SAN FRANCISCO—The State Water Resources Control Board has ordered San Francisco to cut back the portion of the river water it routinely takes from the city’s reservoir source, Hetch Hetchy.
This ordinance is coming as a routine warning. The Control Board is issuing this warning to cities, individuals, and corporations who hold water rights as California enters it’s fourth year of drought.
Hetch Hetchy supplies 2.5 million Bay Area residents with their water supply, which is a direct source of Sierra Nevada snow runoff. Hetch Hethcy has been responsible for 85 percent of San Francisco’s water supply for over 100 years. According to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Bay Area residents use an average of 45 gallons of water each day.
This ordinance will not affect water already stored and claimed by the city, which has enough water to prepare for two more dry years. This cut back will affect water being directly drained from the Tuolomne River by San Francisco. The direct implications of this issue have yet to be determined.