SAN FRANCISCO — A new book tells a story in photographs of the Hetch Hetchy Water and Power System on the Tuolumne River.
"Hetch Hetchy," by Beverly Hennessey, describes how San Francisco settled on the project after the 1906 earthquake and fire and overcame opposition from John Muir and others to a dam in Yosemite National Park.
"I never handled any proposition where the engineering problems were so simple and the political ones so complex," city engineer Michael O'Shaughnessy is quoted as saying in the introduction.
Today, the system provides water to about 2.6 million people in four Bay Area counties and electricity for city services and other uses.
The book touches on recent upgrades to the system, which crosses north Modesto with its main pipes and transmission lines.
It does not delve into the now-scrapped proposal to sell water from the Modesto Irrigation District to San Francisco -- which launched one of the fiercest area debates in recent history.
The MID board finally settled the matter last week, voting 5-0 to drop the negotiations after nearly a year of discussions.
The book is part of the "Images of America" series from Arcadia Publishing. The series, which mainly relies on historical photos and captions, includes several books on the Northern San Joaquin Valley and central Sierra Nevada.
"Hetch Hetchy" can be purchased for $21.99 from bookstores or from Arcadia Publishing. Visit www.arcadiapublishing.com or call (888) 313-2665.