SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Advocates of an effort to drain and restore Hetch Hetchy Valley – which currently supplies much of San Francisco’s drinking water – planned Monday to turn in about 16,000 signatures to San Francisco elections officials to qualify a measure for the ballot this November.

The measure calls for the city to increase its water supply by recycling, and also creating plans to improve the water system. The reservoir is the main repository of drinking water for San Francisco, much of the Peninsula, and part of the East Bay.

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John Muir and other naturalists praised the beauty of the valley prior to its damming. Some even said it was on par with Yosemite Valley.

Politicians have largely opposed restoring the valley, and Mayor Ed Lee has come out against the movement. However, a recent poll showed support for a measure among potential San Francisco voters – meaning that the political battle over the future of the valley could soon escalate.

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KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Phil Mater Reports:

See archival photos of the Hetch Hetchy Valley before the 1913 dam project began.

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