California is battling one of the most severe water droughts in American history. Therefore, Governor Edmund Brown declared a state of Drought Emergency in January 2015. State officials were directed to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages, which includes curtailing California residents’ usage. But, the same government that is restricting water use throughout the state, is the same group culpable of wrongdoings.

It is reported the local government in San Francisco has been using drinking water to heat the government building City Hall. This reprehensible behavior by public administrators and private sector is very troubling considering all that is occurring. Due to inactivity by local government, the archaic 80 year old system has been targeted for a change in the future. “After the water is heated up, the condensate water is than discharged into the sewer system”, said Tyron Jue of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. “This is drinking water that is being used for the steam loop”(CBSLOCAL, 2015). On top of City Hall, 170 other adjacent buildings are included in this wasteful process. Although the company NRG, which operates the heating loop mechanism, claims some of those buildings use a portion of water for flushing toilets and landscaping, there remains a chilling statistic. A quarter million gallons of drinking water is wasted each calendar day.

Fortunately, there is a contingency plan people are beginning to examine. The NRG establishment is looking to utilize some non-drinking water from below the Powell Street Bart Station in the Bay Area. They report that 65 million gallons of ground water under the Bart enters the sewer each year. The concept is to obtain that non-drinking water into the heating process to replace the good drinking water. Right now, the infrastructure is unknown, and the company says there is no tentative scheduling for this costly execution. Watch for more on this water drought.

Source: CBS San Francisco