Sunday, May 28, 2006

Canadians fearful of U.S. water grab :: Las Vegas Sun
Next Big Idea for Dubai?
In 1964, a politically well-connected California engineering firm, the Ralph M. Parsons Co., now Parsons Corp., proposed a huge water distribution system that would tie the Great Lakes to Canada's Pacific Coast, with pipelines extending to Texas, Southern California and Southern Nevada. The North American Water and Power Alliance was never built, but it would have connected Canadian water supplies to 33 U.S. states and even Mexico.
. . .
Jim Deacon, a UNLV professor emeritus of environmental studies, says the biggest problem with bringing water from Canada is that there are alternatives that would be far cheaper: "Nothing is impossible, but it just sounds like such an expensive proposal compared to other options that are available. There are a lot of options there that are likely to be more practical, more technologically feasible and cheaper than going to Canada."

The cost of desalting ocean water has dropped below $900 for an acre-foot of water, or about 326,000 gallons, and continues to fall, Deacon says. The cost for pumping water to Las Vegas from Lake Mead is now about $250 an acre-foot. While there are no estimates for the cost of bringing water to Las Vegas from Canada, Deacon expects that would be higher .

Despite the doubters, the specter of water exports is likely to continue to scare our neighbors.
Economics suggests that the water would not be sold at the pumping cost, but at something closer to the next highest-cost alternative source for additional water supplies.

If the neighbors to the North are the ones who selling the water, why should they be scared? The answer is that those that are scared sense that they will not be consulted if and when Canada decides to sell vast quantities of water to the US.

Caution to those in the UAE who might want to apply this idea for importing water, say, from Russia: remember that the water can be turned off at the source.

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