This article originally appeared on VICE India
India is currently caught in the throngs of an unprecedented water crisis. As southern and western regions of the country face catastrophic drought-like conditions, taps are running dry in both, rural and urban areas, with drying reservoirs and low groundwater levels being major concerns.
In Maharashtra, there has been a 283 percent rise in water tanker demand. In Chennai, lakhs of employees have been asked to work from home as offices don’t have water for even normal operations. In Gujarat, the dry riverbed of the Narmada is being used as a parking lot. In Madhya Pradesh, cops have been told to escort and guard water tankers after clashes over water distribution were reported. While the on-ground situation is already pretty scary, the delayed onset of the monsoon and reports that say that 21 cities will run out of groundwater by 2020 put us even more on edge.
Even as some remain oblivious to the crisis—like Virat Kohli’s domestic help who was caught and fined for washing a car with drinking water, and Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Shekhawat who recently said that the scarcity is only a hype created by the media—these pictures prove otherwise.