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.
Bangalore, India’s “BPO” and information technology capital, is full of them because of the city’s population growth in the past 25 years — 1.5 million people in 1971, 9.5 million in 2011, according to census data.