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Hetch Hetchy Measure Qualifies For November SF Ballot

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A measure that could eventually determine the fate of Hetch Hetchy Valley has qualified for the November ballot in San Francisco.

The Water Conservation and Yosemite Restoration Initiative would require San Francisco to develop a plan for improving its water system in two phases.

"One is to look at how we can build up our local water resources through introducing water recycling," said director Mike Marshall of the Yosemite Restoration campaign. "The second phase of the planning process would be to look at how we begin to undo the damage to the environment."

KCBS' Melissa Culross Reports:

Marshall said that once that three-year plan is done, supporters would try to place another initiative on the ballot proposing that officials drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee supports neither of the measures and said that a plan to drain Hetch Hetchy, which serves San Francisco, much of the Peninsula and parts of the East Bay, would not work as there is no substitute for the water stored there.

"When you talk to industry leaders in Silicon Valley, one of the reasons they are located in Silicon Valley is precisely because of the pristine clarity of that water for many of the microchips that they produce and some of the other industries," said Lee.

The eventual goal of both measures is to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley to its natural state.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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