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Towed iceberg could solve Cape Town drought

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Tom the Photon

This is not a new suggestion - I've found one reference dated to 1825 (here) and a comprehensive history of iceberg-towing schemes here .  I reckon England will win the World Cup again long before this scheme comes to fruition.  Let's hope it's this year!

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gertdogg

I think they did this in Brewster's Millions

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seanjo

This again?

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cyclopes500

I was thinking while I was reading this story. I don't do it often as some people already realise on this site. I was wondering if it'd be worth digging a system of canals to the drought prone areas in Africa, and towing life giving fresh water icebergs right into the heart of the worst areas. The same canals could be used by shipping too. Along the banks could go industry and towns with jobs and medical facilities lacking in these places now. They make the cheap goods the west like and we tell China to get lost. I know it'd be a one hell of an undertaking but I think it'd be worth it in the end.

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Seti42

Do it. And make DeBeers pay for it. They have the money, and 'earned' (read: stolen it from) it off of South Africa and the world for over a century.

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Hammerclaw

Every decade or so, this idea is reprieved from Scientific Purgatory, dusted off, a new coat of paint slapped on and presented to the wide-eyed media who eagerly foist it upon a gullible public.                                                            https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/08/the-many-failures-and-few-successes-of-zany-iceberg-towing-schemes/243364/                           

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Peter Cox
6 hours ago, Seti42 said:

Do it. And make DeBeers pay for it. They have the money, and 'earned' (read: stolen it from) it off of South Africa and the world for over a century.

Do elaborate on "stole it"?

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freetoroam

How about humans slow down on their breeding and stop being so wasteful.today.

The way we are going we are all going to be struggling  getting fresh water 

Quote

Given that 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, and that volume remains constant (at 1,386,000,000 cubic kilometres), how is a water shortage even possible? Well, 97.5% is seawater unfit for human consumption. And both populations and temperatures are ever-rising, meaning that the freshwater we do have is under severe pressure.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170412-is-the-world-running-out-of-fresh-water

They can not be moving icebergs in the future to save our planet, even they are melting. So best concentrate on what we can do to help our planet and the human race = stop increasing the demands because we think we can have as many kids as we want and stop wasting the precious resources we currently have available.

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Elarwen

There's no unexplained mystery about it. We're in the middle of a drought, made worse by the fact that the dams were built to supply a smaller city and Cape Town's population has been growing rapidly. To make it worse, the drought and lack of water was poorly handled by provincial government and national government (who took 2 years to realize there was a problem).

We are doing better now, thanks to above average rainfall this winter so far (our dams are at the level they were in 2015 at the start of the drought) and stringent water saving and restrictions. Using 50l per person per day can be hard when you need to do laundry etc, but its a MILLION times better than queuing for 25l per person.

Cape Town is not out of the woods yet, Day Zero can still happen, but we are in a better place than we were.

<---- A Capetonian

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John Allanson
Posted (edited)

Cape town hot, Iceberg cold, sea warmer the nearer the equator you get. 1200 miles getting smaller and smaller. What guarantee that it will get there at all is there?. It may be better in the end to just build a desalination plant.

Edited by John Allanson
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Elarwen
1 hour ago, John Allanson said:

Cape town hot, Iceberg cold, sea warmer the nearer the equator you get. 1200 miles getting smaller and smaller. What guarantee that it will get there at all is there?. It may be better in the end to just build a desalination plant.

Actually, it could work because the sea off the west coast of South Africa (where Cape Town is) is made cold by the Benguela current which comes up from Antarctica

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paperdyer

Desalinization of salt water is fine as long as the melting icebergs replenish what we take out and we have a use for all of the salt. The salt goes into the permeate stream of water at a higher concentration that what was in there to begin with. This needs to be dealt with. The desalted water then has to be treated to make it potable. The RO units also are known for growing bacteria which has to be dealt with heat or additional chlorination. The membranes aren't cheap and neither are the units. The salt water would need to be filtered prior to the units to take out any particles.  There are a lot of "bugs" to be worked out.

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kapow53

You gotta be kidding

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Jon the frog

Solar powered desalinization plant would be far more interesting.

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