Officials from the Yosemite Restoration Campaign announced Monday that they have secured enough voter signatures to let San Franciscans vote on a measure to study the feasibility of draining the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.
“We are only asking for simple steps to make a plan,” said campaign director Mike Marshall, executive director of Restore Hetch Hetchy.
The Water Sustainability and Environmental Restoration Planning Act would call for The City to explore the feasibility of draining the reservoir and look into other sources of water, including groundwater and recycled wastewater. The cost would be capped at $8 million.
The group said it had secured 15,806 signatures, well more than the 9,702 needed to qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot. The Elections Department will determine the validity of those signatures.
Huey Johnson, former Department of Natural Resources secretary, called the ballot initiative “a long-overdue first step toward planning San Francisco’s water future.”
But opponent Jim Wunderman, head of the Bay Area Council, crashed a news conference at City Hall to condemn the measure.
“Not only will it be an economic burden, but if it’s such a great plan, why are 11 board members against it?” he said of the Board of Supervisors. “It’s a dangerous measure and a deceptive plan.”