This 'Astonishing water' photos section offers some mystery and/or astonishing water photos that illustrate the diversity of innovative water uses and devices globally. Enjoy our astonishing water world!


Astonishing photo 1

Niagara Falls (USA/Canada)

"Until the development of the New York State Reservation Park in 1885, nearly all the shoreline property along the Niagara Gorge and every viewing area of the Falls was privately owned. Following the creation of the Reservation Park, the State of New York continued to entice industrialization with an offer of cheap water power"

See more details at


Photo credit:


Astonishing photo 2

Raised beds, Suphan Buri, Thailand

Raised beds are very popular in Southeast-Asia for vegetable and fruit tree crops in hydromorphic soils, most especially in deltas  (see a Mexicain equivalent: chinampas).

Irrigation of crops occurs directly through maintaining the water levels in the ditch but also through sprinklers : where can be source from ? from the ditches of course, through a small floating pump that follows the farmer as he proceeds along the bed…

See the original photo at


Photo credit: François Molle/IRD


Astonishing photo 3

'Aerial well', Trans en Provence, France

An aerial well is a structure or device that collects the condensation of moisture from air. This idea is actually quite old, as can be seen from  This impressive mega-structure has been designed by Belgium engineer Achille Knapen in 1930. It never worked… but is still there to be seen.

See, in French, ‘Des fontaines sans source’ by A.Gioda


Photo Credit Wikipedia :


Astonishing photo 4

Lobuche, Kumbu Valley, Nepal (5000 m in altitude)

A washing machine on top of the world ! Water is sourced directly from the torrent and electricity is generated by a gas engine.

Original :


Photo credit : Patrice Garin


Astonishing photo 5

Damnoen Saduak area, west of Bangkok

Raised beds can be planted with coconut trees, especially in areas under tidal influence where the average salinity is higher. But harvested nuts have to be hauled out of the beds, which are often connected to the plot's surrounding dyke by a simple plank or bamboo.... Water provides a solution: nuts are cut, thrown into the ditch, assembled in garlands, and finally tugged to the exit of the plot with a minimal effort.

Original à


Credit photo: Surachit Chirawet


Astonishing photo 6

Free lunch

Les poissons qui passent par les dissipateurs d’énergie des déversoirs des barrages le font à leurs risques et périls…

American White Pelicans gather at the base of Pyramid Lake’s Marble Bluff Dam, USA


Credit: USBR (US Bureau of Reclamation)


Astonishing photo 7

Boat lift at Saint-Louis-Arzviller, northeastern France

Le plan incliné de Saint-Louis-Arzviller is a boat lift which is part of the canal linking the Marne and the Rhine rivers and allos the crossing of the Vosges Mountain range, in northeastern France.

The lift celebrated its 50th anniversary this year (2019)


Credit : Patrick Giraud 


Astonishing photo 8

Created wetlands, California

These are created wetlands, mostly from previously planted agricultural fields.  Most of these are created by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife in collaboration with the Audubon Society, CA Waterfowl Association and Ducks Unlimited to accommodate and encourage winter waterfowl migrants to stop and stay for the season.

Photo with full resolution :

See other incredible ‘constructed wetlands’ in California and other exceptional pics by Bruce Barnett


Credit : Bruce Barnett


Astonishing photo 9

Natural cooling ‘system’ near Tengchong, Volcanic park, in Yunnan, China

Keeping fruits and bottles cool thanks to the river

Full resolution version at

Credit : Karen Conniff



Astonishing photo 10

Tea pot at Hammam Meskoutine, Algeria

Last week's astonishing photo showed how to make use of the cooling power of rivers.

Why not do the opposite and prepare… tea, temperature allowing of course!

See full resolution pic at


Credit : Eliott MM


Astonishing photo 11

Ladybower reservoir plug hole (spillway), UK

Full resolution original:


Credit: Tim Hill


Astonishing photo 12

Mobypompe, Burkina Faso

This device allows a motorcycle engine to be used to pump water and, for example, irrigate small areas

Other photos :


Credit : Bruno Barbier/Cirad


Astonishing photo 13

‘Water saving winegrowing’

When saving water is becoming a commercial argument for winegrowers in Chile !

Full resolution original:


Credit : Sophie Bradford 


Astonishing photo 14

Temple pavillon (chozuya), Kyoto, Japon

Shinto water ablution pavilion for a ceremonial purification rite known as temizu, that can be found at the entrance of temples.

Other chozuya

Original :


Credit : François Molle


Astonishing photo 15

Dividing groundwater between users, Yemen

Each right holder has a distinct pipe.

Original photo at :


Credit : Frank van Steenbergen


Astonishing photo 16

Irrigated terraces along steep wadi, Yemen

Original at


Credit: Jochen Regner


Astonishing photo 17

Collecting lotus flowers in a flooded field, Central Thailand

Original at


Credit: François Molle


Astonishing photo 18

Makeshift swimming pool, Palestine

In the vicinity of BirZeit, a Palestinian father built a swimming pool with plastic sheets in his vegetable garden for the children of the village.

Original at


Credit: Heiner Schmitz

Astonishing photo 19

Sharing water equitably

Village Water Supply System - Kis - Near Sheki – Azerbaijan


Credit: Adam Jones @ Flickr/ see Adam's great albums at


Astonishing photo 20

Enjoying curative mineral waters, Madagascar


Credit: Rod Waddington; see Rod's amazing collection at


Astonishing photo 21

Terraced paddy-fields, Yunan, China

Whether from China, Vietnam or Philippines, terraced paddy-fields are inevitably irresistible

See our dazzling collection of terraced fields

See original HD at


Credit: Isabelle Chauvel


Astonishing photo 22

Moving wood on Lake Tana, Ethiopia

No boat needed here. The wood is clustered and floated across the lake.

See original resolution at


Credit: François Molle


Astonishing photo 23

Bride on boat, Vietnam

The bride is taken to the groom’s house for the wedding ceremony

Presumably he leaves on the other side of the lake

See original resolution at


Credit: Quang Nguyen Vinh (on pixabay)


Astonishing photo 24

Alluvial fan and spate irrigation in Iran

The art of diverting and sharing water


Source: NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data from NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and the U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey, based on interpretation provided on the ASTER Project Science Imagery Gallery Website.


Astonishing photo 25


Astonishing photo 26


Astonishing photo 27