John Muir et al.
The Voters of San Francisco
The shrewd attorneys for the irrigation districts drafted this stipulation, giving the districts the right to store unlimited quantities of flood water so as to give them, as nearly as possible, a steady flow of 2350 second feet throughout the year.
THE REPORT OP FITZGERALD AND MARX DOES NOT TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THIS UNLIMITED RIGHT OF THE IRRIGATION DISTRICTS TO STORE WATERS.
No wonder that a fear has been expressed that the city has been inadvertently dispossessed of the cream of the rights: The people of San Francisco are placed at the mercy of the irrigationists who are to have the first call upon the water supply.
SOUND BUSINESS JUDGMENT, COMMON SENSE, and THE CREDIT OF THE CITY DEMAND that the NEAREST sources of supply SHOULD BE FIRST DEVELOPED TO THE FULLEST CAPACITY. If the city cannot get the Spring Valley plant on fair terms, then CONDEMN IT in the courts. Prof. Geo. Davidson, Col. W. W. Heuer, U. S. A., and some of the most eminent engineers in America are authority for the fact that this supply can be increased to over 100,000,000 gallons daily, ample for years to come, by adding nearby sources that are now going to waste.
The purity of the water can be insured by filtration near the point of use, which every self-respecting city in the world is doing to-day.
IF THE SPRING VALLEY CONTINUES TO BE UNREASONABLE, AND CONDEMNATION PROVES UNWISE, THERE ARE OTHER SOURCES OF WATER SUPPLY FOR SAN FRANCISCO, AMPLE IN QUANTITY, PURE IN QUALITY, AND ECONOMICAL.
San Francisco stands at the confluence of two large rivers and directly opposite the great roof of the Sierra, down which pour numbers of streams of pure water, whose sources are protected by forest reserves. Both to the north and south on the Coast innumerable streams waste in the ocean. IT IS DOUBTFUL IF ANY CITY OF HER SIZE IN THE WHOLE WORLD POSSESSES A GREATER NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SOURCES. The late Col. Geo. H. Mendell, a most eminent hydraulic engineer, reports on fourteen available systems.
Just to the north, a power company has already diverted the waters of the Eel River towards this city into the Russian River Basin. This supply is nearer than the Hetch-Hetchy supply and will be developed to 225,000,000 gallons' daily capacity. There is ample storage—the water-rights are perfect, and the water runs to waste at the power gates. It can be had by this city for the asking. A M. Hunt, an engineer thoroughly familiar with the city's water problem, estimates that 60,000,000 gallons per day can be brought to San Francisco, for approximately $12,500,000 or FOR A LITTLE MORE THAN ONE THIRD WHAT THE CITY ENGINEER HAS ESTIMATED THE SAME AMOUNT CAN BE BROUGHT FROM LAKE ELEANOR (Hetch-Hetchy system).The distributing systems would cost the same in each case.
Another company, operating on the Stanislaus River in the Sierra, WITH STORAGE CAPACITY GREATER THAN HETCH-HETCHY VALLEY, and protected by a forest reserve, WITH DAMS CONSTRUCTED AT NO EXPENSE TO THE CITY, will deliver the same amount of water from the Sierra at less cost than the Hetch-Hetchy system, where dams must be built and valuable rights purchased. This company at one time offered to build a complete transmission line to San Francisco for actual cost plus 10 per cent, and to guarantee all titles and a maximum supply of water equal to any possible requirements.
The Mokelumne, and various American and Yuba River systems lie still further to the north, and insure that THE CITY WILL GET PLENTY OF WATER WHEN SHE NEEDS IT.
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul. The Hetch-Hetchy Valley is a mountain temple next to Yosemite, the finest and greatest in the National Park. Should it be submerged, as proposed, it would be made inaccessible and its beauty destroyed. If preserved in pure wildness, it will attract admiring multitudes from all parts of the world and add not only to the wealth and glory of this proud State, but also bring fame and money to San Francisco.
LEGAL REASONS AGAINST THE PROJECT.
THE IRRIGATIONISTS HAVE A STRANGLE HOLD ON THE HETCH-HETCHY SUPPLY UNDER THE FEDERAL GRANT. This water is the life blood of those districts. Without water, life perishes, andthe land becomes semi-arid.Do you imagine that these people are gcing to sit by complacently and allow us to take that which will impoverish them and destroy their homes? We could never get the water we have guaranteed them by stipulation, and litigation would be endless.
[San Francisco ?]
Original letter dimensions: 28 x 43 cm.
Reel 17, Image 0971
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