India’s sixth-largest city is facing a water crisis as its four main reservoirs are completely dry.
Residents are standing in long lines to get water from the government, and many restaurants and hotels have closed.
In early 2018, a three-year drought pushed Cape Town, South Africa, within weeks of experiencing “Day Zero”—the day when the city would run out of water and the taps would be shut off.
But in India, “Day Zero” has already arrived for over 100 million people, thanks to excessive groundwater pumping, an inefficient and wasteful water supply system and years of deficient rains.
The 2019 monsoon rains are behind and the reservoirs have completely dried up.
People are having to queue in line for hours in killer temperatures of more than 50 deg C 122 deg F to get rationed water from the Indian government.
Today is day zero for Chennai, the city has run out of water and the taps have been cut off.
For 100 million people in India day zero had already arrived and next year it is thought millions more will be without water when water will run out in Northern India.
Hundreds of Indian villages have been evacuated as historic drought forces families to abandon their homes in search of water.
The country has seen extremely high temperatures in recent weeks.
On Monday the capital, Delhi, saw its highest ever June temperature of 48C.
In Rajasthan, the city of Churu recently experienced highs of 50.8C, making it the hottest place on the planet.
Further south, less than 250 miles from the country's commercial capital, Mumbai, village after village lies deserted.
Estimates suggest up to 90% of the area's population has fled, leaving the sick and elderly to fend for themselves in the face of a water crisis that shows no sign of abating.
The village of Hatkarwadi, about 20 miles from Beed in Maharashtra state, is almost completely deserted.
Wells and handpumps have run dry in the 45C heatwave.
The drought, which officials say is worse than the 1972 famine that affected 25 million people across the state, began early in December.
By the end of May, Hatkarwadi had been deserted with only 10-15 families remaining out of a population of more than 2,000.
With 80% of districts in neighbouring Karnataka and 72% in Maharashtra hit by drought and crop failure, the 8 million farmers in these two states are struggling to survive.
More than 6,000 tankers supply water to villages and hamlets in Maharashtra daily, as conflict brews between the two states over common water resources.
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