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Water for a Growing Bay Area: How the region can grow without increasing water demand

Laura Feinstein, Anne Thebo | October 21st, 2021


The San Francisco Bay Area is at a crossroads. The region, blessed with a beautiful natural setting, multiple shipping ports and world-class universities, is a driver of global economic growth. But the region’s housing supply has not kept up with population growth. Many low-income households, disproportionately made up of people of color, have been forced into overcrowded and substandard housing or displaced from the urban center to new neighborhoods far from their jobs, friends and families. The most vulnerable have lost their homes entirely and are among the region’s 35,000 unhoused people. Over the next half-century, the Bay Area’s need to add housing will only grow more intense. The region is projected to add 2 million new jobs by 2070, which would attract as many as 6.8 million people, and needs to build at least 2.2 million new housing units just to prevent housing affordability from worsening. This represents 83% more people, 74% more housing units and 38% more jobs over the next 50 years.

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planning and management, Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta

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Hydrological Region