A Texas company has announced that it is moving forward with a plan to ship 2.9 billion to 9 billion gallons of water a year from the small Alaskan town of Sitka to the west coast of India. If the company, S2C Global Systems, succeeds in carrying out the shipments, the deal would represent the world’s first regular, bulk exports of water via tanker. The city of Sitka, a water-rich community of 8,600 people located on Baranof Island off Alaska’s southeast coast, is supporting the plan to export the water for a penny a gallon from its Blue Lake reservoir.
S2C Global Systems, which is partnering with an Alaska company called Alaska Resource Management, announced in a press release that it has located a port south of Mumbai capable of offloading the water and shipping it to cities in India, as well as to countries in the Middle East and Asia. Depending on how much water it ships to India, the city of Sitka could earn $26 million to $90 million annually from the controversial deal, according to the Web site Circle of Blue, which first reported prospective shipment. Such bulk exports of water have been proposed before in Canada and elsewhere, but have never come to fruition because of logistics and concerns about natural resource sovereignty.