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Chairman Executive Committee.

Executive Secretary






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The Commonwealth Club has given much attention to the various phases of the problem of securing an adequate supply of water for the population that is to center about San Francisco bay. The results of previous discussions will be found in the Transactions, Vol. II, No. 7, “Water Supply for San Francisco," June, 1907; Vol. IV, No. 6, “The Hetch Hetchy Water Supply,” November, 1909; Vol. IX, No. 1, “Bay Cities' Water Supply,” February, 1914; Vol. X, No. 6, “The Bay Cities' Water Problem," June, 1915.

These discussions were concerned chiefly with the source of supply.

With the enactment of Federal legislation in 1913 permitting the use of the Hetch Hetchy valley as a reservoir site, the problem shifted from that of source of water to that of ownership of existing supplies, and to questions of administration.

The meeting of May 12, 1915, reported in Transactions, Vol. X, No. 6, discussed the question as it was left by the defeat in April, 1915, of the proposition to purchase the Spring Valley Water company's system,

As a result of the meeting, President Hodghead was authorized to appoint a section to consider and report upon what steps should be taken to secure an adequate supply for all the bay communities. A preliminary meeting of the committee was held October 4, 1915, followed by meetings at which representatives from all the territory interested were given an opportunity to present their needs. The section as finally completed was composed of the following:

Section on Bay Cities Water Supply

Chairman-John D. Galloway, of Berkeley.
Alameda-Wynn Meredith and C. J. Rhodin.
Berkeley–J. D. Galloway, H. D. Dewell and Charles G. Hyde.
Menlo Park-C. W. Marwedel.
Niles—Chris Runckel and J. C. Shinn.
Oakland—B. H. Pendleton, A. H. Markwart and Harrison S. Robinson.
Piedmont-Oliver Ellsworth.

Palo Alto-C. B. Wing.


Redwood-Geo. A. Merrill.

Richmond-R. H. Curry, J. H. Dockweiler, D. J. Hall and H. W. Mergenthal.

San Francisco_C. E. Grunsky, Geo. T. Klink, Chas. A. Shurtleff, Grant H. Smith, H. U. Brandenstein, Leslie E. Burks, A. H. Giannini, John A. Britton, Murray Warner, Mark B. Kerr, Marsden Manson, George O. Bordwell, H. W. Crozier, Clifford G. Dennis, William Ham Hall, Geo. C. Holberton, A. Kempkey, Samuel Spring and F. H. Tibbetts.

San Leandro-W. F. Sampson.

San_MateoCharles N. Kirkbride, W. B. Lawrence, J. H. Coleman and W. F. Turnbull.

Committees were appointed from the section for special investigation as follows:

Committee on Engineeering Data—H. D. Dewell, Chairman; J. H. Dockweiler, Oliver Ellsworth, D. J. Hall, C. G. Hyde, C. N. Kirkbride, G. A. Merrill, C. J. Rhodin, C. B. Wing.

Committee on Finances—Geo. T. Klink, Chairman; W. F. Sampson, J. H. Dockweiler.

Committee on Laws-H. U. Brandenstein, Chairman; L. E. Burks, Oliver Ellsworth, C. G. Hyde, C. N. Kirkbride, C. A. Shurtleff, G. H. Smith and Samuel Spring.

Committee on Plan of Organization-C. E. Grunsky, Chairman; C. G. Hyde, G. T. Klink, Oliver Ellsworth, J. A. Britton, Wynn Meredith, G. A. Merrill, D. J. Hall and J. C. Shinn.

The committee is indebted to Mr. John T. Nourse, Deputy Attorney General of California, for valuable suggestions and criticism of the proposed law.

The investigations of the section were directed chiefly to the administrative problem of supplying water to all communities, without taking up the problem of sources of supply for the present.

The report of the section on this part of the question was presented at the Club meeting of June 14, 1916, and is published in this number of the Transactions.

Syllabus of Reports and Discussion Mr. Grunsky (page 100): The development of the smaller communities around the bay of San Francisco is impeded by the lack of an adequate supply of good water. The sources of water that should naturally be available to some of these communities have been brought under control by the water companies which serve the larger cities on both sides of the bay. The small municipalities will derive special benefit from a coöperative proceeding in the matter of securing an adequate water supply as suggested by this committee. San Francisco and Oakland too will be greatly benefited and will have their problems simplified by coöperation. The proposed plan is such as not to interfere in any way with the internal political affairs of any of the participating municipalities. There will be no coercion, each municipality being given freedom of action.

The suggestion of this plan of forming a bay water district is prompted by the successful operation of the Metropolitan District of Massachusetts, organized over twenty years ago, where some twenty-eight cities and towns are supplied with water by the district. But in the Massachusetts case the district is a state organization. The state, through the water board of the district, issues bonds as may be necessary, develops the water and wholesales it to the towns which are served by the system. The plan as suggested for the cities and towns of the San Francisco bay region departs from the Massachusetts plan in allowing the electors of the municipalities which are to be served to vote on all important questions. By creating the district by direct act of the Legislature and providing for the appointment of the members of the water board by the Governor, efficient management will be secured.

Mr. Galloway (page 107): Decision of committee to confine its work to formulating a plan for united action by twenty communities around the bay. Problem of a source of supply not considered and does not form any part of the subject to be discussed. Chief difficulty is to get the cities to work together. General laws as contrasted with a specific law relating to the case considered and decision made to confine the law to a plan involving the bay region only. Ample precedent in the state for this procedure. . Physical extent of proposed water district limited to twenty municipalities, San Francisco to Mountain View and Richmond to Hayward, inclusive. Experience and laws of the Metropolitan Water District of Massachusetts used as a guide. District plan adopted for the bay region.

The proposed law includes the following: An act is passed by the state Legislature and the district is formed. No action is taken until certain cities named in four groups initiate a movement to complete the formation of the district. Any one group of cities may request that an election be called. Any other city may join with the group. Requests are made by resolution of council or by initiative petition. Election called by Governor. Election held by municipal authorities. A negative vote allows any city to drop out. Water district

governed by board of three members appointed by Governor of the state. Four-year terms, salary $10,000.

Duties of board to secure water and sell it wholesale to the municipalities. Municipalities distribute water, collect for it and pay the water district. No expenditure of money in excess of $100,000 unless by vote of the electors. Hydro-electric power may be developed if a part of the general system of water supply.

Mr. Dewell (page 112): Report covering twenty cities to be included in proposed metropolitan water district. Tables of area (about 140,000 acres), population (1910) 671,671; probable increase; present water consumption for various units and probable increase, etc. Mr. Adams (pages 116, 120): Moves resolution as follows:

"Resolved, That in the opinion of the members of the Club present tonight, it will be to the interest of the bay cities named in the report of the section to coöperate in the formation of a water district substantially on the lines suggested by the section." Seconded.

Mr. Cornish (page 117): Question how to acquire local distributory systems.

Mr. Dockweiler (page 118): Difficulty of getting concert of action on the part of the smaller communities. Experience shows probably San Francisco will have to solve problem for peninsula; east bay region will have to solve its own problem by itself. District plan is final solution, when communities can be got to work together. Meanwhile some like Richmond cannot wait.

Mr. Merrill (page 119): Any pipe-line to San Francisco will run through the entire length of peninsula, and population along line will look to that pipe-line for supply of water. San Francisco now takes what should be the water supply of San Mateo, and question would have come to acute issue before this had it not been for prospect of supply from Hetch Hetchy. Cannot see visible supply for communities of San Mateo county except through coöperation with San Francisco.

Mr. Kirkbride (page 120): Objections to form of proposed water commission waived on account of efficiency. Benefits of coöperation among cities-instance, mosquito districts.

Mr. Schussler (page 121): Development of present water supply by Spring Valley company, on peninsula and in Alameda and San Mateo coun

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