Daly City - A landmark
water agreement between Daly City and San Francisco
will create a new water recycling plant in Daly
City to provide irrigation for three of the
area's leading golf courses and help to reverse
the decline in Lake Merced's water level.
two cities, along with the Olympic Club, Lake
Merced Golf Club and San Francisco Golf Club,
approved a 50-year agreement that supports the
construction of a $6 million water recycling
plant by Daly City at its treatment facility
at Lake Merced and John Daly Boulevards. Further,
San Francisco and Daly City have agreed to a
series of programs to reduce groundwater usage,
increase aquifer recharge, and evaluate diversion
of storm runoff into the Lake.
The historic regional resolution was a multi-agency
collaboration between Daly City, the North San
Mateo County Sanitation District, the San Francisco
Public Utilities Commission, the golf courses,
and California Trout, Inc. The agreement calls
for the golf courses to switch from groundwater
use, in exchange for recycled water from the
new Daly City plant.
"Lake Merced's stakeholders have come to
a mutually agreeable solution to overall usage
of the groundwater aquifer," said San Francisco
Supervisor Tony Hall. "Without question,
this is a rebirth for Lake Merced and victory
for the environment."
City Vice Mayor Adrienne Tissier said, "This
partnership will create a three-part program
that benefit Lake Merced, the golf courses,
and our communities. It is ecologically responsible
and a fine example of good public policy in
managing water resources."
The City of Daly City, the NSMCSD and the golf
courses have adopted the recycled water agreement
earlier this month, and the SFPUC approved it
last night. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors
is expected to formally ratify the agreement
within the next few weeks.
Local environmental and community organizations
worked to accomplish the agreement. The Friends
of Lake Merced, CalTrout and San Francisco Beautiful
played supportive roles in making the pact a
"The three clubs and two cities made a
tremendous effort to get this deal done,"
said Jerry Cadagan of the Committee to Save
Lake Merced. "They have each made sacrifices
for the overall benefit of the environment,
the community and each other, and they are to
Mark Bergstrom, Executive Director of California
Trout, whose organization took action in January
2001 to initiate a cooperative resolution to
restore Lake Merced, said, "The SFPUC,
Daly City, and the three golf courses are to
be commended for providing superb leadership
to restore the beneficial uses of one of the
City's crown jewels, Lake Merced. This is a
"We are pleased to be part of one of the
efforts being made by Daly City and San Francisco
to restore and preserve Lake Merced," said
Olympic Club President Rich Guggenhime. Lake
Merced Golf Club President Irving Chang said,
"We are pleased to be a participant in
the community effort to improve Lake Merced
and its environment."
The first step of the three-part program is
to design methods to channel storm water into
Lake Merced from its historic southern watershed
in Daly City. This effort will redirect storm
flows toward the lake. This SFPUC pilot program
will begin immediately.
Next, work will begin on a new water recycling
plant in Daly City to provide an alternative
water supply for golf course irrigation. The
water will be filtered and disinfected, making
it safe for landscape uses. As part of the agreement,
the golf courses have agreed to pay 50 cents
per unit for the recycled water, which represents
a substantial increase over their current cost
of 21 cents per unit for groundwater.
The third step will be the implementation of
an already-adopted pilot program that makes
surplus SFPUC water supplies available to Daly
City in wet years, allowing them to limit ground
water pumping and increasing storage in the
aquifer. This will allow increased use of groundwater
during periods of water shortages, in essence
creating a supplemental water supply to the
Hetch Hetchy system's capacity and to Daly City.
Merced is a wonderful resource for San Franciscans,
and the SFPUC is committed to restoring the
lake's health so future generations can enjoy
its beauty and fish in its waters," said
SFPUC General Manager Pat Martel.