In the summer of 2016, a quarter of the country, or over 330 million people, were affected by drought. Among the worst hit was Marathwada, a region spread across 25,000 sq. miles in west-central India, about 350 km from the financial capital of Mumbai. The monsoons failed for the third year in a row, causing unprecedented agrarian distress. Over 1,100 farmer suicides were reported from the region in 2015, and by the first 71 days of 2016, 216 more farmers had ended their lives.

In the cities of Latur and Parbhani, authorities imposed Section 144, prohibiting gatherings of more than five people at water tankers to prevent scuffles. At the height of the crisis, trains were deployed to carry drinking water to Latur every day, from a source 300km away. For the people who survived this drought – and for millions around the globe – a world without water is not a distant possibility in the future. It is reality. On World Water Day, photographer Harsha Vadlamani shares his photographs from a landscape gone dry.

Click (above) to view his photo story.