Intelligent Water REuse Initiative

Intelligent Water REuse Initiative

The Intelligent Water REuse Initiative works to ensure the Bay Area has a resilient water supply that enables the region’s continuing success as the epicenter of opportunity and innovation. In 2015, the Bay Area had a GDP of over $738 billion, which would rank 20th among countries. To assure the Bay Area’s ongoing growth, its business and government leaders must step-up and create the regulatory framework to secure equal access to our most basic resource—water.



The Intelligent Water REuse Initiative proposes to recover, treat, and reuse water at the building, campus, or neighborhood level for non-drinking purposes. Water reuse will help safeguard the region’s business growth and quality of life by reusing water for purposes other than drinking (such as toilet flushing and landscaping). 

The technology to perform onsite water reuse is already deployed in many countries and ranges from integrated wetland systems to advanced membrane bioreactors. The barriers to implementing water reuse include public acceptance and standards for treatment, quality, and monitoring. The Intelligent Water REuse Initiative takes a comprehensive approach to advancing water reuse by creating ordinances, pilot projects, and stakeholder education to deploy systems wherever practical.



Benefits of Onsite Water Reuse:

  • Significant Source of Water in a Growing Region — Preserving the Bay Area’s limited water supply as the population increases, water reuse can provide as much as 95% of a commercial building’s needs and 50% of a residential building’s requirements.
  • Preserving a Valuable Resource—Treating and transporting drinking water hundreds of miles just to flush it down the toilet is wasting a valuable resource. As the center of ingenuity, the Bay Area must do better.


SSV's Net Positive Water initiative for Onsite Water Treatment and Non-Potable Reuse.


Join the Intelligent Water Reuse Initiative:

To ensure the Bay Area’s place as the epicenter of opportunity and innovation, the Intelligent Water REuse Initiative brings together leaders in government, technology, industry, venture capital, and research to secure and protect our most precious resource.

We invite you to take charge, advance policy change, and expand your business network by becoming a member of Sustainable Silicon Valley and supporting the Intelligent Water REuse Initiative. Together, we will bring water reuse to the Bay Area to secure a resilient water supply that ensures our community will continue to thrive.

Partners: Select Tech Companies, Governments, and Experts

Our growing list of partners includes leading tech companies, policy makers, cities, counties, universities, and water experts:

Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA)

City of Menlo Park

City of Mountain View

City of Palo Alto

Redwood City

City of San Jose

City of San Mateo

County of Alameda



Intrinsyx Technologies



NASA Ames Research Center

Nexus eWater

Santa Clara Valley Water District

SERA Architects

Sherwood Designs

Sustainable San Mateo County

Contact Us

Cindy Clark, Chief Development Officer

Approach: Policy, Pilot Projects, Stakeholder Education

The Intelligent Water REuse Initiative is a 5-year project focused on:


  • Model Ordinance: Working with Santa Clara Valley Water District's Water Efficiency New Development Task Force to create a model reuse ordinance and encourage intelligent water use and reuse for new development.
  • State Ordinance (bill #1463) to set standards for onsite treated water

Pilot Projects:

  • Facilitating collaboration between Facebook and the City of Menlo Park to bring onsite water reuse to Facebook’s new campus
  • Encouraging Santa Clara County and the Legislature to set standards which will allow Google to implement onsite water reuse
  • Partnering with the global engineering and design firm, ARUP, to conduct water audits in the low-income community of East Palo Alto
  • Upcoming Pilot Projects:
    • Working with a college or university on a campus pilot project
    • Identifying low tech water reuse opportunities (i.e. rain water capture) for pilot projects

Stakeholder Education:

  • January-August 2015: Curated five events showcasing leading models in water reuse for policy makers, leading tech companies, local and state government agencies
  • September 2015: Water Technology Symposium: Onsite Water Reuse at Xerox PARC brought together over 150 technology experts, water providers, utility executives, and government, corporate and community leaders to explore methods for the distributed treatment, recycling, and water reuse
  • October 2015: Facilitated a working group session at the Menlo Park Council Chambers for city planners and Facebook employees.
  • November 2015: Led a personalized field trip for Facebook and the City of Menlo Park to tour the SFPUC
  • Upcoming Education efforts:
    • Connect policy experts and municipal staff to advocate for water reuse
    • Customize education materials for cities, counties, tech partners, and water experts
    • Work with tech companies, law firms, universities, and others to host educational events (brown bag lunches) to discuss water reuse through sustainability initiatives for employees
    • Public awareness campaign featuring the benefits of water reuse
    • Bring attention to existing pilot projects and highlight creative water reuse systems
    • Annual Water Symposium—each year will have a specific focus. This year’s possibilities include technology to easily, accurately, and affordably monitor/report system performance; creative installations which combine several water sources, multi-home shared systems, storm water treatment opportunities


SSV Water Technology Symposium: Onsite water reuse