The idea of towing an iceberg from Antarctica to the UAE sounds fantastical, but might not be entirely beyond the realms of plausibility

Who is doing what?
A firm in Abu Dhabi has floated plans to tow icebergs from Antarctica to the United Arab Emirates to solve the country’s fresh water shortage. An iceberg holding 20bn gallons of fresh water could meet the needs of a million people for five years, but first it would have to be hauled across 10,000km of open ocean to the coast of Fujairah, a feat that could take a year. In a promotional animation released by the firm, a giant, flat-topped iceberg is towed into the Persian Gulf bearing penguins and polar bears, which double as a tourist attraction. There are no polar bears in Antarctica.

How bad is the water shortage problem?
The pace of development in UAE is such that groundwater supplies are predicted to run dry in the next 15 years. A typical Emirati uses 500 litres of water per day, about 80% more than the global average. Dozens of desalination plants provide nearly all of the country’s drinking water, but the plants are expensive and require huge amounts of electricity to strip the salt from seawater. Globally, the UN warns that within two decades, 600 million children will live in regions enduring extreme water scarcity.

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Source: Guardian Climate Change