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“What if Greenland was Africa's water fountain?”
What if Greenland was Africa's water fountain?

Another pragmatic utopia, this one envisioned by Bruce Mau, in which Greenland harvests its melting iceberg water and market it to places with severely limited access to clean water, e.g. Africa.

According to the catalogue, which you can download from the website of the exhibition Too Perfect: Seven New Denmarks, “Greenland's Home Rule government issued the first license to collect and export its melt water to Aquapolaris, a private company. In Beverly Hills, bottles of iceberg water sell for $10 U.S. each. And in Newfoundland, icebergs are replacing fish as the basis of new business opportunities. Every spring, icebergs from Greenland parade south, past the coast of Newfoundland. The same people who used to fish now harvest icebergs from a floating barge, using a grapple crane to break off chunks of ice. The ice is crushed, melted and stored in tanks. The water is used for free by the Canadian Iceberg Vodka Corporation to produce Iceberg Vodka.”

What if Greenland was Africa's water fountain?

So instead of letting others profit from their own natural resource, instead of drowning Manhattan and Bangladesh, before all those tons of fresh water catastrophically disrupts ocean circulation and with it world climate, Greenland can bottle up the billions of liters of water flowing into the sea, and acquire a portion of the lucrative bottled water market. And it needn't be a big portion. As Bruce Mau calculates, for Greenland's 57,000 citizens, “controlling just one percent...produces an additional capital income of 62,000 euros.” With that much wealth, a country could create national infrastructure, improve educational services, and achieve economic, social and ecological sustainability.

Meanwhile, in case you're wondering, Bruce Mau writes that “[u]sing the ocean to transport bulk water is an industry in its infancy, but evidence of experiments and new technologies abound.”

For instance, the Medusa Bag, “a giant bag designed in 1988 by James Cran of Calgary, Alberta to meet the anticipated requirement for large scale water imports to California as well as to Israel, Jordan and Palestine. It can carry 1000,000 m3 of bulk water. The Norwegian Shipping Company used a similar bag to transport water in Scandinavia.”

What if Greenland was Africa's water fountain?

Too Perfect: Seven New Denmarks

  • Anonymous
  • November 12, 2006 at 3:44:00 PM CST
  • And which Norwgian Shipping Company was this? Norwegians are big in shipping as you must know.

  • Anonymous
  • November 7, 2007 at 4:52:00 PM CST
  • Before wodka, beer!

  • Anonymous
  • August 18, 2008 at 10:56:00 AM CDT
  • This type of plan to ship water is not still lacks the same old thing. The huge infrastructure neccesary to accept the water and store it once it is accepted in any port world wide. There have been huge steps in the technology for shipping this water but NO ONE to date has come up wiht a port that has the facilities to accept and process the water once it gets there. If anyone out there can prove me wrong...please do...I would like to know "if" any port you can send me to "anywhere" in the world currently HAS these facilies available..??

  • Anonymous
  • May 14, 2009 at 6:46:00 AM CDT
  • I suspect this won't be read by Mr. Anonymous, BUT... you can always use containerbags. Any self respecting port accepts these, and they can easily be loaded on a container-lorry/truck

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