Water crisis: India. An Update by Michael F McElroy

Photos by Michael F McElroy

You can read the first article about “Water Crisis” by McElroy here

Michael F McElroy is a photojournalist dedicated to documenting the social, political and environmental issues that define our times. He is currently working on long term documentary projects including the Global Water Crisis, Farmer Suicides in India, and the current US Economic Crisis. Michael has been honored by POY International, Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, Communication Arts and nominated for PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers in 2010. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and his work has been published world wide in Newspapers and magazine. Michael is currently based in Miami, Florida.


Contaminated water is a problem world wide, according to the World Health Orginazation in 2007 1.1 billion people lacked access to clean drinking water, and 1.8 million people die per year from contaminated water. In Bhopal, India the Union Carbide company carelessly dumped toxic waste from 1968 to 1984 that has conaminated ground water to this day, People living near the site are forced to drink this water since there is no other source.


Navi Mumbai was initionally formulated to decongest Mumbai but that dream is slowing fading away as Mumbai’s population of 23,000,000 grows and spills over into the worlds largest planned city. Vertical slums fill the horizon and people still start there day filling up water contaniers at illegally tapped llines that run from 7-8 in the morning.


Kolkatta is the second most congested city in the world in terms of population density, some 15 million people pack every square inch of space available, They live, work, eat, sleep and bathe on the streets.


Kolkatta is the second most congested city in the world in terms of population density, some 15 million people pack every square inch of space available, They live, work, eat, sleep and bathe on the streets.


Indian farmers see suicide as the only way out after being pushed into debt through crop failures. One of the major factors for the crop failures has been falling water irrigation levels, global climate change and the increasing globalization of water rights.


Due to heavier that average monsoon rains and lack of irrigation farmers in Pandarkowra lost most of there cotton crop. This loss places a economic burden on workers who migrate from their home village of Bedhkathi for 2-3 months a year with their families to work in the cotton mills. The little cotton there was to process was water logged and had to be dried out before it could be processed.


Due to heavier that average monsoon rains and lack of irrigation farmers in Pandarkowra lost most of there cotton crop. This loss places a economic burden on cotton pickers who depend on the INR 150 per day ( about $2.50 US) they earn to suppliment there incomes.


Kokatta is one of the worlds most populous citys with 15 million people living in the metropolitan area, clean potable water is hard to come by. 50 percent of the residents live on the streets or in shanties and collect water wherever possible.


Navi Mumbai was initionally formulated to decongest Mumbai but that dream is slowing fading away as Mumbai’s population of 23,000,000 grows and spills over into the worlds largest planned city. Vertical slums fill the horizon and people still start there day filling up water contaniers at illegally tapped llines that run from 7-8 in the morning.


Men bathe in the stree in Kolkatta, India, one of the most populous citys on the planet.

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