Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Artificial glacier could help Ladakh villagers adapt to climate change

Ice Stupa Artificial Glaciers of Ladakh : The Monk (HH the Rinpochey), The Engineer and The Artificial Glacier on 1st of May 2014.
 An artificial glacier made in the form of an ice stupa in Ladakh. Photograph:
Villagers of the high desert of Ladakh in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state used to harvest bountiful crops of barley, wheat, fruits, and vegetables in summer.

But for years the streams have run dry in spring, just when farmers needed water to sow seeds. They had water when it wasn’t needed during the rest of the year, such as in winter, when Ladakhis let water gush from taps to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.

Villagers blame climate change for causing glaciers to shrink by melting them faster than before.

To resolve the water-shortage problem, Sonam Wangchuk, a mechanical engineer, and his team of volunteers are building a gigantic vertical block of ice in Phyang, nine miles from Leh, the capital of Ladakh. When spring comes and the artificial glacier melts, farmers will have flowing water.

The ingenious method stores water without the need for concrete water storage tanks or dams. While it won’t stop glaciers from shrinking, it could help people adapt to a warming world.

Read more at the Guardian

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