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{{tnr}}A '''San Francisco "Water Sustainability and Environmental Restoration Act", Proposition F''' ballot question is on the {{nov06ca2012}} for voters in {{san francisco}}.
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{{tnr}}A '''San Francisco "Water Sustainability and Environmental Restoration Act", Proposition F''' ballot question was on the {{nov06ca2012}} for voters in San Francisco County, where it was '''defeated.'''
  
What the measure will do if it is approved is a subject that supporters and opponents do not agree on. Supporters say it will "restore" the Hetch Hetchy Valley. Opponents say it will "drain Hetch Hetchy."<ref name=insane/>
+
'''Proposition F''' would have allocated $8 million to require the City to prepare a two-phase plan to evaluate how to drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and identify replacement water and power sources.  
  
The city's Ballot Simplification Committee held a hearing in early August to deliberate about how to describe the measure in its official ballot text. The language they chose uses the phrase "drain Hetch Hetchy" four times. Supporters of the measure plan to file a lawsuit to stop the city from using that language in the official ballot text. They say, "We believe these changes create a political bias against the measure, do not accurately reflect the language of the initiative, and mislead voters."<ref name=insane/>
+
The city's Ballot Simplification Committee held a hearing in early August to deliberate about how to describe the measure in its official ballot text. The language they chose uses the phrase "drain Hetch Hetchy" four times. Supporters of the measure plan to file a lawsuit to stop the city from using that language in the official ballot text. They say, "We believe these changes create a political bias against the measure, do not accurately reflect the language of the initiative, and mislead voters."<ref name=insane/> In an October, 2011 letter to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Restore Hetch Hetchy's Executive Director, Mike Marshall, wrote "Restore Hetch Hetchy has announced plans to place an initiative before the voters in 2012 that would '''''lead to the removal of the Hetch Hetchy reservoir'''''.<ref>[http://www.hetchhetchy.org/images/stories/lettertofrancescavietor10172011.pdf ''Hetch Hetchy.org'', "Letter to Francesca Vietor"]</ref>  
  
However, some aspects of what the measure would do are not in dispute. These include:
+
However, some aspects of what the measure would do were not in dispute. These included:
  
* It would require the city to spend up to $8 million on a study about whether to shut down the reservoir.<ref name=insane/>
+
* It would have required the city to spend up to $8 million on a plan to shut down the reservoir.<ref name=insane/>
 +
 
 +
==Election results==
 +
 
 +
{{Short outcome
 +
| title = Measure F
 +
| yes = 74,885
 +
| yespct = 23.10
 +
| no = 249,304
 +
| nopct = 76.90
 +
}}
 +
:''Final certified results from the [http://sfelections.org/results/20121106/index.php San Francisco County elections office].''
  
 
==Support==
 
==Support==
  
A group called "Restore Hetch Hetchy" supports the measure. Mike Marshall is the director of Restore Hetch Hetchy. He also leads the campaign to pass the measure. Marshall says, "The Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park is an American gem. It is one of the most extraordinary ecosystems in the world. Yosemite is one of the crown jewels of our park system, and it deserves to be whole."<ref name=sigs/>
+
A group called "Restore Hetch Hetchy" supported the measure. Mike Marshall is the director of Restore Hetch Hetchy. He also led the campaign to pass the measure. Marshall said, "The Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park is an American gem. It is one of the most extraordinary ecosystems in the world. Yosemite is one of the crown jewels of our park system, and it deserves to be whole."<ref name=sigs/>
  
 
==Opposition==
 
==Opposition==
  
* Mayor [[Edwin M. Lee|Ed Lee]] says that the measure is "stupid" and "insane".<ref name=insane>[http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/08/ballot-language-irks-hetch-hetchy-measure-supporters ''San Francisco Examiner'', "Ballot language irks Hetch Hetchy measure supporters", August 8, 2012]</ref>
+
* Mayor [[Edwin M. Lee|Ed Lee]] said that the measure is "stupid" and "insane".<ref name=insane>[http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/08/ballot-language-irks-hetch-hetchy-measure-supporters ''San Francisco Examiner'', "Ballot language irks Hetch Hetchy measure supporters", August 8, 2012]</ref>
  
* According to the ''San Francisco Examiner'', "there is a united front of elected city officials opposing the measure."<ref name=insane/>
+
* The '''San Francisco Bay Guardian''' called Proposition F "...a huge waste of time and money" <ref>[http://www.sfbg.com/2012/10/03/endorsements-2012-san-francisco-propositions?page=0%2C3 ''San Francisco Bay Guardian'', "Endorsements 2012: San Francisco propositions", October 3, 2012]</ref>
  
* A group called "Save Hetch Hetchy" opposes the measure.<ref name=insane/>
+
* The '''San Francisco Chronicle''' called Proposition F "...a misleading measure that will squander taxpayer money". <ref>[http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Prop-F-for-fail-on-Hetch-Hetchy-plan-3923928.php ''San Francisco Chronicle'', "Prop. F for fail on Hetch Hetchy plan", October 5, 2012]</ref>
  
* [[Dianne Feinstein]] says, "The suggestion that San Francisco is not using its water supply efficiently is simply not true. Per person, Bay Area residents use less than half...the state's per-capita average. Hetch Hetchy provides critical water supplies to 2.5 million people and thousands of businesses, and any effort to jeopardize that water supply is simply unacceptable."<ref name=sigs/>
+
* A group called "Save Hetch Hetchy" opposed the measure.<ref name=insane/>
  
* David Chiu opposes Proposition F. He says, "San Franciscans know that true water sustainability starts by maximizing water conservation and efficient water use, not by destroying and then building costly new facilities as the measure advocates...This ballot initiative is a Trojan horse that threatens irreparable harm to our economy and our environment."<ref>[http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/Ballot-measure-on-S-F-water-supply-unnecessary-3375675.php ''San Francisco Chronicle'', "Ballot measure on S.F. water supply unnecessary", March 2, 2012]</ref>
+
* '''The unanimous San Francisco Board of Supervisors''' <ref>[http://savehetchhetchy.org/endorsements.php ''No on F'', Endorsements]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* [[Dianne Feinstein]] said, "The suggestion that San Francisco is not using its water supply efficiently is simply not true. Per person, Bay Area residents use less than half...the state's per-capita average. Hetch Hetchy provides critical water supplies to 2.5 million people and thousands of businesses, and any effort to jeopardize that water supply is simply unacceptable."<ref name=sigs/>
 +
 
 +
* David Chiu opposed Proposition F. He said, "San Franciscans know that true water sustainability starts by maximizing water conservation and efficient water use, not by destroying and then building costly new facilities as the measure advocates...This ballot initiative is a Trojan horse that threatens irreparable harm to our economy and our environment."<ref>[http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/Ballot-measure-on-S-F-water-supply-unnecessary-3375675.php ''San Francisco Chronicle'', "Ballot measure on S.F. water supply unnecessary", March 2, 2012]</ref>
 +
 
 +
* According to the ''San Francisco Examiner'', "there is a united front of elected city officials opposing the measure."<ref name=insane/>
  
 
==About Hetch Hetchy==
 
==About Hetch Hetchy==
Line 29: Line 46:
 
The O'Shaughnessy Dam was installed in Hetch Hetchy Valley in the second decade of the 20th century to collect water from the Tuolumne River.  
 
The O'Shaughnessy Dam was installed in Hetch Hetchy Valley in the second decade of the 20th century to collect water from the Tuolumne River.  
  
The 1913 Raker Act permitted the dam's construction. Under the Raker Act, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is allowed draw water from the reservoir; to do so, it must meet a condition that says the city must "first draw upon their own stored water to the fullest practicable extent."<ref name=sigs/>
+
The 1913 Raker Act permitted the dam's construction. Under the Raker Act, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is allowed draw water from the reservoir; to do so, it must meet a condition that says the city must "first draw upon their own stored water to the fullest practicable extent."<ref name=sigs/>  
 +
 
 +
San Francisco gets 100% of its water from the Hetch Hetchy system. The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir itself store 85% of the City's overall drinking water supply, the remaining 15% is stored in the system's 5 other reservoirs. The network goes from the Sierra Nevada mountains, across the Central Valley and out to the coast, and serves 2.5 million Californians in 30 cities across four counties.
 +
 
 +
==Estimated costs==
 +
Cost estimates to dismantle Hetch Hetchy vary. Proposition F's proponents estimate the project would cost $1 billion, while the '''California Department of Water Resource''' estimated the costs could be as high as $10 Billion. Proponents of Proposition F claim that by 2014, "Federal resources [will be] allocated for restoration of the valley in time for the centenary of John Muir's death"<ref>[http://www.hetchhetchy.org/originalvalley/timeline ''Hetch Hetchy.org'', "Timeline"]</ref>. The San Francisco City Controller estimated that a $10 billion project could drive the average San Francisco ratepayer's water bill up by $2,770 per year.
 +
 
 +
Without the O'Shaughnessy Dam, the SFPUC estimates the system would lose 42% of its power generating capacity, which would cost the City's $41 million every year in lost power sales.<ref name=sfwps>[http://www.sfwater.org/index.aspx?page=568 ''San Francisco Water, Power, Sewer'', "Proposition F"]</ref>
 +
 
 +
==Findings from previous studies==
 +
 
 +
Hetch Hetchy restoration has been studied at least 7 times in the past 25 years.<ref>[http://www.hetchhetchy.org/resources ''Hetch Hetchy.org'', "Research and Important Information]</ref> The 2004 study from Environmental Defense estimated that, without Hetch Hetchy, San Francisco would face water shortages, on average, every five years.<ref>[http://www.hetchhetchy.org/images/Reports/Paradise_Regained_2004.pdf ''Hetch Hetchy.org'', "Paradise Regained"]</ref> The 2005 Restore Hetch Hetchy study proposes the construction of a temporary cofferdam deeper inside Yosemite Park to provide water while O'Shaughnessy dam is dismantled. The plan calls for O'Shaughnessy's 900,000 tons of concrete to be stored at Camp Mather, near the reservoir, until a permanent disposal site is located.
  
San Francisco gets 100% of its water from the Hetch Hetchy system. However, the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir itself is one of nine reservoirs in the overall network. The network goes from the Sierra Nevada mountains, across the Central Valley and out to the coast. The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, itself, holds approximately 25% of the water capacity of the entire Hetch Hetchy system.<ref name=sigs/>
+
==Environmental impacts==
 +
The Hetch Hetchy system produces 1.6 billion kilowatts of carbon free electricity. Without the O'Shaughnessy Dam, the SFPUC estimates the system would loose 42% of its power generating capacity.<ref name=sfwps/> It has been estimated that replacing that power with traditional resources would increase San Francisco's carbon footprint by 387,000 metric tons every year.<ref>[http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/redmond/ ''Earth Island Journal'', "… Not until we have a Clean energy system"]</ref>
  
 
==Text of measure==
 
==Text of measure==
Line 52: Line 81:
  
 
* [http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_21033628/drain-hetch-hetchy-reservoir-san-francisco-voters-may Drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir? San Francisco voters may get the chance in November to start the process]
 
* [http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_21033628/drain-hetch-hetchy-reservoir-san-francisco-voters-may Drain Hetch Hetchy Reservoir? San Francisco voters may get the chance in November to start the process]
 +
* [http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Prop-F-for-fail-on-Hetch-Hetchy-plan-3923928.php San Francisco Chronicle: "Prop. F for fail on Hetch Hetchy plan"]
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
  
{{calbm stub}}
+
{{california counties}}
  
 
[[Category:Local water, California, 2012]]
 
[[Category:Local water, California, 2012]]

Revision as of 17:53, 10 February 2014

A San Francisco "Water Sustainability and Environmental Restoration Act", Proposition F ballot question was on the November 6, 2012 ballot for voters in San Francisco County, where it was defeated.

Proposition F would have allocated $8 million to require the City to prepare a two-phase plan to evaluate how to drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and identify replacement water and power sources.

The city's Ballot Simplification Committee held a hearing in early August to deliberate about how to describe the measure in its official ballot text. The language they chose uses the phrase "drain Hetch Hetchy" four times. Supporters of the measure plan to file a lawsuit to stop the city from using that language in the official ballot text. They say, "We believe these changes create a political bias against the measure, do not accurately reflect the language of the initiative, and mislead voters."[1] In an October, 2011 letter to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Restore Hetch Hetchy's Executive Director, Mike Marshall, wrote "Restore Hetch Hetchy has announced plans to place an initiative before the voters in 2012 that would lead to the removal of the Hetch Hetchy reservoir.[2]

However, some aspects of what the measure would do were not in dispute. These included:

  • It would have required the city to spend up to $8 million on a plan to shut down the reservoir.[1]

Election results

Measure F
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No249,30476.90%
Yes 74,885 23.10%
Final certified results from the San Francisco County elections office.

Support

A group called "Restore Hetch Hetchy" supported the measure. Mike Marshall is the director of Restore Hetch Hetchy. He also led the campaign to pass the measure. Marshall said, "The Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park is an American gem. It is one of the most extraordinary ecosystems in the world. Yosemite is one of the crown jewels of our park system, and it deserves to be whole."[3]

Opposition

  • Mayor Ed Lee said that the measure is "stupid" and "insane".[1]
  • The San Francisco Bay Guardian called Proposition F "...a huge waste of time and money" [4]
  • The San Francisco Chronicle called Proposition F "...a misleading measure that will squander taxpayer money". [5]
  • A group called "Save Hetch Hetchy" opposed the measure.[1]
  • The unanimous San Francisco Board of Supervisors [6]
  • Dianne Feinstein said, "The suggestion that San Francisco is not using its water supply efficiently is simply not true. Per person, Bay Area residents use less than half...the state's per-capita average. Hetch Hetchy provides critical water supplies to 2.5 million people and thousands of businesses, and any effort to jeopardize that water supply is simply unacceptable."[3]
  • David Chiu opposed Proposition F. He said, "San Franciscans know that true water sustainability starts by maximizing water conservation and efficient water use, not by destroying and then building costly new facilities as the measure advocates...This ballot initiative is a Trojan horse that threatens irreparable harm to our economy and our environment."[7]
  • According to the San Francisco Examiner, "there is a united front of elected city officials opposing the measure."[1]

About Hetch Hetchy

The O'Shaughnessy Dam was installed in Hetch Hetchy Valley in the second decade of the 20th century to collect water from the Tuolumne River.

The 1913 Raker Act permitted the dam's construction. Under the Raker Act, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is allowed draw water from the reservoir; to do so, it must meet a condition that says the city must "first draw upon their own stored water to the fullest practicable extent."[3]

San Francisco gets 100% of its water from the Hetch Hetchy system. The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir itself store 85% of the City's overall drinking water supply, the remaining 15% is stored in the system's 5 other reservoirs. The network goes from the Sierra Nevada mountains, across the Central Valley and out to the coast, and serves 2.5 million Californians in 30 cities across four counties.

Estimated costs

Cost estimates to dismantle Hetch Hetchy vary. Proposition F's proponents estimate the project would cost $1 billion, while the California Department of Water Resource estimated the costs could be as high as $10 Billion. Proponents of Proposition F claim that by 2014, "Federal resources [will be] allocated for restoration of the valley in time for the centenary of John Muir's death"[8]. The San Francisco City Controller estimated that a $10 billion project could drive the average San Francisco ratepayer's water bill up by $2,770 per year.

Without the O'Shaughnessy Dam, the SFPUC estimates the system would lose 42% of its power generating capacity, which would cost the City's $41 million every year in lost power sales.[9]

Findings from previous studies

Hetch Hetchy restoration has been studied at least 7 times in the past 25 years.[10] The 2004 study from Environmental Defense estimated that, without Hetch Hetchy, San Francisco would face water shortages, on average, every five years.[11] The 2005 Restore Hetch Hetchy study proposes the construction of a temporary cofferdam deeper inside Yosemite Park to provide water while O'Shaughnessy dam is dismantled. The plan calls for O'Shaughnessy's 900,000 tons of concrete to be stored at Camp Mather, near the reservoir, until a permanent disposal site is located.

Environmental impacts

The Hetch Hetchy system produces 1.6 billion kilowatts of carbon free electricity. Without the O'Shaughnessy Dam, the SFPUC estimates the system would loose 42% of its power generating capacity.[9] It has been estimated that replacing that power with traditional resources would increase San Francisco's carbon footprint by 387,000 metric tons every year.[12]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Proposition F: "This measure will: 1)Require the City to prepare a two-phase plan to evaluate how to drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and identify replacement water and power sources; 2) allocate $8 million to pay for the plan and create a five-member task force to develop it; 3) require the task force to complete the plan by November 1, 2015, and require the Board of Supervisors to consider placing on the ballot a Charter Amendment to approve the plan."[13]

Path to the ballot

The measure earned its spot on the ballot through the collection of signatures on initiative petitions. 9,702 valid signatures were required for qualification purposes, and approximately 16,000 signatures were submitted.[3]

External links

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Additional reading:

References