California Lawmaker Considers Buying Alaska's Water

'An opportunity to think outside the box'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2015 5:44 PM CDT
California Lawmaker Considers Buying Alaska's Water
Blue Lake, Alaska, seen before California swipes all its water.   (Shutterstock)

Apparently taking a cue from Captain James. T. Kirk himself, one California politician is looking into the possibility of shipping 9 billion gallons of water from Alaska to the increasingly dry state, USA Today reports. Rep. Janice Hahn held an exploratory meeting last week with Terry Trapp, the CEO of Alaska Bulk Water. Trapp's company has water rights to Blue Lake in Sitka, Alaska, and he wants to use tanker ships to get that water to California, which is in the fourth year of a serious drought. The Daily Breeze reports Trapp believes his company is part of the solution, though Hahn isn't quite so sold. "I think it was an opportunity to think outside the box," she said following the meeting.

The major hurdle is cost. USA Today reports Trapp wants 6 cents per gallon—or 12 times what California currently pays for its water. That brings the total to $540 million per year for enough water for only 70,000 of California's 12 million families. If that seems a little steep, Hahn agrees, even with Trapp upselling his product as "some of the most pure water on Earth." According to the Breeze, this is a family passion for Hahn, whose father talked about a water pipeline from Alaska when he was in California politics in the 1980s. He wasn't alone. The Juneau Empire reports former Alaska governor Wally Hickel proposed such a pipeline around the same time, though his plan was "widely ridiculed." (Read more California stories.)

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