John Muir et al.
The Voters of San Francisco
THERE IS A LIMIT TO THE FINANCIAL CREDIT OF THIS CITY. DO YOU WANT TO FORCE THE LIMIT, AND JEOPARDIZE PROJECTS OF REHABILITATION?
DO YOU KNOW THAT FOR EVERY MILLION DOLLARS IN BONDS THE CITY ISSUES, THE TAX RATE GOES UP ABOUT ONE PER CENT per year on every hundred dollars' assessed value, for interest charges alone? And THAT FOR $75,000,000.00 BONDS, 75c WILL BE ADDED EVERY YEAR TO THE TAX RATE FOR INTEREST CHARGE? And this does not provide for paying off the principal! A SINKING FUND MUST BE PROVIDED FOR THIS PURPOSE THAT WILL ADD STILL MORE TO THE TAX RATE, AND ALTOGETHER NEARLY DOUBLE IT.
But the Hetch-Hetchy advocates will say, "The water rates will pay a part of this heavy tax." It amounts to the same thing. You are only paying out of another pocket. COMPETENT ENGINEERS ESTIMATE THAT THE ENORMOUS COST OF CONSTRUCTION OF THE HETCH-HETCHY SYSTEM WILL GREATLY INCREASE AND PERHAPS DOUBLE THE WATER RATES.
The advocates say, "We are now only voting on a matter of $600,000.00 bonds." True-but it follows, as the night the day, that YOU MUST EITHER FOLLOW UP THIS ISSUE BY VOTING BONDS FOR THE FULL $50,000,000.00 or $75,000,000.00 REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE SYSTEM, OR YOU WILL BE THROWING AWAY YOUR $600,000.00. According to the terms of the grant, unless the time is extended, which is doubtful, the FIFTY OR MORE MILLIONS REQUIRED WILL HAVE TO BE SPENT INSIDE OF TEN YEARS, AND DURING THAT TIME WE COULD NOT GET ONE DROP OF WATER FROM THIS SYSTEM.Voter, ponder well over these facts before you cast your vote!
PHYSICAL REASONS AGAINST THE PROJECT.
WE WANT THE PUREST WATER WE CAN GET FOR SAN FRANCISCO. WE WANT IT IN UNLIMITED QUANTITY. WE WANT IT FROM THE CHEAPEST SOURCE, CONSISTENT WITH QUALITY AND QUANTITY.
AS TO QUANTITY, THE HETCH-HETCHY SUPPLY IS DEFICIENT.
The city of San Francisco entered into a binding agreement under the direction of Secretary Garfield, providing that-"The city and county of SAN FRANCISCO . . . WILL NOT INTERFERE IN THE SLIGHTEST PARTICULAR WITH THE RIGHT OF THE MODESTO Irrigation District AND THE TURLOCK IRRIGATION DISTRICT TO USE THE NATURAL FLOW OF THE TUOLUMNE RIVER and its branches to the full extent of their claims as follows: TURLOCK IRRIGATION DISTRICT, 1500 SECOND FEET; MODESTO IRRIGATION DISTRICT, 850 SECOND FEET; these districts having respectively appropriated the foregoing amounts of water under the laws of the State of California.
"To the end that these rights may be fully protected, San Francisco will stipulate not to store nor cause to be stored, divert, nor cause to be diverted from the Tuolumne River or any of its branches, any of the natural flow of said river when desired for use by said districts, for any beneficial purpose, unless this natural flow of the river and tributaries above La Grange dam be in excess of the actual capacities of the canals of said districts, even when they shall have been brought up to the full volume named, 1500 second feet for the Turlock Irrigation District and 850 second feet for the Modesto Irrigation District.
"The city and county of SAN FRANCISCO WILL IN NO WAY INTERFERE WITH THE STORAGE OF FLOOD WATERS, in sites other than Hetch-Hetchy and Lake Eleanor BY THE MODESTO AND TURLOCK IRRIGATION DISTRICTS or either of said districts for use in said districts, and will return to the Tuolumne River above the La Grange dam, for the use of said irrigation districts, all surplus or waste flow of the river which may be used for power."
Let us see what this means. We must keep in mind the fact that THE IRRIGATORS ARE GUARANTEED 2350 CUBIC FEET PER SECOND -WHICH IS MORE THAN A BILLION FIVE HUNDRED MILLION GALLONS PER DAY -THAT SAN FRANCISCO CANNOT INTERFERE WITH THE STORAGE OF FLOOD WATERS BY THEM - THAT THE IRRIGATORS ARE NOW BUILDING A DAM TO STORE SUCH FLOOD WATERS -THAT THEY ARE ABOUT TO APPLY TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR FOR OTHER RESERVOIR SITES ON THE MAIN RIVER AND OTHER STREAMS ABOVE HETCH-HETCHY - THAT THESE SITES ARE NUMEROUS AND THAT HE HAS INTIMATED TO THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE IRRIGATION DISTRICTS THAT HE WOULD GRANT THESE RIGHTS WHENEVER THEY APPLY FOR THEM -THAT THERE ARE OTHER PRIOR WATER-RIGHTS ALL ALONG THE RIVER - THAT MANY YEARS (nearly one half the time) THE AVERAGE ANNUAL FLOW OF THE ENTIRE RIVER IS LESS THAN 2350 SECOND FEET -that in the year 1898 the average flow was only 1182 second feet, and in the years 1899, 1900 and 1902, it was only a little more than 2000 second feet. WITH UNLIMITED RIGHT OF STORAGE FOR THE IRRIGATION DISTRICTS, AND WITH THE GREAT WASTAGE THAT IS BOUND TO OCCUR, WHERE IS SAN FRANCISCO GOING TO "GET OFF" AFTER SPENDING $50,000,000.00 OR MORE for a system tied up by these harsh conditions?
[San Francisco ?]
Original letter dimensions: 28 x 43 cm.
Reel 17, Image 0969
The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see http://www.pacific.edu/Library/Find/Holt-Atherton-Special-Collections/Fees-and-Forms-.html
University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.
John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle