(i'm going to use dollars for cost because i don't really want to figure out currency conversions for the in world currencies)
In this world people need water, a lot of water. But in areas that don't actually have a lot of water, so, they need to find water elsewhere. But desalination is still extremely expensive.
The technology in question is about that of the 1960s-early 1970s with the main relevant exception for this question being early semi-submersible offshore cranes. Because of this technology level, desalination is very expensive, around 10 dollars a cubic meter.
The way the process (in theory) works to get the icebergs turned into liquid water where they need to go is that of:
- Find a large iceberg
- Pull it to somewhat clear waters where it can be easily manipulated. Maybe 100-200 kilometers away.
- Blast it apart with explosives into more "manageable" chunks of ~7,000 tonnes. Around the lifting limits of early large semi-submersible crane vessels.
- Use the crane platforms to lift the broken up icebergs inside a spar platform for it to be melted. The spar platform would be partly filled with fresh water prior to being sent out so the iceberg can float in it as it's melted. The platform would be insulated to minimize heat losses to cold sea water.
- Pump the water from the spar into a tanker to be carried off to where it's going to be used.
Now what i thought would be the biggest costs, transport & energy to melt. Would only be about 2.40 a kiloliter for transport & 15 cents for melting. But my primary concern here is if the other costs could be realistically below the 7.45 before the cost exceeds desalination.
So the question is, is it realistic for 1970s technology be able to preform the above process at a cost below $10 a kilolitre?
Cost of the equipment is comparable to our own 1970s. I don't really need specific numbers, just if it sounds possible or if there are any obvious holes in this idea.