Kumik, Zanskar Valley, India - As long as Kumik's history dates back they have had a sustainable source of water. The carving glacier behind the village. More recently, due to climate change, the glacier has completely melted. Kumik is now reliant on a spring that recharges by winter snowmelt, also in decline. The community, lacking a sustainable water supply, face ongoing drought conditions and dwindling crop harvests that affect not only food, but incomes, and the well-being of the livestock.
So far, some community members began an independent relocation to the valley floor, closer to a reliable water supply, the Zanskar River. A new canal, bringing water up to the new village, 'Lower Kumik' was built at great cost. Initially successful, the canal enabled them to grow crops without the water worries.
Concern followed shortly after the celebration. A glacial lake outburst upriver destroyed the canal. Unable to afford to build another canal or relocate again, the new community resembles the old in their continued struggle for water.
"No water, no life." - Tashi Stobdan, a resident of Kumik.