50 Million Gallons of Water Lost Into San Francisco Bay After Vandals Attack Dam

Like more than 90% of California, the county of Alameda — located just east of San Francisco Bay — is currently in a state of severe drought.

On Thursday (5/21), Alameda’s water shortage just became even more dire after vandals destroyed an inflatable dam on Alameda Creek, causing nearly 50 million gallons of water to spill into San Francisco Bay.

According to officials from the Alameda County Water District, the amount of water lost would have been enough to serve 500 families for a whole year.

This is what the Alameda Creek Dam looked like before it was destroyed by vandals (Photo: Alameda County Water District)

This is what the Alameda Creek Dam looked like before it was destroyed by vandals on May 21, 2015 (Photo: Alameda County Water District)

“This is a very significant loss of water under any circumstances, and more so in the drought conditions we are experiencing… It is an utterly senseless, destructive, and wasteful thing to do,”

ACWD General Manager Robert Shaver told CBS San Francisco.

Local police say that vandals did irreparable damage to the dam after breaking into a restricted area in the early hours of Thursday morning. According to CBS, the dam was, 

“…holding back the water which was supposed to go into the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin where residents and businesses in Newark, Union City, and Fremont could access the critically needed supplies. 81,000 customers are in that area.”

Investigators at the site  of the destroyed dam in Fremont, CA (Photo: David Louie/ABC 7 News via Twitter)

Investigators at the site of the destroyed dam in Fremont, CA (Photo: David Louie/ABC 7 News via Twitter)

The senseless act of vandalism is certainly a blow for Alameda, but the County Water District says that there is still enough water to handle Alameda’s needs for the foreseeable future.

“While the water loss was substantial, the District does not believe it will have a long-term impact on its water supply operations,” the ACWD said in a press release. Officials estimate that replacing the dam will cost about $3 million.

Read more from CBS San Francisco.

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