Could Icebergs End Water Shortages?

Engineer would drag icebergs across ocean

Aug 11, 2011
Outside Magazine

A French engineer has resurrected a plan to solve water shortages by dragging glaciers from Newfoundland to arid climates in Africa and the Middle East. According to Georges Mougin, an 86-year-old engineer, new computer simulations show that pulling a glacier across the Atlantic by barge could feasibly release huge reserves of freshwater to dry areas. Mougin first raised the idea in the 1970s but abandoned it as a time- and cost-inefficient way of producing freshwater. The new model suggests that a properly protected glacier would maintain enough of its mass to make the trip worthwhile. Mining glaciers for water, however, is unlikely to supplant desalination projects, which produce a liter of water for less than a cent. Israel recently announced that it would build the world's largest plant, at a cost of more than $400 million, on the coast of the Mediterranean. Mougin's plan would produce water at roughly five times the cost.

Read more at Scientific American

Not Now

Open a World of Adventure

Our Dispatch email delivers the stories you can’t afford to miss.

Thank you!