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24×7 warm water discovered at Siachen Glacier by Dr Arya

24×7 warm water supply at Siachen Glacier

24X7 supply of warm water, and that too at Siachen Glacier? Sounds incredible, but it is true! Dr Ritesh Arya, world renowned geologist who holds the Guinness World Record for drilling a bore well in the high-altitude cold mountain desert of Ladakh, has now discovered the first geothermal source of warm water at Siachen Glacier base camp.

The source is very much active and the warm water has been sucked out after digging a bore well. Billed as one of the most significant discoveries in the field of geothermal exploration and development in Indian sub-continent, the source will help the Central Government save crores of rupees spent every year on ferrying fossil fuels to the icy part of the globe to enable the troops to melt snow to meet their needs. “It will be a boon for the Indian troops stationed at Siachen. They would now be able to get 24-hour supply of warm water which can be used for cooking, bathing, laundry, washing utensils, space-heating and raising plantations by using green house culture, but not for drinking. Scientists can do research to make it potable. It will help save a lot of fossil fuel, minimize pollution and save the glacier from environmental hazards”, Dr Ritesh Arya told Daily Post in an exclusive interview at his residence in Panchkula, on Wednesday.

The famed geologist had been asked by the Army last year to explore and develop geothermal source at Siachen Base Camp for the troops. Credited with the stunning discovery of potable water systems in Ladakh, Dr Arya said, “I discovered the geothermal source in October, 2011 but wanted to test its capacity during the months of winter. I visited the place on April 18 along with men of the Engineering Corps to conduct the test and the results are encouraging: warm water oozing out of the well even when the temperature outside is sub-zero”, he said. The temperature (15 degree C) at the source is not very high. With the help of further geo-scientific investigation and deeper drilling, it may be possible to get water bearing higher temperature. It may also help locate more such geothermal sources in the remote areas of the Himalayas.


A decade ago, Dr Arya had dug bore wells for potable water in the high altitude cold mountain desert of Ladakh, not only for Indian troops but also for the locals. The bore wells, drilled by him with the help of Engineers Corps of the Indian Army, have been serving as lifeline since 2000, providing 24-hour water supply even in winter (-40 degree C) to the troops as well as to the locals. These are still operational. “A good geothermal energy source has three basic requirements: a high thermal gradient — which means accessible hot rock — plus a rechargeable reservoir fluid, usually water, and finally, deep permeable pathways for the fluid to circulate through the hot rock. Though this initial discovery met the last two parameters the thermal gradient was not very high. But with more investigations and deeper drilling the initial parameter had also been met”, Dr Arya disclosed. Dr Arya suggests that efforts should be made by India and Pakistan to de-militarize the glacier.

Hot water discovered in Siachen by Dr Arya – The Times of India


Hot water discovered in Siachen by Dr Arya – The Times of India                              , TNN | May 1, 2012, 09.24PM IST

                                          Dr Arya with Army troops at Siachen                                        (background Siachen Glacier and warm water oozing from the borewell)

The highest battlefield in the world, Siachen glacier, hides a warming truth, recently discovered. Geologists have discovered hot water from geothermal sources in the glacier which is nearly 15 degrees warm in plunging -40 degree Celsius weather. The hot source has come as a relief in the freezing conditions as it can now be used for growing vegetables, setting up green houses on the glacier besides cutting down heavy reliance on expensive fossil fuels.

Siachen Glacier (Receeding due to warming)

The Indian army had outsourced the project of first discovering ground water in Siachen sector as soldiers were being compelled to melt ice from the frozen Siachen river to quench their thirst and for all other purposes. Ritesh Arya, the project director, known for establishing a record in the Guinness Book of World Records, for discovering water sources at highest altitude in Ladakh, told TOI from Leh,”We had drilled holes a decade ago for the army, in coordination
with 4 Engineers Corps, to discover underground water sources in Siachen. Last year, we were assigned a task to explore and develop geothermal source in Siachen Base Camp by Indian Army. We explored the site for geothermal
development by drilling borewell but it was a tough task especially as it was assigned on’ no water, no money’ basis.”
It took several months before the source of geothermal site was discovered, in October, last year.” We wanted to test the source in winters. We
finally visited the site on 18 April, 2012 with engineers from 17 Eng Corps and the discovery of geothermal source at base camp was
established,”said Dr Arya.

A PU alumnus, Dr Arya, said that the borewells for groundwater in Siachen has been giving 24 hours water even in winters when temperatures
drop to minus 40 degrees. “Though the temperatures of the source are not very high but still the water can be put to good use for developing
green houses for growing vegetables, bathing, washing etc. So far the army is relying only on fossil fuels for heating water which is a very
expensive proposition at the altitude of 14000 feet,” he said.

Raising concern about the shrinking of Siachen glacier the geologist said, “The glacier has receded sharply and we are investigating how much.
The glacier should be demilitarized, as the Pakistan army is mooting, and instead it should be developed as a geothermal tourist destination for
which it has vast unexplored potential.”

Hot water discovered i


Dr Arya to knock global warming myths | The Asian Age

Jan 29, 2011
Indian Guinness record holder Ritesh Arya is preparing to explode what he believes are “unnecessary” myths about global warming. Dr Arya has been invited to develop his findings on global warming as a research paper  “C-Curves & Global Warming Natural ”, for presentation at the Global Conference on Global Warming 2011 at Lisbon Spain later this year.

Having spent most of his working life looking for precious water resources across the higher Himalayas, Indian Guinness record holder Ritesh Arya is preparing to explode what he believes are “unnecessary” myths about global warming. Dr Arya, who was also recently listed amongst the top 10 small-scale renewable energy innovators at the World Renewable Energy Summit at Dubai for his work on geothermal energy in the Himalayas, has been invited to develop his findings on global warming as a research paper for presentation at the Global Conference on Global Warming 2011 at Lisbon Spain later this year.

He holds the Guinness Record for drilling the world’s highest tubewell for the Indian Army at Siachen in 2001. Entitled, “C-Curves & Global Warming”, the young scientist will use field geological data (palaeoclimatic signatures available in rock formations) collected in the Ladakh Region to demonstrate that “global warming is a natural process and man and his activities have no role in enhancing or reducing the cyclic process.”


He employs qualitative and quantitative distinctions in the deposition of sediments (now solidified as rock) to demonstrate the cyclical warming and cooling phases that the earth seems to have undergone over time. “We are currently in a global warming era and the process of this warming began around the last ice age that is believed to have ended around 10,000 years ago,” said Mr Arya.