About Water Entitlements

In response to the 1988-1991 drought, the district began assigning water budgets to new commercial services. In September of 1991, the Board of Directors passed Ordinance 327, amending district code to include the assessment of both water entitlements and water budgets for all new and existing non-residential services. In January 2011, the Board of Directors passed Ordinance 421, amending district code to require specific indoor and outdoor efficiency requirements be met before an increase to the water budget will be considered.

Entitlements, Water Budgets & Baseline


A water entitlement is defined as, “the maximum amount of water the District is committed to supply any individual service on an annual basis,” (District Code 11.08.180).

For questions regarding water entitlements, call Engineering Services at 415-945-1530.

Water Budget

The water budget is representative of a service’s actual water needs and is defined as, “the District’s determination of the actual consumption requirement of the service,” (District Code 11.08.035). The water budget may be less than or equal to the water entitlement, but may never exceed the entitlement. As a result, if the district calculates a site’s water budget at a level higher than the site’s entitlement, an increase to the entitlement will be required before the water budget will be increased.


For billing purposes, the water budget is divided over the billing periods, either monthly or bi-monthly. These monthly or bi-monthly allocations are referred to as the account’s baseline. The water use for each billing period is compared to the account’s baseline for the same period and is billed accordingly. Please see “How Does the Water Entitlement Affect My Water Bill?” for further explanation of how water use is billed.

For questions regarding water budgets or baselines, call Water Conservation at 415-945-1520.