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Sunny afternoon over the Blue Lagoon. The Svartsengi geothermal plant in the background. PIC diamond geezer

It is by far the most popular tourist destination in Iceland. Close to both the Reykjavik capital and the Keflavik International Airport, the world famous Blue Lagoon is a must-try for everyone. But the stunning lagoon may not last very long.

You may or may not know that the weirdly blue colored water and warmth of the Blue Lagoon is technically industrial waste. The water in the lagoon, renewed every 40 hours, is the byproduct of a geothermal energy plant close by.

Geothermal energy is generated by drilling deep wells into the ground to tap steam and very hot water that drive turbines linked to electricity generators. The environmental effects of such an energy plants are neglible apart from the disposal of some chemicals found in the resulting fluids. The fluids can sometimes contain low levels of toxic material.

But it is excess water from the wells that is one of the two threats to the future of the Blue Lagoon. This has been slowly accumulating in the area around the lagoon and could well become a major problem in a few years or decades.

That bring us to the other problem. It is a known fact that while geothermal sites are capable of providing heat for many decades many also cool down in a few decades. Should this happen the Blue Lagoon will be history.

So, hurry up 🙂

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