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August 8, 2006 > Hetch Hetchy water supply system: our life-line

Hetch Hetchy water supply system: our life-line

by Susan R. Gearhart

For the last couple of years the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has been focusing on the Hetch Hetchy Water System Improvement Project in Fremont. This is a $4.3 Billion dollar project they must complete. The Bay Area Economic Forum, a partnership of the Bay Area Council and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), stated in their October 2002 report, "Hetch Hetchy Water and the Bay Area Economy," that total damages from water supply disruption from a 7.9 magnitude earthquake on the San Andreas Fault would cost $28.7 billion. They also estimated costs of $17.2 billion for a 7.1 magnitude quake on the Hayward Fault.

According to the report, "The Hetch Hetchy water system is a critical regional asset, providing an essential commodity to much of the Bay Area. Its deteriorating condition places the regional economy and the welfare of millions of Bay Area residents at risk." The report continues, "Three obstacles to the Capitol Improvement Project and revenue bond proposals have been cost, governance, and confidence that the SFPUC can execute the plan on time and on budget."

This is our problem, as the delays of the schedule continue, the costs escalate. In the absence of water; life is very tentative. As a public service, the League of Women Voters of the Bay Area (LWVBA) is hosting an educational meeting to help Bay Area communities understand the complexity of these problems on Saturday, September 16. It's called, "Challenges of Our Interdependent Water Systems." Learn more about the politics of our water supply and the safety and security of our water systems, with a special look at the Hetch Hetchy upgrades now under way.

For more information on the location, visit

Marines' Memorial Club
609 Sutter Street
San Francisco
Reservations are required
Cost is $17.50
Continental breakfast at 9 a.m.
Meeting adjourns at 1 p.m.

For reservations please email Tam Hege, LWVBA treasurer at; or send a check to: Tam Hege, 80 Florada Ave., Piedmont, CA 94610.
Reservations must be made by 9/1/06

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