Billions of dollars are at stake in the decisions that society makes regarding activities that are directly intended to protect Bay water quality. The region has made huge investments to build and operate the infrastructure to collect and treat the region’s municipal and industrial wastewater, and continued investment at a similar scale will be needed to maintain, upgrade, and operate this infrastructure to serve a growing Bay Area population. The region has spent and will spend comparably large sums to manage stormwater and establish green infrastructure in our cities to minimize the adverse water quality impacts of stormwater on the Bay. Large investments have been and will be made to manage contaminated sediment in the Bay, both at sites identified for cleanup and for dredging to maintain channels for commercial and recreational vessels.
Billions more are at stake in decisions regarding activities that influence Bay water quality as unintentional side-effects. Commercial product formulation and usage (including pesticides, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, electrical equipment, home furnishings, automobile components, and many, many others), sediment management, water supply management, energy production, and habitat restoration and management are all immense and essential enterprises that have a tremendous influence on Bay water quality.