Thirst is experienced on a different scale in high-altitude residential areas. It is not possible to purify salt from the sea and use the water, as in urban life where the desert is on the shore of the sea. You have to somehow conserve water. The water, on the other hand, flows from the mountains as a natural law and goes to the lower parts. Rolex Awards winner, education reformer, engineer Sonam Wangchuk has come up with an unusual and creative solution with his ice towers. Ice Stupas
Shall we watch the video first?
Summary video if you’re in a hurry 🙂
If you want to understand this well, detailed video:
The place where the study was conducted is in Ladakh, a region of India and in the Himalayas. Global climate change has also affected it. Farmers living at 3500 meters suffer from thirst.
Engineer, scientist and educator Sonam Wangchuk is constantly looking for a way to store water longer.
They used to store the water that had solidified in the form of ice in caves and wells in Ottoman times and sold it for desserts in the summer months.
If there is no such formation in the surrounding land, the first thing that comes to mind is to cover the ice with something reflective to block the effect of the sun.
Covering the ice is not practical. Instead, it turns out that it is necessary to reduce the surface area and increase the volume so that the sun’s rays cannot melt it. The most suitable object for the purpose is, of course, the sphere, but the sphere is a difficult shape to process. The cone body gives the answer to the question. The same amount of ice melts much faster and more easily when flat.
Our engineer examines the ice accumulated under the bridge and sees that they do not melt even on hot days. He then examines the conical “Stupas” made of stone, religious buildings in Tibet.
So the idea is formed in his head. The water flowing down from the top is pressurized and can gush up from the pipe with the force of gravity. In the cold winter season, as in irrigation systems, the water particles sprayed into the air quickly freeze and turn into land and ice. It stays that way until spring.
Hoses are connected to the water sources flowing from the top down. About 20 – 30 meters of water pipes are installed perpendicular to their ends. However, something is missing. A skeletal structure to prevent the ice from collapsing. This is formed by the trunk of shrub-type trees. Ice mounds form in a short time without the need for artificial material.
What Does the Ice Cones Project Provide?
During the hotter, rainless and drier days of summer, the regular irrigation net irrigates the plants drop by drop. The arid valley turns into a paradise. The photo below is like looking at a miracle.
For the irrigation system, 2.3 km of pipes are laid from the glacial towers to the village desert.
People are planting 5000 saplings. The system supplies 1.5 million liters of water to the fields. 20 ice stapas 30 meters high are made with Rolex Award funds.
After that, the job isn’t over. Engineer Wangchuk works with youth at SECMOL for education. In order to produce ecological solutions, Ladakh’s Student Education and Culture Movement wants to establish a university in the region with its Alternative School.
In the light of what has been said, you should watch the video below.
The second video also explains the situation very well.
I wanted to write this article because it is a great solution with an extremely low cost compared to alternatives that can be applied in our country. Also, this way of thinking is like a creative trigger that can be used in other inventions. It also takes people out of the pessimism of “Whatever you can do, here, nothing dry will grow”.
Engineering is one of the most important fields in the world. We need more engineers who think and observe to find solutions.
We may have ideas, but ideas are only useful when they come to life.
Let’s look around us, let’s find a solution to something impossible to do!
Note: I request you to share this article and spread it to your circle. A step towards making humanity suffocate from thirst.
The idea is spreading rapidly around the world. Here is the Ice Stupa in the Swedish Alps
If you haven’t seen the movie 3 Idiots, please do. It is thought that the main protagonist in the movie, which is a source of inspiration for many, is Sonam Wangchuk, whose work I have described in this article. 🙂
Wikipedia Sonam Wangchuk
Twitter Sonam Wangchuk : https://twitter.com/wangchuk66
Youtube Sonam Wangchuk : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8gEnWuuNnBc6QPghEFUlhA