Wilderness and The American Mind

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Wildernessand The American Mind

Institutionof Learning

Wildernessand The American Mind


TheHetchy Hetchy water project is an issue that raised a lot ofcontroversy in America, as illustrated by Nash in chapter 10 of hisbook Wilderness and the American Mind. After analyzing the argumentsput forward by this author, there are various reasons as to why Isupport the Hetchy Hetchy water supply. The first reason is that thepeople of San Francisco have a right to access water (Nash, 1974)Dueto its growing population, alternative water sources were anecessity, and the dam provided a solution. Another reason why Isupport this water supply is that as the population grew, the needfor electricity consequently grew. The hydro-electric power thatcould be provided by this dam would cater for their electrical needs.Another reason was the need to break Spring Valley Water Companymonopoly. Creating competition was essential to ensure that theresidents were not taken advantage of by one company. Lastly, the damwas economical, and it is always advisable to put natural resourcesto good use.


Themain opposition argument I have against Hetchy Hetchy dam is the needto conserve the environment. Sometimes, conservation is crucial atthe expense of development for the sake of the future. The people ofSan Francisco should leave the valley untouched and look for otherwater sources downstream and outside the park(Nash, 1974).Natureshould be protected from human interference, and its beauty enjoyed.The Hetchy Hetchy Valley was a unique spectacle in nature, and thiscalls for its preservation for future generations. Any interferencein the valley in the name of development would be to the benefit of afew and loss to many. In the end, the natural beauty of the valley ismore valuable than the water it is intended to supply.


Nash,R. (1974). Wildernessand the American Mind.New Haven, Conn: Yale Univ.