SFians Consume Less Water, Lead State in Water Conservation Efforts

San Francisco residents use less water than any other urban area in California, according to a report released by the State Water Resource Control Board.

On Tuesday, the board released the first-ever monthly estimates of daily per capita water use by residential customers for almost 400 urban agencies in California.

The data revealed that San Francisco beat out roughly 400 other towns and cities in California.

The State Water Resource Control Board reports that San Francisco is the lowest residential water consumer among reporting agencies and cities statewide.

San Francisco, on average, used just over 45 gallons of water per person per day in September.

The San Francisco Bay region as a whole, averaged about 85 gallons per person per day in September, according to the state board estimates.

During that same period, the Colorado River region averaged about 252 gallons per person per day. This area includes much hotter inland areas such as Palm Springs and the Mojave Desert.

State board chair Felicia Marcus said in a statement released Tuesday that the daily per capita information helps communities getter a better sense of their water use.

Marcus said the transparency of it all should lead agencies and residents to consider further conservation efforts.

The board measures per-capita daily water use by finding the total water sales in the city and dividing it by the total population served.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission serves more than 846,000 residents within San Francisco.

Among the factors that allow San Francisco to conserve so much water in comparison to other cities in California, is its dense urban landscape, which can accommodate few lawns or pools.

According to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the per capita water consumption has decreased over the past few decades due to the city’s commitment to and investment in water conservation programs and policies.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission announced last week that Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System customers have met their 10 percent voluntary conservation goal for 2014, more than two months ahead of schedule, and saved about 8 billion gallons of water.

The SFPUC also transitioned the city’s third golf course in Pacifica to use recycled water.

According to the control board, however, more needs to be done to reduce water consumption.

The control board pointed to major Australian cities further ahead than San Francisco, with residential per-capita per-day water use levels maintained below 45 gallons.

Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News

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