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History of the SFPUCHistory of the SFPUC
The first seven decades of the municipal water supply story is about its creation, operation, development and maintenance by private enterprise — The Spring Valley Water Company. Mayor “Sunny Jim” Rolph purchased the fully developed, mature water works for San Francisco at a cost of $39,962,606.51 on March 3, 1930. Since then, the City has operated and maintained the water works as the San Francisco Water Department.

The Hetch Hetchy System had its birth in the Raker Act of 1913, which granted water and power resource rights-of-way on the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park to San Francisco. The total system is the realization of a concept for an aqueduct from the Sierra Nevada watersheds, which had been planned since the 1860’s. A very busy 20 years of construction on the Hetch Hetchy dams and aqueducts resulted in Sierra Nevada water being delivered into the Water Department local distribution system by 1934. Integrating Hetch Hetchy and Water Department systems has provided San Francisco and neighb o r i n g communities with an unfailing year-round assured supply of pure, potable water from secure sources.

A six-year drought and a burgeoning population in the Bay Area, never - theless, have required a rethinking on the part of the San Francisco Water Department as to how both commercial and residential customers use and Power offers an appreciation of the magnitude of the water and power systems, both past and present. In an ever-changing and growing urban environment accompanied by an unpredictable climate, the vision of the people who conceived, developed and then integrated the San Francisco Water Department and Hetch Hetchy System still stands San Francisco in good stead today.

Various designs leading to present Sunol Water Temple.

Alameda Creek Watershed Meeting - June 10th
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission  invites you to the Second of four public meetings on the Alameda Watershed Habitat Conservation Plan.

Discuss  important issues about the management of the SFPUC’s Alameda Creek Watershed.  The SFPUC Watershed supplies drinking water to four Bay Area counties, including Alameda and Santa Clara counties, and supports more than 17 types of wildlife habitat. read more

Pat Martel Presents The Rich History of Hetch Hetchy
General Manager Pat Martel gave a vivid slide presentation to more than 100 people at the Main Library’s auditorium Wednesday night. During the one-hour show, she explained in rich detail the history of the Hetch Hetchy water delivery system and the background of its construction.   The hardships endured by construction workers, the technical difficulties, the political forces for and against one of the engineering marvels of our time -- were illustrated in more than 40 rare black and white historical photographs.  read more
SFPUC History: The Raker Act
SFPUC ImageRepresentative John Edward Raker of Manteca fired the first shot in Congress by introducing HR 112 on the floor on April 7, 1913. That bill would not be passed by the House, nor would the three compromise bills following: HR 4319 on April 25, HR 6281 on June 23, and HR 6914 on July 18. In June of 1913, representatives of the City and the Modesto and Turlock Irrigation Districts met in Washington, D.C., to hammer out their differences. read more
SFPUC History: O'Shaughnessy and Hetch Hetchy
SFPUC ImageSan Francisco was still in the midst of one of history’s greatest reconstruction projects, that of rebuilding the City ravaged by the earthquake and three-day fire of April 1906. Work on Hetch Hetchy began in earnest in 1914, eight years after that tragedy. The City was loaded with engineering talent of the highest order — city engineers and private consultants ready for any challenge that tested their imagination. read more

SFPUC History: Groveland  09/20/2002
SFPUC History: Construction Starts  09/19/2002
SFPUC History: Harry W. Tracy Water Treatement Plant  06/14/2002
SFPUC History: Water Quality Treatment Processes  06/13/2002
SFPUC History: The Sierra Nevada  06/12/2002
SFPUC History: Creation of the San Francisco Water Department  05/31/2002

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