Guide to North American Water and Power Alliance Records

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1052
Creators:
North American Water and Power Alliance.
Ralph M. Parsons Corporation (Pasadena, Calif.)
Dates:
1964-1990
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
0.6 Cubic feet
2 boxes
Repository:
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.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
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.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is organized into three series.
Series 1: Plans and Studies, 1964-1989
Series 2: Correspondence, 1974-1990
Series 3: Reference, 1964-1990

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
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.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
A digital surrogate (RDVD 1052.01) of the videotape, North American Water and Power Alliance, exists.
Processing Information
processed by Kristin Davidson, intern, 2011.
Author
Kristin Davidson
Immediate Source of Acquisition
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.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Preferred Citation
North American Water and Power Alliance Collection, 1964-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
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
Custodial History
Transferred to the Archives Center in 2007 from the Division of Work and Industry, then known as the Division of Engineering and Industry.

Other Finding Aids
Other Finding Aids
Inventory available.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Reports Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ogallala Aquifer Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lobbying Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Great Lakes (North America) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 1950-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Water-power Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Water transfer Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Videotapes Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Engineering -- 20th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Conservation of natural resources Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brochures -- 1950-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives