This week, take a glimpse at how an engineer built artificial glaciers during the winter season in the high desert of the Himalaya. Named ice stupa glaciers, the meltwater during spring hydrates the barren desert fields to facilitate agriculture activities in the region. Despite enduring cold winter temperatures of below -30 degrees Celsius, the area receives less than 100 mm of precipitation annually. Cropping is generally most favorable in the spring months of April and May, but these are also the region’s driest months. When meltwater from natural glaciers arrives in mid-June, it usually comes in the form of flash floods, hugely impeding agriculture.
The concept of the ice stupa glaciers involves freezing stream water from the nearby Indus River in vertical columns to form huge ice towers between 30 to 50 meters. The project won the Rolex Award for Enterprise, and further support can be provided here.