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By Heather Mack, Bay Nature
On the eve of the 100-year anniversary, the decision to drain Hetch Hetchy Valley to build a reservoir for San Francisco is still actively debated, even as the city’s dependence on the Sierra water has deepened.
San Francisco voters are headed to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether to launch a study into essentially reversing the 1913 federal government decision to build Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park.
Proposition F would require the city to fork over $8 million to look into dismantling the O’Shaughnessy Dam and finding new ways to replace the reservoir’s storage capacity and hydroelectric power. It would also come up with a plan for bettering San Francisco’s water recycling efforts.
“It’s just a plan, an incremental first step,” said Mike Marshall, executive director of Restore Hetch Hetchy, a group that drove the measure. “And it’s an important conversation for a city like San Francisco that stands on its environmental values, yet we have a water system that’s last in the state in so many ways.”
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