“If the headwaters are poorly conserved, the water deity and aquatic lives will be lost,” said Dhondrub Chos’phel, secretary of the Snowland Great Rivers Environmental Protection Association, at a water source in Ganda Village, Yushu City in the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China’s Qinghai Province.
Ganda Village is located 18 kilometers away from Jiegu Town and provides water for over 150,000 people in the town. In 2009, the association and villagers launched a water source survey at Ganda. They recorded 192 water sources, but 50 of them had dried up. Due to global warming, this phenomenon is common in Sanjiangyuan, the headwater region of three great rivers.
To protect the area’s water sources, they picked up rubbish at water sources, built altars and had eminent monks perform ceremonies, reviving their traditions regarding water conservation. In 2016, they expanded the survey scope and recorded 380 water sources. Among them, only 23 dried up.