Water Conservation

Overview of Fort Baker and Cavallo Lodge, with the golden hills and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background
Drought tolerant grass on the parade ground at Fort Baker (center of photo) goes dormant in the summer, matching the golden tones of the surrounding hills.

NPS/ Kirk Wrench

Conserving water not only preserves a limited resource in California, but also reduces the energy used for water treatment and transport. Golden Gate National Recreation Area's Water Conservation Guidelines contribute to region-wide efforts to conserve water and create climate change resilience.

California has a Mediterranean climate, with rain falling only in the winter months and summers with no rain. Many of the native ecosystems dry out or go dormant during the summer, creating the golden hillsides that characterize the landscape.

Maintaining green lawns and landscapes year-round requires a great deal of irrigation, currently coming from clean, potable drinking water. Any opportunities we have to reduce water preserves this precious resource for higher priority uses and ecosystem functions.
catchment tanks
Alcatraz Island uses a rainwater catchment system to capture water for landscaping the historic gardens on the island.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area uses several methods to conserve water:

  • Facilities throughout the park have low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets to decrease water usage
  • We conserve water by choosing drought tolerant plants and efficient irrigation systems
  • At the Crissy Field Center, over 50 percent of water used to flush toilets is supplied by a 5,000 gallon rain catchment system
  • Alcatraz Island also uses a rainwater catchment system to irrigate the landscaped areas
  • The Native Plant Nurseries managed by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy use water-efficient techniques for propagation

Going forward, GGNRA will achieve additional water conservation by:

  • Focusing irrigation on higher-visitation areas to maintain a welcoming character in all sites

  • Repurposing less-visited areas to lower water use landscapes while retaining the aesthetic, historic, and recreational qualities suitable for a National Park setting

  • Continually improving our best practices for water conservation, both indoors and outdoors

  • Setting a positive example as a park and agency during existing and future water crises, creating resilience to drought and climate change impacts

Last updated: September 8, 2021

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
201 Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123


United States Park Police Dispatch: Non-Emergency: 415-561-5505 Emergency: 415-561-5656

Contact Us