Water Crisis in Uttar Pradesh, India

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Residents living in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh are facing critical water shortages. Locals are blaming the government for the problem, saying authorities have not upgraded the water supply system for twenty-five years.

Locals of the north Indian town Bara Gaon are complaining of ongoing water woes.

Often women and children walk for miles trying to find water.

What water they do manage to get is usually dirty and not fit for drinking.

Village elders say it happens every year when summer arrives.

[Jamuna, Local Villager]:
"I have been a resident of this village for the last 25 years and have been facing this situation every year. The plight is so bad that we go to the streets and fill the buckets with (dirty) water. Our children go (long distances) on cycles daily to fetch water. The government just promises to solve our woes at the time of elections, but after that it completely ignores our needs."

Water is supplied to the village by tankers, and local residents often fight each other to get their share.

[Ram Murty, Local Villager]:
"The water situation here is really bad. We have been facing the same problem for the last 20-25 years. We have no water to drink at all. In fact, an old lady died two days ago due to the scarcity of water here and children are dying of thirst. The politicians just come to us for votes but do not care to solve our problems."

The local government, which has not installed a single water pipeline in the last 25 years, says it's working on the problem.

A 2009 World Bank report predicted many parts of India would run dry as the groundwater reserves dry up.