San Francisco supervisor Scott Wiener proposes individual water meters for all units in new housing projects

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco Supervisor Scott Weiner announced legislation Tuesday requiring all new residential buildings to include water submeters.

The water meters would track the water use of residents. The proposed law would apply to new buildings with two or more living quarters.

Property owners will have the right to bill tenants individually for water.

The idea behind the legislation is to make people more conscious of how much water they use.

“Without this information on a monthly bill, people may not feel the same need to reduce water consumption as they do with electricity, which is already submetered,” Wiener said. “Water is not an endless commodity, and submetering our buildings will give residents crucial information to help conserve this precious resource.”

The legislation, which will be introduced at Tuesday afternoon’s Board of Supervisors meeting, also includes tenant protections such as rules for how property owners can bill and how liability is established in the case of leaks or service issues. The bill also includes the right to appeal any disputes about meter readings.

San Diego passed a similar ordinance in 2010, but a bill in the state Legislature with a similar provision failed to win approval last year.

State building codes already require submeters for large residential buildings.

The bill is not Wiener’s first effort to increase water conservation. The supervisor has also previously introduced legislation removing the requirement for residents to get a permit before they install greywater recycling systems and requiring new developments of 250,000 square feet or more to use water-recycling systems for non-potable uses.

Bay City News contributed to this report

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