In the words of Elsa from Frozen, we’re going to have to “let it go”.
The UAE’s Ministry of Energy has poured cold water on an Abu Dhabi-based company’s plans to tow icebergs from Antarctica to the shores of Fujairah.
Abdullah Mohammad Sulaiman Al Shehi, managing director of National Advisor Bureau Limited, told Gulf News the icebergs could be used as fresh drinking water, but would also be good for tourism, and for the weather (the cold air and water may lead to weather systems that cool down the UAE).
However, in a statement issued this week, the Ministry of Energy dismissed the reports.
“As the authority in charge of water affairs, it would like to confirm that such news is just a rumour,” the ministry said on their website, encouraging the public to “shun” other such speculations.
Here’s a video that explained the project…
Remember, lack of fresh water is one of the main challenges that faces the UAE in the future as groundwater reserves are likely to shrink – it is said that the average person in the UAE uses about 500 litres of water a day (about two times the global average).
Al Shehi’s plan wasn’t even the first iceberg-towing concept.
The idea first came up in 1825, and Prince Mohammed Al Faisal proposed an iceberg be towed to KSA in the 1970s (here’s a great guide to all the different attempts and discussions).
Fortunately, Al Shehi has a few more ideas up his sleeve to try and bring more water into the country.
Another one of his concepts would see the Great Indus River of Pakistan’s water brought to the UAE. It would be connected via a pipeline to the Dasht River. The water would then flow via an underwater pipeline to Sohar in Oman and then a river would flow through Al Ain and the rest of the UAE, creating lakes, rivers and greenery.
Yes, it might sound quite “out there” – but then with the way the world is changing (we just unlocked our smartphone using an iris scanner) you never know, one day they might just happen (and work)…
Hat tip: Gulf News