Water needs a Greta Thunberg

Not a great iceberg.


We feel the same frustration that children feel about climate change. The predictions are bleak but it doesn’t seem like anyone is doing anything to prepare for it, let alone avoid it. But we cannot skip school to demand action and we don’t have an articulate youngster to act as our champion.

Predicted changes in temperature for selected cities by 2050:

Ljubljana                          +8°

Madrid                             +6.4°

Seattle                              +6.1°

London                             +5.9°

Moscow                           +5.5°

This will severely impact both the supply and demand for water.

Water shortages may yet lead to social discontent, perhaps even revolution.  In drought-hit Delhi, it is suggested that the slowness in the response of the establishment is in part due to their paying so little for water that they don’t notice or care. But now it is leading to fights and even criminal control of water supply.

We have written several times about iceberg-towing before. The media loves the story and it returns like a boomerang as someone stumbles on it afresh or makes the suggestion again.

This time it’s the Daily Mail reporting that inventor and entrepreneur Abdulla Alshehi from the UAE plans to tow an iceberg to Cape Town or Perth later this year – at a cost of $80million as a proof of concept for taking one to the UAE. Apparently it will provide the Emirates with a steady supply of fresh drinking water as well as being a tourist attraction.  Look out for the iceberg futures market.

One wonders how soon we’ll run out of ice though and the impact that will have had on sea levels…

What we really need is for all major cities to put in place plans as soon as possible to reduce leakage and manage limited supplies. i2O solutions helped save Cape Town in the face of an imminent crisis, but those solutions can be deployed earlier so that the crisis doesn’t arise in the first place.

Perhaps water needs a champion. It needs a face. It needs a Greta Thunberg. Not a great iceberg.

Image attribution: World Economic Forum NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic