Over the past 30-40 years, the world, particularly, Kyrgyzstan, has faced the increase in temperature. It leads to increased evaporation, and hence to soil drought.   CABAR.asia reports that the problem of water regulation at distant pastures and farming lands can be solved by artificial glaciers.

Resident of the village of Olon-Bulak in Jalal-Abad region in the south of Kyrgyzstan have often suffered from the shortage of water for garden and field irrigation.

Conflicts have often emerged because of the water shortage both among villagers, and among neighboring villages.  The situation has lasted for years.  Now they have enough water.  The reason is the artificial glacier that was built not far from their village.

It was reportedly created in 2022 in the remote pasture Kara-Dobo in the territory of aiyl aimak Kashka-Suu, Aksy district of Jalal-Abad region.  It was the first artificial glacier in Kyrgyzstan.

According to CABAR.asia, rural people undertook the construction themselves, while the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) provided technical assistance and UN’s Peacebuilding Fund provided financial support.  5,500 US dollars were reportedly allocated for the creation of the artificial glacier.

In 2023, two more artificial glaciers were made in the same area at the pasture Kol near the village of Olon-Bulak and at the pasture Kok-Sai near the village of Kara-Bashat.


Artificial glacier technology

Artificial glaciers are built by freezing water spout at freezing temperatures. As a result, ice towers up to 30-50 meters high emerge, depending on the water pressure and elevation.  The higher the elevation, the higher the water pressure, and the higher the glacier is, respectively.

All one needs to construct an artificial glacier is to install an underground pipeline approximately 1000-3000 meters away from the source (spring) depending on the terrain relief.  The natural water current flows to the installed vertical pipe raised nearly 15-20 meters above the ground.

Ice is accumulated gradually in the artificial glacier once freezing days come.  Its volume can reach several thousand cubic meters (tons).  The volume of the glacier can be regulated depending on the water pressure planned for the irrigated area, as well as the needs of stock-breeders.

Once warm weather comes in spring and summer, the ice tower starts melting and provides constant access to fresh water to locals. The water can be used for drinking and domestic needs, as well as to water the cattle.

For example, if water pressure is 5 liters per second, 432,000 liters get accumulated per day, or 432 cubic meters of water, which makes 12,960 tons or cubic meters of water per month.