Jul 19 2006
“The California Department of Water Resources report confirms that dismantling O’Shaugnessy Dam and draining the Hetch Hetchy reservoir are unwarranted and the cost is indefensible, particularly given the tremendous infrastructure needs facing our State.
I hope this report lays to rest any further consideration at the State and Federal level of dismantling Hetch Hetchy —a truly remarkable system which provides exceptionally high-quality, reliable water to 2.4 million residents in the San Francisco Bay area.”
The State now estimates it would cost $3 billion to $10 billion to drain the reservoir and offset the 360,000 acre-feet of high quality water that Hetch Hetchy provides. With the state’s infrastructure in serious disrepair, this is certainly not the highest priority for California’s taxpayers.
I also believe it would be a serious mistake to eliminate the 400 megawatts of power that Hetch Hetchy provides. The California Energy Commission estimates that California needs an additional 3000 megawatts of power by 2008 in order to avoid a return to energy emergencies and blackouts. At a time when energy is in short supply, it would be foolhardy to take this reliable supply of power offline.
The bottom line is that Hetch Hetchy is a critical source of water and power for the State of California. Draining the reservoir would be far too expensive and leave the State vulnerable to both drought and blackout. The O’Shaughnessy Dam should not be torn down.”