SF Gate: “A “Restore Hetch Hetchy” movement seeks to dismantle San Francisco’s O’Shaughnessy Dam and drain the reservoir it created north of Yosemite Valley.
“Let the great granite walls and booming waterfalls speak for themselves, ” Restore’s director, Ron Good, wrote in a recent newsletter. But those walls and waterfalls do speak for themselves. They haven’t gone anywhere.
Hetch Hetchy is a lost valley only from the ankles down. The last 300 feet of this 2,000-foot-high valley was flooded by the dam finished in 1923 to furnish water to San Francisco and nearby cities. The rest — including views of the shimmering lake the dam made — can still be enjoyed.
The romantic project of draining the lake and yanking the dam, the subject of a hearing Thursday at the state Department of Water Resources, would produce more problems than it could ever solve. Environmental damage would be inflicted elsewhere in developments to compensate for the water and power lost in the dam’s demise. And that’s just the beginning.”