In a semi-desert area like Zanskar, it rarely rains and, during winter, it snows a lot only on the highest parts of the mountains. Therefore, water is very valuable. To get some it is possible to collect it from the glacier, to harness a source or to divert and filter the raging water of the torrent.
The RZA studied and compared several possibilities to harness efficiently and rationally. The decision made was to build a structure to transport some water from the Stongday glacier. An insulated double pipe made of galvanized steel was buried about 40 to 80 cm (1,3 to 2,6 ft) underground on a 3 km (9840 ft) length between the Stongday Monastery and the school plot. This installation is emptied every year before winter.
Then, a water tower was built, standing 6 m (20ft) high. It supports three barrels with a capacity of 1000 liters each. Linked to the water network and to a big reservoir of 70 m3, it ensures the water supply for the school, the staff building, the showers, the kitchen, the plantations and a faucet for the use of the village. Plus, the water tower is fed by two solar pumps, ensuring the water distribution by using gravitation on the whole plot.
A thousand small trees, willows and poplars, werethus planted on the school ground making it now pleasantly lined with trees. The greenhouse is also irrigated.
Because of the harshness of the climate and seeing the actual climate modifications, the RZA is thinking about other measures to initiate in a medium-term to help villagers keep a water supply.