San Francisco Declares Water Emergency, 5% Surcharge on Users


The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission voted Tuesday to declare a water shortage emergency amid a crushing drought in the state that threatens water supplies throughout the region, slapping a 5% surcharge on water users in the city.

California is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in its history. The drought from 2011- 2017 was so intense that rainy seasons in 2017 and 2018 barely reversed the damage. Mountain snow in 2020 was not enough to fill the state’s reservoirs.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission members voted Tuesday to declare a water shortage emergency and adopt a system-wide reduction in water use of 10%.

They aim to get there by asking city residents and businesses to cut water use by 5% and requesting that more than two dozen agencies in Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties that buy water from San Francisco conserve even more by slashing water use by 14%.

The declaration requires the city to levy a temporary surcharge on city users’ water bills of up to 5% — the amount they are asking customers to cut — to ensure rates don’t fall below ... (Read more)

Submitted 14 days ago

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