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80 STATE OF THE ESTUARY 2015 RECYCLING WATER CONTEXT In a state as water-limited and imported sources. At the same time, using gray water was prohibited until recently. As a result of these limitations, a relatively small amount of intentional water recycling has occurred over the last 50 years in the Bay Area. Efforts over the last two decades have increased and made recycled water a more important part of the Bay Area’s water portfolio. On-site reuse of graywater, rainwater, and stormwater is also increasing but still a very small per- centage of the total recycled water use. as California, recycling water seems like a no-brainer. Most of the surface and ground water consumed by urban users in the Bay Area is treated to drinking water standards, used once, treated again to remove pollutants, and discharged to the Bay from wastewater treatment plants. Much of this consumption, including the 40% used for landscaping, does not necessarily require drinking water for its use. Until recently, repurposing the wastewa- ter, which includes the black water from toilets and gray water from showers, bathroom sinks, washing machines, and industrial processes, was expensive compared to treating and distributing freshwater diverted from local Advanced purification facility in the South Bay. Treated wastewater is further treated and purified to allow for indirect and direct potable reuse, which could significantly reduce the region’s dependence on imported water. Photo: Santa Clara Valley Water District DETAILS R E C YC L E D WAT E R U S E B Y C AT E G O R Y S A N F R A N C I S C O B AY A R E A 2014 52 TAF 32% Offset Agriculture Ag non-offset Wetlands & wildlife t Wa er Commercial U se Industrial 19% 7% 6% O ff s e t Landscape Irrigation 37% 5% Use 25% 14% 1% Wa t er 2001 29 TAF 17% 37%