Ice Stupa Artificial Glaciers in the Himalayas

ice stupa hero moss and fog

Climate change is having an effect globally, and people in the rural Himalayas are already experiencing much smaller glacier melt in the spring, leading to water shortages.   This seemingly intractable problem is being addressed by engineer Sonam Wangchuk, in a most unusual way.  He has devised a system called an Ice Stupa, which pumps stream water up into a fountain, which then naturally freezes in a conical shape, to be stored for later melt.

The result is strange, yet seems to be effective, preserving precious water until later in the season when streams have dried up, and farmers and residents are most in need of water. Read more on Design Boom and National Geographic about this fascinating and life saving idea.

ice stupa 1 moss and fog

The glaciers prevent the ice from freezing by condensing it into this conical shape

ice stupa 2 moss and fog

Water being pumped up to freeze in a growing stupa

ice stupa 3 moss and fog

This shape melts far slower than a horizontally shaped glacier. This stupa has been decorated with prayer flags

ice stupa 4 moss and fog