The Worth of Water. Environmental Lunchtime Discussion

Can we extract water from Antarctic icebergs? Dr Julia Jabour from the University of Tasmania talks on efforts to design a legal regime to regulate iceberg harvesting.

Iceberg floating in the sea
Photo: Pablo Ruiz, Instituto Antártico Chileno

Changes in global climate and weather patterns are biting harder into the traditionally dry areas of the planet. There is already an international trade in bulk fresh water, but the largest source remains untapped: Antarctic ice, which holds nearly 70% of the world’s fresh water. This makes it potentially the world’s most valuable commodity—if only it could be harvested.

Although a futuristic idea technically, harnessing Antarctic icebergs has become the focus of renewed attention. The problem is, no international law explicitly regulates this activity. Now is the time to consider developing an international legal regime to regulate access to it.

Dr Julia Jabour is a member of the Ocean & Antarctic Governance Research Program at IMAS. She has been researching, writing, and lecturing on polar governance for more than 20 years. Most of her teaching and research is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, involving examining current scientific and technical developments, determining their utility to the policy and law-making processes, and translating that information into user-friendly knowledge for uptake by non-specialist audiences. Julia has visited Antarctica six times, and been an observer with the Australian Government at Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings on three occasions.

About the event

The OSEH Environmental Lunchtime Discussion series consists of short, 10-15 minute presentations by invited guests, followed by a discussion. We will invite speakers from a wide variety of fields, both academic and beyond. The presentations are accessible and are aimed at anyone with an interest in environmental issues. All are welcome, please feel free to bring your own lunch. Coffee will be served.

Tags: Environmental Humanities, HF, IKOS, OSEH, Climate Change, Environment
Published Sep. 18, 2019 2:57 PM - Last modified Sep. 26, 2019 9:23 AM