How Hauling Icebergs Can Save the World’s Thirstiest Regions

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How Hauling Icebergs Can Save the World’s Thirstiest Regions

Sydney Fish, Contributor

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Some of the world’s largest cities face a shortage of drinking water. The main regions in need of water are India, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia.  This idea of towing icebergs thousands of miles from Antarctica to starving regions, and producing fresh water has been discussed since the 1970’s. Abdulla Asheila, a founder of the National Advisor Bureau said, “1.2 billion people don’t have access to clean water, and by 2050, 50 percent of the world will face water shortages. Water shortages can cause crops to die, wells dry out, and people would have to be strict on the amount of water that they are drinking. The way they plan to haul the icebergs is by throwing nets and chains onto it and towing it behind a boat to Australia or South Africa. If this plan succeeds then they will sell it to the government. This whole plan would ultimately cost 60 million dollars. Asheila eventually would end up needing more people to help with this plan, so experts from France, Norway, and South Africa would pitch in. These experts planned to create their own mission by raising funds. Their mission was to tow an iceberg to Cape Town in South Africa. Cape Town had a severe loss of water which eventually made them limit their shower time to 90 seconds. The iceberg is 2,000 by 7,000 feet and weighs around 100 million tons. These types of icebergs are too heavy to tow with one boat so their plan was to call for the vessels to speed the process. The plan to obtain the water is by crushing the iceberg when it is offshore, then they would load the ice onto tanker ships then take it to shore. After that, the water would be purified and sold to private water companies and the government. One of the main problems is that the icebergs will end up melting on the way and fall apart when it is being delivered. A glaciologist from University of Washington said, “Transporting ice over these distances will be a major challenge. Not only do they have to deal with losses of ice due to direct melting, they have to prevent the mechanical breakup of the iceberg as surface melt accumulates any pre-existing weaknesses will affect the iceberg’s resilience to warm ocean water, warm air and stresses induced by towing.” Ashelia figured out a way to solve this problem. Ashelia said, “about 30 percent of a large iceberg would melt on the trip from Antarctica to the UAE. The enormous quantities of fresh water trapped within 100 million and 200 million cubic Meters would be enough to meet the drinking water needs of one million people for five years.” Even though Ashelia said a third of it would be lost, it would be enough to make a difference. This whole process will be able to solve most of the water shortage problems. It is very important to save water especially because no one knows when and where the next water shortage will be hauling icebergs will save these places with water shortage.

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/how-hauling-icebergs-could-help-sustain-world-s-thirstiest-regions-ncna898036

https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/how-cool-roofs-can-pull-plug-water-shortages-ncna814296

 

 

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Sydney Fish, Contributor

My name is Sydney Fish. I am a senior.

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How Hauling Icebergs Can Save the World’s Thirstiest Regions