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Sustaining urban drinking water supply, from source through city

City and County San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

City & County of San Francisco monitor data from an expansive water distribution system spanning rural watersheds and urban service areas. Time-series data are continuously collected from sampling and SCADA systems. Water balance calculations, forecasts & reports inform decisions on water supply and drought.

Topics Covered

Open Data
Water Supply & Drought
Process Improvement


Initial: 218 Thousand USD

O&M: 32 Thousand USD


General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Status

Operational since 2016

Gov Champion

SF Water

Problem Addressed

City & County of San Francisco needed a scalable database to manage water resource information and better enable data sharing.

More than 100 years of historical data regarding urban water distribution and source water was migrated from Access databases reaching their maximum capacities.

An integrated and scalable database was needed to manage water resource information in the present and long into the future, meeting demand. The utility also desired to increase data access among its staff for quality assurance and control, analyses, reporting, and process improvement.

Solutions Used

Incorporation of a new database allowed the City and County to continue managing water data and enable sharing among staff and the public. 

San Francisco implemented Water Information System by KISTERS (WISKI) to automatically archive, validate, calculate and report on continuously collected data from the field and SCADA systems within San Francisco's drinking water distribution system.

A web solution enables internal staff members to access and review data, configure built-in forecast tools for water balance and demand, generate and distribute reports. In addition, a public web portal or the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System Data Viewer publishes meteorological and operational data and reports to wholesale customers.



Time savings with the automation of data retrieval and import from various data streams including external websites in addition to evaluation of data quality


Increased confidence in decisions as surface water, reservoir levels, groundwater, precipitation, pump availability, and more variables of concern are combined for consideration


Improved wholesale customer service as an open data web portal provides important updates about the water supply, transmission system, and deliveries from source waters


Improved wholesale customer service as an open data web portal provides important updates about the water supply, transmission system, and deliveries from source waters

Something Unique

SFPUC and Turlock Irrigation District, an adjacent local governing agency, collaborate and exchange water data via web services to optimize reservoir operations and minimize potential flooding risks in the Don Pedro Water System.

Who Should Consider

Medium to large-size city water utilities that monitor and model a watershed(s) with urban, suburban and rural characteristics

Last Updated

Mar 23rd, 2022

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