San Francisco Bottles, Sells Reservoir Water

March 26, 2003

The drinking water piped hundreds of miles to San Francisco is now being sold by the bottle.

Mayor Willie Brown came up with the idea, and he bought the first bottle from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir yesterday for $1.25.

Bottles of "Hetch Hetchy Mountain Water" will be sold at the city's three official souvenir shops and will eventually branch out to the zoo, airport and Fisherman's Wharf. Proceeds go to the city's Public Utilities Commission.

The city spent $10,000 to design and develop a prototype, but officials admit selling bottled water will not totally cover the estimated $3.6 billion in repairs the Hetch Hetchy water system needs.

Since 1934, San Francisco has managed the reservoir and now is struggling to keep the aging system of aqueducts, tunnels and pipelines from disintegrating.

Environmentalists would like to dismantle the reservoir and restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley, located 160 miles west of the Bay Area in Yosemite National Park.

Source: The Associated Press

Image by Burnham RNG, courtesy twentytwo & brand.