The world’s water consumption is higher than ever before, and it is still rising with an average person using about 300L per day. Because of this, people have to think fast on ways to get more water, to stop water scarcity. Unfortunately, people are resting their thought on icebergs and are recently thinking to rely on them as a source to help stop water scarcity. What if we towed an iceberg from the poles, where there are no people, to some dry, populous place and then melted it into freshwater (Madrigal, 2018)?
Places like Ethiopia or Eritrea in Africa are in a drought crisis and need water fast, with an estimated 8 million of Ethiopia’s 60 million people at immediate risk due to drought and 1.3 million people are at risk in Eritrea (Unicef.org, 2018). Instead of towing Icebergs across the ocean there are other ways to solve this. What if ready-to-drink filtered water, 500,000 tons at a time, could be consistently shipped across the world in old oil vessels and the effort prove financially viable? (Bennet, 2018). The water inside the old oil vessels could be supplied by the freshwater in Iceland’s mountains. This water doesn’t even need to be filtered in a factory as the rocky cracks and crevices on the mountain’s surface naturally filter this water. The Icelandic water would usually go to waste and fall in the ocean, then it would become ocean saltwater. By using the water from Iceland and by using old oil vessels to carry fresh, filtered water, we would not only save places in drought, we would same money, the health and safety of people and towns and cities.
There are many other ways that people have thought of to stop water scarcity, but they might take awhile to happen such as: Educating to change water consumption and lifestyles, Inventing new water conservation technologies, recycling wastewater, improving irrigation and agricultural practices, appropriately pricing water, developing energy efficient desalination plants, improving water catchment, harvesting and improving distribution infrastructure (Walton and Ritter, 2018) With all of these other options, there is no need to have to spend billions of dollars for strong enough ships to haul a giant iceberg across the ocean! Why do that when there are other options? If we keep thinking of more ways to help solve the issue of water scarcity, we shouldn’t even think of towing an iceberg, which leads to my next issue.
Even the thought of towing an iceberg across the ocean makes me worry of what the next ‘solution’ will be for an issue to come. The negatives overpower the positives. One negative is that another word for icebergs is ‘home’ to all the animals and creatures that live there. Glaciers are full of nutrients, necessaries and conditions that suit the arctic animals way of living. The most known animals being, Polar Bears and Arctic Seals (Smith, 2018). There are also animals that live in both the oceans, and on icebergs, such as walruses and penguins. Some of these animals are endangered due to the lack of ice they have to live on, so towing one wouldn’t make things any better, it would make things harder for all of the life that live on icebergs. If there is no ice for them to live on, they are going to drown. Another reason to not tow icebergs is that if anyone was to tow a gigantic iceberg, it would most likely melt along the way, wasting all of the freshwater that it stores and wasting all of the money put into this experiment. It isn’t cheap to have big ships, boats and carriers built to tow a gigantic iceberg. Hauling an iceberg is too much of a risk and has a very high chance of melting along the way. The more we want to use icebergs to solve the lack of freshwater, the higher risk animals, humans and all of our homes have.
It is definitely possible to tow an iceberg, but it sure is extremely difficult and comes with many failures and few successes to our environment, our society and us. The average person uses up to 300L per day and water isn’t cheap. With people using that much water, it roughly costs $300 if each litre is close to $1. People have been recently been relying on icebergs to supply us with fresh water. What if when the iceberg is being towed, it melts along the way as it gets into warmer water and shrinks excessively? That could waste all the time the people took to attach that iceberg to boats and all the money put into this experiment. What if all of the animals had to leave that iceberg because it was being towed away? That would lead to more arctic animals becoming endangered and possibly even extinct. Towing icebergs from the poles to a warmer place that is having trouble with water is a bad idea as the negatives overpower the positives, shown by the information above.
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