Waterless

"No water, no life." Tashi Stobdan, resident of Kumik. 

Kumik, Zanskar Valley, India has for a thousand years had a sustainable source of water, the glacier that carved down the mountain behind the village.

Due to warming global temperatures because of climate change, the glacier has completely melted. Kumik is now reliant on a spring that recharges by winter snowmelt, also in decline. The people now face continuing drought conditions.  

The lack of water access is impacting the people of Kumik and their ability to grow enough food and cater to their livestock of cows, goats, and sheep.

The situation forced the people of Kumik to begin an independent and slow relocation to a more reliable water source, the Zanskar River. A canal, for $3000, was dug to bring Zanskar River water to the new village of 'Lower Kumik.' It was initially successful and newly relocated peoples were able to grow crops on the new land.

However, a glacial meltwater lake outburst upstream washed away the canal. Ten families that relocated were left waterless and now had to, again, rely on the limited supplies from the old village of Kumik. Unable to afford another canal, both communities resemble one another in their continued struggle for water.

Accompanying written story: "Fabled Stories of the Waterless Village" (click name).

*best viewed on a computer.