Chennai: The wait for water begins in the dark at 4am. By the time A. Vani reaches the public pump, a dozen women are already in line. The taps in Vani’s home in a working-class suburb of this South Indian city ran dry a month ago. Now her entire morning is spent chasing water, then carefully rationing it for washing, bathing and cooking. She used to open her beauty parlour at 10am, but now she is lucky if she gets there by early afternoon. Satellite images a year apart (June 2018 – June 2019) shows Puzhal reservoir in Chennai, India before and during the drought.Credit:AP As the sun rises, so, too, does the heat, heading toward a high of 43 degrees celsius. Finally, at 8am, water spills from the pump. But the flow is erratic, requiring a 10-minute wait before the next vessel can be filled. A sharp argument erupts between neighbours over whose turn is next. Last month, a woman in the area was stabbed when a fight over water turned violent. The situation is “mental torture,” said Vani, 44, hoisting a neon-coloured plastic pot full of water to her waist before starting on the walk home. But, she added, “whatever lengths we have to go to get water, we ...