Hetch Hetchy

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Drain it! Pay More for the Water! The Hetch-Hetchy Saga Continues

San Francisco’s use of the Hetch-Hetchy Valley to store 85% of its water has come under fire…again.

Craig Miller

The Yosemite Valley offers some of the most spectacular views in California. Some people would like to see the Hetch-Hetchy Valley restored to a similar state.

Over the past couple of weeks San Francisco’s water supply and fixed annual fees for that water have come under attack by Republican Congressmen from other parts of the state. The first parry came from Representative Dan Lungren who represents the area stretching east from Sacramento. Lungren has a self-proclaimed “love affair” with Yosemite and thinks it’s worth spending some money to find out if restoring the valley is feasible. On KQED’s Forum program, Lungren argued that, “The possibility that we might have a second Yosemite Valley is something that at least I believe ought to be looked at. And yet everyone who opposes us seems to be afraid of looking at the facts.”

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An Assault on Hetch Hetchy Dam from the Flank

Activists take a new tack in attempt to restore a scenic valley in Yosemite

After years of frustration with the frontal assault, activists have shifted to a flanking maneuver to restore Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley. The group Restore Hetch Hetchy (RHH) says it will challenge the re-licensing of Don Pedro hydroelectric dam, downstream from Hetch Hetchy.

The flooded Hetch Hetchy Valley stores water from the Tuolemne River, for San Francisco. (Photo: San Francisco PUC)

Often compared to Yosemite Valley in grandeur, Hetch Hetchy Valley has been flooded since the construction of O’Shaughnessy Dam in the 1920’s. Water from the reservoir serves the City and County of San Francisco but activists have long argued that it’s not needed, and that the Valley’s original attributes are more valuable. Continue reading