San Francisco, CA — In San Francisco, local measure F submitted by the restore Hetch Hetchy Reservoir group has failed by 77.41%, with 22.59% in favor so far.
San Francisco voters were asked if they wanted to develop a “long-term plan for improved use of the local water supply, and a “reduction of harm to Yosemite National Park, the Tuolumne River and the San Francisco Bay.”
The ballot measure did not specifically call for the removal of the Hetch Hetchy dam, but sought to get things moving towards that end.
Critics of the Hetch Hetchy restoration effort have long cited the high price tag. A state study in 2006 found that the cost to restore Hetch Hetchy would be anywhere from $3 billion to $10 billion. One of the notable critics over the past several years has been Democratic Senator, and former San Francisco Mayor, Diane Feinstein.
The Yosemite Restoration Campaign says it will “continue its mission to reform City’s 19th century water system so Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley and the Tuolumne River can be restored.”
After the measure failed the Restore Campaign issued this statement; “Over 50,000 San Franciscans sent a powerful message to our elected officials that the status quo is not good enough. We will spend the next two years leveraging and expanding this base of support to advance the cause of water reform in San Francisco and environmental restoration in Yosemite. We have no doubt that the values of sustainability and restoration will ultimately prevail.”
Construction of the Hetch Hetchy Dam was completed in 1923. It was built following a lengthy battle with legendary environmentalist John Muir and his Sierra Club.