The city of San Francisco, rebuilding after the devastating earthquake, believed the dam was necessary to meet its burgeoning needs for reliable supplies of water and electricity. At Congressional hearings on Hetch Hetchy held insupporters of the plan like Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief Forester of the United States and a noted environmentalist, argued that conservation of natural resources was best achieved through management of the wilderness. Preservationist and Sierra Club founder John Muir did not testify before Congress, but he argued against the Hetch Hetchy plan in this excerpt from his book, The Yosemite. In the end Congress chose management over aesthetics, voting 43—25 with 29 abstentions to allow the Hetch Hetchy dam on federal land.
Everyone who drinks water or takes a shower in San Francisco should go. It marks the first catchment in a mile long water system that brings high quality, superb-tasting water to 2. Standing upon it will give you the chance to appreciate the sublimity of both nature and human achievement.
The water shunted through them — about million gallons a day — arrives in most city taps by gravity alone.
This is also a place imbued with history: This effort was famously and vociferously fought by John Muir and was the subject of a national debate for years; the loss later galvanized the Sierra Club to successfully oppose large dams in Dinosaur National Monument and Grand Canyon National Park.
It would be almost impossible to build a new dam there today. In fact partially because it is so difficult and destructive to build large dams, we are running out of new supplies of water in California. If their signature-gathering campaign is successful, a small group of environmental advocates, led by Restore Hetch Hetchy, will give you the opportunity this November to vote on a measure that would require the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission SFPUC to develop a plan to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
This ballot measure is so problematic that SPUR has taken early action to oppose it.
SPUR wholeheartedly agrees that planning for water quality and reliability is important. The SFPUC and other Hetch Hetchy users are currently implementing plans to meet this demand through recycled water, groundwater and conservation. So the idea of planning for new water supplies need not be on the ballot.
The SFPUC tests its quality more thantimes a year to ensure that it exceeds all safe drinking water standards. The main problem with the measure is that in spite of appearing to be about studying best options or planning for future water supplies, it has pre-determined the solution: The idea of punching a hole in or removing the dam and allowing the valley to be restored to its pre-development conditions has been around since the late s.
Over the last 35 years, the idea has been studied by the Environmental Defense Fund, the U. Some of these studies determined that the idea of draining the reservoir was technically feasible but incredibly costly. Even if we could obtain the several billion dollars necessary to carry out this endeavor neither private nor public sources have yet been identified some of the tasks involved may not even be possible.
Here are just some of the hurdles we would need to cross: Yes, the plan to drain Hetch Hetchy involves causing new ecological damage. We would be trading flooded acres in one place for flooded acres in another.
At SPUR, we have done a lot of work on climate change adaptation. From this work, we have concluded that it is not wise to reduce water storage facilities considering the realities of a growing population and climate change.
A bigger population will increase demand, meanwhile climate change could significantly reduce supply through drought and hydrological cycle changes.
Hetch Hetchy, unlike other water storage facilities in California, is relatively buffered from near-term climate change because of its high elevation.
And it is the largest single source of water supply for the Bay Area.Moccasin Dam at Hetch Hetchy Water & Power’s company town Moccasin remains in poor condition due to damage incurred during the March 22 megastorm that tore up Groveland, Moccasin and Highways Hetch Hecky.
Topics: Hetch Hetchy Valley, John Muir, Sierra Club Pages: 4 ( words) Published: September 11, Clint Mooney Research paper Lush green grasses that flourish using the water from a winding river sit in the middle of a colorful valley.
It is a beautiful sanctuary where people come to visit and take in all it has to offer.
Hetch Hetchy Valley, far from being a plain, common, rock-bound meadow, as many who have not seen it seem to suppose, is a grand landscape garden, one of Nature’s rarest and . The Hetch Hetchy Valley was within Yosemite National Park and protected by the federal government, leaving it up to Congress to decide the valley’s fate.
National opinion divided between giving San Francisco the right to dam the valley and preserving the . Restoration of Hetch Hetchy Valley will not only restore the integrity of Yosemite National Park, it will also resurrect one of the most ecologically diverse and scenic areas in our national park system – a twin of the famed Yosemite Valley, 15 miles to its south.
Thus the Hetch Hetchy dam-lake would be only a rough imitation of a natural lake for a few of the spring months, an open mountain sepulcher for the others.
"Hetch Hetchy water is the purest, wholly unpolluted, and forever unpollutable.".