Abdulla Alshehi, a businessman from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), plans to tow an iceberg from Antartica to the Arabian Gulf in an effort to supply the dry Arab Emirates with a steady supply of drinkable water.
The businessman, however, plans to trial this project’s viability first by towing a smaller iceberg to one of two cities – Cape Town, or Perth in Australia.
During an interview with Euronews, Alshehi said that the preliminary testing for this project may cost as much as $80-million, and the project’s overall cost is estimated to cost between $100-150 million. The iceberg may also measure at two kilometres by 500 metres.
“It will be cheaper to bring in these icebergs and utilise them for freshwater rather than utilising the desalination water,” he said, “because desalination plants require a huge amount of capital investments. Desalination is pumping a huge amount of brine water to the Gulf, making the salinity of the seawater very high, killing even the fish and marine life on the Arabian Sea. So, we believe it will be a more economical and environmentally friendly project to utilise the icebergs’ water not only for the United Arab Emirates, but throughout the world.”
Alshehi is the managing director and founder of the National Advisory Bureau Limited, an advisory firm which specialises in recycling and energy generation.
A different controversial proposal to tow an iceberg to Cape Town in an effort to help alleviate the strain on the Mother City’s water resources was investigated and considered by the Water Research Commission when the Cape was in the grips of a water crisis, but did not go ahead.