In order to thwart the ongoing fresh water shortage, the United Arab Emirates have stumbled upon a new plan, that would require towing icebergs from Antarctica to the UAE coastlines. However, in order to make it, the iceberg would have to be towed 10,000 kms.
According to the National Adviser Bureau Limited company, this new source of fresh water could provide the region with an upwards of around 20 billion gallons of water, translating to enough for one million people for five years The company plans to mine the iceberg once it has arrived at the coast of Fujairah.
The UAE encountered a shortage that is so vast, that the area could be looking towards a complete dry land within 15 years. If you take into account that the average Emirati citizen uses about 132 gallons per day, which equates to 80% more than the global average. As it stands, citizens are currently utilizing desalination plants to provide the majority of their drinking water, however, the plants are expensive and require electricity that the country fears they could be unable to provide.
Abdulah Mohammad Suaiman Al Shehi, founder of the National Bureau Limited company, says that an iceberg could cause micro-climates to occur in the are, which would bring natural rain to the area which so desperately needs it. Unfortunately, it could be awhile before they are able to access the benefits that coincide with the use of icebergs.
Shehi predicts that it could take a year to tow the iceberg itself. And icebergs also take quite awhile to melt, as 80% of their landmass is found underwater. The sunlight that does hit the iceberg is reflected back due to its glistening white hue, reducing the amount of water that evaporates. However, he believes that it is worth it because iceberg water is the “purest water in the world.”