Case studies

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has adopted OneWaterSF as a new approach to water resource management. OneWaterSF represents a shift towards developing new business practices and matching the right resources to the best use. Understanding the importance of local water supply reliability, the SFPUC actively promotes a robust water conservation program and leads the development of local water supplies, including groundwater, recycled water, and onsite water reuse. Together, these programs represent innovative solutions to address today’s pressing water challenges. Click the link below to download the full case study.

Project at a Glance

Utility Overview

  • Utility: San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Population served: 2.7 million


  • Drought
  • Population growth
  • Rapid new development
  • Resilience to climate change and natural disasters

Costs and Funding Sources

  • Conservation Assistance Programs: $5 million
  • Non-potable Grant Program: $1 million
  • Staffing: 25 FTE
  • Funding source: Operating Budget and Capital Budget


  • Diversifying San Francisco’s water supply portfolio through its Local Water Program, which includes water conservation, recycled water, groundwater, onsite water reuse, and a new innovations program that encourages testing of forward-thinking ideas that can help meet San Francisco’s long-term potable and non-potable water needs.
  • Implementing a streamlined process that requires the use of onsite water reuse systems to meet non-potable demands for toilet flushing and irrigation in new large public and private developments.
  • Providing a comprehensive conservation program that includes free indoor and outdoor water audits, incentives, free water efficient devices, tools to monitor water usage, and educational assistance to encourage water use efficiency.
  • Piloting innovative efforts to produce water supplies that are local, drought-resistant, and can be used for many different needs.

Benefits of SFPUC's OneWaterSF Programs

Maintained average residential per capita water use of 42 gpcd, approximately half of the state’s average
Increased water supply reliability and resiliency
Will achieve an estimated savings of 2 million gallons per day of drinking water through onsite water reuse projects
Conservation program will achieve an estimated active and passive water savings of 20 mgd by 2040
Established a streamlined permitting process for buildings to capture, treat, and reuse water onsite to meet non-potable demands, providing the ability to reduce water use in a building by 25% to 75%
Reducing stormwater flows to the combined sewer system
Contributing to a healthy and beautiful built environment
Matching the right resource to the right use

Check out WaterNow’s Tap into Resilience Toolkit to learn even more about investing in localized solutions like SFPUC’s in your community.


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