CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
Hetch Hetchy Draining Blocked For Good?
By utilizing strength in numbers, San Francisco is taking steps to ensure that no environmental community proposal to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park stands a chance of getting off the ground.
The city’s Public Utilities Commission on January 24 approved a plan that would require the 26 cities and water districts that purchase Hetch Hetchy water in the Bay Area to agree with the lake’s elimination.
Michael Carlin, the commission’s Deputy General Manager, termed it “a fairness question. They are paying two-thirds of the bills. They are two-thirds of our customers. We need to make sure that whatever we do is fair and equitable to all of our customers.”
The Tuolumne River reservoir floods Yosemite’s scenic Hetch Hetchy Valley but is the main water source for 2.5 million Bay Area residents.
Environmental groups who favor draining the reservoir were furious.
“They’ve given veto power to non-San Franciscans. That’s wrong,” Mike Marshall, Restore Hetch Hetchy Executive Director. He said the organization may sue to overturn the new rules.