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#28558 - 10/18/12 10:15 AM SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7739
Loc: Fresno, CA
From SF Gate:

Prop. F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy
John Wildermuth
Published 9:00 p.m., Sunday, October 14, 2012

Quote:
The century-old battle over the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir moves to the San Francisco ballot next month with a measure that could determine the future of the system that has provided the city's water since 1934.

Proposition F would require the city to put together a plan to destroy the city-owned O'Shaughnessy Dam and drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir so that the valley, part of Yosemite National Park, can be restored to its original wild state.

Read more

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#28559 - 10/18/12 11:06 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Steve C]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
spend $8 mill to "study" something to which the answers are already known.

$10 BILLION to remove the dam...who pays for that?

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#28560 - 10/18/12 11:25 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Ken]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 832
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Originally Posted By: Ken
spend $8 mill to "study" something to which the answers are already known.

$10 BILLION to remove the dam...who pays for that?


I got $10 billion, then I would have to file for bankruptcy.

Yosemite is in Mariposa County, and SF is in what county? They built, they paid for it. They destroy it, they pay for it.

Then, below the water line, how long will it be before all is restored to its original state....
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#28566 - 10/18/12 06:47 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: + @ti2d]
JAGCHiker Offline


Registered: 11/13/11
Posts: 45
Loc: GC
Then, below the water line, how long will it be before all is restored to its original state.... [/quote]

Mother Nature works to her own time schedule. Given one can't replant "old growth"; the valley would respond to the environment, and eventually get close to the rest of the area. People said Glen Canyon wouldn't return and would be ugly; if Lake Powell and the dam was removed: then the drought came. Yes, there is an intial 'ring'; however, the side canyons are responded very quickly. The problem for people is the time schedule is longer than our puny life cycle. It will be the children and grandchildren of those who make these changes; who will enjoy the end result. We'll just get to witness the initial steps....

Given the water recycling/reuse habits of the the SF Bay area; don't expect those people to pay their tax share of $8 mil. study and then to dismantle and replace their water source. Even if one or more of the uber wealthy were to donate the funds- that society won't accept that level of change to their lifestyle- too busy texting on their phones/pads, developing more apps ....

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#28568 - 10/18/12 09:00 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: JAGCHiker]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
I kinda like the graceful lines of the concrete arch, feeling the power of water gushing from the outlet, walking through the cool tunnel to the nice hike around the reservoir over wooden bridges hit by roaring waterfalls. Plenty of remote valley upstream from Rancheria Falls in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. I don't see a problem with the way it is that's worth spending $10 billion to "fix" and I sure wouldn't want a million tourists driving up down the access road and tramping around. The biggest loss would be the clean hydropower.

That's my $0.02.

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#28573 - 10/19/12 07:32 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: SierraNevada]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1565
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
I think the actual importance of Hetch Hetchy as a water resource is much overrated. SF sells much of that water, and I have seen at least one analysis that says downstream storage capacity is more than enough to take up the slack.

It almost certainly was not necessary at the time: my interpretation is that Gifford Pinchot pushed it to prove an ideological point (along with putting the Forest Service in the dept of Ag instead of Interior where it belongs) knowing full well that there were plenty of other sites for a SF water supply.

One should not assume that either the power or water would be lost either: the water and its power will still be there, and part of the plan would no doubt include ways to capture both downstream. There are plans to remove hydro sites at many other places in the PNW including all 4 PacifiCorp dams on the Klamath, with plenty of new renewable sources becoming available that are a lot more eco friendly than hydro.

San Francisco and the private developers and utilities have had a free ride at the expense of the rest of us for 100 years.

Enough already



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#28574 - 10/19/12 07:54 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: JAGCHiker]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 832
Loc: Oh Cursed, USA
Originally Posted By: JAGCHiker
Mother Nature works to her own time schedule. Given one can't replant "old growth"; the valley would respond to the environment, and eventually get close to the rest of the area...Yes, there is an intial 'ring'; however, the side canyons are responded very quickly. The problem for people is the time schedule is longer than our puny life cycle. It will be the children and grandchildren of those who make these changes; who will enjoy the end result. We'll just get to witness the initial steps....

Given the water recycling/reuse habits of the the SF Bay area; don't expect those people to pay their tax share of $8 mil. study and then to dismantle and replace their water source. Even if one or more of the uber wealthy were to donate the funds- that society won't accept that level of change to their lifestyle- too busy texting on their phones/pads, developing more apps ....

I concur...My thoughts exactly... wink

Who knows what one can find below the water line besides hooks, lines, sinkers, watches, rings, necklaces, keys, guns, beer cans (full?), and Jimmy Hoffa...like a time capsule waiting to be re-opened.
_________________________
Have fun and enjoy the Gr8 Yd Opn.

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#28575 - 10/19/12 09:53 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: saltydog]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Quote:
It almost certainly was not necessary at the time: my interpretation is that Gifford Pinchot pushed it to prove an ideological point (along with putting the Forest Service in the dept of Ag instead of Interior where it belongs) knowing full well that there were plenty of other sites for a SF water supply.


Interesting observation.

Certainly a reason to be HIGHLY cautious about getting on this bandwagon, being pushed by younger ideologues.

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#28576 - 10/19/12 09:59 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Ken]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Here is another perspective.

Look at Yosemite Valley. I find it hard to identify anyone who thinks the development and the hordes are a good thing.

So what is being proposed?

Do the same thing to HH.

Consider that right now, HH is preserved, like in a deep freeze, or a time capsule. Nothing bad is happening, and it will be essentially the same, whether recovered in 2 year, or 2 thousand.

So why now?

The attitude is:

Because I want what I want! I want it for ME, NOW.
I don't care if it is protected for future generations, if I can get it for myself, now! Especially if I can get someone else to pay for it.

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#28577 - 10/19/12 10:40 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Ken]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7739
Loc: Fresno, CA
> Look at Yosemite Valley. I find it hard to identify anyone who thinks the development and the hordes are a good thing.

smile Ken, I stand here as Exhibit A.

I fully believe that the world is overpopulated. But you already know my opinion on locking people out of a place like Yosemite Valley. Managing the crowds and hordes, yes. But lock them out, no way!

I am pretty much neutral on the idea of removing HH. But it yanks my chain that SF does not permit even canoes on HH -- another example of locking people out. It is an example of "something bad is happening".

> Because I want what I want! I want it for ME, NOW.

You keep using that term. It is not for "ME NOW". I just think our beautiful places should be managed better so they can be shared better, and not just locked up.

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#28579 - 10/19/12 03:11 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Ken]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1565
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: Ken

So what is being proposed?

Do the same thing to HH.

Consider that right now, HH is preserved, like in a deep freeze, or a time capsule. Nothing bad is happening, and it will be essentially the same, whether recovered in 2 year, or 2 thousand.

So why now?

The attitude is:

Because I want what I want! I want it for ME, NOW.
I don't care if it is protected for future generations, if I can get it for myself, now! Especially if I can get someone else to pay for it.


Talk about interesting perspectives. What is being proposed? "To do the same thing to HH?" Where is that being proposed? Nowhere. That is not part of the proposition or any other proposal. The attitude is "For me, now?" Really? Who has expressed that attitude? Again, no one, nowhere: it is a complete fabrication. I find especially interesting the assumption about "get[ting} someone else to pay for it". This is a San Francisco proposal being brought in San Francisco proposing to San Francisco voters that San Francisco pay for a plan. Who is the someone else, exactly?

In fact if HH reverts to the standard that applies to the entire rest of the NP system, the attitude being promoted here is quite the opposite of "Me, now": it is rather "For everyone, always". Sure, I recognize a young ideologue talking: guy by the name of John Muir.
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#28580 - 10/19/12 09:32 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: saltydog]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Saltydog, I don't mean to be thinking like an ignorant sheep. I have followed this topic for decades. So when I reference the suggestions and mindsets, it is because I have heard them.

The current strategy is to increment the issue.
First, let's study it. Stack the study.
Second, let's vote on it.
Third, remove the dam.
Fourth, gosh, we've gone that far, now we need to recoup our investment.

There is a proposal to get rid of the dam.

-Uhhh...when? answer ASAP

-Why now? Because people want access to that valley, NOW.

-So that it can remain as a wilderness place, accessible only with difficulty?

You mean like Tehipite Valley? Oh, we already have that, and virtually nobody goes.

Well, when people keep talking about HH, and it being like Yosemite Valley, what do you think they are thinking, that they would need to spend TEN BILLION DOLLARS?

Maybe I'm crazy, but I think that taxpayers would want something for their investment. It isn't to preserve HH, because it is preserved right now.

There are a lot of water supply lakes that don't allow access to the water. Particularly when the water is not treated, they don't want it contaminated.

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#28581 - 10/19/12 09:38 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Steve C]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
> Look at Yosemite Valley. I find it hard to identify anyone who thinks the development and the hordes are a good thing.

Ken, I stand here as Exhibit A.
======================

Ok, I sit here amazed. I can't fathom that anyone would favor a situation in which the traffic jams are worse than I experience in LA. Where there has been profound damage to features of the Valley, due to overuse and being overrun.

You will certainly find commercial interests that think if some is good, more is better....wider roads, more hotels, eliminate the meadows, cut the trees....make room for more, more, more.

I am in the camp that thinks they went over the top a long time ago.

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#28582 - 10/19/12 09:46 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Ken]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7739
Loc: Fresno, CA
> There are a lot of water supply lakes that don't allow access to the water. Particularly when the water is not treated, they don't want it contaminated.

Just because they do doesn't make it right.

Lake Cachuma comes to mind: Santa Barbara water supply. Campgrounds around it, motorboats on it, fishermen all over the place. The main rule is "no contact", which I think means no swimming, etc. Paddlers could handle that rule on Hetch Hetchy.

Fresno is now supplementing its water supply with Millerton Lake water -- San Joaquin River water, that comes through lots of lakes where fishing, swimming and everything else permitted. Yes they treat it. But SF treats their water too -- you can smell the chlorine from their drinking fountains.

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#28583 - 10/19/12 10:08 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Steve C]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Quote:
There are a lot of water supply lakes that don't allow access to the water. Particularly when the water is not treated, they don't want it contaminated.

Just because they do doesn't make it right.


So your concept is to spends millions and millions of dollars, so that 50-100 canoeists can go out?

you wonder why there is a huge part of the electorate that just wants to shut public parks down altogether.

<shaking my head>

That is EXACTLY what I mean by "I want, what I want"

It means an attitude of doing things irrespective of consequences, particularly to others.

The bodies of water you describe are UPSTREAM of treatment.

SF water is hardly treated. You might read that article by Bob Rockwell that states that. It is treated not because it is not pure enough, it is treated because regulations were passed that required that ALL water be treated.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/07/hetch-hetchy-water-goes-through-ultraviolet-rinse

Maybe they could open it up for canoes, now. But then, people would be yelling that it was just a maneuver to keep the dam from being removed......

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#28584 - 10/19/12 10:44 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: Ken]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7739
Loc: Fresno, CA
Sheesh, Ken, you and I just cannot communicate.

I am talking about canoeing on the existing reservoir. That is all.

> Maybe they could open it up for canoes, now.

Now you're talking!   "...I want what I want! I want it for ME, NOW." wink smile

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#28585 - 10/19/12 11:24 PM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: saltydog]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Originally Posted By: saltydog
One should not assume that either the power or water would be lost either: the water and its power will still be there, and part of the plan would no doubt include ways to capture both downstream.

The water can be stored behind Don Pedro dam or elsewhere, maybe raise a different dam, all with environmental costs and water rights issues. But the nice clean reliable green hydro power energy is not recoverable. 835 megawatt hours each year is a lot of green power - enough to power San Francisco's municipal needs. Building other energy plants, natural gas, solar or whatever does not recapture the lost energy stored behind O'Shaughnessy. A fraction of the hydro could be captured seasonally as river run but it would be more expensive and again, create more environmental impacts building it. The investment would take a long time to recoup.

As for water quality and treatment, Hetch Hetchy water is extremely pure. Treating water cost money and it also take energy, uses chemicals, both of which creates pollution. I agree with Steve that canoes and other non-contact recreation should be allowed, but that's another issue.

People need to think through all the various environmental impacts, huges costs, and waste of resources it would entail removing this dam. It sounds great at first thought, and it could be done, but does it make sense? Would we build this today, of course not, but should we tear it down? I think not.

As for the idea that other people are paying for this facility, that's nonsense. It's fully self relianct - there's no federal or state money involved, in fact the SFPUC claims to provide $5 million a year to Yosemite NPS for trails, wilderness preservation and education. Throw that money away too.

The SFPUC just invested $4 billion upgrading this system and hardening it for earthquakes, I know first hand, I worked on the design of parts of it. If the people of San Francisco want to throw that investment away, cut off their water supply and pay thousands of dollars per person, hey, that's their business, but I think they're smarter than that. We'll see in a few weeks.

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#28586 - 10/20/12 08:52 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: SierraNevada]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1565
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Yeah, God forbid San Francisco should ever consider flushing its toilets, washing its streets and irrigating the Presidio with anything other than pristine Tuolomne water

We're talking about an 8 million dollar plan, here, folks, not a 10 billion dollar demolition project. That 10b was just a number some interested critic pulled out of his ass. The plan is not a commitment: it designed to answer all the questions the wise guys think they know without even looking at the possibilities, that's pretty cheap information compared to the present very expensive ignorance. That's what a plan is for: to test all these bare assertions and assumptions.

What you think people want and what actually gets done are two completely different things. Disney went after Mineral King for "Me, Now!" and ended up with Everyone, Always.

Point is that you don't know what an ultimate project would cost. You don't know what it would look like. You don't even know whether it would require removal of the dam or the hydro facilities.* You don't know that the hydro can't be replaced; you don't know whether a development plan would pave the valley or designate it wilderness or something in between.

* In fact, here's an idea: drain the valley but leave the dam in place, rename it the Gifford Pinchot Memorial Bridge, and let it stand as a perpetual reminder, maybe even a museum.

_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#28587 - 10/20/12 09:09 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: SierraNevada]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
Here's a link to the state's overview report on this, which summarizes and expands on a few other reports over the decades. This is not a new idea. It just keeps getting more expensive and more environmentally difficult as time goes on.

http://www.water.ca.gov/pubs/environment...tudy_report.pdf

One other point to consider is what's called "opportunity costs" of spending $10 billion and decades of effort on this. Other projects would be passed over for this. We would get a much higher environmental benefit for our buck putting this money and effort into more green power, mass transit, forest restoration, land trusts, research, etc. If all these potential projects were ranked systematically, removing O'Shaughnessy would not be anywhere near the top of the list based on a rational cost/benefit analysis. If there were serious ongoing environmental degradation such as Mono Lake or Owen's Valley, that would be different, but we're talking about losing green power here and a huge construction project to take it out. There are so many tradeoffs with removing this dam it's hard to define the net benefits and they come at a very very high cost, and we'd miss a lot of other opportunities.

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#28588 - 10/20/12 10:28 AM Re: SF prop F seeks plan to drain Hetch Hetchy [Re: SierraNevada]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1145
Loc: NorCal
At the risk of overstating the case here, I would also like add that Prop F is not just an $8 million study by the City. There's a provision to rush it to the ballot again in 2016. Furthermore, this study would have to drag in the federal and state governments, and lots of consultants. At that point we're all paying for this study, and the overall cost of this study would probably triple.

Some battles are worth avoiding in the first place. If you want to get a feel for how this process would look over your lifetime, look into what's been going on in the San Francisco-San Joaquin Delta planning process. Decades of studies, billions of dollars spent, and no decision on what to do. It's a quagmire and Hetch Hetchy would be just as complicated with lawsuits and alternatives up the gazoo. The Delta canal cost estimates started way below $1 billion and now were talking tens of billions and firm opposition whichever way you go. That's what you can expect for taking on this battle. If there were a compelling problem to solve, perhaps it would be worth the fight. When all the other higher priority projects are done, have at it.

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