Climate-Smart Utility Case Story
Recognised as a leader in providing reliable 24/7 water, wastewater, and power services to our customers, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) provides top quality drinking water and wastewater services to the City and County of San Francisco, wholesales water to 1.8 million customers in the Bay Area and serves 100% greenhouse gas free hydroelectric power to municipal, residential, and commercial customers. Despite this reliable service, SFPUC faces challenges from natural disasters and climate variabilities such as severe flood and droughts.
In the quest to identify ways of adapting to uncertainties resulting from a changing climate, SFPUC in 2016 adopted a OneWaterSF Vision and Guiding Principles to take a more holistic view of their activities as a utility and create synergies and resource potential across water, wastewater and energy boundaries.
Climate adaptation actions such as the Onsite Water Reuse Programme which makes use of decentralised water treatment systems in buildings and neighborhoods provides non-potable water for toilet flushing and irrigation. Also, through the Biosolids Programme, nutrients from wastewater are recycled into high-quality fertiliser that improves California’s farm soils. For more than 100 years, the SFPUC has delivered 100% greenhouse gas-free electricity to municipal, residential, and commercial customers through the agency’s public power utility, Hetch Hetchy Power.
Learn more about the climate mitigation and adaptation strategies implemented by San Francisco with this article: iwa-network.org/climate-smart-utilities-san-francisco