A marine salvage expert is making an innovative (and bit crazy) proposal to tow a giant iceberg to Cape Town, and melting it down to drinking water to offer a solution to the water crisis. The idea is to tow icebergs thousands of miles from Antarctica to regions where water is scarce and could be brought to shore to produce a substantial amount of drinking water.
Abdulla Alshehi, who is the founder of the National Advisor Bureau states that 1.2 billion people do not have access to clean water and this technique could be revolutionary to helping some of the world’s thirstiest regions. However, the general concern is the fact that the iceberg would melt a substantial amount along the way, or may fall apart completely. Alshehi estimates that about 30 percent of a large iceberg would melt along the way from Antarctica to the United Arab Emirates. However, he believes that the amount of fresh water trapped within one of the icebergs is substantial enough to meet the drinking water needs of 1 million people for about five years.
This is a $60 million dollar effort that could start as soon as next Spring so the goal of providing drinking water to countries and regions that need it. Alshehi plans to deliver a steady amount of icebergs to regions where it is desperately needed. The icebergs could weigh up to 100 million tons. Towing these monsters is no easy task so the plan is to have vessels tow, and seek out favorable ocean currents so that the iceberg would be easier to tow. One trip would take about 11 months.
The icebergs that would be taken to these regions have already broken away from the main Antarctic ice sheet and are floating far from the continent. Hauling these gigantic chunks of ice to regions where water is scarce, could help a community that is in suffering from the water crisis.