Water: Save every drop – earthrise

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  • Estimates say that by 2030, if we carry on as we are, the world will only have 60 percent of the water it needs. In India’s Ladakh, rising temperatures are leading to glacial melt and water shortages in the mountains of the Himalayas. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is also sturggling as it experiences severe drought.

    earthrise travelled to both Ladakh and Jordan to understand the local solutions being applied to help ease the increasingly worrying water problems.

    Ladakh’s Ice Stupas

    All life depends on snow in Ladakh, with the high-altitude desert region receiving only 50mm of rainfall a year. Agriculture and survival depends mainly on the water that comes from snow and glacial melt, but with rising temperatures and changing weather patterns, most villages in the area are experiencing severe water shortage.

    Since 1980, the average temperature has increased by over 2 degrees with huge impact on the local environment. The glaciated area in Ladakh has been lost, meaning that glaciers are much smaller and in some areas have disappeared altogether.

    Sonam Wangchuck has been on a mission to help villagers adapt to the changing climate through his ice stupa concept. The ice stupa builds upon a simple idea – by directing glacial melt or water traveling downstream through a pipe to a location nearby. This water is then channelled vertically, freezing and forming cone like structures in temperatures reaching minus 20 degrees celcius.

    Russell Beard travels to Ladakh to join Wangchuck in building an ice stupa and explores how this innovative solution is helping the local community.

    Water Wise Women

    Jordan is going through a severe drought. Pressure on water supplies is being aggravated by the presence of two million refugees who have fled the conflict in neighbouring Syria.

    Groundwater reserves are being depleted at an alarming rate and, on top of that, around 40 percent of the water distributed to homes across the country is lost through illegal wells and faulty pipes.

    Through the Water Wise Women’s initiative, local ladies are being trained to be plumbers. They are now able to deal themselves with any leakages in their own homes and communities, thereby saving water in a more timely manner.

    Amani Zain visited Jordan to learn about the water initiative that is putting women at the heart of efforts to combat water scarcity.

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    In This Story: Kingdom of Jordan

    Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is an Arab country in the Levant region of Western Asia, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. The Dead Sea is located along its western borders and the country has a 26-kilometre (16 mi) coastline on the Red Sea in its extreme south-west. Jordan is strategically located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe. The capital, Amman, is Jordan’s most populous city.

    Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. The sovereign state is a constitutional monarchy.

    From as early as 1948, Jordan has accepted refugees from multiple neighbouring countries in conflict. An estimated 2.1 million Palestinian and 1.4 million Syrian refugees are present in Jordan as of a 2015 census. The kingdom is also a refuge to thousands of Iraqi Christians fleeing persecution by ISIL.

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