“With California still experiencing devastating drought and the uncertainty around this rainy season, we need to make tough decisions that will ensure that our water source continues to be reliable and dependable for the future,” Breed said.
“Year after year, San Franciscans step up to conserve our most precious resource, resulting in one of the lowest water usage rates in California, and during this critical time, I know that our City will once again meet the call to reduce water use.”
Breed in a news release urged San Franciscans to reduce water usage by taking voluntary steps “such as fixing leaky toilets, installing low-flow fixtures, reducing outdoor irrigation, and receiving water usage audits from SFPUC professionals.”
The SFPUC declaration allows the agency to access water reserves and resources during an emergency. It also includes a temporary drought surcharge for customers of up to 5% on their bills which will go into effect April 1, 2022. The average residential customer surcharge is estimated at about $6 per month if they make no changes in water use.
The mayor noted the average San Franciscan “uses 42 gallons of water per day at home … less than half of the statewide average of about 90 gallons per person per day.”
“Water Year 2021 … was an extreme year in terms of temperature and precipitation, and it followed a Water Year 2020 that was likewise warm and dry,” according to the report published in September.
“The Colorado River Basin, an important supply for Southern California, continued dry in Water Year 2021, with storage in Lakes Mead and Powell reaching new record lows,” the report said.
CNN’s Aya Elamroussi contributed to this report.