Restoring the San Francisco Bay and Addressing California’s Water Crisis

Restoring the San Francisco Bay and Addressing California's Water Crisis

SVCF Heralds Passage of Clean and Healthy Bay Ballot Measure to Protect San Francisco Bay

On June 8, 2016, Bay Area voters passed the Clean and Healthy Bay Initiative, a first of its kind effort to restore 36,000 acres of Bay Area shoreline for future generations. Now approved, the measure secures funding to protect environmentally critical wetlands, areas for wildlife and recreation, infrastructure, and homes as well as businesses in some of the region's most populated communities.
The past two centuries have seen a majority of the San Francisco Bay wetlands disappear, with devastating implications for where we live. Today, our region is estimated to have only 44,000 acres of the 100,000 acres of wetlands needed to sustain a healthy ecosystem. Between wetland loss and global warming, experts predict that sea-level rise will threaten 330 square miles of Bay shoreline over the next fifty years. Within the area at risk are endangered habitat, businesses that comprise the engine of the Bay Area’s economy, essential infrastructure including SFO, major freeways, bridges, railways and thousands of homes. 
SVCF is pleased to have helped guide efforts to ensure the measure’s success, including serving on the measure’s Executive Committee and leading regional awareness efforts. As a leader in addressing our community’s most pressing problems, SVCF joined an unprecedented alliance of leading business, civic, government and environmental advocacy organizations. Making a material difference in ensuring the viability of the San Francisco Bay region for decades to come, the approved initiative sets the stage for the regional thinking required to address issues of income inequality, housing and transportation. To learn more about what the measure will do, please visit
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Addressing the Drought

California continues to wrestle with strategies for sustainable water management, now four years in to the drought and more than a year after the Governor declared a state-wide emergency. There are also challenges to increasing public awareness about California drinking water's limited supply. In Silicon Valley, there is a strong disconnect between the complicated and little-understood system that delivers water to residents. The disconnect can lead to conclusions that water will always be available, affordable, local and accessible.

As an institution committed to identifying and addressing the region’s most challenging problems, SVCF is working on two projects to bring more attention and increase education about Silicon Valley's experience during the drought:

Report Report

Regional analysis

To identify current opportunities for water supply and resilience in Silicon Valley, SVCF worked with Bay Area planning and advocacy organization SPUR to conduct a landscape analysis. We found that key water leaders and observers in the region see sustained conservation and water recycling as the best sources for building water supply, especially in light of the potential threats of continued drought and escalating climate change. But more can — and must — be done. Read the full report.


Read the Report

How the drought affects Silicon Valley communities

Partnering with independent digital news platform Water Deeply, SVCF also funded a 10-part investigative reporting series that raises awareness about how the drought affects communities in Silicon Valley. Read our collection of all 10 stories, or access each story below.