A soft landing for San Francisco

A soft landing for San Francisco

 Reliability before restoration:

Restore Hetch Hetchy's moderate proposal



Los Vaqueros Reservoir in Contra Costa County was constructed then expanded with little controversy.

Photo: USBR

Restore Hetch Hetchy is committed to making Yosemite whole. We have sued San Francisco, alleging the ongoing operation of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir violates the California Constitution.

We have always, however, emphasized the need for San Francisco to make necessary, but relatively modest, water system reforms before restoration begins to ensure that not one drop of supply is lost

This commitment is reflected in our mission statement as well as in our legal petition (see page 21, #2). We believe that this is the responsible approach - to provide San Francisco and its customers with a "soft landing".

San Francisco's wholesale customers agree on this point. The Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) released a statement the day we filed our lawsuit explaining that customers are opposed to restoration unless an acceptable solution is developed and implemented prior to restoration

Over the last 25 years, signature restoration projects have been initiated in wetlands and on rivers throughout California. As a result, urban and agricultural water agencies have made additional investment in storage, recycling or efficiency. Some of these projects are illustrated in Figure 1, along with a list of investments urban water agencies have made during this time.

In some cases the affected water agencies were provided assistance to reduce effects to their water systems, But in none of these examples was restoration delayed until water system improvements were operational. For these water agencies, there was no soft landing. 


The investments listed in Table 1 would replace the water supply function of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir 15 times over. (For more information, see Hetch Hetchy and California Water Supply or Restoration of Hetch Hetchy Valley and San Francisco's Water Supply.)

Other communities in California have made significant sacrifices to reduce the harm they have caused to California's rivers and wetlands. We are asking San Francisco to reverse the harm they have caused in Yosemite National Park - and we are offering them a soft landing in the process.

If you are in a position to make philanthropic contributions as 2015 comes to a close, please consider investing in our campaign to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley and make Yosemite National Park whole.


P.S. Save the date - April 9, 2016 - for Restore Hetch Hetchy's Annual Dinner at the Berkeley City Club, with special musical guest Brian Judd.