Activism/Social Change/NOW WHAT

While talking to Greg Moore- Supervisory Park Ranger he stated, “the only practical way to restore Hetch Hetchy is not to completley rid the dam… as that would be too expenisve, but to blow a hole in the bottom of the dam allowing the water to rush freely and restore the beautiful Hetch Hetchy Valley”.

The Plan- http://www.restorehetchhetchy.org

The goal of Restore Hetch Hetchy is to accomplish a “win-win” outcome for Yosemite National Park, for the cities of the Bay Area and for the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts all of which rely on water stored in the Hetch Hetchy Valley. Our latest study, using data from respected California water experts, shows that is quite feasible to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley, while preserving 95% of the existing water supply and 73% of the hydro-power currently generated by daming the Tuolumne River.

The Tuolumne river water stored in the Hetch Hetchy valley of Yosemite National Park can be stored elsewhere and delivered without interruption to its end users by implementing a few, relatively inexpensive modifications:

  • Pump water from Cherry Creek into the San Francisco water system. In most years this replaces the water that is not captured just downstream from Hetch Hetchy Valley, and provides additional energy (Figure 1).

  • Divert water from the Tuolumne River into the San Francisco water system downstream from Hetch Hetchy Valley with a simple diversion structure and a pumping station. This will preserve much of the energy the reservoir currently generates (Figure 2).

  • Enlarge Don Pedro Reservoir.

  • Enlarge Calaveras Reservoir.

  • Increase utilization of underground water supplies.

  • Implement comprehensive water efficiency and water recycling programs to reduce consumer bills and stretch existing water supplies.

  • Improve public health by installing new filtration equipment for water from the Tuolumne River.

Removal of the dam would result in the loss of less than two-tenths of one percent of California’s yearly electricity use. All the lost power could be replaced by the programs described above, plus an energy efficiency program. The efficiency program would actually save homeowners and businesses more than the cost of implementing the energy efficiency program. It would also be possible to build solar, wind, or conventional gas-fired power plants.

NOW WHAT- We can all help restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley! We need to step up and think little and take little steps to change this big problem. In order to protect the environment and preserve the natural beauty of Hetch Hetchy we need to get rid of part of the dam and let the water flow freely. San Francisco bay area can get their water from the same sources, but in a different approach.  If we restore Hetch Hetchy valley it may take hundreds of years to restore it back to what it used to be, but it is worth the wait.  Visit http://www.restorehetchhetchy.org and sign the petition and join the campaign to restore this historical piece of beauty.

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