A proposal to divert more water from the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park for additional urban and agricultural use will be discussed in a meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Sept. 19) at Avenidas Senior Center, 450 Bryant St., Palo Alto.
The proposal is part of a $4.3 billion plan by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to expand and upgrade the system. Palo Alto is one of many cities on the Peninsula that receives Hetch-Hetchy water.
Environmentalists are opposing the proposed increased diversion because 60 percent of the flow from the river now goes into the Hetch-Hetchy system and the increased flow would amount to 25 million gallons a day.
"Twenty-five million gallons is enough water to fill more than 1,000 large swimming pools every day, and most of the water would be used for landscaping and commercial growth," said Peter Drekmeier, Bay Area program director for the Tuolumne River Trust. Drekmeier is also a member of the Palo Alto City Council.