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Beating Drought By Towing Icebergs? It Could Work
August 10, 2011
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The idea has been around since the '70s: use tugboats to drag icebergs to areas experiencing severe drought. When engineer Georges Mougin originally proposed it, he was laughed at. But now, the idea is receiving attention and being taken seriously thanks to a new computer model developed by French software developer Dassault Systems.

According to its simulations, an iceberg could be dragged from Newfoundland & Labrador to the northwest coast of Africa in about five months, while retaining more than 60 percent of its mass. The only major impediment to the plan is the price point: getting one iceberg to where it's needed would cost $10 million. The high cost is partly due to the floating geotextile "skirt" that is required to successfully transport the 'berg.

Still, each year 40,000 icebergs break away from the polar ice caps on their own - doesn't it make sense to use some of them to help people get access to irrigation and clean drinking water? Maybe Georges Mougin will still make it happen. At 86, he's raising funds to try and make his dream a reality.

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