The lack of water from Himalayan melt ice is causing serious issues in the high plateaus of Ladakh in India. Ice stupas, invented by Sonam Wangchuk, take advantage of winter streams to provide a source of water in May and June when the growing season occurs but the streams have dried up. Pipes are laid in flowing streams higher up the mountain and the water is transported down the mountain side buried below the frost line, before the final section of the pipe rises vertically. Pressure builds up in the pipe and it eventually overflows in a fine spray or trickle. The water freezes in the sub-zero temperatures to gradually form the ice stupa. In late spring the ice starts to melt and the water can be used for drip-irrigation of crops. Find out more on their website and see a time-lapse video of it forming.

Ice stupas – India – ech2o newsletter snippet