Lawsuit asserts Yosemite'sHetch Hetchy Reservoir violates California law
"Not one drop of water need be lost in restoration"
On April 21, 2015, Restore Hetch Hetchy filed a petition in the Superior Court in Tuolumne County asserting that the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park violates the water diversion mandates of the California Constitution.
Restore Hetch Hetchy has been preparing this legal challenge for some time. The occasion of John Muir's 177th birthday and the eve of Earth Day seemed like an appropriate time to file the petition.
The petition is straightforward. We intend to show that the value of restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley is greater than the cost of making the water system improvements that would be necessary to move the point of diversion for Tuolumne River flows downstream of Yosemite National Park. As a result, continued operation of the reservoir is a violation of the prohibition against unreasonable methods of diversion in Article X, section 2 of the California Constitution.
As passionate as we are about restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley and Yosemite National Park, we are equally committed to ensuring a reliable water supply for San Francisco and other Bay Area communities. Therefore, our petition allows time for San Francisco to develop and implement a plan to assure that not one drop of water is lost and all hydropower is replaced with renewable sources.
While we anticipate opposition, we believe we have a strong case on the merits. We look forward to the opportunity to present our case in the courts.
A century ago, San Francisco made history by becoming the only city ever to destroy a significant portion of one of our national parks. We intend to reverse that unfortunate chapter of American history and return Hetch Hetchy Valley to Yosemite National Park and all people.
With continued support from all who love Yosemite and America's national parks, we can make restoration a reality. It is time to return Hetch Hetchy to all people.