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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_well_
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 water be sourced 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 https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/48357951542/in/dateposted/
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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_well_(condenser). 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 : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier:Puits_aerien_Knappen.jpg
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.
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.
Credit photo: Surachit Chirawet
Astonishing photo 6
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 : https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/45450597871/
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 https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/40773128405
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 https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49038145303/in/photostream/
Credit : Eliott MM
Astonishing photo 11
Ladybower reservoir plug hole (spillway), UK
Full resolution original: https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/46970323874/
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
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: https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/48693918106/
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.
Credit : François Molle
Astonishing photo 15
Dividing groundwater between users, Yemen
Each right holder has a distinct pipe.
Original photo at : https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/38345251985/
Credit : Frank van Steenbergen
Astonishing photo 16
Irrigated terraces along steep wadi, Yemen
Credit: Jochen Regner
Astonishing photo 17
Collecting lotus flowers in a flooded field, Central Thailand
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.
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 www.flickr.com/photos/adam_jones/albums
Astonishing photo 20
Enjoying curative mineral waters, Madagascar
Credit: Rod Waddington; see Rod's amazing collection at www.flickr.com/photos/rod_waddington
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 https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/43993334710/
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 https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/36450196553/
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 https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/30743147047/
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. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36041
Astonishing photo 25
Huacachina oasis, Ica, Peru
See original resolution at https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/45760376022/
Credit : Willian Justen de Vasconcellos; unsplash
Astonishing photo 26
Taum Sauk reservoir failure, USA
An elevated view of the path of the failure and the drained reservoir.
This conspicuous elevated reservoir has been constructed on top of Proffit Mountain to store water pumped out of peak time and to generate electricity during peak times.
See Hydropower Reform Coalition - www.hydroreform.org see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taum_Sauk_Hydroelectric_Power_Station
And original resolution at https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/44845821054/
Credit: Missouri Attorney General's Office.
Astonishing photo 27
Waste from drip irrigation lines, Diama, Senegal
Drip irrigation generates considerable plastic waste, as drip lines have to be replaced between one and five years, according to their quality and local conditions.
Original resolution photo at https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/38612487830/
Credit: Jean-Yves Jamin, Cirad
Astonishing photo 28
People releasing fish to acquire merit, Bangkok
Fish released in water by Buddhist people willing to acquire merit (tham bun), Wat Yaowarat, Bangkok, Thailand.
The slide is used to release fish without harming them.
See original resolution at https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/42557203711/
Credit: François Molle
Astonishing photo 29
Energy dissipating structure after a weir, Japan
Katsu-uri weir on the Kinu River, north of Tokyo
See full resolution original photo at https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/44536694935/
Credit: François Molle, IRD (and thanks to Dr Satoh)
Astonishing photo 30
Several nilometers allowed the measure of the flood intensity in the Nile valley. The river communicates with the shaft where the water level can be conveniently read.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/38588325590/
Credit: François Molle, IRD
Astonishing photo 31
Seat to cool-down along Karkorum Highway, Pakistan
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49013401483/
Credit: Karen Conniff
Astonishing photo 32
Collective water lifting, Chao Phraya Delta, Thailand
Axial pumps powered by 2-wheel tractors are ubiquitous in Thailand.
Here in Lop Buri province farmers congregate in the dry season to suck up water from a main drain.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/48611339917/
Credit: Credit: Khun Somboon, Ban Nong Mon
Astonishing photo 33
Water mirrors, Tannourine, northern Lebanon
No large-scale dams in northern Lebanon
Locals develop small-scale reservoirs to allow supllmentary irrigation
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/48635835231/
Credit: Caroline Coulon
Astonishing photo 34
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, UK
The aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal across the valley of the River Dee
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/45502702884/
Credit: Martin Clark https://commons.wikimedia.org/
Astonishing photo 35
Playing in water
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49616940023/
Credit: Pxfuel, Public Domain Dedication
Astonishing photo 36
Single-leg-rower, Lake Inle, Myanmar
Lake Inle is famous for its fishermen and their unique boating/fishing techniques
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/40792867873
Astonishing photo 37
Basin irrigation on steep slopes, Algeria
Basin irrigation of olive trees is common on the plains of Northern Africa. But how to water olive trees by gravity on steep slopes? Water is conducted through infiltration ponds constructed at the foot of each tree.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49174440492 and also https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49174440607/
Credit: Nabil Kherbache
Astonishing photo 38
Salt evaporation pans, Maras, Peru
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/47706740792/
and other photos of Maras https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=143925215%40N04&view_all=1&text=maras%20salt
Credit: Credit: pixabay.com/fr/users/jdbenthien-2698911/
Astonishing photo 39
‘Black hole’, Chao Phraya River bank, Bangkok
Flash floods are a big problem in Bangkok, which has 40% of its area under sea level. Natural drainage through canals, even equipped with pumps stations at their extremity, is insufficient. Tunnels are being built underneath the canals to help convey excess flows to an outlet where vertical pumps will extract the water flow into the Chao Phraya River. The black colour of the water indicates that drainage water is mixed with sewage water, both being conveyed by the same canals.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/42557204051
Credit: François Molle
Astonishing photo 40
Indus - Zanskar river confluence, India
Clear waters encounter a silt-loaded river. There are several well known examples of such confluences, notably the Rio negro – Rio Amazonas confluence https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/31418262348
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49152667678
see also https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/40760094445
Credit: Satish Krishnamurthy; Flickr
Astonishing photo 41
Watering onions downstream of Bagré reservoir, Burkina Faso
Large local calabashes (gourds) are used as watering cans
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/37625723256/
Credit: Jacques Lemoalle/IRD
Astonishing photo 42
Man fishing with a spear on a makeshift raft.
Banani urban Lake, Dhaka, Bangladesh
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/27701753099/
Credit: Benjamin Noury
Astonishing photo 43
Irrigated flower production in a flooded field, Sa Dec, Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Crop care is done on boats.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49660897398/
Credit: Quang Nguyen Vinh at Pexel
Astonishing photo 44
Spectacular dam spillway New York State, USA
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49008530271/
Astonishing photo 45
Basket-boats are quite common on the channels of the Mekong Delta
With a not-so-easy-to-master rowing technique!
The basket is tar-coated to make it waterproof
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/38905671462/
Credit: WorldFish/Jamie Oliver
Astonishing photo 46
‘Pirogues’ on the Mekong River, Laos
These boats were made out of kerosene tanks dropped by B52 air planes during the Vietnam War
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/48827410106/
Credit: Credit: Guillaume Lacombe/Cirad
Astonishing photo 47
Urban pool in Dubai
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/45215624615/
Astonishing photo 48
Children playing in irrigation canals, Morocco
This ‘duck bill weir’ structure in the Haouz, Marrakech, is taken advantage of by children to play in water
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/27617960155/
Credit: François Molle/IRD
Astonishing photo 49
Oval-shaped ‘duck bill weir’
Conspicuous weir on a canal in Morocco
Also see another instance of such a weir at https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/43477235480/
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/27617960155
Credit: Thierry Ruf/IRD
Astonishing photo 50
Magnificent ‘stepwell’, Rajasthan
Chand Baori at Abhaneri (Dausa, Rajasthan), India
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/31954010838/
Astonishing photo 51
Loktak Lake, floating fisheries in Manipur, India
"Phumdis are a series of floating islands, exclusive to the Loktak Lake in Manipur state, in northeastern India. They cover a substantial part of the lake area and are heterogeneous masses of vegetation, soil and organic matter, in different stages of decay (...) Phumdis are used by the local people for constructing their huts for fishing and other livelihood uses, and are inhabited by about 4000 people. Athapums are artificial circular phumdis, built by the villagers as enclosures for fish farming; aquaculture has caused proliferation of the phumdis in the lake". (Wikipedia) see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phumdi
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/39843940100/
Credit: Karen Conniff
Astonishing photo 52
Archimedean screws evacuating drainage water, Senegal River Delta, Senegal
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/38612490740/
Credit: Credit: Jean-Yves Jamin/Cirad
Astonishing photo 53
Canal des Moines, Corrèze, France
Irrigation canal constructed by monks in the XIIth century and now renovated. The canal is either dug in or stuck to the cliff.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/45451357551/
Credit : François Molle
Astonishing photo 54
How to re-use dripper line waste, Algeria
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49153279242/
Credit: Nassim Ait Mouheb/INRAe
Astonishing photo 55
Diversion canal in Alagoas, Brazil
New diversion canal to transfer water from the Sao Francisco River
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/31260631647/
Credit/CODEVASF/Divulgação ; www.flickr.com/photos/codevasf
Matheus Sandes / Seinfra - AL; and Alzir Lima
Astonishing photo 56
The Ivanhoe Reservoir filled with shade balls, USA
Black balls covering LA reservoir: https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-what-s-really-going-on-with-those-black-balls-in-the-la-reservoir
"Yet despite their reputation for saving water, these balls were not put here just to reduce evaporation. The problem actually started with bromide, a natural substance found in salt water.
Bromide on its own is harmless to humans, but if some of this salty water creeps into the reservoir and undergoes ozone treatment with the rest of LA's drinking water, it can form the compound bromate. And bromate is a carcinogen".
"Originally called "bird balls", the solution was both odd and oddly perfect. Typically used around airports to stop birds from perching in nearby water, the black balls also turned out to be highly effective at keeping out sunlight"
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50534073686/
Astonishing photo 57
Wasabi fields, Japan
Wasabi is a rhizome that grows during 15 months in streambeds with the purest running water
It is very difficult to find appropriate sites and only two major ones can be found in Japan
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50534224052/
And other photos of wasabi https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=143925215%40N04&view_all=1&text=wasabi
Credit: By lienyuan lee, CC BY 3.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54464514
Astonishing photo 58
On the Mahafaly plateau, Madagascar, people carve baobabs to use them as cisterns to store excess water in the rainy season an use it in the dry season.
They can contain up to 9 m3 of water.
See documentary (in French) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JVIn5urKc8&list=PLBZ3LrHoN5qxO8bThoeONKmBbUhg0rTho&index=10
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50534239431/
Credit: Pascal Danthu/Cirad
Astonishing photo 59
Spillway of the Ataturk Dam, Turkey
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/37034645333/in/photostream/
Credit: François Molle/IRD
Astonishing photo 60
Pollution and foam in the Yamuna River, India
'Open bar' at fountain, Italy
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/33882494038/in/photostream/
Jeans and water, London
Keep on consuming, at no cost to the earth
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50533496483/
Credit: Sophie Bradford
Small water-wheels on village canal, Kurama, North of Kyoto, Japan
These communal diversion weir and canal are made use of to generate electricity for domestic use.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50338585622/
Credit: François Molle
Fire water, Namdapha Park Arunachal Praddesh, India
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49013929806/
Credit: Karen Conniff
With warm tribute to our friend David Molden who just retired after 10 years at ICIMOD
Dabab, Sinkhole, Oman
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/47873895821/
Credit: Credit: Flickr/Hannah Jane
Falkirk Wheel, Scotland
A spectacular ‘boat-lift’ (See other photos On the web)
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/32041249738/
Credit: Flickr/Matt Malone;
Morning glory pool, hot spring, Yellowstone, USA
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50792663942/
Monkeys enjoying hot water springs in winter, Japan
See more photos on the web
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50792710692/
Credit: Andrew Tan at pixabay.com
Houses on stilts, Xuan Thuy National Park, Vietnam
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50459141926/
Credit: Jean-Louis Janeau/IRD indigo.ird.fr/fr
Kerala (tourist) Boat house, Alleppey backwaters, India
See more Kerala boat houses on the web
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49153306602/
Draining water over the highways, Chao Phraya Delta, Thailand
Main canals draining the Chao Phraya Delta towards the sea intersect roads.
In general bridges are built over (older) canals but in this case (a new canal over old roads) the opposite solution has been implemented.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50750428668/
Credit: Thanawat Bremard
Lucky pond in Gingaku-ji (silver) temple, Kyoto, Japan
If you can throw a coin onto the flat stone in the middle, you'll have good luck!
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/45399803812/
Credit: François Molle/IRD
Los Angeles aqueduct cascades, California, USA
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/30515024907/
and more at https://mavensphotoblog.com/2013/11/08/the-la-aqueduct-cascades-a-rare-opportunity-to-step-inside-the-facility/
Duck rearing in Takeo Province, Cambodia
Pink ducks are coloured by their owners in order to recognize them.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/43632810300/
Cluster of khettara (qanat) in Morocco
More photos of qanats on the web
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49587269416/
Credit: Thierry Ruf/IRD from www.indigo.ird.fr
Water palace, Jaipur, India
The Jal Mahal is less well-known than the Taj Mahal but fascinating too
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50740945191/
Credit: Rod Waddington @Flickr
Stone beaver dam
Beavers use rocks for their dams when mud and branches are less available, as seen on Bear Creek, a tributary to the Truckee River, in Alpine Meadows, California.
But they of course also use trees: https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=143925215%40N04&view_all=1&text=beaversSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50962532671/
Scooping water in the Red River Delta, near Hanoi
Various scooping devices are/were used in Asia to lift water over small heights.
This device requires the coordinated movements of two highly skilled personsSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50334995672/in/photostream/
Cooling system for hot groundwater in Saharan desert, TunisiaSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51008820697/
The magical flood, Niger
The annual flood of Komadougou Yobé near Diffa (in 1990). Children accompany it and run ahead of it.
An old woman collects the first foam and keeps it in a plastic bag (Leduc).See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49437901428/
Kurumada circular rice field, Japan
Kurumada is the word meaning round rice field. This style of farming is now almost gone but used to be considered a way of planting a field to the gods. No manure or dirty water was permitted to be used on one of these fields.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49153136946/
Traditional great fishing party, North Cameroon
A barrier of fish traps across the river; this photo has been taken in 1969
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50335805923/And other photos of this event
Water and well being: elephant massage session in water in Pinnawala, Sri Lanka
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/30973499367/
Credit: Credit: Flickr/Dhammika Heenpella;
Thames barrier, panorama, UK
The Thames Barrier is a retractable barrier system that is designed to prevent the floodplain of most of Greater London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the North Sea. It has been operational since 1982. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thames_Barrier
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50791797258/
Loy Krathong festival, Lumphini Park, Bangkok, Thailand
Loi Krathong is a Siamese festival celebrated annually throughout the Kingdom of Thailand and in nearby countries with significant southwestern Tai cultures (Laos, Shan, Mon, Tanintharyi, Kelantan, Kedah and Xishuangbanna). The name could be translated as "to float ritual vessel or lamp," and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river. Many Thais use the krathong to thank the Goddess of Water, the Hindu Goddess Ganga (river in Northern India), Phra Mae Khongkha. This festival can see the traces of its origin back to India. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loi_Krathong
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49038881602/
Credit: Fickr / Philip Hayward;
Boat made out of plastic bottles, Brazil
Tuhala whitch's well, Estonia
Tuhala Witch's Well (Estonian: Tuhala nõiakaev) is a karst spring in Kose Parish, Harju County, Estonia that overflows after heavy rains.
In Estonian folklore, it is said to be caused by witches lashing each other underground. In 2012 the Tuhala Witch's Well was voted as a "Wonder of Estonia"
Johan Sveningsson; Save the Tuhala karst area! tuhalanoiakaevuleappi.com/en/
See the photo with original resolution : https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51141356579/
Floating in the Dead Sea, Israel
With a salinity of 342 g/kg, or 34.2% (in 2011), it is one of the world's saltiest bodies of water – 9.6 times as salty as the ocean –
and has a density of 1.24 kg/litre, which makes swimming similar to floating
See the photo with original resolution : https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50962529306/
Credit: Itamar Grinberg/Flickr
Fortified well, Motilla del Azuer, Spain
The "motillas" are fortified sites from the Bronze Age dating from the period between 2200 and 1500 B.C. They are specific to the area of La Mancha, where about twenty have been located. The Motilla del Azuer is the only one that can be visited. It is in Daimiel and is a complex construction with several walls, tortuous corridors and a large courtyard where a recently discovered and excavated well is located. Possibly it was a structure of refuge and defense, not prepared to be used as housing for long periods. The photo shows the well from the central tower.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51141459684/
Hydraulic structure, near Takashima, Japan
The terminal reach of an irrigation canal (to the right) is connected through a pipe with the center of the pool.
The round shape of the pool maximizes the length of the spillway and therefore stabilizes the downstream water level in the canal.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50338726337/
Credit: François Molle/IRD
Land subsidence and sinkholes around the Dead Sea, Israel
The drop in the Sea water level dewaters underground salt layers that dissolve and create land subsidence.
More than 4,000 sinkholes have formed since the 1980s within a 60-km-long and 1-km-wide strip along the western coast of the Dead Sea (DS) in Israel. (source)
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51107522391/
Fisheries at Lake Awassa, Ethiopia
Pelicans, marabous and other birds wait for their share of fish...
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51212383467/And other photos of fisheries in Lake Awassa https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=143925215%40N04&sort=date-taken-desc&view_all=1&text=awassa
Credit: Christian Lévêque/IRD
Coracle made out of Yack skin, Tibet
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51107292114/
Conservation agriculture of vineyards, Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Water is harvested in funnels that direct water to the plant.
Stones protect the vine from the hot wind and also prevent erosion.
See other photos of vineyards in Lanzarote https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=143925215%40N04&sort=date-taken-desc&text=Lanzarote&view_all=1
These pistachio or almonds young trees irrigated by drip lines have been protected from (presumably) the wind
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/43638218370/
Crews corral debris for removal from behind the Lake Oroville flood control spillway gates, California
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/44593580890/
Astonishing photo 97
Water buffaloes keeping cool in the river, Sri lanka
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/26957690194/ and other photos of water buffaloes
Credit: François Molle/IRD
Astonishing photo 98
Chrisman Wind Gap & Grapevines, California, USA
The pumps in the distance are the Chrisman Wind Gap Pumps, which is the first major lift to get Central Valley’s water over the Tehachapis to Southern California (Los Angeles).See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/44730405774/
Greenpeace Mexico campaign against water pollution, Jalisco, Mexico
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/48647360757/
Greenpeace Mexico campaign against water pollution, World Water Day March 2012, El Salto, Juanacatlán, Jalisco
Astonishing photo 100
To celebrate the 100th photo of our ‘Astonishing waters’, here is one of the most outstanding baoli (stepwells) of India
Also see “Victoria Lautman Explores India’s Vanishing Stepwells”: http://m.interiordesign.net/articles/13929-victoria-lautman-explores-india-s-vanishing-stepwells-in-new-book/articles/6807-robert-kleinschmidt/showrooms
Children playing in a groundwater recharge shaft, despite the fence
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/45099893644/
Hot springs and baths, Tolantongo, Mexico
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51484902450/
Group of protesters sprayed by water cannons in Taipei, Taiwan, 2014See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50962494831/
Credit: Credit: By MrWiki321 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32438597
Access pit, underground galleries of Cantalloc (called puquios), near Nazca, Peru
These precolombian galleries, similar to qanats, drain groundwater to a desired location.
Access pits serve to access water or for maintenance
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50961816448/
And more photos of puquios
Pump station with polluted water, Nile Delta, Egypt
The tail end of Meet Yazid canal, Kafr el Sheikh governorate, Nile Delta, is supplied with drainage water diverted from the nearby Nashart Drain.
This drain is higly polluted and foam is generated by the station pumping this water.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/36863347490/
Credit: François Molle/IRD
A dilapidated ship located at the northeast of Lake Urmia, Iran
Lake Urmia is expected to follow the fate of the Aral Sea
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51484904760/
Mussels farm, France
Shellfish farming in the Charente coastal area, France, is dependent on a level of salinity that results from the mixing of sea water (salinity 35 g/l) with fresh water from the rivers.
Not enough freshwater from rivers is detrimental to the growth of shellfish. Too much fresh water (sudden flows) reduces the salinity of the sea water and also impacts shellfish (mortality, loss of shellfish quality, health risks, etc). The quality of river water also matters.See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51243991947/
Hyperintensive table grapes cultivation, Yecla, Segura Basin, SpainGrapes is irrigated by drip with (overexploited) groundwater
Timkat festival in Gondar, Ethiopia
Every year, during the Timkat festival in Gondar, Ethiopia, orthodox christians gather around this basin and pray during two days. After praying all night people jump into the basin. Water is a sacred element linked to Jesus' baptism.
Timkat (Ge'ez: ጥምቀት) is an Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrea Orthodox Tewahedo Church celebration of Epiphany. It is celebrated on January 19th (or 20th in a leap year), corresponding to the 11th day of Terr in the Ge'ez calendar.
Timkat celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. This festival is best known for its ritual reenactment of baptism (similar to such reenactments performed by numerous Christian the Holy Land when they visit the Jordan).More at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timkat
Member of Hai Zira community irrigating using the traditional shadduf, SudanSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51140912068/
Makeshift water wheel in Tajikistan
A local farmer uses the steady stream of an irrigation canal to lift some water to his fieldSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/30352861587/
Liwa Oasis and the development of tourism, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates
Groundwater, used for irrigation and domestic uses, is overexploited in the Liwa oasisSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51268237933/
Saturnia thermal baths, Italy
See other photos of Saturnia baths https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=143925215%40N04&sort=date-taken-desc&text=saturnia&view_all=1See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51707959448/
Mud therapy in Lake Urmia, IranSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51483977346/
Ruins of Malpasset Barrage, France
In 1959 Malpasset dam broke and released 50 million cubic meters of water
Fil archive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKi8ZnBILs4See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51706920557/
Jacob’s well, Texas
An extraordinary well-like perennial karstic spring in the Texas Hill Country that serves as a popular swimming pool
More details at
Other photos here
Cormorant fisherman, Yangshuo, China
To control the birds, the fishermen tie a snare near the base of the bird's throat. This prevents the birds from swallowing larger fish, which are held in their throat, but the birds can swallow smaller fish. When a cormorant has caught a fish in its throat, the fisherman brings the bird back to the boat and has the bird spit the fish up. Though cormorant fishing once was a successful industry, its primary use today is to serve the tourism industry.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/45843866324/
Bubbler spreading groundwater on to Owens Lake bed for the birds and controlling dusthttps://placesjournal.org/article/dreams-dust-and-birds-the-trashing-of-owens-lake/?cn-reloaded=1 https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/45454827271/
Brick making, MadagascarSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50534227366/
Little girl feeding fish for Buddhist merit making, Bangkok
The huge number of fish swarming in front of the temple is visible; and so is the inflow of wastewater into the Chao Phraya River, 200 m upstream, that leaves a white trail of foam.See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/42557204811/
Girl paddling and transporting lotus stems, Cambodia
Lotus stems are used in cooking
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51836449499/
Credit: Mario Keskinen, Alto University, Finland
Credit: Idriss, Djibouti
Astonishing photo 123
Bamboo water-wheel, Ho-Chi-Minh City, VietnamSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/46127140111/
Distribution of water to refugees by UNAMID in Sortoni, North Darfur
Tens of thousands of newly displaced persons fled their villages due to the ongoing clashes between the government of Sudan forces and armed movements which began in mid-January 2016 in the Jebel Marra area, North Darfur have sought refuge in a safe zone adjacent to UNAMIDصs team site in Sortoni.See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/46278545552/
Vav or Helical Step Well, Champaner, IndiaSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50961777918/
'Running water' at home, India
Bamboo is frequently used as water pipes in rural areas
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51877609268/
Credit: India water Portal
Potholes/’marmites de géant’ in the Abime river, Jura, France
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51678577043/
Credit: François Molle/IRD
Building an underground dam, Chad
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50534225216/
Commercial high tunnels in Santa Maria, CA, USA
High tunnels protect plants from severe weather and allow farmers to extend their growing seasons – growing earlier into the spring, later into the fall, and sometimes, year-round. And because high tunnels prevent direct rainfall from reaching plants, farmers can use precise tools like drip irrigation to efficiently deliver water and nutrients to plants. High tunnels also offer farmers a greater ability to control pests and can even protect plants from pollen and pesticide drift.
For more information about USDA and high tunnel systems, please see www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/programs/?cid=stelprdb1046250See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51835919614/
Convergence point of three qanats (foggara), Algeria
Ouled said oasis, near Timimoun, Algeria. Three qanats with small flows converge here and their flows are divided by 'qasria' according to water rights. we can see that some right holders have rights in two or three of the qanats and recombine their shares in one outflow pipe. The local name for qanat is 'foggara'.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/26514430839/
Credit: Idda Salem
Bridge over Laguna Garzón, Uruguay
This is the first bridge designed by architect Rafel Viñoly, who was also designer of the Jazz Lincoln Center in New York and Princeton University Stadium amongst numerous projects. It is iconic, unique in its circular design and ecological in its attention to the aquatic environment above, around and beneath it. Speed limits keep noise and pollution to a minimum and its height allows the continued safe passage of fish and fishing boats.See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51877517351/
Drip-irrigated vine grafts, near Carpentras, FranceSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/33922121068/
Tubewell and 'sprit' image, Karnataka, India
Is the image expected to chase ‘evil spirits’, protect the well, or the crop?
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/45981787802/
Credit: Frédéric Landy
Tilapia breeding facility in Jitra, Malaysiahttps://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/42871412690/
Vespasianus Titus Water Tunnel, excavated in the rock, Turkey
The Vespasianus Titus Tunnel is an ancient water tunnel built for the city of Seleucia Pieria, the port of Antioch (modern Antakya), in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.
It is located at the foot of the Nur Mountains, near the modern village of Çevlik, 7 km (4.3 mi) northwest of central Samandağ (the medieval port of Saint Symeon) and 35 km (22 mi) southwest of Antakya.
The tunnel is part of a water diversion system consisting of a dam, a short approach channel, the first tunnel section, a short intermediary channel, the second tunnel section and a long discharge channel.
The construction of the tunnel was ordered by the Roman emperor Vespasian (reigned 69–79 AD) to divert the floodwaters running down the mountain and threatening the harbor. It was built by digging the rocks using manpower only. The construction began under Vespasian and continued under his son Titus (r. 79–81 AD) and his successors. It was completed in the 2nd century under Antoninus Pius (r. 138–161). An inscription carved in rock at the entrance of the first tunnel section shows the names of Vespasianus and Titus, and another one at the discharge tunnel the name of Antoninus.
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51141356319/
Old olive trees irrigated with circular dripper lines, Yecla, Segura Basin, Spain
Old olive trees have deep roots and need to be irrigated with higher flow; a line with several drippers is laid around the tree.See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51562405719/
Sulavesi coastal area, Indonesia
Paddy fields at the time of land preparation and after sowing.
High daily rainfall keeps fresh water supply in paddies and the outflow from the river channels mostly controls salinity.
Freshwater is allowed into the plot at high tide and can be drained at low tide.See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/27317661269/
Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh
Bamboo production being floated down the riverSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52054955340/
Pilgrims offerings and garbage in Ganges River, IndiaSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/46957826565/
Three generations of lifting devices in the Nile Delta, Egypt
This site was initially a saquia ring (iron water-wheel, right), later replaced by individual pumps (center), and recently equipped with a collective pump by the IIIMP project (with its trashrack and inlet).See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/36863368340
Historical flooding north of Bangkok, Thailand
October 2011See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/45824817311/
Coconut husks being soaked with water for rope making in Thuruttu island, Varkala, Kerala, IndiaSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51877559861/
Cow drowned in an irrigation canal, Nile Delta, Egypt
Canals with steep slopes may prove to be fatal to animals
See another example in Canal de Gignac, near Montpellier https://www.apavh.com/canal-de-gignac-un-pi%C3%A8geSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51213191958/
Dumping sewage water from septic tanks, India
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/51877612103/
School children transportation on the Maroni, Apagui, Grandsanti, French Guyana
In some regions of the world like the Amazon basin, rivers serve as roads
Here in French Guyana, school children are taken by boat daily to their school
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/50740329773
A hunger stone (German: Hungerstein) is a type of hydrological landmark common in Central Europe. Hunger stones serve as famine memorials and warnings and were erected in Germany and in ethnic German settlements throughout Europe in the 15th through 19th centuries. These stones were embedded into a river during droughts to mark the water level as a warning to future generations that they will have to endure famine-related hardships if the water sinks to this level again. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger_stone
See some other hunger stones: https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=143925215%40N04&view_all=1&text=hunger%20stone
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52303183303/
'El Ojo' lake, Argentina
On the outskirts of Buenos Aires in Argentina, there is a mysterious circular island located in the Parana Delta which rotates on its own axis like a distant planet. Scientists believe that the unusual island—known in Argentina as “El Ojo” or “The Eye”—formed in 2003. There is not yet a scientific consensus about how the circular island formed, but there are countless wild theories which involve extraterrestrial life…
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52220712480/
Spiral jetty, Great Salt Lake, USA
Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture constructed in April 1970 that is considered to be the most important work of American sculptor Robert Smithson. Smithson documented the construction of the sculpture in a 32-minute color film also titled Spiral Jetty. It is built on the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake near Rozel Point in Utah entirely of mud, salt crystals, and basalt rocks.
See more photos of Spiral Jetty
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52220221271/
Terraced paddy fields, Sapa, Vietnam
Our 150th ‘Amazing waters’ photo shows a well-known spot with terraced paddy fields in Vietnam.
The question is: how can the plot on top of the mount be irrigated? The answer is provided by the small bamboo aqueduct that takes water to it …
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/49583183807/
Credit: Thanhhoa Tran at Pexels.com
Milky river, France
The Doron de Belleville is a river in Savoy (French Alps) that drains large formations of gypsum rocks. Gypsum dissolved in water turns rivers conspicuoulsly milky.
See the white Doron merging with a ‘black’ tributary https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52303442159/in/photostream/
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52302188147/
Gas bottle reused as a water partitioner for domestic water supply in a rural area of Kirghizstan
The 5 outlets have been drilled at the same level in the bottle, to ensure a degree of equity in distributionSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52359384949/
Credit: Marielle Montginoul
Astonishing photo 153
Fosse-Dionne karstic spring and wash-house, Tonnerre, France
La Fosse Dionne is one of the largest springs in France, situated in the center of the town of Tonnerre (Burgundy) at the base of a limestone plateau. The town was created around the spring. In 1758 the spring pool was converted into a lavoir with a semi-circular enclosure and a hierarchy of water channels. La Fosse Dionne's annual average flow is 200 liters/s (66 gallons per second). The cave above the spring has been explored to a depth of 200′ deep and a lateral displacement of 1,180′ within underground limestone faults and clay membranes. Exploration is now restricted since three divers have died. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19369174
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52303183373/
Credit: Pline — CC BY-SA 3.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19369174
Astonishing photo 154
Conspicuous groundwater resurgence, Kirghizistan
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52359074206/in/photostream/
And the surrounding landscape https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52358122487/in/photostream/
Credit: Jean-Daniel Rinaudo
Astonishing photo 155
Corporate bluewashing, UKSee the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52220221366/
Astonishing photo 156
Montenegro's Water Tree
The Dinoša mulberry tree is a mulberry tree in the village of Dinoša, Montenegro, which gushes water from its trunk after heavy rainfall. It is thought that groundwater from a spring forces its way through a cavity in the tree. The phenomenon first occurred in the 1990s, and occurs once a year.
See more at: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dino%C5%A1a_mulberry_tree
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52219218407/
Astonishing photo 157
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52220491169/
Dubai love lake
And other photos of the lake https://fr.depositphotos.com/stock-photos/love-lake-dubai.html
Astonishing photo 158
Makeshift water pipe made of welded metal drums, Kyrgyzstan
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/52358122382/
Astonishing photo 159
Set of pumps at the end of a tertiary canal, Nile delta
This ‘pump sump’ is located at the tail end of a tertiary canal and sources water from a main drain.
Each individual pump has its engine and can pump water to the canal in a rotation.
This compensates for the insufficient supply on the opposite side (canal inlet)
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/36422733094/
Credit: François Molle
Astonishing photo 160
Fish farmer transporting a saquia to a workshop, Nile Delta.
Metal saquias are still used to lift water to fishponds because of their high discharge
See the photo with original resolution https://www.flickr.com/photos/water_alternatives/37071091566/
Astonishing photo 161