UAE to secure freshwater future with bizarre plan to bring iceberg from Antarctica (VIDEO)
"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 from the National Advisor Bureau Limited, the company behind the bizarre idea, told CBC.
Al Shehi says the UAE can collect the billions of liters of water melting from icebergs, a project he hopes will help combat water shortages in the country over the next 15 years.
The plan would involve towing an iceberg from near Heard Island, one of a group Antarctic islands, up to the coast of Fujairah in the east of the UAE. Once there, it can be turned into drinking water at a processing port. It’s thought the project could also provide a unique tourist attraction.
A promotional video for the plan shows crowds flocking to see the iceberg. Curiously, both penguins and polar bears are being dragged along with it – a strange scene considering they don’t live on the south pole.
Part of the plan will also see the UAE terraform their own landscape, with the cool air emitted from the icebergs facilitating a climate change in the region and transforming an area known as the ‘Empty Quarter’ from an uninterrupted sand mass to a lush green garden landscape.
About 30 to 40 percent of the iceberg’s volume will be lost on the 10,000km (6,000 miles) journey which is estimated to take one year, according to National Advisor Bureau.
They claimed the reflective surface of the iceberg will protect it from the harsh UAE heat but did not say how long the icebergs would be expected to survive.
The ambitious plan, if successful, could provide a welcome alternative to the current desalination plants according to Al Shehi. "[Desalination] not only pollutes the air, but it is costly, it burns fuels and it affects the seawater salinity. So many creatures in the sea are affected by this.”
The plan isn’t the first time winter has been brought to the UAE. Despite not having any snowfall Dubai still boasts its own giant ski slope layered with snow produced in a chilled indoor facility. The facility is cool enough to host to groups of penguins.