The water level in the South Lhonak glacial lake is expected to lower by 2 metres from its previous depth of 20 metres by the end of the winter, thanks to a process of siphoning that began last September, experts and Sikkim government officials said.
A sensor that monitors sudden fluctuations in the water level also has been installed near the lake, which lies at an altitude of over 5,400m (17,500 feet) and is accessible only by a five-day trek over high passes.
But perhaps the most innovative part of the operation is that, under current plans, some of the water drainage pipelines will have their final sections raised vertically. As pressure forces water out of the raised tip into sub-zero air, the flow will form ice cones.
Over the past three winters a similar project in Ladakh, designed by environmental engineer Sonam Wangchuk, has created an ice cone 20m (65 feet) high, …