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Water Supply

Supply and Demand

Hetch HetchyRedwood City is one of 29 wholesale customers who rely on the Hetch Hetchy regional water system for their drinking water supply.  In the case of Redwood City, we rely 100 percent on Hetch Hetchy for water.  Currently, Redwood City is consuming approximately 1,000 acre-feet per year AFY less than the contractual supply assurance of 12,243 AFY or 10.93 million gallons per day. The Redwood City Water Use Forecast for 2010 to 2030, projects that The City will stay well below its contractual supply until at least 2030.

Future Demand

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) manages the Hetch Hetchy system, supplying water to 1.6 million Bay Area residents through its contractual agreements with 29 wholesale customers in Santa Clara, Alameda and San Mateo counties.  It serves approximately another 800,000 people within the City of San Francisco. 

The Hetch Hetchy reservoir, on the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park, supplies 85 percent of the water delivered to SFPUC customers.  Hetch Hetchy water comes from Sierra Nevada snowmelt that is stored in the reservoir, then shipped to the San Francisco Bay Area. The remaining 15 percent of SFPUC-supplied water comes from runoff in the Alameda and Peninsula watersheds; the runoff is stored in reservoirs located in San Mateo and Alameda Counties.

Overall, the regional water system delivers approximately 260 million gallons of water per day to its customers. The SFPUC estimates that customer demand and the need to ensure a reliable supply will require an additional 64 million gallons per day of water by the year 2030.

Recycled Water and other Alternatives

To meet the anticipated demand, and as part of its Long-Term Strategic Plan, the SFPUC has set as a performance objective, the expanded use of other sources of water by its 29 wholesale customers, including Redwood City.  The plan includes greater use of recycled water, groundwater and other water sources.  The SFPUC also has set the objective of greater implementation of water conservation programs in the wholesale service area.  Accomplishment of the objectives will be monitored and measured annually by the SFPUC.

Recycled water is also an objective for SFPUC’s direct, San Francisco customers.  The SFPUC will develop alternative supply options, to include recycled water and groundwater, to help increase supply to its direct customers.  Water conservation will also continue to be a San Francisco performance objective, according to the Long-Term Strategic Plan. 

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