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Harvesting Icebergs Can End Droughts

Wouldn’t it be nice to know that one day, the threat of a calamitous drought affecting third-world countries will be eliminated? Welcome to the possible future, presented by Dessault Systemes and Georges Mougin.

Artist's Rendering

Image source: www.fastcoexist.com

Mougin is a French entrepreneur, who for over 40 years has been trying to see his vision of harvesting icebergs to solve food shortages become a reality. Enter Dessault Systemes; a French software company with the money, the means, and the desire to back Mougin’s project.

In 2009, Dessault Systemes provided Mougin 15 software engineers to create a computer simulation to test his theory. In 1976, Mougin created Iceberg Transport International, with plans to tow icebergs to drought-stricken areas. Unfortunately, he was told that his vision was too difficult and too costly an endeavor for anyone to back financially.

Artist's Rendering

Image source: www.fastcoexist.com

Undeterred, Mougin trudged on, convinced that his theory was sound. And after the computer simulation in 2009, it appeared that he’d been proved correct.

With the right equipment, it is possible to tow a 7-ton iceberg from the waters around Newfoundland, Canada to Spain’s Canary Islands within 141 days, while retaining 62% of the iceberg’s overall mass.

An iceberg would be harnessed with a type of insulated towing rig, which unfolds under water to cover the iceberg. Using the naturally-timed ocean currents to help propel the massive chunk of ice, a towing ship would move the iceberg to wherever it’s needed.

Currently, the cost of moving such a large object through the water for such a lengthy period of time is a whopping $9.8 million dollars. However, the price of saving lives and preventing cities and villages from collapsing is priceless, and shouldn’t stop these kinds of rescue undertakings from happening in the future.

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