How an Iceberg Can Solve Cape Town’s Water Crises

While Cape Town avoided being nearly without water, it is important to understand that the water crises it is facing is not over yet. There are several water restrictions that have been put on the residents of Cape Town, and these restrictions are so draconian that they are limiting the water to fifty liters per person, per day. However, things can get worse if the winter rains are not enough to refill the reservoirs, and Cape Town will be on the brink of suffering from another water-less year next year.

There are talks of some unconventional means of bringing water to cape town, since the process of desalination will take time and cost a lot of money. One of the most unorthodox idea is from a salvage master named Nicholas Sloane, according to him, it can be a feasible thing to do if they strap an iceberg that’s recently fragmented from Antarctica, and haul Cape Town’s coast Once there, it would convert itself into water and the residents of Cape Town will get access to water that they can use.

Sloane himself is from South Africa, and he is famous for being in charge of the monumental salvage operation. According to Sloane, he had already talked to the local government about this idea last year, and the government that of this seemingly possible idea as something crazy.

However, he also believes that geographical situation could play an important role in making this unorthodox project a success.

According to the official numbers, Antarctica is shedding about 2,000 billion tons ice every year, and most of the humongous icebergs manage to drift within 12,000 miles of South Africa.

According to Sloane, an iceberg that usually weighs approximately 70,000 tons would be more than enough to an estimate of 150 million liters of water on a daily basis, for an entire year. As per Sloane, this much water would be enough to meet at least 1/3rd of Cape Town’s water requirements. This is a lot more than what desalination or other options would provide.

However, the caveat is that the process is not going to be easy; an iceberg would be more or less 0.6 kilometers in length, and in addition to that, it would require to be covered in a cloth like material in order to ensure that the melting that would happen on the 3-month journey is not as much.

Despite all of this, the estimate suggests that at least 30 percent of the iceberg’s mass would end up melting before it even arrives at the destination at Cape Town. The good thing here is that the ice is pure water without anything else, which means that once melted, it would need the least amount of processing before it can be made usable by the residents.

This means that this process is significantly better over some of the other option that are being considered which require using polluted rivers and then processing the water, a process that is not as feasible.

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