Celebrating Centennial of Hetch Hetchy’s O’Shaughnessy Dam
San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed and Bay Area and federal officials joined the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) on Wednesday (May 3) to commemorate the centennial of the O’Shaughnessy Dam construction, which was completed in 1923. The dam, a testament to vision, ingenuity, and sustainability, provides high-quality drinking water to 2.7 million residents and thousands of businesses in four Bay Area counties. The Bay Area Council has long been a champion of protecting the dam, including defeating a 2012 ballot measure that proposed to start the process of removing it.
“Today, we not only celebrate O’Shaughnessy Dam and the system that it anchors as engineering marvels, but we also recognize those who had the foresight and ingenuity to build them,” said Mayor Breed. “We are committed to continue to be environmentally conscious and good stewards of our water resources so we can serve the people of San Francisco, the Bay Area, and California for generations to come.”
“For 100 years, the O’Shaughnessy Dam and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir have supplied the Bay Area with clean drinking water and energy,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein. “The dam and reservoir are critical to our state’s water infrastructure and clean energy goals, so I thank everyone who has helped maintain and operate them.”
“The Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System has been a proven model of sustainability, and O’Shaughnessy Dam has been the keystone of that system for 100 years,” said SFPUC General Manager and Bay Area Council Board member Dennis Herrera. “The system and the protected Tuolumne River watershed within Yosemite National Park provide clean drinking water for 2.7 million people using the most sustainable force around: gravity. It is also a clean energy trailblazer, generating 100% greenhouse-gas-free electricity that powers an airport, transit system, schools, libraries, and many other parts of everyday life in our world-renowned city. Without this system, the Bay Area as we know it doesn’t exist.”