The case for Prop F

Vote Yes and the city can update a dated water system


By Mike Marshall

OPINION Progressives have a rare opportunity to improve San Francisco's water and power policies by passing Proposition F, the Water Conservation and Yosemite Restoration Initiative, this November. Prop F would require the city to do something it's been reluctant to do: develop a plan for making our outdated, wasteful water system more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Despite San Francisco's "green" reputation, we don't yet recycle water, we treat rainwater as sewage, we wash our streets and flush our toilets with drinking water, and we use Yosemite National Park as a water storage tank (Hetch Hetchy Valley, where we built a dam almost 100 years ago, was one of Yosemite's grandest valleys and contained an extraordinary ecosystem).

Meanwhile, other California cities and counties have developed much more eco-friendly water systems. Orange County, not known for progressivism, recycles 92 million gallons of water a day.

Opponents of Prop F claim that reform of our water system would be too expensive, but they cite unreliable and inflated cost estimates. One of Prop F's purposes is to replace such speculation with realistic numbers.

Opponents say it's "insane" to take away San Francisco's water source, but that's misleading; Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is a storage site (one of nine reservoirs in our water system), not a water source. The Tuolumne River is our primary water source, and will remain so regardless of whether we return Hetch Hetchy Valley to the National Park Service for restoration.

Opponents claim we'd lose the hydropower generated by the current system, but our hydropower facilities are downstream from Yosemite, and would continue to power all the same city services they currently do. It's true that if we relinquish the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, we'll have less power to sell to other energy markets, but we can make up the difference by increasing our investment in renewable power such as wind and solar, which we should be doing anyway.

In fact, San Francisco owns 42 miles of above-ground right-of-way between Yosemite and the city, where we can place enough solar panels to generate at least 40 megawatts per year—an idea that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has never even considered. This, too, can be part of the plan that will result from passage of Prop F.

Remember, Prop F changes nothing about our current system. It simply requires the formation of a task force with a lean budget of $8 million to develop a specific plan for reform, which will be completed in 2015 and made available for public review, discussion and debate. San Francisco voters would then approve or reject the plan in 2016. Only if voters approve the plan will actual reform begin. This approach is appropriately cautious, thorough and transparent. If the costs of reform are too high, or if our commitment to a sustainable future is too low, voters will reject the plan and our current water system will continue unchanged.

Prop F opponents aren't waiting to see what the costs of reform might be, or even whether the reform plan makes sense. They want to prevent the plan from happening. How does that serve the interests of San Francisco residents, when the plan would give them essential information about how and whether their water system can become more sustainable?

So please join me in voting for Proposition F. Let's at least get a water reform plan on the table.

Mike Marshall lives in Hayes Valley is the Executive Director of Restore Hetch Hetchy.


Ridiculous. Possibly the stupidest idea ever thought of in SF, and thats really saying something.
What about the power generated by hetch hetchy
What about the increases in water rates which would be born by millions
what about the massive cost to not only remove the dam, but restore the valley.

Only the most puerile of progressive minds think this is a good idea

Posted by Guest_Ann_Garrison on Oct. 31, 2012 @ 8:56 am

Ann, as someone who grew up in the Sierras, and worked professionally for years for forest watershed restoration, and therefore understands well the vital importance of such restoration for myriad environmental reasons, I have a huge problem with people like you you blithely painting this proposition as 'stupid'; just as, I might remind you, the oh so trustworthy Chamber of Commerce and Mayor's office have. They are calling it 'stupid' because the resulting drastic cutback on currently expanding commercial water capture and water waste, would interfere dramatically with their plans; specifically billionaire developer plans to build continuously expanding massive suburban residential sprawl to the east of San Francisco so that they can rake in huge real estate profits.

This story is as old as capitalism and was well told in the film Chinatown. And this reactionary vehement attack that we see every time the issue is raised, is based in precisely that same water/development greed driven motivation. (This , in much the same way that every time the issue of public power is raised, PG&E launches a multi-million dollar vicious attack against it, to protect its monopoly profits.)

Now let's look at reality, and a -real- progressive position on dams.

In the west we have stopped building dams and are now draining reservoirs, not simply because attractive valleys can be resurrected, but for a great many far more -important- reasons such as:

1) Draining reservoirs is crucial to salmon and other vital fish restoration. And fish like salmon, which return to higher elevations to spawn, are absolutely fundamental to returning nutrients to those higher elevations, from which those nutrients are continuously washed down into the oceans. The salmon and related species in the food web, are completing a vital nutrient and carbon circle that has lasted for 2 million years; a cycle without which those upper elevations would gradually deplete into barrens over time. Dams absolutely devastate that process, and have decimated salmon populations.

2) Improving water supply stability. Yes that's right. Removing reservoirs is -good- for water security, because it takes water out of huge unshaded reservoirs where it rapidly evaporates (and is then carried further eastward). At the same time, restored watersheds return vast tracts of forest and thick maturing forest soils, which act as deep sponges for water and carbon.

3) And since those restored forests store huge amounts of carbon for centuries, they will be a powerful aid in reversing the climate crisis. And those high carbon soils will also better filter our water (as any good carbon filter does) making Tuolumne water -cleaner- not dirtier.

There are -many- other crucial environmental reasons that we must get rid of reservoirs and restore forest watersheds; reasons which make it well worth spending billions over decades to complete that task. (I would remind you that the Water System Improvement Program was of similar cost and duration and was undertaken for equally good reasons.)

Frankly, I've had it up to the bridge of my nose with urban progressives who don't understand a damned thing about watershed ecosystems and the importance of their restoration, who are now parroting like a bunch of Limbaugh ditto heads, the bs talking points of the Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Ed Lee.

Take a step back and ask yourself "what is wrong with this picture?" (because there clearly is something very wrong with it).

And then wake up and get educated about dams and why they are so bad for the planet.

A good place to start is:

Posted by Eric Brooks on Oct. 31, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

That dam is an abomination and needs to go. We can do what every other city does and store the same water downstream.

This is only an issue because the SFBG and socialists are obsessed with public ownership of everything. They know if the dam goes, their chance of socialising water goes. But the envoronment trumps that narrow agenda.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 8:09 am

Isn't water service in SF already run by the City? How can it be socialized even more than that?

Posted by D. Native on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 10:11 am

nothing more than the socialization of power. They'd dam Yosemite Valley itself tomorrow if it meant control of those cashflows.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 11:29 am

Used by the City and County for city uses- i.e. Muni power, etc.

Posted by D. Native on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

I find it most vexing to see you apparently argue in favor of this, because heretofore I've placed great credence in your perspectives.

Although I see you do make some valid points here, I believe they are on balance mistaken.

I agree that details regarding the origin of this plan are inconclusive. It has been pushed by people of various political and environmental bents.

The point describing why Lee and his CoC cronies would be against it is well taken; but the problem of sprawl and such can -- at least theoretically -- be addressed in more direct ways that don't involve diminishing reserve capacity in an era of climate uncertainty. Note that those arguing for this are claiming other dams can be built.

(Can a proper political course *ever* be charted based on duplicity in rhetoric?)

As for the claims that reserviors waste water due to evaporation, I believe that is a half-truth at best: one which only pertains to leaky and/or shallow reserviors filled from underground wells -- nothing that pertains to Hetch Hetchy.

Deep reserviors have a favorable surface area to volume ratio.

I'm not going to continue. I suspect an imps work here. Eric Brooks is in favor of public power.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 8:24 am

Prop F is to spend a whopping $8m to study the details of draining Hetch Hetchy to see if it is possible to do so in a resource (water, power) neutral manner.

What's wrong with that?

Posted by marcos on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 8:41 am

Thank you. Rather not see it wasted on this train wreck of an idea. NO on F!!!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

is a Green. And a Green must want to restore Hetch-Hetchy.

Of course, I understand your point. The left loves public ownership of important assets and hates PG&E. So all progressives must vote for the dam, right?

Wrong. Because that is opportunism. The dam is a monstosity, and no liberals anywhere support building new dam's.

Eric is just seeing further here than the average progressive, and I commend him for it.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 8:48 am

First lillipublicans, you misunderstood my core argument.

I'm not arguing for decommissioning dams as a way to reduce sprawl. I'm saying that when we make our water policy sensible and decommission dams, this threatens the carte blanche that developers have had for centuries to keep endlessly expanding water capture. So decommissioning dams threatens their entire business model in a -big- way. It will put a major hurt on their profit making potential. As a result, every time someone raises the issue of decommissioning the dam at Hetch Hetchy, they scream maudlin bloody murder and toss around ridiculous overblown rhetoric that has no basis in reality.

It is a lot like the knee jerk red scare rhetoric that capitalists raised against communism in the 50s. Those people would have said and done anything, no matter how outrageous, to derail communism, because real communism catching fire would have wiped out their burgeoning corporate empires.

Likewise, Wall Street developers will say and do almost anything to derail any attempt to make water use sustainable, and end the endless growth model of capitalist water capture.

So my point is that these bastards have a major incentive to lie, and it is outrageous that progressives are falling for their nonsense, when on any other issue they would exercise proper skepticism.

Second, as to dams, evaporation, and the other environmental impacts, trust me, you are incorrect. I worked on this stuff for a living. Large dams are bad. Period. Please go to the web site I posted and do some more digging on the web so that you can much better educate yourself on this. Dam removal is one of the most important environmental objectives that we must take up, especially with the global climate crisis looming. Artificial blockage of watersheds leads to disasters like the one we are seeing now on the east coast, and people need to get their head around these realities.

Finally, while I support restoring the Hetch Hetchy Valley to expand the Yosemite National Park and promote all important dam removal, I actually am somewhat ambivalent on measure F itself.

This is because, while measure F's objective is a good one, it is premature. We should vastly expand water and energy conservation and renewable electricity generation -first-, and when we are approaching enough water and energy savings to replace what the dam now provides, -then- we should go to voters with a dam removal initiative. Such a strategy would work far better and make a lot more sense to voters and decision makers.

With that said, Prop F only commissions a study (nothing more) and does absolutely none of the supposed terrible things that the opposition claims it will do.

So even though, as I said, it is about a decade premature, I am voting for it, because we do need to complete that study work anyway, before we take on the ultimate very important objective of decommissioning that stupid, and environmentally destructive dam.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 9:45 am

essentially a small local faction of ideologs who see that dam as synonymous with the socialistic control of water and energy which, ultimately, is a claim on cashflows.

Bruce etc hates PG&E but only insofar as he wants to get his/the city's hands on their revenues. There is no progreeisve imperative other than socialisation.

But ripping down that dam is a true green and progressive imperative.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 10:01 am

of your specific claim with regard to "unshaded reserviors wasting water." Again, I did *not* find it on the website you provided a URL for. It doesn't make any sense to me and I say that with some engineering skills and training.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

Here's the URL for a paper showing the impact of evaporation in large reservoirs behind hydroelectric dams. (Hydroelectric dams were chosen in order to show the considerable water loss associated with the generated electricity; and to therefore help clarify that dams are not at all an impact free source of power.)


And as I have already stated, this is just one among many serious negative environmental impacts of large dams.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

I'm not reading the citation just yet, because off the top of my head I know that Hydro-electric, by agitating water -- and therefore generating heat and causing the water to break up into spray/mist -- will promote evaporation unless the outflow is enclosed.

I think the amount of water lost in power generation is relatively small and there can be steps take to reduce it further. No energy source is free; wind power kills birds.

That's different from claiming that unshaded reserviors waste water. Would you tear down Crystal Springs Dam next?

I think the idea of restoring Hetch Hetchy is *decades* away from meriting serious discussion and despite your track record of being right heretofore, you've been seriously hoodwinked on this subject.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

No, as you have likely now seen from reading the study, the water loss happens because of evaporation. Period.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

I'm not reading the citation just yet, because off the top of my head I know that Hydro-electric, by agitating water -- and therefore generating heat and causing the water to break up into spray/mist -- will promote evaporation unless the outflow is enclosed.

I think the amount of water lost in power generation is relatively small and there can be steps take to reduce it further. No energy source is free; wind power kills birds.

That's different from claiming that unshaded reserviors waste water. Would you tear down Crystal Springs Dam next?

I think the idea of restoring Hetch Hetchy is *decades* away from meriting serious discussion and despite your track record of being right heretofore, you've been seriously hoodwinked on this subject.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

That's a key detail. The idea that hydropower consumes water is pertinent and useful to the degree that we're not taking that hydropower as a side benefit to water storage. If you want to reduce water storage in California, they you should just come right out and admit it. Shall we just keep more cases of plastic water bottles on hand instead?

The scholarly seeming article has math which eludes me and premises which I remain suspect of -- for instance the idea that differences in water depths of upto 50% more or less have negligible effect on evaporation -- but the bottom line is that in California we have dams to make sure we have drinking water first; and we use them to generate electricity second.

*No* on F.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

What the dam is used for doesn't have anything to do with the fact that the evaporation is a major environmental and storage problem.

It is the evaporation that I was talking about (which you challenged me to show you proof of) and which happens at all large dams regardless of what they are used for.

The point is that dams are also a bad way to store water, because they are a -wasteful- way to store water, due to that evaporation factor.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

Sorry to the real Eric for being taken in by this.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

I posted it in two different places because you made the previous point in two different places.

Are you just going to become a troll in this conversation, or are you going to discuss the subject?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 12:08 am

Evaporation takes place from water in an uncovered reservior (at least when relative huminidy is below 100%).

Now I'd like you to admit your mistake. You cited a study -- which by-the-way has at least some of what I consider some questionable assumptions with little or no empirical back-up -- as study whose core purpose is to educate those considering new dams for hydroelectric power to factor in water loss due to increasing the surface area of waterways that would otherwise convey water to end users.

Hetch Hetchy reservior *is* for end users. We have *pipes* that convey it to us. Your argument is essentially claiming that we'd be better off storing it in a covered vessel, but I hardly think you'd be saying we should build a dome over Hetch Hetchy.

Your use of the study to bolster the Yes on F campaign is either mistaken or something worse.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 7:37 am

Since Marcos said this well I will simply repost what he wrote on this subject in another part of the thread (and I'll add some further thoughts below):

"Water storage in forest watersheds means that the forest soil layer acts as a mountain range sized sponge that holds snow melt and filters it slowly into the watersheds and out to the Pacific Ocean. This is why the waterfalls in Yosemite that are fed by lakes run all year round in all but the driest (like this) years."

I would add to this that the Climate Crisis is threatening to severely degrade winter snow pack in the Sierras, and the more forest watershed we restore, the more the land, trees, and forest soils will better hold both snow pack, and water itself.

This lends particular urgency to the task of restoring Hetch Hetchy and other mountain valleys. We dare not delay such restoration efforts, because the more we do so, the more rapidly we will lose snowpack and water security.

So I am clearly not arguing for holding reservoir sized water stores in 'covered vessels'. I'm pointing out that restoring the watershed ecosystems, which reservoirs foolishly drown, is a far better method of providing sustainable water storage.

Finally, your comments about the evaporation study itself (which have no grounding in professional expertise on the subject at hand, or even in basic logic for that matter) are dismissively vague and not supported in any way by your making an an actual specific argument about its supposed flaws; and in any case are irrelevant, because I am clearly not using the study to claim what you are erroneously asserting I am using it to claim.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 11:48 am

I'd like you to specify what I wrote that seems to fail the test of basic logic for you.

What I recall writing in critique was that the study relies on estimates and models of water loss, not empirical data. I also wrote that the assumptive conclusion that 50% differences in depths was insignificant to water evaporation seems illogical; surface area to volume must be a critical component for calculating evaporative losses.

Here. I'll point to a study which relates directly to this. It pertains to water in Turkey. Notice that in the conclusion is that reserviors must be built in deep valleys to maximize volume-to-surface area ratios -- nothing about "forest sponges."

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

Don't be an idiot, illi. My statement was that falls in Yosemite ran year round except in the driest years. There is catchment downstream of Hetch Hetchy to store water in the driest of years. Yes, we live in a rainfall desert and at times of drought in the Sierra Nevada, irrespective of catchment, we are always at risk of shortage.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

Well, yes, I believe this plan to study destroying Hetch Hetchy is *stupid* and I have said so. I believe those on the left promoting the plan have been "hoodwinked" and I have said so.

I have *not* suggested that anyone concerned is "stupid" or some sort of "sicko," but I'm thinking that was exactly your intent. If so, such a devolution to ad hominem attack reflects poorly on your ability to sustain your position.

No reservior in the system is as suitable for holding water than Hetch Hetchy. If any reservior was going to be removed, it should be one more low-lying one which has a greater impact on the salmon fishery.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

Since the study included references to all of these; empirical data, estimates, and models (which are partly based on past empirical observations) and makes clear that reliance on solely empirical data would not give accurate estimates (because of the high variability of individual empirical readings), your repeated criticisms are both incorrect and, as I said before, off in the weeds. The study is spot on and Marcos and I know our subject.

Forested watersheds are far superior to large reservoirs for ensuring water security and sustainable.

And no matter how many times you repeat the broken record refrain 'no they aren't', you will still be wrong.

The question is, is there anyone remaining in this conversation tree forest, to hear you.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

The study you cited says only that those considering new dams for hydropower should consider the evaporation of water while it sits pooled behind a dam.

It's really simple and your repetetive arguments to the contrary and ad-hominemesque attacks don't change the fact.

I'm still willing to be convinced, but not by your insulting manner and bluster. Enjoy your newfound kinship with Chris Pratt et al though.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

The study doesn't need to analyze or state that forested watersheds are superior. The study's findings, connected with other findings however, clearly helps make that case.

What you have just said is equivalent to complaining that one piece of a jigsaw puzzle just shown to you doesn't comprise the entire puzzle.

Well of course it doesn't, It's just one piece.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

I don't believe you. You should have made sure I got the secret memo explaining why I was supposed to suspend my analytical potential and just go with the program.

Hehe. You've got all the righties fooled by going along with them!

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

I just want to post a comment that is impossible to read.

SF doesn't need a reliable water supply - everyone can simply move out of town during drought years.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

Just to make sure you and others see the reply. The study makes absolutely clear that the water loss happens due to solar evaporation, not from the generator turbines.

And.. Hoodwinked?

Do you not get how arrogant and disrespectful that is. Do you not understand why I might respond abruptly to such disrespect?

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

"Also one should account for the fact that many hydroelectric
dams are designed to serve other purposes as well." (Page 5/183)

Get it? They are arguing against building hydro-power dams for the sole purpose of generating electricity when water scarcity may be an issue. A passage in the article considers the relative merit of using the water lost to evaporation in reserviors purpose-built to generate electricity to grow bio-fuels instead, but allows that the lack of suitable extra farm land may make that impractical.

Your use of this article to justify the notion of tearing down Hetch Hetchy is mistaken.

*And* that's just one article. There are dissenting views. Also the article refers not only to sun, but ambient temperature and wind flow; the articles diminishing the importance of water depth is at *least* worth questioning.

O'Shaunessy Dam is for collecting water and storing it. If you'd rather we keep it in 12oz. plastic bottles, just come out and say so.

Again, Eric, thanks for your previous work in favor of CleanPowerSF. But dammit you are wrong on this.

*NO* on F

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

Let's get back to the point of this whole conversation.

I laid out that there are a vast number of reasons why dams including the one in Hetch Hetchy Valley, are bad for the environment and should be decommissioned. I cited water evaporation as just -one- of those many, many, reasons.

You stated that you didn't believe that dams undergo serious evaporation and asked me to prove it.

I did so by citing research on the subject. I did not by any stretch of the imagination cite that research paper as the sole basis for decommissioning Hetch Hetchy.

As I stated before, forest watersheds are better for water security than reservoirs, so your invective 'plastic bottles' comment is way off in the weeds.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

I'm not unwilling to consider any point you make Eric.

Incidentally, here's what I wrote with regard to evaporation:

"As for the claims that reserviors waste water due to evaporation, I believe that is a half-truth at best: one which only pertains to leaky and/or shallow reserviors filled from underground wells -- nothing that pertains to Hetch Hetchy.

Deep reserviors have a favorable surface area to volume ratio."

No doubt I overstated my position, but Hetch Hetchy Reservior is as ideal a water storage reservior as you could have without covering it. It is ironic that many who have been arguing in favor of F have been claiming that newer, far less ideal reserviors might be built to take the place of the one removed in Hetch Hetchy. My overreaction was a result of that killing irony.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 7:56 am

If your trade offs operate under the assumption that all environmental costs benefits are shifted "off books" and not accounted for, that the only thing that matters in this calculus are bay area water consumers, then you make a spectacular case.

Anthropocentric "natural resource" policies have led to ecological collapse. Do you suggest that we continue on this path because once the consequences of our greed are felt, we'll be long dead?

Water storage in forest watersheds means that the forest soil layer acts as a mountain range sized sponge that holds snow melt and filters it slowly into the watersheds and out to the Pacific Ocean. This is why the waterfalls in Yosemite that are fed by lakes run all year round in all but the driest (like this) years.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 8:19 am

Sounds like your true purpose is to reduce water supply.

Yes, humans are like vermin predating on the environment, despoiling all that comes within their reach. They should be exterminated and a very effective way to do that is by dehydration; just like using Roach Prufe but without the boric acid.

Even if I believed it was right to take action on such a misanthropic viewpoint, I'd have to acknowledge that the end result won't be as intended.

Destroying a publicly-held asset such as the O'Shaunessy Dam is nowhere *near* the top of the list of things to do to save the planet and while serving as a feel-good measure for some, on balance serves to divide and conquer those who ought to be working together.

*That* is the reason that Repugs are "in favor" of the plan.

Mark my words: if this thing passes, then the results of the study will be used by congressional Republicans in a spiteful manner.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 11:25 am

What a delightfully simple world you inhabit.

If only PG&E owned the dam - then you'd be screaming for it to go.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

We have clearly shown with educated arguments (based in actual knowledge of how watershed ecosystems work) that watershed restoration improves water supply.

You are now debating senselessly, simply because you don't want to 'lose' a debate. Your arguments have sunk to the level of simply colloquially reversing any point we argue without your showing any logic or evidence of your own; essentially claiming that white is black.

If you can't make an actual supported argument, please don't respond.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

Believe it, the *exact* same thing crossed my mind regarding your perspective.

I have acknowledged the water evaporates, but do not acknowledge truth of your claim that destroying Hetch Hetchy is in any way part of a plan to improve water supply. The Hetch Hetchy Reservior is as near an ideal reservior as can be found.

The study you provided simply advises against ignoring the water losses involved in building dams for hydro-electric power, it does not validate the notion that ground water can provide a substitute for surface reserviors.

Now, please don't *you* respond without providing such information.


Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

We are talking about restoring an intricate natural network of water retention and biological diversity, through scores of living and geological mechanisms, only one small component of which, is ground water storage.

And what we are not talking about, is one perfectly adequate evaporation study that you've decided to fixate on like an addict, which likewise only illuminates one aspect in the myriad facets of watershed health and sustainable water storage.

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

water security.


(Sorry, I know. I'm just like some strung-out junkie with regard to needing my "facts" on a regular basis.)

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

(My reply is higher in the thread for better readability.)

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

Ooh, the Republicans! Spooky,spooky!

After putting a halt to SF bay runways, Hetch Hetchy restoration is next on the enviro big ticket list.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

Watch the presumptiveness, marcos.

What put an "end" to it is the economic downturn.

Voting *NO* *ON* *F* is *NOT* the same as wanting the lower half of San Francisco Bay choked off to ease airline traffic.

Posted by lillipublicans on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

The voters passed Prop D in 2001 to require a vote of the people to fill more than 100 acres of bay, all runways require > 100 acres.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

lillipublicans wrote:

"Eric, cite one example of a reservoir being torn down to promote water security."

This is of course, a trick question. As I have said repeatedly, large dams are removed for myriad interconnected holistic reasons, only one of which is water security. So while removing just about any large dam will improve water security, this is almost never the sole or even primary reason for removing large dams. Such interconnected reasons include, habitat restoration, fisheries recovery, reforestation (which by the way nearly always increases local precipitation and thereby water retention), species recovery, flood management, wetlands restoration, salmon recovery, proper watershed nutrient distribution, esthetic beauty, etc.

Accordingly, I never stated that dams are decommissioned solely for purposes of water security.

So rather than respond to your troll question I'll simply fall back on the apt reply "Homey don't play that."

However I will provide a site that is another good place to start to learn about the many reasons dams are harmful.

See the text and links at:

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

Wow, you really are misinformed. The dam at Hetch Hetchy is just one of nine dams in the system. The water AND POWER comes from the TUOLUMNE RIVER, not the dam at Hetch Hetchy. In fact, the power is generated far downstream from the dam at Hetch Hetchy. Prop F is just for a study. Water rates are not going to rise just for a study that costs $8M. Come on, the water department recently spent more than thirty times that amount on a BUILDING! As for the costs to remove the dam and restore the valley, should that happen eventually, that will be the federal government's responsibility since the land is within a NATIONAL Park. Private donations would also be used, just like the recent half a billion dollar restoration at the Statue of Liberty (another National Park property).

Posted by Niners Fan on Nov. 02, 2012 @ 9:59 am

Skeptics should read the studies posted on our website - including the peer reviewed UC Davis study, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation study and the Environmental Defense Fund study - before assuming restoration is not worth pursuing. It is not as difficult to replace the modest amount of water and power that would be lost.

And Yosemite is of course a pretty special place. Hetch Hetchy as a second iconic valley would provide a wonderful alternative to Yosemite Valley and could be better managed to enhance the visitor experience with traffic, fast food etc.

Posted by Guest Spreck Rosekrans on Oct. 31, 2012 @ 3:51 pm
Posted by Troll II on Oct. 31, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

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  • Transforming Pride in our schools

    It takes more than a one-time discussion or film screening to support queer youth

  • Developers should pay -- on time

    It's boom time -- a good moment to end bust-time business breaks