Hetch Hetchy Case Study
1. What were some of your first thoughts about the Hetch Hetchy Valley prior to the beginning of the dam construction? Would it be a place you would have liked to visit and spend time exploring or would you not be interested in something like that? Why or why not?
2. The earthquake and following fires of San Francisco of 1906 were the events that justified the beginning of the Hetch Hetchy Project. The actual project didn’t start until 1914 and water wasn’t delivered to the Bay Area for the first time until 1934. Based on this timeline information from the case study, how justifiable was the project for the purpose of helping out San Francisco after the earthquake? Do you think other factors were involved in this process? Why and what could those have been? Describe at least 2 factors.
3. The Hetch Hetchy environmental drama has been an issue now for a century. The same reasons it was originally debated are essentially the same reasons it is still debated today. Where do you stand on this environmental argument? Are you for the restoration of the Hetch Hetchy Valley by demolition to some extent of the O’Shaughnessy Dam or are you opposed to the restoration of the Hetch Hetchy Valley? Provide at least three reasons to demonstrate your support or opposition to the restoration of the valley.
4. Regardless of if you are in favor of the restoration of the valley or not, if it were restored then it could become part of Yosemite National Park. A common complaint guests have after visiting Yosemite is that it is too crowded with other tourists. Some suggestions for controlling the number of visitors to Yosemite each year is to raise the price of entering the park so not everyone can afford admittance, have a lottery each year to determine who can enter the national park, or have park officials limit the number of guests entering the gate each day. Do these options seem reasonable to you? Why or why not? If Hetch Hetchy was restored and became part of Yosemite, many have wondered if more people would visit there and help reduce the flow of visitors to the more crowded parts of Yosemite. Currently, Hetch Hetchy is not an area that is visited by tourists on a regular basis like Yosemite. Do you think that might help with the congestion of visitors at Yosemite? Why or why not?