A company hoping to sell billions of gallons of water from Blue Lake has three more years to make it work.
True Alaska Bottling, or TAB, will write the city of Sitka a $1 million check in exchange for a three-year extension on exclusive rights to Blue Lake water. The deal was approved by the Sitka Assembly on Tuesday.
TAB is hoping to sell the water in bulk to overseas clients, using tanker ships to transport it. If it succeeds in exporting water in the next three years, its million-dollar deposit gets credited toward the purchase price of the water. If it fails, the city keeps the million. TAB is offering a penny per gallon, which could mean millions for Sitka if the company is successful.
TAB has held the rights to Blue Lake’s bulk water since 2006. It extended the deal three times so far – in 2008, 2009 and 2010. This latest extension expands the amount of water TAB would be allowed to take.
Efforts have been unsuccessful for various reasons. Sitka currently lacks infrastructure to get the water from the lake to a ship in Silver Bay. And potential customers, although interested in purchasing the water, don’t have a place to put it once it arrives.