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SF Prop F Debate and Discussion: Water Sustainability and Environmental Restoration act
Date Wednesday October 10
Time 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Location Details
Koret Auditorium in the San Francisco Main Public Library 100 Larkin St., San Francisco 94102
Event Type Panel Discussion
You are invited to attend this information session and public debate about San Francisco's Proposition F: "Water Sustainability and Environmental Restoration Act." If passed, this proposition would:

1) Require the City to prepare a 2-phase plan to evaluate how to drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and identify replacement water and power sources;

2) Allocate $8 million to pay for the plan and create a five-member task force to develop it;

3) Require the task force to complete the plan by November 1, 2015, and require the Board of Supervisors to consider placing on the ballot a Charter Amendment to approve the plan.*

*Description taken from Ballotpedia


Mike Marshall- Restore Hetch Hetchy (For the Proposition)

Adrian Covert- Save Hetch Hetchy (Against the Proposition)

Jason Mark- Earth Island Institute (Moderator)

San Francisco is located on SF Bay at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. This watershed contains the rivers of the Sierra Nevada, including the Tuolumne, the source of San Francisco's water.

The debate is an opportunity to ask some questions and learn about San Francisco's controversial proposition! Join us at the SF Main Library and discuss the future of water in San Francisco.

Sponsors: Planet Drum Foundation, Earth Island Journal
Added to the calendar on Saturday Oct 6th, 2012 12:46 AM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by SF Voter
Saturday Oct 6th, 2012 7:30 AM
We are voting No on B and F and Yes on all the Rest. Prop B, a Parks Bond, will be passed through to tenants and that is why the San Francisco Tenants Union says to Vote No on B. See

Proposition F is a lie and a disaster. We already practice water conservation in San Francisco, as our Voters Handbook states, which you are receiving in the mail soon, if not already. Proposition F as in FOOLISH is opposed by the San Francisco Tenants Union, the San Francisco Labor Council, Assemblyperson Tom Ammiano, State Senators Mark Leno and Leland Yee, San Francisco Tomorrow, and the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods. The SF Green Party is neutral on Prop F as it could not reach consensus, so you know something is wrong with this proposition. The Voter Handbook may be found at:
Here are quotable quotes:
Prop F is a veiled attempt to destroy Hetch Hetchy
Reservoir, which supplies reliable, clean water to 2.6 million
people in over 30 cities across the Bay Area.
Hetch Hetchy is a cost-effective system that utilizes gravity
to deliver water and generates clean, greenhouse-gasfree
energy. This energy powers San Francisco’s public
schools, streetlights, MUNI, fire stations, hospitals and
other vital city services.
Prop F would:
• Force the City to spend millions of dollars on a PLAN
to destroy Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which stores 85%
of the San Francisco’s water and generates clean,
hydroelectric power.
• Pre-determine the outcome of the plan by coming
back to voters in 2016 and asking them to destroy
Hetch Hetchy – at a cost of as much as $10 billion.
• Jeopardize the water supply for 7% of California’s population,
as well our source of publicly-owned hydroelectricity.
This bad idea has already been studied at least seven
times in the past 30 years. These studies have shown that
not only would the cost be enormous, but San Francisco
would experience water shortages 1 out of every 5 years.
It would also cost the City over $40 million annually to
replace the clean power -- and force municipal agencies
to purchase expensive, dirty power.
The City is already pursuing the conservation goals that
proponents are using to camouflage their true aim
--draining Hetch Hetchy reservoir.
We shouldn’t waste millions on a plan that would be
disastrous for San Francisco. Say no to this “Trojan
who want San Francisco to ruin our dam, water
system and pay billions for their backpacking, wine
and brie.
NO to $8,000,000 for 5 people and imaginary planning.
NO to mud-filtered water for our kids to drink.
NO to bury San Francisco’s beloved Sierra family
camp under a massive dump of 900,000 tons of
cement, steel and concrete.
NO to airborne dam debris that is toxic for rivers,
forests and people.
SAY NO to $10,000,000,000 for trust funders and
venture capitalists to commune with nature.
If the Tuolumne River had remained untouched, building
the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir today would not be
acceptable. However, millions of us now rely on the
pristine water that the reservoir delivers and the clean,
greenhouse gas-free electricity that Hetch Hetchy generates
in order to power our city.
The proposed $8 million “study” to drain the reservoir
not only derails this progress, but undermines San
Francisco’s goal of becoming a city powered by 100%
renewable energy by actually draining funds we can
use for programs such as the landmark GoSolarSF
incentive. As we work to restore $2-3 million of annual
cuts to solar, Prop. F will take away $8 million that can
be used to support hundreds of homeowners and businesses
that want to make the switch to clean energy.
This measure is a costly, environmentally dubious
idea, because it would severely contribute to, not
lessen, climate change concerns. Vote No On F.
Joshua Arce, Executive Director, Brightline Defense
The Hetch Hetchy water system is the pride of our City,
and every so often, a few misguided people try to
tamper with it. Hetch Hetchy now provides water to 2.6
billion people across the Bay Area, is cost effective,
utilizes gravity to deliver the water and generates 1.6
billion kilowatt hours of clean energy. Don’t be fooled
by the proposition’s misleading language. Its intent is
to eventually drain Hetch Hetchy reservoir at a cost of
billions and untold damage to the environment and
the economy. Voting No on Proposition F should be a
priority for everyone. Please vote No on Proposition F.
Don’t let Proposition “F” Fool You!
Proposition F sounds really good, but it’s not! San
Francisco is one of the most progressive cities in the
world in water conservation, and is a leader in reducing
water consumption and using recycled water. Our
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is a model
agency for employing ways and means to reduce and
reuse water, and has been a very good steward of this
precious natural resource.
What this measure is really about is spending millions
of dollars on a study that would examine the cost/benefits
of tearing down the Hetch Hetchy dam. This
system, one of the marvels of modern day engineering,
supplies over 2.5 million people in the Bay area,
including San Francisco, with the best water in the
world, all of it gravity-fed to our system.
So why would we want to spend millions of dollars
again to study tearing down this dam, especially when
the SFPUC is currently spending billions to make sure
our water and sewer systems withstand the next
earthquake? It doesn’t make sense and it’s wasteful.
Don’t be fooled by the “environmentally friendly”
jargon into thinking that this is a harmless study. It’s
anything but that. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing initiative.
VOTE NO on Proposition F
Using Hetch Hetchy water is not only cost-effective
and reliable for millions of Bay Area residents, it is a
critical component of the region’s efforts to reduce
greenhouse gases, since its pristine water is delivered
by gravity and doesn’t need to be filtered. It also generates
1.6 billion kilowatt hours of carbon-free power –
the upfront costs of which were paid a century ago.
Eliminating this critical source of water and power, at
a cost of billions, would invariably set the region’s
environmental goals back ... severely.
Because rather than marshalling the political energy
and financial resources necessary to expand alternative
energy sources and sustainable water supplies,
San Francisco and the 30 cities that rely on this system
would instead be scrambling to identify, implement
and pay for replacements to Hetch Hetchy’s water and
Prop. F’s direct financial costs are in the billions. The
costs to our fight against global warming are incalculable.
Please vote ‘NO’ on F.
Prop. F’s “Water sustainability” is a Trojan Horse to
tear down the dam.
The SFPUC has already studied alternative water supplies
and is making investments in water conservation,
recycling, gray water and rainwater harvesting. San
Franciscans have the lowest water use in California.
We wouldn’t build O’Shaunessey today. But its
removal would be destructive to our water and power
system, prohibitively expensive, and environmentally
disastrous. The loss of clean public power would cost
rate payers $40 million annually.
Restoration includes:
• rerouting the Tuolumne
• milling “900,000 tons” of concrete,
• polluting Tuolumne;
• destroying Camp Mather , transfer station for
900,000 tons of aggregate;
• 26,000 truck loads from Mather to Hwy 108;
• bolting a 10 mile conveyor belt onto Yosemite’s
granite walls;
• storing our water in mud dams compelling expensive
secondary filtration.
Vote NO!
Take a look at the Proponent’s Argument. Do you see
the words “Hetch Hetchy” anywhere?
That’s because the proponents know that draining the
reservoir that supplies 85 percent of our drinking
water would be a very unpopular idea, so they’re
attempting to fool you.
They slip it in at the bottom - “consolidate
San Francisco’s nine reservoirs into eight” - and
then sweeten the rest with harmless-sounding conservation
But just as San Francisco ranks at the top of the state
in waste-diversion, we rank at the top in water conservation.
San Francisco uses about half as much water per
capita than the rest of California - because everyone
agrees that water conservation is important.
That’s one of the reasons why, in addition to using less
water in the first place, San Francisco is already implementing
a plan to recycle 21 million gallons per day,
utilize another 40 million in groundwater and save 20
million more through expanded conservation efforts.
But that’s not what F is really about. Read closely and
you’ll see it’s a two-step plan to drain Hetch Hetchy
Reservoir, at a cost of as much as $10 billion.
And the environmental cost could be huge as well -
according to the Bay Guardian, the loss of Hetchy’s
hydroelectric power could lead to 387,000 metric tons
a year in increased carbon emissions.
We don’t need to squander $8 million to know that’s a
bad idea.
Proposition F is a misleading attempt to waste taxpayer
money on redundant studies in the name of environmental
The PUC has studied alternative water supplies and is
making investments in water conservation, recycling,
gray water and rainwater harvesting.
San Franciscans have reduced their water use for four
straight years.
If the issue is restoration of Hetch Hetchy Valley, put
that on the ballot - not this faux sustainability initiative.
No on F!
San Francisco’s Neighborhoods OPPOSE Prop F!
CSFN urges you to reject this absurd measure to shell
out millions of dollars to study — yet again! — the
idea to destroy Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and dump the
broken concrete debris in Camp Mather!
This scheme has been soundly turned down countless
times. Join us and all our local officials and organizations
who have united against it.
Oppose the well-heeled campaign of out-of-town
money that wants to deprive us of our clean supply of
drinking water and our green source of electricity!
If we lose our water source, what will we be left with?
Just millions of tons of debris and billions of dollars of
debt, that’s all.
One hundred years ago San Francisco had a true vision
for our City; let’s fight to preserve it!
Vote NO on Prop F!
The Hetch Hetchy water system is a critical lifeline for
San Francisco, delivering high-quality drinking water
to over 2.5 million Bay Area residents and businesses.
Hetch Hetchy hydropower also supplies 100% of the
power for city services, including public transit and the
school district. Draining the reservoir — the ultimate
goal of Prop. F — would not only cost billions of
dollars, but would compromise our water and energy
San Francisco is already the most water-efficient city in
California. We are in the midst of a voter-approved
$4.6 billion program to ensure that the water system
will remain viable following a major earthquake. For
years, we have invested in water conservation programs
and in developing alternative sources of water.
But none of these efforts will produce enough water to
make up for the loss of our most important reservoir.
The $8 million expense in planning studies called for
by the measure could be put to far better use for
ongoing water conservation, energy efficiency and
other city programs.
Proposition F is not about water conservation, as the
proponents claim. San Francisco already is one of the
lowest per capita users of water in California. What’s
more, we’re investing millions to improve on our
already impressive water recycling and conservation