Iceman creates artificial glaciers in the Himalayas

Chewang Norphel (87) also known as the 'Ice Man of Ladakh' by locals is an engineer, a former rural development officer, and an inventor.

He has built artificial glaciers in the Himalayas to provide farmers with water for irrigating their crops.

In Ladakh, where annual rainfall is minimal at about 86.8mm (3.4in), 80% of farmers rely on glaciers for irrigation. However, decreased snowfall over the past 30 years has led to shrinking glaciers and severe water shortages in Himalayan villages.

Responding to these climate challenges, Norphel created a method to ensure farmers have enough water for their crops despite the delayed glacier melt in June.

His innovation brings glaciers closer to villages, mitigating yield shortfalls.

The Himalayas host 55,000 glaciers across 3 million hectares, crucial for Asia's river systems that sustain 1.5 billion people.

Climate change threatens these glaciers, potentially reducing their size by a third by the century's end. This could devastate crop production and affect the livelihoods of 129 million farmers who depend on glacier meltwater.

The village's water supply has increased by up to 20% since the project started. The artificial glacier is beneficial for about 10 villages by far.

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