The Alaska Department of Natural Resources (ADNR) has received three applications from the Aleut Corporation for bulk water removal from Adak Island. The ADNR will determine if the water requested is surplus and will leave enough in the lakes and rivers for fish as well as hydrologic functions.
According to the state's chief of water resources, Gary Prokosch, it will take up to a year to determine if the bulk removal permits will be issued. Adak Island, located 2,000 km southwest of Anchorage on the Aleutian chain, was the site of a naval air station that closed in 1997. The Aleut Corporation, which was established as a native Alaskan-owned corporation in a 1971 federal land claims settlement, acquired the naval base property in a land swap. Fewer than 300 people live on the island, which is today mainly used as a fishing supply hub.
Included in the deal were three reservoirs which the navy used for water supply, according to Tony Cange (president of Aleut Real Estate). The company has applied for bulk water removal permits of 500,000 gallons per day for each of the three reservoirs on the former base, including lakes Betty, Bonnie Rose and DeMarie. 'One of the advantages Adak has is the infrastructure for a deepwater port and a location to make the economics work,' Cange said. 'Revenue from the water sales would help fund economic development projects on the island', he added. The corporation is in discussions with an investor from Vancouver, British Columbia about a contract for moving the water, but no agreement has yet been reached.
The first time Aleut Corporation considered bulk water was in 2000, but the application process was not completed. Water investors have long looked at Alaska as a potential source for global water shipments, but no company has been able to complete a bulk water sale. Many of the Alaskan proposals have focused on the southeastern city of Sitka.
Alaska Resource Management LLC is negotiating the building of a water bottling and distribution facility near Mumbai, India so that it can export water it has under contract from the city's Blue Lake reservoir. Aqueous International, another company with water exporting ambitions, submitted bulk removal applications to the ADNR in June but the applications were apparently returned because they were missing a coastal management questionnaire.