The Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park has served as a major water source to San Francisco for about a century. If you’re unfamiliar with California geography, you need to appreciate a few things here. First, Hetch Hetchy was constructed within a national park. Kind of unusual, huh? Next, this reservoir is about 200 miles away from SanFran. This must be some major water project, huh? And don’t forget that the natural flow of water from the now dammed Tuolumne River would pass through the Sacramento/San Joaquin River delta, were it not for the pipeline that transports pristine waters from the Sierra Nevada around the delta.
Those of you who know me are probably shocked that I didn’t post anything yet on this recent article from the Los Angeles Times:
We are experiencing another round of political posturing regarding water in the Golden State. Hardly unprecedented! This time, a Republican, Dan Lungren, is calling for the demolition of the dam that forms Hetch Hetchy, citing overriding environmental concerns. And a Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, is defending the project as being essential to a major city’s economy. If you’ve been paying attention to California water, this is just hilarious!
The role reversal of Democrat for the economy versus Republican for the environment is absolutely priceless: I want to thank Dan Lungren for interjecting some much needed comedy into this issue. I also can’t believe that Dianne Feinstein actually took the bait!
But another aspect of this issue I find less hilarious and more hypocritical. Here is a northern Californian — former SF mayor Feinstein — defending a Periperal Canal! Is she this adamant in her support of the other Peripheral Canal? Would she be if it is was serving SF instead of LA? Therein lies the hypocrisy: it’s okay for SF but not for LA.
And make no mistake about it: the Hetch Hetchy system is quite definitely its own Peripheral Canal. Its great “virtue” happens to be that it serves water to the “Mecca” of the environmentalist movement, San Francisco.
Enjoy your Christmas holiday! I plan to, so don’t expect a post for the next few days.