This month marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. What began as a small action on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan is now a global call for action.
In the 50 years since that spring day in 1970, the SFPUC has initiated, designed, developed and implemented dozens of programs and policies that help sustain the environmental resources entrusted to its care.
Here are just a few notable examples:
- The agency provides clean hydro-electric energy to power San Francisco’s municipal assets and facilities, including San Francisco General Hospital, MUNI bus and street car lines, San Francisco Unified School District campuses and City Hall.
- Beginning in the 1980s all known lead service lines have been removed from the water transmission and distribution systems that bring water through the Bay Area and into the City.
- The agency provided funding to expand the production and delivery of recycled water to irrigate local golf courses and is now building a treatment plant to provide recycled water for irrigation to many parks and landscaped areas in San Francisco, including Golden Gate Park.
- The SFPUC has installed rain gardens and other green infrastructure along roadways, in medians and other previously paved areas to capture and reuse stormwater and reduce carbon pollution.
- The SFPUC has sponsored legislation to require “retrofit on resale” replacing high water use toilets and urinals with efficient ones.
- The agency launched a Community Voice Aggregation Program, CleanPowerSF, enrolling San Francisco residents and businesses in the program to ensure that electric energy is sustainably sourced..
Responsible stewardship of environmental resources is a hallmark of the SFPUC. This month, as San Francisco commemorates the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, it is good to pause and be reminded that protecting environmental resources is important every day, and to continue supporting the work of those in the community who have answered that call to action.