28 January 2011

protecting San Francisco's water supply

An owl, off duty and housed at the old baseball field in Moccasin, California.

The City and County of San Francisco is using birds of prey to manage the water quality at Moccasin Reservoir.  The birds and their handlers keep ducks and other migratory waterfowl off the reservoir in order to maintain the quality of San Francisco's drinking water.  These birds scare off other birds that would defecate in what becomes drinking water 150 miles west of this point.  By employing these birds and their handlers, San Francisco reduces the amount of chemicals needed to treat their drinking water.  San Francisco runs their water through filtration systems, but the less pollutants in it beforehand, the less they have to clean it, and the less the City has to spend cleaning it, before it reaches the tap.  The birds housed in these non-permanent fence-structures constitute a living, breathing, and flying, and ecologically-friendly part of the system of water delivery for San Francisco.  This encampment of trailers, pickups and fences represents a support structure for the infrastructure that delivers water to San Francisco.

Birds of prey at rest.  Moccasin.

Moccasin Reservoir.  December 2010. 

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