alto replaces potable water with recycled water to irrigate a golf course and a city park, to fill a duck pond, and provide some uses at the water quality control plant. Recycled water use that does not replace potable water includes the Emily Renzel Marsh enhancement project and additional process uses at the water quality control plant.

Palo Alto produces an Urban Water Management Plan every five years, which details our water supplies and conservation efforts. You can view the latest report at cityofpaloalto.org/UWMP. The City also publishes a Consumer Confidence Report on water quality conditions every year. If you are interested in learning more about Palo Alto's water quality or would like to read current or historical water quality reports, please visit cityofpaloalto.org/waterquality

Facilities and Distribution Storage Reservoirs

  • Mayfield Reservoir
  • El Camino Reservoir
  • Boronda Reservoir
  • Montebello Reservoir
  • Corte Madera Reservoir
  • Dahl Reservoir


  • Eleanor Pardee
  • El Camino Park
  • Fernando
  • Hale
  • Matadero
  • Peers
  • Rinconada

Note: All wells are designated Emergency/Standby at this time.

For more information about the CIty's water facilities, please contact our Engineering Division at (650) 566-4501.