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Water Train Inc. seeks test project partners

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Water Train Inc., an operating unit of Modoc Railroad, has begun solicitations of private persons, companies and municipal governments to participate in the operation of a water test train.

The test Water Train will contain 190,000 gallons of Environmental Protection Agency-approved, treated and cleaned water designed for agricultural or groundwater recharge use. “While too late in the 2015 year for most row and stone fruit crops, it does give potential Water Train users time to identify and develop unloading and distribution sites,” the company said.

Water Train Inc. says it has been developing water transport railcars and studying train dynamics involved in fluid transportation for more than two years. A fleet of more than 300 railcars has been dedicated to the Water Train project with a potential capacity of more than 154 million gallons (472.6 acre-feet) of water in a growing season. (1 acre-foot = 325,851 gallons)

“Even with the forecasted wet El Nino winter, California agricultural water users still may be granted limited surface water and forced to depend on rapidly depleting ground water sources,” the company said. “While Water Train Inc. also has drinking water capabilities, the goal is to reach the largest water consumers in California, who account for more than 60% of California’s water consumption.”

Offers of project participation will be sent to large water users and several Central Valley cities. According to Water Train President Dave Rangel, “There has been much discussion of construction of pipelines to divert water from far-away rivers and lakes. But that process would take years for planning and development. The Water Train is ready now. Think of the Water Train as a giant water hose, able to be moved around to where water is needed today. While not a replacement for surface or subterranean sources, the Water Train does represent a business sustaining option. Given the extreme measures some are taking in terms of extraction and a finite water supply, we feel the time is right to explore this option.”

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