Hetch-Hetchy plan discussed tonight in PA


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.

— Don Kazak


Like this comment
Posted by howard
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 17, 2007 at 7:18 pm

Peter pines for the good old days before humans existed. Maybe bird flu will do the trick.

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 17, 2007 at 9:06 pm

Wishing mankind dead is naughty. Sounds like Peter is a LidLub Malthusian. It is way past time to build the Auburn and Round Valley dams.

Like this comment
Posted by Recycle Water
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 18, 2007 at 8:17 am

Its time PA had a two water system. Fresh water from the Tuolumne River for inside our homes but for watering our yards recycled water should be used. We all waste far too much fresh water that could be recycled.

Like this comment
Posted by Newt
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 18, 2007 at 9:34 am

Are you kidding me? Haven't we already raped the Sierra's enough by building the Hetch Hetchy Dam?

I can just see their decision making process:
1) Well, we could force residents and farmers to use their water more wisely and conservatively.
2) Or...let's just rape the environment even more! It'll only get us a reprieve for a few decades, but what the hell, why not!

Like this comment
Posted by Cynthia King
a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2007 at 9:48 am

This isn't about people surviving or not. This is about San Francisco and its water customers meeting its needs while also being responsible stewards of the resources they depend on.

It's also about the survival of the Chinook salmon, and the steelhead, in the Tuolumne River. In the past seven years, the number of salmon returning to spawn in the Tuolumne dropped from 16,000 to 675. Less water in the river would mean a lower probability that the Tuolumne salmon, once the largest run in the San Joaquin Valley, will survive.

None of the additional diversions proposed by San Francisco would be for residential use. 60% would be for outdoor landscaping, and the rest would be for commercial growth. San Francisco's own studies show that they can meet 75 % of the demand increases through cost-effective conservation, efficiency, and recycling. Instead they are pursuing additional withdrawals from the wild and scenic Tuolumne river, in Yosemite National Park.

This is about developing a sustainable water plan that will leave water in the Tuolumne, which is a national jewel, for fish, wildlife, and our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

And, additional diversions from the Tuolumne would hurt people upstream. See: Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Use_Less_Water
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 18, 2007 at 1:35 pm

More and more as our climate is warming we will need to learn to scale back our water use. This year we have a drought, hopefully one that is short-lived, but one that is impacting us all the same. It is imperative that we all start thinking about how and where we can cut back our water use, both for the short term to address the current drought conditions, and long term to adapt to the world's changing climate.

And as aside, worth noting that using less water also entails using less energy -- another good habit to develop for our own well-being.

Peter Drekmeier, thank you for standing up for the river and arguing for a more intelligent course of action.

Like this comment
Posted by Mary
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 18, 2007 at 2:42 pm

If Palo Alto crams more and more people into this city, that is more and more people who need water - and natural gas and electricity. In fact, no one has addressed the problem that California right now has too many people for the environment to sustain - water, electricity, natural gas - and roads and highways, and yet the forecast is for a huge population increase. If there is not enough water now, what will it be like then? Maybe the State and cities should start thinking of population control and let it start with Palo Alto. California cannot house and feed the world, no matter how magnanimous are its intentions.

Put one rabbit in a small pen - and it is still happy. Put twenty in there and they are not happy rabbits.

Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 19, 2007 at 6:47 am

Far less of the Sierras is eroded and washed out to sea since damming commenced. Steelhead are not natives. Dams usually sustain stream flows that used to go dry in summer. LibLud Malthusian/Ehrlichers have already exposed their real goal which is fewer people, even as it has been demonstrated that living standards rise as population grows.

Like this comment
Posted by R Wray
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 19, 2007 at 9:16 am

Plants "rape" the soil for nutrients.
Animals rape the plants and other animals.
Human beings rape the environment to live.

I'm for more "raping".

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Couples: So You Married Mom or Dad . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 899 views

Eat, Surf, Love
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 864 views

Spring College Fairs
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 808 views

The Cost of Service
By Aldis Petriceks | 1 comment | 489 views