Battle Continues Over San Francisco's Yosemite Reservoir
Proponents of moving San Francisco’s water supply out of Yosemite National Park are facing a new hurdle in their campaign. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission wants to add a layer of approval for changes to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
Back in November, San Francisco voters defeated a measure to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley by moving water out of the reservoir.
This week, the SFPUC voted on a new policy in the event that voters change their minds in the future. The 26 other Bay Area cities and utilities that also use water from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir would have to okay the move.
“I take it as encouragement,” says Mike Marshall, director of Restore Hetch Hetchy. “It’s clear our opponents take us seriously.”
Marshall says his group is still considering a statewide ballot measure. “Roughly 80 percent of the visitors to Yosemite are Californians,” he says. “So there would be a direct benefit in terms of this opportunity to see this incredible valley come back to life.”
The SFPUC’s new procedure still needs approval from the coalition of cities and agencies that use Hetch Hetchy water.