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Plans Afoot to Ship Fresh Water from Alaska to India

Company promising tanker deliveries but high cost might make it just a pipe dream

By Lisa Song

Sep 4, 2010

Imagine an oil tanker plowing through the ocean, hauling valuable cargo from resource-rich nations of the world to the countries that need it: but instead of oil, the tanker holds millions of gallons of fresh water.

It’s not a vision from some futuristic film or doomsday novel, but the present-day intention of companies trying to launch the bulk water export business. The idea has been around since the 1990’s, yet no one has succeeded in making it a practical reality.

But last July, the US company S2C Global Systems, Inc. became the latest bulk water wanna-be by announcing it would begin shipping water from Alaska to India within the next six to eight months. Using large class vessels that can hold 50 million gallons at a time, S2C plans to sell the water for both manufacturing and drinking purposes to countries around the Arabian Sea.

"I think it's a dream," said Peter Gleick, a scientist and international water expert, in an interview with SolveClimate News. Gleick is President of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security. "I don't think bulk water transfers of any significant volume are ever going to happen, because the cost of moving water, especially across the ocean, is so high."

Rod Bartlett, managing partner of Alaska Resource Management (a partnership between S2C and True Alaska Bottling), told SolveClimate News that S2C is finalizing legal issues and logistics for a "World Water Hub" on the western coast of India. Once it's built, the hub will be a distribution point from which the company plans to deliver water to target destinations in the Middle East and northern Africa.

"Every nation within a four-day target of the hub is a potential customer or client that will need fresh water," said Bartlett. Without revealing specific details, Bartlett added that S2C has received both spoken and "written expressions of interest."

The water S2C plans to export will come from Alaska's Blue Lake near the city of Sitka, about 90 miles southwest of Juneau. Since 1999, Sitka has promoted itself as a source for bulk water exports; True Alaska Bottling owns the water rights to 8 million gallons per day from Blue Lake.

As to why humans would want to move water around the world, Bartlett explained: "(You move the water) because you can't move the population." Most of the world's freshwater is found near the Poles, while most people live closer to the equator.

Population growth, urbanization and irrigation place are creating increasing demand for water. But climate change is exacerbating the problem of supply, most notably in the Himalayan region, often referred to as Asia’s water tower.

According to a report from King's College in London, about two-thirds of the Himalayan glaciers are shrinking, and decreased runoff will affect water levels in ten major rivers. All together, the rivers' drainage basins are home to 1.3 billion people—close to one-fifth of the world's population.

Many of them live in India. S2C originally chose to build their hub there because they couldn't find an appropriate port in the Middle East. But now, said Bartlett, "as you continue to look at the potential in India, it's going to be a natural place to sell water soon, no question about it."

Desalinated Water 18 Times Cheaper

The idea of moving vast quantities of water is hardly new. The Romans did it with aqueducts; today, California pipes the Colorado River’s water hundreds of miles into its cities and farms. But when you ship water more than 1000 or 1500 miles, said Gleick, "the diesel costs kill you."

International water shipments do occur on small geographic scales. In 1997, Greece began shipping water to the island of Aegina, 13 miles from the Greek coast. Singapore currently imports freshwater from Malaysia but vowed to build desalination plants for increased water security. A plan for Turkey to sell water to Israel was recently suspended due to political tension between the two nations.

What S2C has proposed—moving water halfway around the world, 50 million gallons at a time—is on a scale that dwarfs existing bulk water transfer efforts.

Water Trading

Why do the Indians need water? Could it be because they continue to grow their population to the point that they don't have enough water for them? The problems of overpopulation wont be solved by enableing the idiots to keep breeding themselves into a dystopia. The high illiteracy rate of the third world is a direct result of their inability to control their population growth so what do our leaders say? They say what we need is to allow the third world to occupy our country at least until we achieve parity with them in overpopulation and have as high an illiteracy rate and water shortage as they do. Does this make sense to you?

NAFTA is not a suitable vehicle for trading water!

From June 16-2010:British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell joined his counterparts from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut for the two-day conference at the Pan Pacific Hotel.

Followed by: Lawrence Cannon – Min of Foreign Affairs – Trans boundary Waters Protection Act – May 13, 2010
“The new act strengthens existing protections by bringing waters within federal jurisdiction under a more comprehensive prohibition against bulk water removals. Rivers and streams that cross international borders will now receive the same protection already in place for waters, such as the Great Lakes, that straddle them.

The Act gives the federal government new powers of inspection and enforcement and introduces tough new penalties for violations, including fines of up to $6 million for corporate violations. The bill offers unprecedented federal protection against bulk water exports while respecting provincial constitutional jurisdiction.”

Bill C-26 above moves all Canadian Water into one bucket and opens the door for provinces to make their own deals if NAFTA bulk water trade is implemented.

There were two news items in Alberta. Drumheller Alberta and Okotoks Alberta purchased water allotments. The first was from an unnamed party (insider) the other was from an Oil Company. The latter, cost Okotoks over a million dollars for rights to some 230,000 cubic meters of water annually.

Water allotments have never been sold in the past. The oil companies, towns and cities received them free of charge as did the unnamed insider. Bolstered by the Alberta Government the towns had to pay up.

This adds many dollars to the resource and forces the price of water utilities up in the extreme!. When it comes time to export, they will tell Albertans the cost is the same. Edmonton now has the highest water prices in the world (National Geographic April 2010).

Following the long standing Conservative dream of including water into NAFTA and changing bulk water to a commodity is fore front in their plans. The Conservative Association of Canada went before the Privy Council to argue that Water bulk export was included in NAFTA and were told it was not! They said they would wait for a better day.

With Conservative Governments in across the map now seems like a good time to go for the gold!

If we export water under NAFTA rules (which are inherently unfair and biased towards the US), we must give the Americans first chance at the water and we cannot charge the Americans more money than we are now paying.

The higher they push the prices on Canadian water to Canadians, the higher the exporters can charge for the water going to the US! This is simply price fixing on a grand scale! Under the new scheme, when it comes time to export, people will be paying more money for water than those people in California who are the targeted export market. Costs of the necessary pipelines to export will be added to Canadian water bills.

This is Harper’s dream! . The Canada Environment are running TV is carrying subtle advertisements in fill in spots saying “our water is our finest resource and it must be shared.” This is a north American movement which has been kept away from the eyes of the public.

From the North:
GNWT seeks agreements with provinces to protect water. Yellowknife, N.W.T. - The NWT has developed a strategy to manage the territory's waters, but protecting rivers and lakes at home can't be done without the cooperation of neighbors from the South. Keep in mind the Alberta Pipeline would accommodate a steady flow from the Great Slave Lake!

On the east coast quote:
“Fortunately, there is some hope that the wisdom of water sales may eventually triumph over emotionalism. Last spring the McCurdy Group, a Newfoundland company looking for permission to tanker 13 billion gallons a year from pristine Gisbourne Lake, received an unexpected endorsement from Newfoundland's Liberal Premier Roger Grimes. Mr. Grimes has promised to use the money the government gets from the deal to underwrite university tuition in Canada's poorest province. A better plan would be to auction the rights and use the proceeds for much-needed tax cuts. (A striking difference between the Conservatives and the Liberals)

The above rhetoric is not true; bulk export of water from Lakes is not presently legal!

The McCurdy Group is still waiting for an official go-ahead but thanks to Canadian law, the federal government can't stop the province from granting the permit. "We don't want to sell water in bulk," says Mr. Chretien, "But at the same time, we have to realize that we don't have absolute control of the water. We have control of navigable waters, but we don't have control of other types of water that are under the provincial jurisdiction." Ontario and British Columbia have already said "no" to companies that want to sell water by tanker but if Newfoundland has success in water marketing that might change.”

And in Calgary a quote from the Green Party (Still another Fuzzy named right wing party; this one trying to find an agenda.

* The case for selling Canadian water is being presented more forcefully in the media by SPP proponents, journalists, business strategists and investors seeking profits in this potentially lucrative market.

* Massive NAFTA Super-Corridors, complete with plans for water pipelines, are in the works.

* Bulk water exports were the focus of meetings of the North American Future 2025
Project. According to documents leaked by a Washington-based think tank, SPP meetings in Calgary on April 28, 2007 were to discuss "water consumption, water transfers and artificial diversions of bulk water" with the aim of "maximizing the policy impact.”

And the nail in the coffin from Alberta:
First consider the Peace River is a navigable water legislation changes would have to take place; that is Harper's job.

In the ‘80s the Alberta Government commissioned a fully engineered pipeline by Weatherford on moving water from the Peace River into Southern Alberta, using it to irrigate the pipeline corridor and export huge amounts into the American northern states.

This plan calls for an immense pipe line capable of moving two-thirds of the Peace River Flow through the pipe along with the assurances it will not harm the wild life. This same plan calls for 8 lift stations to move the water; each of them using the electrical power of a small city.

Further, this project was approved, only shelved, until the weather gets dry enough and the public can see the light or, the political opportunity arrives, such as now.

All this ties in with the new dam being proposed on the Peace announced by BC’s Gordon Campbell who at every opportunity is telling the world he is going to usher in a new way of looking after our water resource.

Between the existing dam on the Peace River and the New Dam on the Peace River proposed by Gordon Campbell there will be created a large lake, sufficient to act as a sump to draw down the amount of water this pipeline is capable of, all year around. If there is a shift away from the Conservatives or it comes to Canadian’s attention they are charged exploitative charges on their water service the whole scenario can change.

The only way to break this up is to vote the various participants out of office!

The Federal Liberals' Mr. Ignasiaff, known to have spent much of his time in the US and is very Pro US in his thinking is all for this bulk water export under NAFTA showing he has little regard for Canadians in general.

Pundits place Mr. Ignasiaff as being a professional lecturer in politic with absolutely no experience under foot.

This opinion leaves him very prone to gaffs and this may well be the biggest of them all.

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