Union Democrat staff

Water savings

a surprise

To the Editor:

Today, I removed one house downspout, and recovered over 100 gallons of water, in less than 30 minutes. You don't realize how much water we can save, until you begin to collect it. I only stopped, because I ran out of containers.

John C. Cooper


Hetch Hetchy and SF Mountain Tunnel

To the Editor:

The recent news that another critical piece of San Francisco's infrastructure, the Mountain Tunnel, is at risk and in $628 million repair, is alarming. Note that the Mountain Tunnel is just one of five principal tunnels through which Tuolumne River diversions flow enroute from the Sierra Nevada to the Bay Area.

Restore Hetch Hetchy seeks to return Yosemite National Park's Hetch Hetchy Valley to the American people. Hetch Hetchy Reservoir must be eliminated but San Francisco's other facilities should remain. We support repair of the Mountain Tunnel - as we did a decade ago when the San Francisco's Irvington Tunnel was shown to be at risk. We question, however, whether this latest revelation is yet another reason why San Francisco (as well as other urban communities) should reconsider the wisdom of relying on a single remote source for the majority of its water. Last summer's "Rim Fire" made us ask the same question.

Diversity is reliability. Water systems of the future will increasingly develop local supplies - by better managing groundwater, recycling wastewater, capturing storm water and storing supplies closer to their customers.

We hope San Francisco will soon support restoration of Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley, and will diversify its system as well to increase reliability. But meanwhile, a timely and cost-effective solution to the problems with the Mountain Tunnel is warranted.

Spreck Rosekrans

Executive Director

Restore Hetch Hetchy

In defense of SHS 'Water wars'

To the Editor:

With the recent article about Sonora High's "water wars" community members are upset about an FFA week event that happened to be a part of a young ladies senior project.

Concerning the phrase "every drop counts," if members of the community are upset about less than one gallon of water that was used to fill up the 4 balloons used in the event, they should be more concerned about their usage. Every flush of a low flow toilet uses on average 1.5 gallons of water, and a 10 minute shower will average 25 gallons. Before pointing fingers about wasting water, take a second to think about your personal water usage.

Brett Barton