Water-Sharing Plan Between Modesto and San Francisco Fails

Modesto Irrigation District ditches plan to sell San Francisco more water.

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, Sep 20, 2012  |  Updated 12:59 PM PDT
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SF's Water-Sharing Plan with Modesto Fails

Photo courtesy Flickr user satosphere/Flickr CC

This may not be enough water for San Francisco, city officials say.

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A plan for San Francisco to secure a backup supply of fresh drinking water from Modesto has dried up dead.

City officials wanted to spend $1.5 million per year for an additional 2 million gallons per day of Tuolumne River water, according to the San Francisco Examiner. San Franciscans drink and bathe every day in Tuolumne River water, which is brought to us from Yosemite National Park by aquaduct from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

But that may not be enough water, especially in dry-years. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission officials think a drought may be coming, so they wanted an extra supply. But SFPUC and Modesto Irrigation District officials could not agree over the contract, so negotiations "broke down Tuesday night," the Examiner reported.

The city came close to water rationing in the early 1990s, the newspaper reported.

The irrigation district's board of directors wanted money from San Francisco to upgrade its system, but ultimately decided that its need for water in the event of a drought outstripped San Francisco's, according to the newspaper.

River advocates called the plan a waste from the start.

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