The National Advisor Bureau Ltd, an Abu Dhabi-based firm, has recently set in motion the UAE-Iceberg Project to tow icebergs from Antarctica to the UAE coasts during the first quarter of 2020. However, before large ocean-going vessels attempt the 12,000-kilometre journey to tow icebergs from the Heard Island in the South Pole to the coast of Fujairah, a trial run is to start in 2019. The project seeks to implement an iceberg project “to leverage them as new sources of water in the region.”
The ambitious project was set in motion as a measure to combat drought in the United Arab Emirates. As explained at sciencealert.com, “[the project] involves dragging Antarctic icebergs [a massive block of ice] more than 9,200 km (5,717 miles) across the Indian Ocean and anchoring them to the Emirates coast as a source of drinking water.”
‘Iceberg utilization’ will not only generate fresh water for the region, but will also make the Emirates the first desert nation to offer glacial tourism! A benefit for the environment and economy.
And that’s not all! The company also aims at creating a program to “harvest icebergs and deliver them to nations around the world with a more competitive pricing in comparison to desalination.” Desalination plants currently supply most of water consumed in the UAE and in many other arid countries in the south of the world.
The blocks of polar ice will be towed and arrive at their destination where they will be crushed into drinking water, which can be stored in large tanks for bottling in a large commercial facility. This effort is definitely not a small-scale endeavor. In fact, there is currently a team of scientists, expert and specialists in the nature of Antarctica and marine science that, in conjunction with universities and research centers, is studying the feasibility of the trip. The company involved, according to tourismnewslive.com, “is currently developing a unique technology which would reduce project costs, ensure zero ice melting during the transportation phase, and facilitate water-transfer processes to costumers at minimal costs. The details of the advanced technology are expected to be officially announced during the fourth quarter of this year.”
The UAE is tackling the problem of the water crisis head on and the UAE-Iceberg project has the potential to save millions of lives around the world! To know more about this incredible feat, be sure to watch the short (Arabic-language) video (https://youtu.be/EnBArsrwnuE) by the National Advisor Bureau Limited to better understand the Emirates Iceberg Project.