Towing Icebergs For Clean Water

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The lack of clean water is already a major crisis around the world. Here are a few facts demonstrating the crisis today:

  1. “The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.”
  2. “At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.”
  3. “80% of all diseases and sicknesses are water borne.”
  4. “65% of the world’s riverine ecosystems are ‘moderately to highly threatened’” from pollution (see link in subheading).

Pretty staggering already. However, one of the unfortunate things we already know about climate change is that it is going to increase the places in the world that are facing severe drought, making the water crisis even worse. So, innovative yet relatively clean solutions to this problem will be extremely important for millions of people. Could towing icebergs to drought-stricken regions be one of those solutions? Dassault Systems thinks so. Check out this video for more:

For a bit of information on the relationship between water and energy, also check out these key water & energy facts.

This post is being sponsored by Dassault.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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25 thoughts on “Towing Icebergs For Clean Water

  • Even the Global Warming/Climate Change argument seems to be falling down, clean water has always been a problem.

    Here’s a cause we support that is taking a very cost effective approach to solving this issue in a sustainable way.

    • “Even the Global Warming/Climate Change argument seems to be falling down”

      Ignorant statement.

    • You decided whether or not CO2 is a greenhouse gas yet, Steeple?

      • Hey Ron, why don’t you give us all a primer on the math of radiant cooling and then I’ll answer your silly question?

        • Just to catch people up, in a previous conversation Steeple was unable to say whether or not carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. I offered to give him a definition to help him decide, but he didn’t get back to me. Generally speaking though, I wouldn’t pay attentions to the climate change opinions of a person who doesn’t seem to know what a greenhouse gas is.

          • Wow, Ron. You really got me there. Since I can’t remember what conversation you are referring to as I have been busy having a life, of course CO2 is a GHG. As is water vapor; I’ve been busy trying to ban evaporation since we last chatted.

            So, tell me all you know about radiant cooling. I’ll be happy to fill in if you can’t swing it.

          • Oh, very good. Your previous reluctance make me think you would never give a straight answer to that question. So just to remind you of the other question I had from the previous conversation, do you think that human activity has increased the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere by over a third?

          • Ron, this is getting tiresome. Answer my question and I’ll answer yours.

          • It’s okay, I’m not tired. Has human activity increased the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by over a third?

          • Well, there you have it, folks. Steeple is able to have strong opinons on global warming but is unable to say whether or not humans have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by over a third. But at least he has now come out and said that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, so that’s something at least. Maybe one day he’ll know whether or not humans have increased its concentration.

          • Ron, you have shown that kind of immaturity that plagues so many of the people who support the AGW argument. Shouting talking points handed to you while refusing to think for yourself is one of major reasons for the poor level of public discourse across a variety of critical issues. Good luck with your life.

          • Thank you for your good wishes, Steeple. Do you think human activity has increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere by over a third? Why can’t you answer this very simple question?

      • Man, that’s some pathetic trolling there. No finesse at all, not even a half-hearted attempt to twist some trivially true factoid around so that it appears to support you. Nah, that’s too hard. It’s much easier to just leap straight into the bald-faced lies straight out of the starting gate. Back to troll school for you.

      • Yes, that’s right Peter. Under Australian law everyone who installs a rooftop solar system is required to continulously burn coal in their backyard. Failure to do so can result in an infraction being received from the Soot Police. At the end of the financial year the infractions are coalated and many carbon copies made. If you have enough black marks against your name the Carbonari drag you before the Thomas the Tank Engine Club where you are forced to explain yourself. If they find your explanation lacking you are then sacrificed to Gilgamax the Demon Lord of Carbon and secret ruler of Australia. All hail Lord Gilgamax! All praise his gift of carbon! All breath his noxious gases!

  • using icebergs as water source and towing them to their destination will aggravate global warming when many nations do it. So I do not support such idea. Have they calculated how much energy to tow the icebergs and then melt it, compared to using very efficient desalination methods? There are combined methods using vacuum and vapor compression, along with nanomembrane distillation techniques that uses less than 5% of typical distillation energy. And yes, they are more energy efficient than reverse osmosis.

  • Why would we do something as difficult as towing icebergs when holistic management will work about a million times better?

  • If your were an employe of DS, you would have gotten the BlueRay disk version of this, including the 3D glasses. They pick a project each year, and give technical support to analysis a problem. It shows off the 3D tools we have, and helps a project that would not otherwise have the means, prove their idea. There is a lot more detail than in full BlueRay than in the 1min clip. For example, the use of large kites don’t make the cut here. I’m not sure who else got the disks, maybe a library.

  • If only icebergs weren’t going to become harder to find over time, requiring new routes and more fuel every few years! Also, made me think of this:
    (go to 1:05 if it doesn’t happen automatically like it *should*)

    The question is, is this less energy intense than desalination? (Keep in mind that desalination is something perfectly fit to using cheaper variable renewable power, because water is stored in large tanks and reservoirs.) I would wildly guess the answer is yes.

    • You missed the point, its just a “IF WE” sale pitch. It really has nothing to do with the Ice.

  • No offense, but this is just silly, just like it has been for the last 40 years. Other tech is much better and getting cheaper all the time.

  • In Australia we’ve had the capacity to ship fresh water from Tasmania to the mainland for a long time but we’ve never gotten around to it. (Rivers in Tasmania are bizarre hydrological oddities. During the winter water actually flows out of them into the ocean.) There’s a lot of politics wrapped up in desalination, but with it beating out much shorter distance water transport I doubt we’ll be snagging ice bergs for water any time soon.

    • No, its New Zealand that has the contaminated green water.

Comments are closed.