The entire state of California is suffering from the effects of a fifth consecutive drought year, which include the reduction of available water supplies to extremely limited levels. Rationing programs have been established in most areas of the state, including the City and County of San Francisco. Although recent rainstorms have lessened the severity of the drought, existing water supplies remain at extremely low levels.
The drought highlights the need to permanently manage water resources in a prudent manner. The responsibility for management of San Francisco’s water resources is under the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission (“Commission”). The Board of Supervisors should exercise its legislative authority to assist the Commission in achieving its goals.
The Commission has found that the use of high quality potable water for construction and demolition purposes in San Francisco is widespread. The use of such water supplies is not necessary for many construction and demolition purposes. Non-potable water is available for such purposes from various sources, including wastewater reclamation facilities and permitted groundwater wells. Use of non-potable water from those sources for construction and demolition purposes would not present a health or safety hazard if used in accordance with applicable State Department of Health and State Water Resources Control Board standards and requirements.
The Commission has found that the use of increasingly scarce supplies of high quality potable water for soil compaction and dust control is no longer feasible or in the public interest when appropriate substitute sources of non-potable water are available.
The Commission’s findings are adopted by this Board. Furthermore, this Board finds that public interests in the preservation of high quality potable water for important human consumption uses would be best served by prohibiting the use of such water supplies for soil compaction or dust control when alternative supplies are available.
(Added by Ord. 175-91, App. 5/10/91)