Ice stupas

Impacts addressed
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Artificial glaciers, or cones of ice, that store water for use in months when water is inaccessible or unavailable. Water is piped from a height 20ft higher than the desired stupa height and allowed to fall to the ground. The tall, cone shape of the ice stupas stores water vertically and enables the ice to remain frozen for longer than other artificial glaciers by reducing surface area exposed to sun and wind.

Working principles

Ice stupas can be used in lower altitudes that artificial glaciers die to their design reducing their exposure to sun and wind.

Succes factors and requirements

Must be used at a certain altitude with limited exposure to sun and wind, therefore success is dependent on site-specific conditions.

Investments required

Production of 80-90 stupas is estimated at USD 100,000 with USD 20,000 extra for platform fees, bank/credit card charges, rewards, perks and shipment costs for supporters.

Countries where implemented
Case story of implementation

The prototype (Ladakh, India) was a two-story glacier with a volume of 150,000 litres was produced at an altitude of 3200 metres to test the technology.

The full sized stupas will be 30-40 metres high and able to store 16000 cubic metres of water each 80-90 stupas expected to hold enough water to green 1500 acres of desert land.

Further information

Pandey, S. 2014. Crowdfunded “ice stupas” help Ladakh adapt to climate change.…

Content organisation
Technology owners

Engineer, Sonam Wangchuk, founder of founder of the SECMOL alternative school, Ladakh.