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Off Deadline: Is 'Restore Hetch Hetchy' a pipe dream or a living vision?

Original post made on Oct 13, 2017

A century ago the great conservationist John Muir fought his last great battle: a doomed effort to prevent San Francisco from damming the Hetch Hetchy Valley, roughly the northern third of Yosemite National Park.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 13, 2017, 12:00 AM

Comments (8)

Posted by resident
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 13, 2017 at 9:20 am

James Watt proposed removing the dam and building tourist hotels in Hetch Hetchy back in the 1980s. This was apparently a hoax to piss of San Francisco residents and others who drank Hetch Hetchy water and there was never any serious study or planning behind his talk. Ever since then, no one with any authority to move the project forward has taken it seriously.

Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 13, 2017 at 10:43 am

There are many organizations who are focusing on the Tuolumne River, including the Tuolumne River Trust with representation by Peter Drekmeier, former mayor of Palo Alto. Include in that Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Outdoor writer - who produced a movie on the progression of water from the sierra's to the bay.
Much discussion and opinions on this topic. Also the Governor who wants to take your water and send it down to SOCAL in twin tunnels/tubes. So many ideas with varying degrees of special interest and political positioning for financial gain.
This conversation is not about John Muir as he lived in a different time and circumstance regarding the population and population centers. Also California has many park system lakes and recreation areas so we are not dependent on the draining of the reservoir for additional park system locations. I think this point of view has been overcome by the governor's zeal for the repositioning of water production. And have to agree that draining the reservoir would be an unsightly mess that would probably then be the focus for development. "Development" is now the topic is Squaw Valley where they want to produce a Disneyland of all year adventures to thrill the tourists. Smokey the Bear would not approve.

Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 14, 2017 at 7:02 am

Since the writer is looking for a dam to take down we have one directly in our area on the SU campus at the head of the San Francisquito Creek - Searsville Lake. The dam protection is over 100 years old. The discussion on this situation has gone on forever but SU is now looking to expand and resolution on this situation needs to happen as part of that expansion. Note that a similar dam situation was on the Carmel River and they were able to divert the sludge to resolve that issue which was a threat to the city of Carmel downstream. Other cities are working these same issues which are only going to escalate if we are in a high rain cycle.

Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 14, 2017 at 7:52 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

It's a great idea, but where does the water for our rapidly expanding population come from then? I know that's a very gauche question, but I've yet to see a workable solution.

Keeping the Hetch-Hetchy Valley drowned is a necessary consequence of our reckless greedy rush to overpopulate the area. Consider that whenever you advocate for more housing.

Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Oct 16, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Show me the water! We're already underbuilt on water storage capacity, so the only way this idea makes sense is if we can first address the water storage shortage.

Posted by Leave Hetch Hetchy as it is.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Leave Hetch Hetchy as it is. is a registered user.

I love Hetch Hetchy the way it is. I have hiked the peaceful trail that runs along the perimeter of the reservoir. It is breathtaking with reflections of the magnificent mountains, sky and trees. I also enjoy the fresh water we get from this reservoir.

There are so many more important things we need this money for. Restoring this beautiful reservoir park space to a state we haven't seen in a century is not a priority for me.

Hetch Hetchy is heavenly as it is.

Posted by Mayfield Child
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 16, 2017 at 8:52 pm

I have a friend who drove from Capitola to my home in Palo Alto just to wash her hair~ telling me we have THEE best water! Love it the way it is...."Don't fix it if it isn't broke"...

Posted by Observer
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2017 at 11:59 am

Couple of comments:
1) The aesthetics of hiking alongside a mountain reservoir may be better than those of hiking at the bottom of a narrow granite walled canyon (i.e. furnace) during spring/summer.
2) The costs to remove the reservoir, build alternative equivalent storage, build pumping plants and supply them with fossil energy, etc., and replace the existing hydro power with fossil power are very high (B$$). Putting this level of debt on customers so that a few folks can recreate is an environmental justice issue that no one talks about.

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