Chapter

The Imperial City and Water

Robert W. Righter

in The Battle Over Hetch Hetchy

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780195149470
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199788934 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149470.003.0003
The Imperial City and Water

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During the second half of the 19th century, San Francisco grew from a village to a major city. Located on a peninsula, the city faced a perpetual water problem. Mayor James Phelan realized that if the city was ever to reach its full potential, it needed an abundant and pure water supply from the Sierra Nevada. After studying a number of different sites, the Tuolumne River and the Hetch Hetchy Valley emerged as the preferred location. But the valley lay within the newly-established (1890) Yosemite National Park. Yet San Francisco continued its quest, purchasing land within the valley and seeking legislation to allow reservoir development.

Keywords: San Francisco; James Phelan; municipal water supply; Yosemite National Park

Chapter.  7299 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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