The water in Ladakh is generally hard as it contains high amount of minerals such as calcium and salt. Nonetheless, the tap water or the running water is safe to drink. In many places, water is extracted from the ground through submersible pumps and hand pumps. You can also bring water purifying tablets and filters to be safe.
The packaged drinking water is sold in almost all the shops in Leh and Choglamsar. However, you are advised to refill the bottles with filtered water to reduce the garbage problem. These plastic bottles are dumped at the dumping sites in absence of a recycling plant. There are several water refilling stations in Leh market; even some of the guest houses and hotels have water filters at home.
Drinking water at the teaching ground and campsite is supplied by water tankers, water taps and hand pumps installed at various points.
Tourists are advised to drink plenty of water to avoid any high altitude sicknesses, because water helps to replace the fluids lost through heavier breathing in the thin, dry air found at altitude.
Plastics are strictly banned in Ladakh, nevertheless the packaged foods some of which come in plastic packs are imported from outside to meet the ever increasing demand.
We have toilet facilities, both western style flush toilets and local dry compost toilets at the campsites and the teaching ground for public convenience. The toilets and urinals are installed at various places at the venue; mostly on the bank of Indus River, on the left side of the stage. The wastewater from these toilets go into the pits, it is not drained into the river or any water source.
Water is scarce in Ladakh and the wastewater from the toilets and bathrooms are not properly treated. Hence it sometimes contaminates the groundwater which is extracted to use as drinking water or irrigation water. To save water, you are requested to use the dry compost toilet as much as possible, instead of the flush toilets at your hotel or guesthouse or home. The dry compost toilets generate good manure (night soil) which is used in the fields and vegetable farms. It may smell and stink a little bit but it doesn’t pollute the fresh water or the environment. Human waste does not go waste if we use the traditional compost toilet!