India Water Shortage Alert

Updated 20 June 2019


The Situation:

Four reservoirs that supply Chennai, have run nearly dry. With low groundwater levels and

insufficient rainwater collection systems, the state government has resorted to trucking

water directly into Chennai neighborhoods, where hundreds of thousands of residents wait

in line for their minimal allocation.


At least 550 people were arrested Wednesday in the city of Coimbatore for protesting with

empty water containers in front of the municipal government's headquarters, accusing

officials of negligence and mismanagement.


People have begun fighting over water, with minor clashes across Chennai. Trucks bringing

water into cities have even been hijacked and drivers attacked. In response to the ongoing

crisis in Tamil Nadu, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) opposition party is calling for

state-wide protests on June 22.


What to Expect:

  • Water restrictions in place

  • Access to water in hotels may be limited

  • Closing of restaurants and other businesses

  • Local demonstrations can begin spontaneously and escalate with little warning, disrupting transportation systems and city services, or may turn violent


Mitigation Factors to Apply:

  • Monitor local news media for updates

  • Enroll in the Safe Traveler program (STEP) to receive warnings from the U.S. Embassy

  • Keep bottled water nearby

  • Remain alert to changing situations

  • Avoids all crowds, protests and demonstrations



DISCLAIMER and Hold Harmless

Disclaimer: LSDS gathers information from multiple sources and offers insight and perspective to travelers. Sources cannot be validated for accuracy in every instance. Travelers assume all risk associated with their travel and are responsible for the decisions associated with travel and for their own safety. Users of this reference document agree, to hold harmless LSDS (LLC) its employees and clients associated with any risk or injury incurred during travel.

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