The Stream, November 8: Early Look at Water in U.S. Ballot Results

Water-quality protection measures were among the 46 conservation-related measures passed by local and state voters around the country yesterday. The Trust for Public Land summarized prominent results, WaterWorld reported.

The city of San Francisco will not have to create a plan to destroy the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir’s dam. More than 77 percent of voters overturned the measure, The Los Angeles Times reported, which California government officials called ‘stupid,’ ‘insane,’ and non-sensical.

Voters in Rhode Island approved $20 million in bonds for wastewater and drinking water improvement projects. Those funds will be matched by federal dollars, the Associated Press reported.

Transboundary Water Rights
India and Bangladesh are nearing an agreement on water-use rights for the Teesta River, which flows between the two countries. Previously the state government of West Bengal rejected the agreement, the Hindustan Times reported, because India faced lower water volumes, but a temporary agreement will tie the two parties over until a permanent settlement is signed.

Water-Energy Choke Points in Oil and Gas
Oil and gas drilling companies are steadily moving toward wide incorporation of water-recycling technologies. As the technology becomes cheaper and drought magnifies water-supply concerns, Bloomberg reported, water recycling will play a greater role in oil and gas production.

Superstorm Sandy
With water-related challenges facing many New Jersey residents after Superstorm Sandy, the Star-Ledger shared water-related survival tips including boiling water and avoiding home filtration devices — which will not sufficiently clean polluted water.

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4 replies
  1. Spreck says:

    Your attribution of “‘stupid,’ ‘insane,’ and non-sensical” to State officials is incorrect. Those things were said by a self-interested San Francisco mayor.

    Restoration of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park can be accomplished with only very modest changes in the conveyance of high quality Tuolumne River water to the Bay Area, and thus only require modest changes to San Francisco’s water system.

    For any that may be unaware, the damming of Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley was arguably the first great battle of the American wilderness and led to the reform of our National Park system. No such projects have been allowed since.

  2. Kylie says:

    The one issue I have about the above is that the Star-Ledger said to avoid home water filtration systems. Why would they say this, when boiling water doesn’t even compare to the purified water from a filtration system. It’s as though they are trying to get the population sick.

  3. Andrew Maddocks says:

    Spreck, thank you for reading, and for your comment. I wrote “California government officials” as a broader term to describe San Francisco’s mayor and a senior U.S. senator from California (notably a former San Francisco mayor). The current mayor is quoted by The LA Times as saying the project was “stupid” and “insane,” while the senator/former mayor said that the project “makes no sense,” which I paraphrased to “nonsensical.” Thank you again for your input and thoughts. Please see our latest coverage of Hetch Hetchy and other water ballots here:

  4. JW says:

    I can’t believe that the SF voters could not get on board with the Hetch Hetchy plan. There were a lot of lies and misinformation spread by the opposition to the measure. Without those desperate and disgusting efforts, it probably would have passed. As for that “senior U.S. Senator”, well, all I can say is that I can’t wait for her to retire. No offense, but 80 years old and making decisions for all of us? You have to wonder. She really needs to retire sooner rather than later.

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