Icebergs represent new water source
Wednesday, August 17, 2011/
A French engineer is planning to tow an iceberg from Antarctica to Australia in a trial product aimed at eliminating drought.
Georges Mougin hopes it will prove that icebergs can be used to provide water to drought-ridden areas in third world countries.
Mougin’s plan was dismissed more than 40 years ago. However, new computer technology has shown that his idea of tapping into “floating reservoirs” is viable and affordable.
New computer modeling has shown that an iceberg could be transported thousands of kilometers without the iceberg melting.
Mougin’s scheme involves lassoing a suitable iceberg and wrapping its submerged section in an insulating skirt to prevent it melting while it is being towed.
A 30-million tonne iceberg could provide half a million people with fresh water for a year. Mougin now hopes the latest evidence will enable him to test his theory next year.
While this idea might sound overambitious, it sends a message about the pressing need to access alternative water sources. Does this represent a new frontier for entrepreneurs?