Farm Press Blog

Oil tankers, not icebergs, a water scarcity solution?

RSS

Table of Contents:

  • Towing icebergs to ease water scarcity is yesterday; transporting water in supertankers is today.

Also in the 1970s, Mohammad al-Faisal, a member of the Saudi royal family, tried to tap French engineer Georges Mougin’s iceberg ideas in a massive undertaking. Al-Faisal wasn’t quite P.T. Barnum, but he did manage to command the attention of popular culture with promises that quickly faded. From Fast Company: “Faisal planned on wrapping a 100-million-ton iceberg in sailcloth and plastic and tugging it from the North Pole to the Red Sea, though the cost was estimated at an exorbitant $100 million. For a swank conference on "iceberg utilization," he even managed to ship, via helicopter, plane, and truck, a two-ton "mini-berg" from Alaska to Iowa, where the giant block of ice was chipped apart to chill delegates' drinks. According to a Time report from October of 1977, Faisal predicted that he'd have an iceberg in Arabia ‘within three years.’”

In 2011, the iceberg movement caught fire again when Mougin and a group of French engineers claimed simulations showed iceberg towing might work under opportune conditions. They said it would take five months to pull a sleeve-insulated iceberg from Newfoundland to North Africa and 60 percent of a 7-ton iceberg would remain after the trip — but at a cost of $10 million. Not exactly prime bait for potential investors.

Georges Mougin is not giving up his plans to harvest icebergs — at 88, he still believes his basic principles on towing are correct, and success is a matter of time and detail.

As for Gudnason and Aqua Omnis, they believe they’ll have their water fleet running within three years.

 

Follow me on Twitter: @CBennett71

Email me: cbennett@farmpress.com

 

*Photo courtesy of Kim Hansen, Wikimedia Commons

Blog archive

US agriculture readies for China’s baby boom?

Harold Hamm, sharecropper to oil and fracking tycoon

The myth of the aging US farmer

Cargo theft, cattle rustling cripple farmers and ranchers

Pig farmer replays Deliverance with repo men

Where is one-fifth of the world’s fresh water hiding?

Who are the top 100 private landowners in the US?

Farmer cheats death with pocketknife

Brad Kelley, the farm boy with 1 million acres

Discuss this Blog Entry 0

Post new comment
or to use your Western Farm Press ID
What's Farm Press Blog?

The Farm Press Daily Blog

Connect With Us

Blog Archive
Continuing Education Courses
New Course
California is becoming the first state in the nation to invoke regulations to reduce Volatile...
New Course
Ant control is an important element of harvesting a high quality almond crop. It starts with...
This accredited CE course focuses on choosing the correct variety alfalfa based on a number of...

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×