In a three-page letter dated Dec. 7, Lungren asserts that San Francisco is violating federal law by failing to exhaust its local water sources before tapping the Tuolumne River. Lungren specifically cites an alleged failure by the city to take advantage of recycling, groundwater and rainwater harvesting. Lungren further asserts these failings, combined with the city's use of Tuolumne River water stored at Hetch Hetchy, violate the Raker Act, the 1913 law that authorized construction of the Hetch Hetchy water system.
Lungren has for several years talked up the idea of removing the reservoir and restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley as a part of Yosemite National Park. With the likes of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former mayor, now Sen. Dianne Feinstein looking out for San Francisco's interests, this latest effort may not go far.
PHOTO CREDIT: Norman Rickson, a superintendent of maintenance and repair for Hetch Hetchy, makes his way by boat through the valley floor covered by water, on July 21, 2004. Sacramento Bee/Bryan Patrick