SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco officials are looking at how the city can better use recycled water as supplies steadily dwindle and Mayor Ed Lee, who’s still in Washington, D.C. after last night’s State of the Union address, said he’s seeking federal assistance for infrastructure.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission delivers 265 million gallons of water a day and it’s looking for ways to recoup 20 million gallons of that amount, whether from conservation or recycled water. The city’s infrastructure, however, isn’t set up to use reclaimed water and that’s where, Lee told KCBS, the federal government could help.

Lee was in talks at the White House last week as well as sitting with the First Lady during Pres. Obama’s State of the Union speech.

“We brought the whole drought concern—west of the Rockies—back to the White House to see whether we could have water infrastructure treated the same way as transportation infrastructure,” Lee said.

“That means if we do get some attention on this, we do get some federal monies released so that we could continue our efforts to make sure our water and waste-water systems are seismically safe.”

In addition to those upgrades, the system will need to be built out in order to accommodate what the SFPUC reports will be a demand of 285 million gallons of water for daily use within the next four years.

Recycled water is also expected to play a key role in development plans for the city’s east side.


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