South Asia's Troubled Waters

The majority of India's water sources are polluted. A lack of access to safe water contributes to a fifth of its communicable diseases. Each day in the booming, nuclear-armed nation, diarrhea alone kills more than 1,600 people.

The regional scenario is even more grim given the projected impact of population pressures and global warming—which aggravates the flood and drought cycle of the monsoon, and the melting of Himalayan glaciers that serve as a natural water reservoir used by a billion people. Northern India may run out of groundwater within a decade, leading to a collapse of agriculture in regions like Punjab, the country's "breadbasket." Pakistan is already on the brink of water scarcity. Meanwhile, a rash of environmentally questionable dam building along the nuclear rivals' shared rivers is further stoking geopolitical tension.

From India to Bangladesh and Nepal, this project will explore the role of local innovators and international actors in aggravating or alleviating the region's water crisis. The reporting will take them from the slums of Delhi to parched rural deserts, and from monsoon-ravaged Bangladesh to the Himalayas.

Water in Nepal

Nepal is awash with water during the wet season. But for most of the year life in Kathmandu-- a city already choked by smog, and growing more polluted with the influx of rural Nepalis each year-- is strained by the circumstances of an ageing and inadequate water distribution network hobbled by political instability. Photos of life in the Himalaya's dirtiest city.

Pakistan: Refugees Flee Swat Fighting

Zeeshan Khan, a 17-year-old engineering student, says he knows who Pakistanis blame for what has become the largest migration in their country's history. "These people are coming due to the bombing," he said, gesturing to the thousands of refugees milling around the Mardan refugee camp. "Due to the jet artillery, the F-16s, the heavy weapons. All our houses are destroyed."

Bangladesh: Climate Migrants

Thursday, at the World Climate Conference in Geneva, Bangladesh's prime minister called for assistance from the international community to help the country adapt to the impacts of climate change, which, she said, could necessitate the relocation of 20 million Bangladeshis by 2050.

Consequences as Himalayan Glaciers Melt

Climate change is melting the glaciers of the world's highest mountains, affecting millions downstream.

See video as it originally ran at Time.