It is known that during the war years Germans were looking for sources of some kind of invisible force in the mountains of the Central Tien Shan that could break the enemy’s will without weapons. The fascists did not know that the mountains had much more power than they could have imagined. This power lies in the life-giving rescue moisture, encased in glaciers, capable of transforming dehydrated rivers and lakes. These glaciers became the basis for a very unusual idea of replenishing water reserves.
Don dries up, Tsimlyanskoe reservoir grows shallower. Dried Aral. And how many more dehydrated rivers and lakes throughout Russia, which gradually go into oblivion! On the ground, they are trying to take some measures, which consist in the form of requests from local deputies, which, in essence, do not fundamentally change the state of affairs. The story of the drying Aral Sea, which has practically dried up today, has already become an allegorical story - only the Northern (small) Aral Sea remains. It's amazing how it, such a huge, fourth largest among the world's lakes, turned into a puddle (due to the huge water for irrigation from the two rivers feeding the sea). In the same puddles, many of the once largest reservoirs may turn over time, which poses a threat to the national security of the country.
I already wrote an article about it, and for some reason, clumsy sometimes my mind refused to “remember” at that moment about an amazing person - Dmitry Sergeyevich Grohman, who is no longer in the world today, and his creative heritage was sold by cunning relatives in the book market for a song. These were bookcases completely clogged with books and scientific works on ice-thermics. Neither orders, nor titles, nor political conjuncture could not force him to sacrifice convictions. It must be said, and in those cases where events and superiors “stepped over” a sometimes desperate “cross” through him, he was eventually right. On the thorny path of serving science doomed Dmitry Sergeyevich this character trait. No, he was not a genius. He was a man who used to trust his own mind since childhood. Since that year, 1920, when he, a four-year-old orphanage, was adopted by Moscow security officer Sergei Groman, who later received the most important government posts in the mandates of Lenin and the Council of People's Commissars.
- Each of us has its own section of the front. My was here. You are destined to take some other "trench", in your work now they also have to "dig" a lot. The thing is that each stood his ground to the end. As they say, until it stops. In order not to be ashamed in front of people for the fact that he ran around to no use or more than “deign”. And the lethaltermic, she will take her anyway. It’s a pity only billions of lost profits, and that my life may not be enough, - said Dmitry Sergeevich. His words literally “crashed” into memory and turned out to be prophetic for him.
We met Dmitry Sergeyevich when he was retired long ago. And for many years, undividedly and, if we are talking about money, quite disinterestedly served the “ice” idea.
She was born in the summer of 1943. Then the expedition of the military district and the Kazakhstan branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences worked in the Dzungarian Alatau. And in the area Pokatilovka found traces of some ancient, similar to the irrigation, structures. The tasks of the Soviet expedition were then different, to find out more about the answer to this question. Just in case, local aksakals were asked: Is there a channel? The channel, the elders answered. If you look at the area, it turned out that the ancient canal could deliver water from the river to the so-called command mark. It is not excluded that here it became an artificial glacier, which melted and irrigated vegetable gardens in the summer. In the 1947 year, when the expedition under the leadership of Nikolai Nikitovich Palgov returned here, to solve the problems of water supply of the foothills with water, Antonina G. Bakalova for the first time offered to carefully intervene in the melting of glaciers. It only remained to come up with a regulation mechanism. The following year, the geography sector of the Kazakh branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences discussed and approved the method of controlling the melting of glaciers and the ice-thermal regulation of river flow proposed by the spouses Antonina Grigorievna Bakalova and Dmitry Sergeyevich Groman.
Talk about the "ice" idea is better to start at a large-scale map of the country. Or, relying on memory, at least visually imagine it. Do you see the molded folds of the Greater Caucasus for thousands of years, the millennial reliefs of Pamro-Altai, the mountain systems of the Tien Shan? Century ice creeps into blue canyons in blue tongues, and each stretches a blue thread high in the mountains of the beginning of a mountain river.
The area of glaciers is 16 million square kilometers (this is about 11% of land). They are concentrated almost two thirds of the volume of fresh water on the planet.
The water resources of the country are mainly represented by the annually renewed flow of the flat and mountain rivers. They are great, but not limitless, as time shows. Moreover, the country’s territory is distributed extremely unevenly. Only 15 percent of their volume falls on areas that provide up to 85 percent of the gross output of industry and agriculture. Therefore, such areas as the center of the European territory of the country, the Don River Basin, the North Caucasus, Central Asia and Kazakhstan, are experiencing an acute shortage of fresh water. And not only in dry years, but also in years with average water content.
Placement of irrigated lands is determined by their quality, availability of water, and climate. They are confined mainly to the river basins of the southern regions of Russia. But their area is much smaller than the area suitable for irrigation. This is mainly due to water deficiency.
With an eye to this national economic need, the notorious “project of diversion of the flow of northern rivers” was laid. Its first signs can be considered in 1930-1933, when a design and construction organization with large “contingents” of labor was operating in the system of the NKVD of the USSR. After the Great Patriotic War, the institute "Hydroproject" included this idea in the plan of great construction projects on the transformation of nature. The baton was inherited by the Ministry of Power Plant Construction, which developed the “general scheme for the integrated use of water resources of the USSR before 1980 of the year”. Then, the Ministry of Agriculture and the USSR and the Institute of Water Problems of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR undertook the implementation of the plans.
The first practice of influencing glaciers was dictated by the practical knowledge and technical capabilities of those years and the experience of the past war: to influence the melting of the smoke screen. No need for water - shield the glacier from the sun with a canopy of smoke; It is necessary to replenish the flow - open the meteorological "curtain". Years went by. Researchers have changed and methods of influencing glaciers. Already other researchers, sprinkling the glacier with blackening powders, managed to get water one and a half times more than usual. But technology was terribly expensive. Say, to blacken an area of 120 square kilometers, you would have to spray thousands of tons of coal dust from an 100 helicopter. And then after all, what will become with nature! After all, what would have happened? For many glaciers, increasing melting at 20-40 per cent per year would mean the consumption of snow and ice acquired by the glacier in about a year and a half. This means that the glacier could disappear completely over time.
Still, the idea of using high-altitude water reserves enticed many researchers. Some offered to melt only the snow of the glacier, and only in very dry years. Others, realizing that the construction of new large reservoirs on the plain means the inevitable loss of fertile land, a way out was seen in the construction of mountain reservoirs that would be able to collect all the spring water that fell in the mountains.
The idea of Bakalova and Grohman was as follows: to catch the excess winter runoff, throw it in the highlands, freeze it in time and melt it with the help of atmospheric cold or special installations. In the required quantities. Not at all encroaching on the main reserves of the glacier. Thus, guaranteed water supply to the foothill zone would be achieved. At the same time, a number of other serious problems can be solved: to stop the degradation of glaciers, to reduce avalanche and mudflow danger to the maximum, to stop or significantly reduce catastrophic discharges from reservoirs or glacial-dammed lakes. How would be useful accumulation of water in artificial glaciers. It would be possible to free the reservoirs without fear in order to catch the entire flood and carefully use every cubic meter of free water.
With the help of ice thermics, as the authors of the idea claimed, it is possible to influence natural processes and industrial technologies that are directly or indirectly related to the water circulation and the shortage of water resources. There is no need to build many expensive reservoirs, dams and facilities regulating the flow. Thus, a new type of water management system could emerge: an ice reservoir-reservoir, which allows to manage the water balance and increase it in river basins and in water bodies.
Bakalova and Groman didn’t just “dream”. They developed the theory and technology of creation and flat ice storage. Goskoizobreteny issued them copyright certificate №308282 on "Method of technical water supply." This method was included in the government program, which outlined such perspectives, truly breathtaking. “In the coming years, the method will find application in thermal power plants and nuclear power plants. First of all, the implementation is expected at a number of new stations located in harsh climatic conditions - the Perm, Kurgan, Surgut, Urengoi, Neryungri, Ekibastuz GRES complex and others. ”
The development of the main projects was entrusted to the Rostov branch of the Institute "Teploeletroproekt", where Groman at that time worked as the chief specialist. But the trouble is that time was very dangerous for such a too-personal idea. As for the power industry, at that time it officially recognized the imported "fashion" for the construction of so-called open (without walls and even ceilings) power plants and home-grown water supply systems with so-called poured cooling towers. And then some Grohman claims to be almost a universal vocation! And it behaves like: what he thinks, he says. As if he does not know that the novelty was brought not by anyone, but by the then Minister of Energy Novikov himself, who had visited the southern American states. They argued: “So what if the Americans are at about the latitude of our Sochi, where there is no winter. That’s the minister to know where and how to build economical innovations. ” And Groman rushed to Moscow to dissuade. Relations have deteriorated. Moreover, several years later, the construction of “too summer” power plants had to be abandoned and the walls of the already built “shelves” had to be worn.
Yes, both personally and technically, non-diplomatic Dmitry Sergeyevich Groman found it difficult to count on sincere support even in his native branch of Teploetroproekt, not to mention the leading institute. The restraint with which colleagues met the private idea of a non-graduate engineer-scientist, will affect more than one year. So will not be assembled pilot plants for the production of ice at the Moscow district power plant named after Classon and in Ryazan.
When the dire need made Serovskaya and Karmanovskaya GRES at the end of the 80-s still try the recommendations in practice, the man-made glaciers melted ahead of schedule. However, no one even tried to stop the gloating and explain the very banal reason. Just the plant, which was supposed to put a new thermal insulation, by the right time had not mastered its production and did not put it on the ice-thermal facility.
And the years went by. The Ministry of Energy chose to slowly forget the idea of a Rostov engineer: are there many new technical temptations to mess around with the old ones ?!
But the authors did not forget the idea and continued to fight. They received another certificate of authorship on the “Installation for layering freezing of ice in natural conditions”. No longer hoping for "alien" heat insulators, they will invent the "ice storage facility, sheltered from solar radiation by artificial non-toxic refractory ice."
The authors went to the institutes. Introduced with his idea of great specialists. But support, rather peculiar, was most often found in foreign publications. Often, without reference to authorship.
Today, the Institute for Water Problems is partly concerned with the problem of ice-thermography, but it is not particularly progressing in the practical implementation of specific ideas. Scientists cannot “give birth” to water from ice, but are only trying to fill up the missing water reserves: for example, “the effectiveness of several options for supplying water to the old source of the Akhtuba River was considered. To prevent the discharge of water from Akhtuba to the Volga, an additional node was created in the model structure that simulates the operation of a gateway regulator located in the Volga-Akhtuba canal. Also, scientists advise to save water and apply resource-saving technologies, for example, the so-called drip irrigation.
Groman still ahead of time and his life. But the problem of preserving excessive moisture exists, and so far cute scientists have not solved it. Rostov engineer proposed an idea that has not lost its relevance to this day.