Vandals damaged an inflatable dam on Alameda Creek Thursday morning, leading to the loss of 50,000,000 gallons of water, CBS reports.
The dam, which has been in place since 1971, was in a restricted area and was holding back water that would have flowed into the Niles Cone Groundwater Basin, which provides water for Newark, Union City, and Fremont. Due to the damage, the water flowed into the San Francisco Bay instead.
“This is a very significant loss of water under any circumstances, and more so in the drought conditions we are experiencing,” said ACWD General Manager Robert Shaver. “It is an utterly senseless, destructive, and wasteful thing to do.”
The amount of water lost was enough to serve 500 families for a year. Fremont police are investigating the crime.