The Sunset Beacon
Agreement to Save Lake Merced
by Supervisor Tony Hall, Seventh District
I am pleased to report on an issue that has had a great many residents on the west side of the city waiting for nearly 20 years.
A plan has finally emerged to restore Lake Merced. Signing an agreement to work together were our own Public Utilities Commission, the city of Daly City and three golf courses, the Olympic Club, Lake Merced Golf and Country Club and SF Golf Club.
During a closed-door session Oct. 22, the SF Public Utilities Commission became the final party to approve two landmark term sheets that set the framework for the future management of the Westside Basin Aquifer. The term sheets have been agreed to by our PUC, Daly City and the golf courses -- and have recently been blessed by Cal Trout.
The first term sheet consists of proposed conjunctive use principles between San Francisco and Daly City.
The second term sheet consists of principles of an agreement on the proposed addition of stormwater to Lake Merced from the Daly City area. The second term sheet also includes a mutually agreed upon Dec. 17, 2001 deadline for the conclusion of a recycled water purchase agreement between Daly City, SFPUC and three golf courses.
These term sheets are the byproducts of years of work and four months of judicially mediated negotiations between all the parties.
The overall goal of the term sheet on conjunctive use principles is fourfold:
The overall goal of the second term sheet is simply to improve Lake Merced water levels and address stormwater handling capacity problems. The recycled water negotiations are intended to resolve outstanding issues with regard to the delivery of recycled water to the golf clubs so they do not draw water from the Westside Basin.
- a net increase in Westside Basin groundwater levels over time;
- prevention of potential intrusions of seawater into the underground aquifer;
- development of increased SFPUC water yield from the overall surface and groundwater system;
- improving Lake Merced water levels. This is an important goal.
During the first few months of the year, I met individually with all the parties involved on numerous occasions. They all came together for the first time May 30 to sit around one small table. They spent the summer hammering out this agreement.
This agreement represents a rebirth for Lake Merced and I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the hard work of those involved.
In addition to the SFPUC and city of Daly City, I would also like to thank my colleagues on the board who voted for a $2 million appropriation in this year's budget. The majority of that money will be used for the stormwater diversion project.
I would also like to thank City Attorney Louise Renne's office, and in particular Deputy City Attorney Josh Millstein, and my aides, Sean Elsbernd and Mary Landers.