Guide to North American Water and Power Alliance Records
NMAH.AC.1052

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Archives Center, National Museum of American History 2011

Smithsonian Institution
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C., 20013-7012
Phone: 202-633-3270
Email: archivescenter@si.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Custodial History note

Transferred to the Archives Center in 2007 from the Division of Work and Industry, then known as the Division of Engineering and Industry.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Immediate source of acquisition unknown. Found in the Division of Engineering and Industry, now known as the Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History.

Existence and Location of Copies note

A digital surrogate (RDVD 1052.01) of the videotape, North American Water and Power Alliance, exists.

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Summary Information

Repository
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Creator
North American Water and Power Alliance
Creator
Ralph M. Parsons Corporation (Pasadena, Calif.)
Title
North American Water and Power Alliance Records
ID
NMAH.AC.1052
Date
1964-1990
Extent
0.6 Cubic feet , includes a videocassette and a DVD, (2 boxes)
Language
English
Abstract
The collection contains executive reports, promotional material, correspondence, articles and publications documenting the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA), which was a large-scale, transcontinental water transfer plan designed by the Ralph M. Parsons Corporation in 1964.

Preferred Citation note

[Title and date of item], North American Water and Power Alliance Collection, 1964-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number X, folder number XX, digital file number XXXXXXX

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Biographical/Historical note

The North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA) was a large-scale, transcontinental water transfer plan designed by the Ralph M. Parsons Corporation in 1964. The Parsons Corporation was founded in 1944 to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for government, petrochemical, and infrastructure clients. In the early 1960s, Parsons invested its own financial resources to study and develop a conceptual plan for NAWAPA, which would divert fresh water from Alaska to water-deficient areas of seven Canadian provinces, thirty-three U.S. states, and three Mexican states. The total projected investment was about a hundred billion dollars with construction estimated to take approximately twenty years.

Although the NAWAPA project was never realized, the Parsons Corporation (http://www.parsons.com) continues to provide engineering, construction, technical, and management services to private industries and government agencies.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection contains a promotional video, correspondence, plans, studies, reports, articles, newspaper clippings, and newsletters, which document the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA), a large scale, transcontinental water transfer plan designed by the Ralph M. Parsons Corporation in 1964 to collect excess water from the northwestern part of the North American continent and distribute it to deficient areas of Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Series 1, Plans and Studies, 1964-1989, is arranged topically and contains conceptual studies, executive plans, summaries, and papers and presentations about the NAWAPA project. The conceptual plans (Volumes One, Two and Five), detail the engineering, financial, and sociogeopolitical aspects of the project, while the other materials provide overall background and context for the project's conception.

Series 2, Correspondence, 1974-1990, is arranged chronologically and contains letters and interoffice memoranda about the NAWAPA project. The contents of the letters primarily relate to efforts to gain federal government support for the NAWAPA. The majority of the correspondence was created by Joseph Volpe, Jr., Vice-President of Parsons Corporation and W.E. Leonhard, Chairman and CEO of Parsons Corporation. Correspondence from congressional representatives such as Senator Fran E. Moss (D-Utah) and Representative Harold T. (Bizz) Johnson (D-California) are present. There are some tax returns, letters and interoffice memoranda concerning the dissolution of the NAWAPA Foundation Inc., which was a subsidiary of the Parsons Corporation.

Series 3, Reference Materials, 1964-1990, is arranged topically and contains brochures, articles, publications, newspaper clippings, notes, and audio visual materials documenting the NAWAPA project and water issues. Materials from the National Water Alliance, National Democratic Policy Committee (Water from Alaska), and the Water Policy Report of the Western Governors' Association are represented. The NAWAPA promotional video tape on 1/2" VHS, circa 1964, was originally shot on 16mm color film and produced by the Ralph M. Parsons Corporation. The film depicts still images of landscapes, mostly rivers and reservoirs, and engineering projects such as dams, hydroelectric power plants and irrigation systems. The film is narrated and discusses the importance of the NAWAPA project. A digital surrogate (RDVD 1052.01) of the videotape exists.

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Arrangement note

The collection is organized into three series.

Series 1, Plans and Studies, 1964-1989

Series 2, Correspondence, 1974-1990

Series 3, Reference, 1964-1990

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Brochures--1950-2000.
  • Correspondence--1950-2000.
  • Reports
  • Videotapes

Geographic Name(s)

  • Great Lakes (North America)
  • Ogallala Aquifer

Subject(s)

  • Conservation of natural resources
  • Engineering--20th century
  • Lobbying
  • Water transfer
  • Water-power

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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note

A digital reference surrogate exists.

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Collection Inventory

Series 1, Plans and Studies, 1964-1989 

Conceptual Study (Engineering), Volume 1, 1964 December 7 


  Box Folder
Text   1 1

Conceptual Study (Financial), Volume 2, 1965 March 1 


  Box Folder
Text   1 2

Conceptual Study (Sociogeopolitcal), Volume 5, 1966 March 17 


  Box Folder
Text   1 3

Executive Plans and Summaries, undated 


  Box Folder
Text   1 4

Papers and Presentations, 1966-1980 


  Box Folder
Text   1 5

National Waterways Study, 1981 July 


  Box Folder
Text   1 6

North American Water and Power Alliance booklet, circa 1960s 


  Box Folder
Text   1 7

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Series 2, Correspondence, 1974-1990 

1974-1978 


  Box Folder
Text   1 8

1981-1984 


  Box Folder
Text   1 9

1984-1990 


  Box Folder
Text   2 1

Interoffice, 1982-1990 


  Box Folder
Text   2 2

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Series 3, Reference Materials, 1964-1990 

National Water Alliance, 1983-1990 


  Box Folder
Text   2 3-4

National Democratic Policy Committee (NDPC)/Water from Alaska, 1981-1982 


  Box Folder
Text   2 5

Water Policy Report, undated 


  Box Folder
Text   2 6

Articles and Publications, 1964-1983 


  Box Folder
Text   2 7

Notes and Contacts, circa 1982 


  Box Box
Text   2 8

North American Water and Power Alliance (promotional video), undated 


  Box Folder
Moving Images   2 9

North American Water and Power Alliance (RDVD 1052.01), undated 


  Box Folder
Moving Images   2 10

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