Today, we join The Bay Area Council, SPUR, Alliance for Jobs, Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Tomorrow, and many more to actively and publicly oppose Proposition F.
This fall, San Francisco voters will be asked to make a choice about their local water and power source that could impact not just the City of San Francisco, but the entire Bay Area region for decades to come. “The Water Sustainability and Environmental Restoration Act,” or Proposition F, is headed for the November 6, 2012, ballot in San Francisco.
We encourage a balanced discourse and dialogue on this very important civic issue that affects everyone in the region. The San Francisco Foundation invites you to join us on Monday, October 15th at the Commonwealth Club for a discussion with community leaders. If you weren’t able to join us, you can hear an audio recording of the forum discussion.
Hetch Hetchy reservoir is a source of pristine water for 2.6 million Bay Area residents who turn on their taps and drink water that requires no chemical filtration. This system cleverly delivers this water via gravity while providing San Francisco with 1.6 billion kilowatts of green power fueling San Francisco General Hospital, Police, Fire, SFO, Muni, the SF Unified School District, Hunters Point Shipyard, and Treasure Island.
Prop F calls for the creation of a taskforce, whose end goal would be to create a pathway to remove the O’Shaughnessy Dam, drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, and a return of the land to the National Park Service. The Proposition has been put forward by Restore Hetch Hetchy, a small but well-funded group of individual proponents. Five studies have already been completed, including a comprehensive study by the State’s own Department of Water Resources, which determined that it would cost $65 million just to confirm the costs and continue the investigations into the dam removal. Based on these prior studies, the cost to the City, to tax payers, and to rate payers for removal of the dam is currently estimated between $3 billion and $10 billion.
The vast and costly economic and social impacts of taking away the main water and municipal energy source for San Francisco and its neighboring cities form the basis of our opposition to this initiative. As CEO Sandra R. Hernández, M.D. stated in this week’s San Francisco Business Times, “We want people to understand that water is an important public policy issue, and we think that Proposition F will have a disproportionate negative impact on low-income people to get access to something as simple as clean water.”
Taking down and replacing Hetch Hetchy would cost taxpayers billions of dollars, aggravate California’s already severe water crisis, and end this source of clean hydroelectric public power. It would also re-direct billions of public funds from education, health, and economic development, thereby impeding our hard earned progress as an environmental leader in energy efficiency, waste reduction, and in the advancement of health.
The San Francisco Foundation is granting $100,000 to Save Hetch Hetchy to educate the public about this critical upcoming ballot initiative.
TSFF actively supports water conservation efforts and renewable energy sources. Because we care about these issues, and because of the far-reaching financial and environmental implications of removing the Hetch Hetchy dam, we are opposing Proposition F.