UPDATE - June 11, 2015
BOMA San Francisco's Energy & Environment Committee and Government Affairs Committee members met recently with San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) representatives for an update on the current drought conditions.
Please click here to review the presentation.
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In response to the drought and to State-mandated outdoor water use restrictions the SFPUC implemented a Mandatory Irrigation Allocation Program in 2014 that required a 10% reduction in outdoor water use for all potable irrigation customers. This first mandatory reduction applied to all billing periods beginning on or after October 1, 2014 through June 2015 with water allocations determined using 2013 baseline water use data and is expressed as gallons per day (gpd).
Allocations from October 2014 – June 2015 will be totaled and compared against your actual usage during the mandatory reduction period. If total water use exceeds the total allocation, an Excess Use Charge of 100% of your applicable water rate will be charged for each unit of water exceeding the allocation. For the October 2014 to June 2015 restriction period, the Excess Use Charge is a one-time assessment that will be added to your July 2015 bill and will be in addition to normal charges.
Due to continuing drought conditions and the State's expanded outdoor water use restrictions, the SFPUC's Mandatory Irrigation Allocation Program will be extended through 2016 and require customers to reduce irrigation water use by 25%. The SFPUC will provide each irrigation customer with their water use allocations for the next restriction period including billing periods beginning on or after July 1, 2015 through February 2016. Water use allocations will continue to use 2013 as the baseline.
Irrigation Allocation Appeal Form
SFPUC Resolutions adopting mandatory reduction for irrigation customers: 10% and 25%
SFPUC Regulations and Restrictions for Excess Use Charges
SFPUC Resolution adopting Excess Use Charges
Amendments to Excess Use Charges
Recycled Water Truck Fill Station
Restricted outdoor water use activities
Following the lowest snowpack ever recorded and with no end to the drought in sight, Governor Jerry Brown Jr. announced actions that will save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state's drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient.
"Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action," said Governor Brown. "Therefore, I'm issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible."
High resolution photos of previous snow surveys are available here.
For more than two years, the state's experts have been managing water resources to ensure that the state survives this drought and is better prepared for the next one. Last year, the Governor proclaimed a drought state of emergency. The state has taken steps to make sure that water is available for human health and safety, growing food, fighting fires and protecting fish and wildlife. Millions have been spent helping thousands of California families most impacted by the drought pay their bills, put food on their tables and have water to drink.
Click here for the full executive order issued by the Governor.
- Washing down driveways and sidewalks except when needed for health and safety purposes.
- Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff.
- Using a hose, without a shut-off nozzle, to wash motor vehicles; and,
- Using drinking water in fountains or decorative water features unless the water recirculates.
Image credit: Randall Benton, Sacramento Bee
- Determine how and where your water is used on site. If you need assistance, the SFPUC provides free Water-Wise Evaluations.
- Assign a conservation champion to develop and monitor water conservation efforts.
- Educate tenants and visitors about water conservation practices; put up signs encouraging water conservation in kitchens, restrooms, locker rooms, and other public areas.
- Inform vendors that water efficiency is a priority (cooling tower maintenance, landscape, laundry and dishwasher)
- Install water-efficient fixtures and plumbing devices, such as high efficiency toilets and urinals, faucet aerators, and pre-rinse spray valves. The SFPUC provides fixture rebates and free devices (details below).
- Identify water conservation opportunities specific to your facility or business and prioritize no or low cost options.
- Use a broom, pressure washer, or hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle to clean sidewalks, driveways and pavement.
- Conduct preventative maintenance to ensure water-using fixtures are working properly.
- Assess your irrigation system to identify inefficiencies such as leaks, broken sprinkler heads and run off.
- Track water consumption through meter reads or monthly water bills to measure water savings achievements and monitor for leaks.
- All showerheads have a maximum flow of 2.5 gallons per minute (fpm);
- All showers have no more than one showerhead per valve;
- All faucets and faucet aerators have a maximum flow rate of 2.2 fpm
- All water closets (toilets) have a maximum rated water consumption of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) or the flush volume set by updates to the San Francisco Plumbing Code. Effective July 1, 2011, new toilet fixture installations may not exceed 1.28 gallons per flush, the maximum rated water consumption established in the San Francisco Plumbing Code, Chapter 4, Section 402.2;
- All urinals have a maximum flow rate of 1.0 gpf. Note: To achieve compliance with the Ordinance, new urinal fixture installations shall not exceed 0.5 gpf, the maximum rated water consumption established in the San Francisco Plumbing Code, Chapter 4, Section 402.3;
- All water leaks have been repaired.