India's artificial glaciers helping Himalayan villages with drought
Sunday, March 15, 2015, 4:29 PM -
A mechanical engineer and a team of volunteers are working to help parts of India impacted by drought.
Sonam Wangchuk and his team are building a "gigantic vertical block of ice," in Phyang. In spring when the glacier melts, farmers will have access to flowing water, The Guardian reports.
The high desert of Ladakh in the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir was once flourishing with crops of barley, wheat, fruits, and vegeables in the summer, Climate Central notes.
The past few years found that streams run dry in the spring, when farmers were just beginning to sow seeds for harvest. According to local villagers, climate change is to blame. Glaciers are shrinking because they melt faster than before.
Artificial glaciers avoid the construction of dams or concrete water storage tanks, which is arguably a resourceful way to help communities adapt to global climate change.
In an interview with The Guardian, Wangchuck says he hopes to build 80 to 90 more glaciers. "It's difficult to say how many people will eventually benefit," Wangchuck tells The Guardian. "But there'll be enough water for many more. This is an economic as well as ecologic[al] activity."