My interest in the world started early. I am the son of intrepid travellers, Geoff and Hyungpun Crowther. From writing the infamous BIT Guides that helped hippies travel overland from Europe to Asia and being founding writers at Lonely Planet for...
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.
Young Nepali migrant workers hired to help tend to the farmland over the summer due to a shortage of young people in the village. Most young people of Kumik are studying in large Indian cities such as New Delhi and Jammu.
Community members are continuing to build new homes even in the face of near-constant drought conditions. Kumik's retreated glacier can be seen in the background with all but a bit of ice left on the mountaintop.
Thukjay Dolma, a resident of Lower Kumik, washes dishes under a pipe that brings water down from Kumik. Thukjay, put all her family's meagre savings into moving and building a new home. Once again, without water and savings, they are unsure of what the future will bring them.