Dear ESRAG members,

share your skills to conserve freshwater supplies for billions

Glaciers in Leh, Ladakh. Photo: Pixabay. Graphic design: Deniz Vural

​​We are excited to introduce a pioneering initiative — the Conserving Glacial Resources Task Force.  ESRAG’s innovative collaboration is being forged as an opportunity for members of all branches of the Rotary family to share their skills in technology, advocacy, and data analysis to conserve freshwater supplies for billions of people endangered by climate change.

The Task Force plans to implement and evaluate innovative glacial management techniques to slow down melting and conserving the meltwater. Additionally, the Task Force aims to enhance citizen science participation by collaborating with local Rotary clubs, districts, and ESRAG Regional Chapters. Rotary members worldwide are invited to actively participate in the group to plan and conduct campaigns for environmental sustainability in glacier regions. This includes contributing to awareness-raising efforts through local and international workshops.

The Global Crisis: Glacial Melting and Water Scarcity

The Conserving Glacial Resources (CGR) Task Force addresses the pressing issue of glacial melting and its severe consequences. Glaciers, once steadfast reservoirs of freshwater, are rapidly diminishing, posing a threat to freshwater supplies for billions of people and jeopardizing ecosystems, agriculture, and industries worldwide.

ESRAG’s innovative collaboration is an opportunity for the worldwide Rotary family to help plan and conduct campaigns for environmental sustainability in glacier regions. This includes awareness-raising efforts through local and international workshops.  Clubs, districts, and ESRAG Regional Chapters will be also able to contribute by organizing citizen science.

The Ladakh Pilot Project: A Beacon of Hope

The inaugural project will unfold in the cold-arid mountain region of Ladakh in the vicinity of the Karakoram and westernmost Himalayan mountain ranges. Glaciers here play a crucial role in sustaining life. Over the past seven years, local communities, in collaboration with institutions in the Swiss Alps and Ladakh Himalayas, have pioneered the construction of artificial ice reservoirs, known as ice stupas and ice terraces. This tradition, deeply rooted in the belief that glaciers are living entities, has proven effective in capturing and storing water through the winter, providing a lifeline to communities dependent on glacial meltwater.

The Technological Leap: Automated Ice Reservoirs

Building on this tradition, the Conserving Glacial Resources Task Force introduces a transformative leap with the implementation of automated ice reservoirs. This cutting-edge technology not only enhances water storage but also addresses critical challenges faced during manual construction. The automated system operates in two modes, Freeze and Drain, intelligently managing water flow based on weather conditions, thus maximizing efficiency and ensuring maintenance-free operation.

The Call to Action: Join Us in Making a Difference

As we stand on the cusp of a pivotal moment in environmental conservation, we invite Rotary members to be a part of this initiative. We are looking for dedicated volunteers who share our commitment to environmental sustainability and community resilience. Your expertise, passion, and unique perspectives will be invaluable in shaping the success of this task force.

How You Can Contribute:

  1. Technology Enthusiasts: Engineers, programmers, and tech innovators, your skills are pivotal in refining and advancing our automated ice reservoir technology.
  2. Environmental Advocates: If you are passionate about environmental conservation, climate action, and sustainable practices, join us in raising awareness and driving impactful change.
  3. Community Leaders: Local community engagement is at the heart of our project. We seek leaders who understand the needs and dynamics of their communities to ensure the success and sustainability of our interventions.
  4. Research and Data Analysts: Help us quantify the impact of our initiatives. Researchers and data analysts are critical to assessing the effectiveness of our interventions and shaping future strategies.

Together, Let’s Preserve Our Glacial Resources for Future Generations!

Join us in this pioneering effort to conserve glacial resources and empower vulnerable communities. Your involvement can make a significant difference in mitigating the impact of climate change and ensuring a sustainable future for regions dependent on glacial water. To volunteer or learn more, please contact

Let’s collaborate to positively address the challenges posed by glacial retreat and work towards building a resilient future together.

ESRAG Director Deniz Vural is a researcher at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, where she focuses on changing shoreface dynamics in the western Canadian Arctic. As an enthusiastic climate ambassador, she pursues science communication initiatives to enhance public awareness of climate change and polar-related topics. Deniz is currently a member of two districts: RAC Tuzla (D-2420) and RC Eurasia (D-2420) in Istanbul, Turkey, and RAC Berlin International (D-1940) in Berlin, Germany.