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Hodel's Plan for Hetch Hetchy

August 16, 1987

As a frequent business traveler to the San Francisco Bay Area I often find myself drawn into the fraternal rivalry between our two metropolitan areas and, despite the fact that I quite enjoy these trips, it's not unusual for me to be pressed into advocacy for some outrage or other that "we" have perpetrated on "them." One of the usual complaints is our rapacious thirst for their water.

I was therefore amused when the first reports of Hodel's proposal to unblock and drain the Hetch Hetchy Valley reached the San Francisco media. Mayor Diane Feinstein's bluster was typical of local reaction. The valley aqueduct which serves to provide water and power for several San Francisco communities was the "birthright" of her citizens, bequeathed to them by the wise "forefathers" of the city.

Well we knew the drinking water of Northern California did not come entirely from the gentle dew collected each morning from the petals of the California poppy, right? Despite the high-sounding rhetoric, the founding fathers in San Francisco were no less greedy for a permanent water supply for their growing city than were our own. Even if Hodel's plan comes to naught, as is likely, I hope that our brethren to the north have learned that their own drinking water comes from elsewhere than the kitchen tap.

WILLIAM TIERNEY

Hermosa Beach

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