India’s Bengaluru is Fast Running Out of Water, and a Long, Scorching Summer Still Looms

Published in Associated Press

Mar 17, 2024

Photo by Sanket Shah on Unsplash

Bhavani Mani Muthuvel and her family of nine have around five 20-liter (5-gallon) buckets worth of water for the week for cooking, cleaning and household chores.

“From taking showers to using toilets and washing clothes, we are taking turns to do everything,” she said. It’s the only water they can afford.

A resident of Ambedkar Nagar, a low-income settlement in the shadows of the lavish headquarters of multiple global software companies in Bengaluru’s Whitefield neighborhood, Muthuvel is normally reliant on piped water, sourced from groundwater. But it’s drying up. She said it’s the worst water crisis she has experienced in her 40 years in the neighborhood.

Bengaluru in southern India is witnessing an unusually hot February and March, and in the last few years, it has received little rainfall in part due to human-caused climate change. Water levels are running desperately low, particularly in poorer areas, resulting in sky-high costs for water and a quickly dwindling supply.



Sibi Arasu for Associated Press.

This article was also published in Seattle Times, CNBC, Bloomberg, The Independent and Washington Post.

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