The United Arab Emirates is planning to tow icebergs from Antarctica to solve its water crisis, according to a report in Gulf News. A Masdar city-based company — the National Advisor Bureau Limited — plans to tow the iceberg from Antarctica to the coast of the eastern emirate of Fujairah and then mine it for drinking water. ‘Project Iceberg’ is expected to start in 2018 with the transportation process taking at least one year.
The typical iceberg is said to hold over 20 million gallons of water – enough for the consumption of 1 million people over five years.
The seemingly novel concept has been around for more than a century though. Since 1825, plans to tow the ice islands with “air pumps” and “pipes” have been contemplated. In 2016, Russia carried out towing tests with the Arctic Science Centre to protect marine infrastructure.
The UAE project, however, will be a pioneer in long distance transportation of icebergs for practical use. According to Abdullah Mohammad Sulaiman Al Shehi, NABL’s managing director, the cold air from the iceberg will combine with the hot desert air to condense as rain, thus altering the climate and providing, perhaps, a more lasting solution.
Updated Date: May 08, 2017 17:59 PM