UAE is at serious risk of droughts over the next 25 years due to its climate
Most of the countries are thoughtful to avoid the serious effects of expected global warming, United Arab Emirates has come up with a bizarre plan to provide drinking water for the state’s citizens.
A company in UAE intends to haul icebergs from Antarctica to the gulf coast in order to harvest its billions of gallons of fresh water.
The proposal may not be surprising regarding UAE, which is already famous for its indoor ski slope, artificial islands and the world’s tallest building
Abu Dhabi, seat of the seven member UAE federation and the wealthiest of its emirates, consumes 550 litres of water per person per day, according to the state-run Environment Agency — two to three times the world average of 180-200 litres.
The Masdar-based National Advisor Bureau Limited plans to start towing icebergs some 10,000 kilometres from near Heard Island north of Antarctica to the coast of Fujairah in the eastern emirates starting from 2019.
The icebergs hold some 20 billion gallons water each, enough to meet the needs of a million people for five years, according to the environmental consultant firm’s estimates. National Advisor Bureau Limited believes it’ll lose 30 to 40 per cent of each iceberg during the year-long journey.
“We are in need of every single drop of water and, unfortunately, these icebergs are disintegrating from Antarctica and they are floating in the ocean due to global warming,” Abdulla Al Shehi, the company’s managing director told the media.
The company believes that, as most of the icebergs’ mass is underwater, they would not melt significantly during the voyage.
Al-Shehi said each iceberg would hold around 20 billion gallons of fresh water that could be harvested without costly desalinization, which currently provides nearly all of the Gulf region’s water.
UAE’s plan to harvest icebergs faces a wide array of legal, financial and logistical hurdles. However, Al-Shehi said his project is a private initiative and that he would seek government approval once his firm completes its feasibility study.
Robert Brears, the founder of the climate think tank Mitidaption, has studied the feasibility of Antarctic ice harvesting and estimates the project would require an initial outlay of at least $500 million.
Antarctica holds 60 percent of the world’s freshwater, frozen in an ice shelf that sheds nearly 1.2 trillion tons of icebergs per year, according to NASA. The ice loss is accelerating as global temperatures warm.