Chewang Norphel, Himalayas

Crowdfunding to adapt to climate change

A few months back, we documented the work of Chewang Norphel, our very own Climate Hero from Ladakh, India: Chewang initiated the construction of artifical dams several years back, in order to fight the devastating effects of climage change on the glaciers in his region, and to counter their rapid melting, which made water very scarce for a good part of the year. He is one of the pioneers who looks for solutions to adapt to climate change in those fragile ecosystems. You can watch the interview we made with him here.

Chewang is the mentor to another engineer, Sonam Wangchuk, who has recently “raised US$125,000 through US-based crowdfunding website Indiegogo to create a series of “ice stupas” that promise to solve the water scarcity crisis.”

We are very proud to see that Chewang’s initiative continues to create innovations and adaptability measures in the region: this time, this is “ice stupas” that are being proposed as the way to store ice and water :

“The challenge was make ice last (that too in the lower altitude through) May and June, when the farmers needed it the most. Then, I thought the shape of the ice was key.”

The conventional glaciers would be 2 metres deep and spread over a wide area. Wangchuk’s brainwave was to make them taller, reducing the surface area for the same volume of ice.

 

Here is an image of the prototype :

The stupa team gathers around ice cone prototype (Pic: Ice Stupa Project)

The stupa team gathers around ice cone prototype (Pic: Ice Stupa Project)

 

For more details about the initiative, see the full article initially published here.