All-American Canal Lining Project (CA)

One of the Largest Water Conservation Programs in America

Parsons received a four-year contract award from the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) to provide project management and construction management of a new 23-mile-long, concrete-lined canal parallel to the existing All-American Canal (AAC). Constructed in the 1930s through sand, the AAC conveys about 3.1 million acre-feet of water per year and is located adjacent to the international border about 160 miles east of San Diego. The IID is the largest irrigation district in the United States with nearly 500,000 irrigated acres, and the AAC is the major conveyance facility for drinking and agricultural water from the Colorado River to the Imperial Valley.

Collaboration is key to addressing seepage issues

The existing canal is unlined, resulting in substantial water loss due to seepage. The canal lining project was authorized under Title II of Public Law 100-675, which was signed into law in November 1988. Today, the IID operates and maintains the AAC under a contract with the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR).

The Parsons project office is located in Imperial, CA. The Project team includes: Richard Trembath, Project Director; Uli Kappus, Project Manager; Tim Larson, Construction Manager; Cornelius Lacks, Safety Manager; Larry Bell, Deputy Manager; Rick Cox, Design Coordination Manager; Bruce Snyder, Environmental Compliance; Christopher Clairmont, Project Controls; and Claudia Martinez, Administrative Assistant.

The project consists of environmental compliance, permitting, and mitigation activities; preparation of schedules, plans, specifications, and cost estimates; administration; design; construction management; and implementation of environmental mitigation measures. The conserved water will meet the potable water supply needs of about 500,000 people in southern California.

The 23-mile section of the existing earthen canal to be concrete lined will be constructed parallel to the existing canal alignment using conventional construction methods. About 30 million cubic yards of primarily sandy material will be excavated followed by the concrete lining operations. The existing unlined section of the canal will remain in service to provide water to IID customers during construction. The project is in the final design phase, and construction will begin in the spring of 2006 and is expected to take 2½ years. Upon completion, the IID will operate and maintain the new canal in accordance with its existing USBR contract.

Safety comes first

Safety comes first with Parsons, and our goal on this project is zero safety incidents. Multiple safety layers are infused into project execution, including USBR Safety and Health Standards, California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (CalOSHA), and the Parsons Safety Program. Our safety program is working—we have had no recordable incidents.

Parsons has worked on the project for one year, attending work meetings with the design consultants, the clients’ project coordinating committee, the U.S. Border Patrol, and many other entities. Parsons developed a detailed Primavera project master schedule and a project management plan for both the design and construction phases that features a strong safety section in accordance with Parsons’ SHARP (Safety, Health, and Risk Program) Management. Parsons has also developed a comprehensive financial reporting system to track total project expenditures and future cash flows projections. 

Parsons is currently conducting a comprehensive geotechnical program to provide critical information for the canal design. In addition, Parsons is planning for and will host a constructability/value engineering workshop and is preparing a prequalification request for interested contractors. The program remains on schedule and on budget.