View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

I t i s my understanding that a decision to include an appraisal of
•water resources in the objectives of the North Pacific Planning Project did
not take very definite foim u n t i l May of this year or not long prior thereto.
Although undertaken after many other objectives were being appraised,
I believe that representatives of Canada and the United States aw trying
earnestly to make up for l o s t tdme#
I t i s encouraging to know:, from Mr* Wardle*s discussion, that tangible
progress has been made in Canada* Urns far, progress, so far as the United
States i s concerned* has been largely in the way of inventorying information
alreacfy- available and laying plans for the future*
I t 3eems to me that waters-resources investigations in the North
Pacific area should be segregated into two categories: 1; potentialities;
and 2, hazards or limitations imposed by the behavior of surface- and
ground-water sources of supplies, particularly in the regions of permanently
frozen ground*
The potentialities are located primarily along the southwestern coast
of Alaska and along the coastline of British Columbia* ftiose areas are
included within one of the important -water-power concentrations in the
world* That concentration embraces not only the North Pacific coastline
but also most of British Columbia and most of the Pacific Northwest in the
United States^ and includes perhaps 5 or 6 per cent of the water power
of the world* I t i s located within easy transmission distance of
excellent harbors, i t i s well supplied with raw materials, and the climate
i s credited with being highly favorable to human accomplishment* In
contrast, most of the other regions of high water-power concentration
in the world are located in the tropics, far removed from the f a c i l i t i e s
of ocean transportation, where dense tropical jungles interfere with
development and where the climatic conditions are l e a s t favorable to huaan
accomplishment* Africa, with nearly 40 per cent of the water power of the
world, makes the l e a s t use of it* Ihe most recent information available
indicates that less water power has been developed in Africa than in
British Columbia* I believe i t i s desirable, therefore, to present as clear
a picture as possible, i^th existing information, of the water-power
possibilities of the North Pacific Planning Project*
An important oonsider&tion to be borne in mind i s tftat the water-power
potentialities of the North Pacific Planning Project arc apt to increase as
more information i s obtained* In the parts of British Columbia vhich have
been studied most intensively, and in the Northwestern States of the United
\J Abstract of remarks made by Glenn L# Parker, Chief Hydraulic Bagineer,
United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.

States, the accumulation of water data during the past 30 years has more than
doubled the recognized potentialities #
The hazards or limitations imposed by frozen ground, ice, and lade
of water deserve equal attention because adequacy of water supplies in much
of the interior countiy wiH be a determining factor in industrial growth
and in the population that can be expected to remain in that area perennially.
The scarcity of water for industrial and domestic purposes and for main*taining satisfactory sanitary conditions within the regions of permanently
frozen ground i s becoming recognized through problems encountered in
building the Alaskan Highway and in establishing military and air bases
in Alaska, Very l i t t l e i s known about the occurrence and behavior of
water in such regions,
Recently, upon request by General Worsham of the Northwest Division
of the Army Engineers, Ectoonton, Alberta, Dr# C* V, ftieis of the Geological
Survey has been * detailed to investigate the water problems along the
Alaskan Highway. He reported for duty at Edmonton in the middle of October
and at present i s making a trip along the Highway, As he i s a groundnwater
expert, his observations and conclusions will probably afford a dependable
guide for planning investigational activities in the North Pacific area.
Plans made thus far by the United States Geological Survey for waterresources investigations in Alaska contemplate the establishment of at
least three year-round district offices—one in southeastern Alaska,
probably at Juneauj one in the Yukon-Tknana area, probably at Fairbanks^
and another one down tho Iiower Yukon, perhaps at St t Michael, Year-eround
observations and records will be necessary because during the winter time
the grounds-water and surface~mter supplies are'at a minimum and the
difficulties with ice and frost are most severe.