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SFH2O Water Conservation


California is a drought prone State.  Despite the recent rains, SFO continues to be Water Wise Stewards.  Water is our shared and precious resource.  We're rolling up our sleeves to help conserve water despite the wet weather because SFO understands that ongoing water conservation benefits everyone.

In response to California's five year drought, Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order in May 2016 making water conservation a California way of life.  SFO supports the Governor's executive order. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s Executive Directive 14-01 from February 2014 requesting water customers reduce water consumption by 10% remains in effect.

SFO is making great strides to be Water Stewards. Since 2013, SFO has saved 103 million gallons of water. In addition, each passenger has saved an additional 2.2 gallons of water per visit.  In the coming years, SFO will strive to continue to reduce water use.

We would like to thank you for helping be water wise!  Please continue to do your part to help.

SFO is Water Wise & Drought Smart

What SFO is Already Doing to Conserve Water

  • High-tech and low-flow sensor-operated fixtures in our guest restrooms save up to 30% more water.
  • Native plants and drought-tolerant landscaping keep irrigation to a minimum.
  • An innovative plumbing system utilizes reclaimed and treated water from the Airport’s Mel Leong Treatment Plant (MLTP).
  • Reducing landscape irrigation by more than 50 percent.
  • Modified cooling tower to perform more efficiently.
  • Restaurants will only serve water when requested.
  • SFO will re-launch San Mateo County’s “Green Business” certification program to tenants to help institutionalize conservation practices in the workplaces only when requested.
  • Reduce dead end water line flushing and flushing for fire protection systems.
  • Reduce carwashing of City owned fleet vehicles to one week a month. 
  • Reduce frequency of sidewalk hosedown to 1-2 times/week.
  • Outreach to all airport tenants and inform them of the 10% voluntary reduction goal.
  • Send out PUC Good Practice Water Conservation Publications to all users that receive water bills.
  • Eliminate fire truck Water Cannon Salutes. 
  • Using recycled water generated at MLTP for street sweeping and dust control.
  • Developed an inventory of all ourplumbing fixtures and develop a plan to replace inefficient fixtures.

Other steps being considered

  • Reducing Fire Department weekly vehicle washing to every two weeks.
  • Identify infrastructure leakage and develop plan for replacement.

How You Can Help Conserve Water at SFO

  • Talk with your teams and staff about the drought.
  • Report any leaks.
  • Turn the water off while you are soaping your hands, brushing your teeth, shaving, rinsing food or washing dishes. These steps could save 2 gallons per minute.
  • Take shorter showers. Each minute you cut saves 2.5 gallons. 
  • Don’t use the toilet to flush away trash.
  • Visit SF Water for more tips to save water at home.

Share Your Ideas for Reducing Water Use

Send your ideas and suggestions to marcom@flysfo.com.

More Information

The U.S. Drought Monitor produces maps of drought conditions. The U.S. Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.

The California Department of Water Resources lists conditions for major California reservoirs in Reservoir Capacity Charts. These charts display current volumes and historical averages.

View the Northern Sierra Cumulative Precipation Index (PDF). Compare the current water year to 1923-1924, the driest water year, and 1982-1983, the wettest water year.