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Thursday, June 6, 1991 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Diversion Project Would Deliver B.C. Water To California

AP

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - A Canadian entrepreneur has entered the race to supply water to drought-stricken California by announcing plans for a diversion project.

Bill Clancey of Vancouver and two private investors from Washington state said yesterday they've spent $500,000 on a preliminary proposal to divert water from a Canadian watershed to a proposed U.S. pipeline.

The concept is more environmentally sound than some other firms' proposals for energy-consuming tanker shipments of British Columbia water to California, Clancey said.

And while U.S. desalination plants might have a head start, he said his group hopes to catch up quickly and attract U.S. cities to help pay for the multi-billion-dollar project.

Clancey's proposal would provide California with 2,740 acre-feet of water a day, the equivalent of 5,000 large public swimming pools.

Water from the upper North Thompson River, about 75 miles west of Jasper, Alberta, would be diverted to the Columbia River, said Clancey, who served as an aide to late British Columbia Premier W.A.C. Bennett.

From there, the water would flow to Oregon near a dam where a 300-mile pipeline would be built to empty into a lake near Alturas, Calif., then to the Shasta Reservoir and eventually as far south as San Diego.

Clancey's partners , are Gerald Shupe, a civil engineer, and Steven Strasser, a lawyer, both from Bellevue. They will serve as consultants on the project, which they estimate would cost $3.8 billion.

Clancey's consortium would spend $4.5 million during the next two years to produce engineering blueprints and an environmental-impact study.

First, they must meet with British Columbia environment officials later this month to seek their preliminary blessing to divert water from the North Thompson.

Clancey's group would need numerous government approvals to meet the project's proposed start in 1994.

Copyright (c) 1991 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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