Owned by San Francisco, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park provides water to nearly 3 million people in 29 cities across the San Francisco Bay Area. The water, provided by snowmelt via the Tuolumne River, does not require filtration.
Stored in Hetch Hetchy Reservoir behind O’Shaughnessy Dam, the water is delivered by a gravity based system and aqueduct to the Bay Area.
Hetch Hetchy has generated controversy since it was first proposed as a source of water following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Congress also had to approve the project because it was located in a national park. John Muir and the Sierra Club unsuccessfully fought the reservoir’s establishment since it required flooding a scenic mountain valley. After its construction in the 1920s, various groups have lobbied to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley to its natural state.
It’s a treasure that is all too easy for Palo Alto to take for granted — an abundant supply of pristine water that flows from the Sierra Nevada snowpacks and passes through the Hetch Hetchy system before splashing out of local showers and faucets. Palo Alto is one of 25 cities that belong to the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA), which manages the member cities’ supply agreement with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. … Even so, the cities don’t always know which projects they’re helping to fund.
The 32-page Layperson’s Guide to the Colorado River covers the history of the river’s development; negotiations over division of its water; the items that comprise the Law of the River; and a chronology of significant Colorado River events.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed broke her silence on California’s latest water war Friday, saying she wouldn’t support a state river restoration plan that would mean giving up some of the city’s pristine Hetch Hetchy water.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors issued a rare rebuke of the city water department Tuesday, claiming the agency is on the wrong side of a state water debate that pits California against President Trump. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which provides water to the city and more than two dozen suburbs, has fiercely opposed a far-reaching state plan to revive California’s river system, including the languishing Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, because it means giving up precious water supplies.
San Francisco has always been on the periphery of California’s water wars — until last week. That’s when San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced with three co-sponsors a resolution to the Board of Supervisors that San Francisco should help maintain river flows in the San Joaquin by reducing its take from the Tuolumne, a tributary.
Independent lab tests ordered by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission found no evidence of pesticides in San Francisco’s drinking water, the agency announced Thursday. The SFPUC collected and analyzed 21 water samples following a minor panic last week after several residents in the Sunset District complained that their store-bought water-testing kits yielded positive results for the herbicides Atrazine and Simazine. Their concerns were amplified over social media.
The California Supreme Court rejected a conservation group’s lawsuit Wednesday seeking to drain Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a source of water for San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area communities. Restore Hetch Hetchy, a Berkeley group, argued in its suit that the location of the dam and reservoir, which flooded a valley in the park after construction in 1923, violates a provision of the California Constitution requiring reasonable water use.
The rivers that once poured from the Sierra Nevada, thick with snowmelt and salmon, now languish amid relentless pumping, sometimes shriveling to a trickle and sparking a crisis for fish, wildlife and the people who rely on a healthy California delta. A state plan to improve these flows and avert disaster, however, has been mired in conflict and delays.
A San Francisco woman who tested her tap water with a store-bought kit and got a positive reading for pesticides, then posted the results to social media, has prompted the city to step up water testing not just near her home in the Sunset District but across the city. Officials at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission insisted Tuesday, for the second day in a row, that municipal supplies are safe to drink.
After toiling away in the remote hills east of Interstate 680 on the Alameda-Santa Clara county line for seven years, hundreds of construction workers have finally finished the largest dam built in the Bay Area in 20 years. The 220-foot tall dam at Calaveras Reservoir — as high as the roadway on the Golden Gate Bridge soars above San Francisco Bay — replaces a dam of the same size, built in 1925.
When Spreck Rosekrans visits Hetch Hetchy – the valley in Yosemite National Park that San Francisco turned into a reservoir nearly a century ago – he looks beyond what is. Instead, he envisions what once was and could be again. … Hetch Hetchy is just 15 miles north of Yosemite Valley and the two are often called twins
Repair and renovation work at the Moccasin Reservoir and dam in Tuolumne County is under way nearly five months after a punishing rainstorm pushed it to the brink of failure, prompting the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people.
When Spreck Rosekrans visits Hetch Hetchy — the valley in Yosemite National Park that San Francisco turned into a reservoir nearly a century ago — he looks beyond what is. Instead, he envisions what once was and could be again.“ I imagine a meadow, dotted with oak, pine, and fir trees, and with the Tuolumne River meandering through it,” said Rosekrans, executive director of Restore Hetch Hetchy, a Berkeley-based nonprofit.
Yosemite National Park officials on Tuesday extended the shutdown of much of the park until Sunday because of ongoing wildfire concerns while expanding the closure to include the Hetch Hetchy area. … A San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokesman said officials are monitoring the water quality but had no concerns at this time.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appears to be interested in the idea of draining Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park after meeting with a group that wants to tear down the century-old O’Shaughnessy Dam.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is interested in restoring the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park to its natural state after more than 100 years of providing water to the people of San Francisco and some suburbs.
The push to drain Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and restore the Sierra canyon to its natural state was rejected by the courts — again — Monday, though opponents of the dam said they plan to take their fight to the California Supreme Court.
News this week that a Bay Area non-profit’s dream of draining the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir got a welcome boost in the courts hit readers like a stick to a hornet’s nest. They loved the news. They hated the news. They hated the people who loved the news.
The battle to drain the reservoir in Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley reignited Wednesday as critics of the historic dam told a panel of judges in Fresno that their legal case to raze it should proceed, despite an earlier decision to dismiss the suit.
Two years after losing in court and six years after being rejected by voters, a Berkeley environmental group is continuing its long-running battle to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a linchpin of the water supply for 2.6 million Bay Area residents from San Francisco to San Jose to southern Alameda County. … The group will pursue its appeal Wednesday morning in the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Fresno.
Water bills in San Francisco are set to rise steadily over the next four years, after the approval of a rate schedule by the city’s Public Utilities Commission. … In addition to funding the commission’s regular operations, the rate increases will pay for a series of ambitious infrastructure upgrades to the city’s sewer system and vast Hetch Hetchy network that sends drinking water to 2.7 million Bay Area residents.
For the past five years, construction workers building a new 220-foot-high dam in the remote canyons east of Milpitas and Fremont have been slowly discovering a long-ago, not-quite-tropical world of buried treasures — from giant shark teeth to whale skulls to pieces of ancient palm trees. Now the huge haul of fossils beneath the Calaveras Reservoir is heading for a permanent new home at UC Berkeley.
The Bay Area’s deeply unequal cities, home to mansions and shacks alike, are linked by one thing: thirst. Banding together, the region’s water agencies on Tuesday unveiled the latest upgrades to a vast network that connects six million people and provides mutual aid in a crisis, such as an earthquake or severe drought.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is praising its Moccasin Creek Hatchery workers after they saved nearly a quarter of the hatchery’s trout when water from a nearby dam flooded the facility.
San Francisco officials on Friday were still trying to figure out why one of their dams in the Sierra foothills was driven to the edge of failure a day earlier, but engineering experts were quick to suspect errors in management.
Heavy rain in the Sierra foothills pushed a small dam within San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy water system to the brink of failure Thursday, sending a brief scare through the rural region where roads were closed and a few dozen residents were forced to evacuate.
The Chronicle archives overflow with photos documenting the downstream journey of Hetch Hetchy’s water — an engineering marvel that feeds power stations and fills reservoirs. So here’s a follow-up to our previous column on O’Shaughnessy Dam and Hetch Hetchy Valley.
It’s an environmental conflict that has been coursing through California for more than a century: the unrelenting thirst of San Francisco versus the pristine beauty of nature. After years of debate, O’Shaughnessy Dam opened in 1923, holding back the Tuolumne River and flooding Hetch Hetch Valley, a Sierra gem compared in its grandeur to nearby Yosemite Valley.
San Franciscans take pride in drinking pristine water from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which they treasure as among the purest in the nation. So a recent move by the Public Utilities Commission to introduce groundwater gradually into the city’s drinking supply prompted anxiety and suspicion.
San Francisco’s famously pure High Sierra water is about to be served with a twist. Starting next month, city water officials will begin adding local groundwater to the Yosemite supplies that have satiated the area’s thirst since the 1930s and made the clean, crisp water here the envy of the nation.
Early 20th century visitors to Hetch Hetchy Valley, a few miles north of Yosemite Valley, saw a rich meadowland and green oak groves, with the clear Tuolumne River winding through them, embraced by towering granite walls. It’s a landscape no one has seen since 1923, when the valley was drowned by Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the main water supply for San Francisco, 180 miles west.
In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Raker Act, which allowed for the building of the O’Shaughnessy Dam to supply earthquake-stricken San Francisco with water – at the expense of an integral part of one of the world’s most beautiful national parks.
A judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit seeking to force the city of San Francisco to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a key part of the water system for 2.6 million residents of Bay Area cities stretching from Hayward to San Jose to San Francisco.
In a significant step for the largest reservoir project in the Bay Area in 20 years, workers have finished building the spillway — a massive concrete channel as wide as eight lanes of freeway and a quarter mile long — at Calaveras Dam near the Alameda-Santa Clara county line.
State water officials not only told more Central Valley farmers Friday that they need to stop drawing water from low-flowing rivers and creeks — but they tossed the city of San Francisco onto the list as well.
Four years into a drought that has left many cities and farms desperate for water, the vast Sierra-fed water system that serves San Francisco and much of the Bay Area is in relatively good shape — and should get the region through the dry months ahead, officials said Tuesday.
The health, safety and economic well-being of 1.7 million residents and 30,000 businesses would be threatened if Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park is drained, says a San Francisco water agency in reaction to a new lawsuit over the reservoir.
Spurned at the ballot box three years ago and facing an even more uphill battle now because of California’s historic drought, an environmental group has filed a lawsuit attempting to drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a linchpin of the water supply for 2.6 million Bay Area residents from San Francisco to San Jose to southern Alameda County.
San Francisco is unreasonably monopolizing spectacular Hetch Hetchy Valley by using it as a 117-billion-gallon reservoir, says a new lawsuit in a decades-old fight to restore the Yosemite National Park landmark.
In a tasting that could have evoked the joie de vivre of a Napa Valley showroom if it weren’t for the stiff office chairs at the water department and the inherent blandness of the fare, five Chronicle food writers — amid boozy gurgles and talk of soft finishes — were introduced to what will soon be San Francisco’s new tap water.
This week, the $288 million tunnel begins carrying the Bay Area’s water supply from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park to the Peninsula, bolstering the dependability of the region’s water system.
Water as a renewable resource is depicted in this 18×24 inch poster. Water is renewed again and again by the natural hydrologic cycle where water evaporates, transpires from plants, rises to form clouds, and returns to the earth as precipitation. Excellent for elementary school classroom use.
A new look for our most popular product! And it’s the perfect gift for the water wonk in your life.
Our 24×36 inch California Water Map is widely known for being the definitive poster that shows the integral role water plays in the state. On this updated version, it is easier to see California’s natural waterways and man-made reservoirs and aqueducts – including federally, state and locally funded projects – the wild and scenic rivers system, and natural lakes. The map features beautiful photos of California’s natural environment, rivers, water projects, wildlife, and urban and agricultural uses and the text focuses on key issues: water supply, water use, water projects, the Delta, wild and scenic rivers and the Colorado River.
Owned by San Francisco, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park provides water via water districts and private utilities to nearly 3 million people in 29 cities across the San Francisco Bay Area.
Due to its high altitude location and water supplied by snowmelt, water from the reservoir (provided by the Tuolumne River) does not require filtration. Stored in Hetch Hetchy Reservoir behind O’Shaughnessy Dam, the water is delivered by a gravity based system and aqueduct to the Bay Area.