water storage

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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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Drought Gone, Less Support for California’s Water Bond?

Roguephotonic/Flickr

By Lance Williams, California Watch

Post Peak Pass is a granite notch on the remote southern boundary of Yosemite National Park, altitude 10,700 feet.

On Saturday, its north face was partly covered with a 100-yard-long patch of crusted snow – a reminder of just how emphatically California’s three-year drought was broken by the wild winter of 2010-11.

Although California’s high peaks still are capped with last year’s snowpack and its reservoirs are brimming with runoff [PDF], voters will be asked next year to approve an $11.1 billion state water bond measure that was crafted in response to the crippling drought.

But with the drought a fading memory and the state’s finances in disarray, many believe the pricey package of dam-building and water conservation infrastructure has an even slimmer chance of passage today than in 2010, when then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yanked it off the ballot and slated it instead for November 2012. Continue reading