Water from the Arctic?
● When you are very thirsty and would like a refreshing drink of water, you probably would not dream of going to the Arctic for it. But what about bringing the Arctic to you? Professor Tinco van Hylckama of Texas Tech University reports on a proposal to bring Arctic water to thirsty cities.
In a 1971 article he explained that an average-sized iceberg from Greenland contains sufficient sweet water to supply a town of 60,000 people for a whole year, if one of these icebergs could be towed to a thirsty city. However, he adds: “Greenland icebergs are irregularly shaped and have a habit of going topsy-turvy at times, which makes towing rather risky.”
He calculates, though, that a good-sized tugboat could bring a stable, flat-top iceberg from Antarctica to Australia. The trip might take six or seven months at a cost of one and a half million dollars, and with a loss through melting of half of the ice. Even so, the professor reports, there might be enough sweet water available to supply 4 million people for a year. Even with the cost of constructing piping, pumps and other apparatus, “such water still would be very much cheaper than that of even the most efficient desalinization plant now available.”