"No water, no life." - Tashi Stobdan, resident of Kumik.
Waterless is a story about Kumik, a village located in the Zanskar Valley, India. For a thousand years, Kumik had a sustainable source of water, the glacier that ran down the mountain behind the village. The glacier has now completely retreated due to climate change. Kumik is now reliant on a spring that is recharged by snowmelt, which is also in decline and faces perpetual drought conditions. This is having major impacts on the village to grow adequate food supplies and cater to their all important livestock. Furthermore, there have recently been political divisions within the village, which hitherto, were not an issue in the past when water was amply available.
The community began an independent, slow, and planned relocation to the valley floor close to the Zanskar River to once again access reliable water. A canal, for $3000, was dug to bring “Lower Kumik” water from the river, which was initially successful newly relocated villagers were able to grow crops on the new land. However, a lake outburst downstream washed away the canal. Ten families that moved were waterless once again and unable to afford to build another canal. Both villages now resemble one another, water starved.
Accompanying written story: "Fabled Stories of the Waterless Village" (click name).
*best viewed on a computer.