hetch hetchy water & power system marks a milestone

While much of California is grappling with severe water supply and quality challenges, the Bay Area is extremely fortunate to have one of the purest and sustainable water supplies found anywhere on earth: the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water & Power system. Tomorrow (Dec. 19) marks 101 years since Congress passed the Raker Act, paving the way for construction of Hetch Hetchy. Today, Hetch Hetchy water serves 2.6 million residents across 31 cities in four Bay Area counties, and Hetch Hetchy’s clean energy powers everything from SFO to the historic cable cars.

Without Hetch Hetchy, the Bay Area as we know it wouldn’t exist. And yet, there are still dogged forces trying to tear down Hetch Hetchy at a cost of $10 billion. In 2012, the Bay Area Council led the fight to Save Hetch Hetchy by defeating a San Francisco ballot measure designed to begin the dismantling process. Despite losing by a whopping 79-21 margin, opponents are still at it. Today, four years into an historic drought, Hetch Hetchy is 70 percent full and its customers are some of the most frugal water users in the state. So go to the tap, fill a glass, and give a happy birthday toast to one of California’s true engineering marvels, and regional treasures we must never take for granted. To engage in our water policy work, please contact Policy Director Adrian Covert.

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