Raj Kumar Jaiswal begins his day irritated. He needs water from the pump that stands in the courtyard of his home. Working the handle is a struggle; it often yields little water, or none at all.
If you live in one of India’s big cities, you share the road with water tankers. They thunder down the streets, delivering water to houses and apartment complexes, often spilling through some invisible leak. Tucked away on side streets, locals throng them with buckets. Tankers are part of an economic ecosystem that are inseparable from a country whose cities teem with millions of people, but whose public utility companies often don’t have enough water to go around.