Californian politician calls for water to be shipped from Alaska

With California experiencing long term droughts one politician has mooted the idea of shipping water to the state from Alaska. Janice Hahn, a Democrat representative, has met with Alaska Bulk Water CEO Terry Trapp to discuss the idea.

Alaska Bulk Water has the rights to sell up to 9bn gallons of water from Blue Lake in Sitka. Blue Lake is a three-mile long reservoir on the west side of Baranof Island, in the Alexander Archipelago of southeast Alaska.

Rather than moving the water by pipeline – an idea that was debated in the 1960s – Hahn has said she is in favour of moving the water in specially sealed containers.

The cost, however, at six cents a gallon, or roughly 12 times the cost of water in California now, is likely to see this idea nixed.

California is into its fourth straight year of drought, which has caused huge damage to the state’s agricultural sector in particular.

Shipping water by ship is nothing new. Back in the 1960s Hong Kong shipowners reaped huge profits by shipping water to the then British colony in tankers.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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