By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
A group of young architects have won a prize for their Arctic Harvester – a floating water farm designed to collect freshwater from melting icebergs in the Arctic. The ambitious creators are currently looking to build a prototype (working model), and since the world is in the middle of a freshwater crisis, it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Even though our Earth is about 70% water, the majority of it contains high amounts of salt unfit to drink. Freshwater, on the other hand, only makes up about 2.5% of water on the planet, and only about half of that is easily accessed by humans! The rest of the salt-free liquid is trapped in places like snowfields, glaciers, and – you guessed it – icebergs.
After crunching all those numbers together, this leaves about .007% of all water on the planet to hydrate approximately 6.8 billion people! This is where the Arctic Harvester could prove very useful.
The doughnut-shaped facility is designed to collect and contain small icebergs off the coast of Greenland. When the large chunks of frozen water melt, the resulting freshwater will nourish plants growing in the Arctic Harvester. The harvested fruits and veggies may then be sold back to people on the mainland, which lacks local produce. It’s an interesting concept, and if the young designers want a prototype to see the light of day, they’d better act fast.
Global warming is causing the polar ice caps to melt at an alarming rate. This means that any freshwater that could’ve been collected from the harvester is quickly draining into the ocean and becoming saltwater.
Images courtesy of Meriem Chabani.