Water Delivery and Supply
The City operates an extensive water distribution system using water largely supplied by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) via the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System. The local storage and distribution system, shown in Figure IF-1, serves all portions of the community. In 2004, the City prepared a Water System Master Plan that identified deficiencies within the water system and prioritized improvement projects to ensure the long-term integrity of the water system. Due to aging water system infrastructure, long-term projections for completion of improvements and annual upkeep and replacement of the system are constant necessities.
Given California’s history of severe droughts and projected increases in the Bay Area population through 2040 and beyond, water conservation is critical for ensuring that future demands can be met sustainably. Prior to the drought of 2011-2016, Burlingame water users consumed approximately 3.0 to 5.5 million gallons per day of potable water. As of July 2015, that level had dropped significantly, to approximately 2.4 to 4.6 million gallons per day. The conservation achievement was spurred both by a statewide mandate imposed by Governor Jerry Brown and collective voluntary water conservation efforts by community members. However, water use in the city is projected to rise to approximately 5.22 million gallons per day by 2040 (accounting for both residential and nonresidential users). As of 2016, the City had a water supply assurance agreement from the SFPUC to receive an allotment of 5.23 million gallons per day on an annual average. While the allotments are negotiated on a scheduled basis, with Burlingame having the ability to request an increased supply, rising water costs and the almost finite water supply means that increased future conservation measures will be needed to ensure supplies remain available.
The following goal and policies aim to improve the overall function and reliability of the water system and to encourage water conservation by all users.
Ensure the long-term availability of water through conservation methods and regular maintenance and improvements to the overall water supply delivery system.