In this Wednesday, July 17, 2019, photo, workers fill wagons of a train with drinking water piped in from the Mettur dam on the Cauvery River, at Jolarpet railway station, 216 kilometers (135 miles) from Chennai in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

JOLARPET, India (AP) — Amid the green Yelagiri hills of southern India, the train inches along the tracks, carrying what has become precious cargo: drinking water bound for Chennai, India's parched Motor City.

Demand for water in the manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to serve the city's 10 million people. And so, every day, the train sets out on a four-hour, 216-kilometer (134-mile) journey, its 50 tank cars carrying 2.5 million liters (660,000 gallons) of water drawn from a dam on the Cauvery River.

The train is classic Indian "jugaad," the Hindi word for a makeshift solution to a complicated problem.

In this Wednesday, July 17, 2019, photo, workers fill train wagons with drinking water piped in from the Mettur dam on the Cauvery River, at Jolarpet railway station, about 216 kilometers (135 miles) from Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Wednesday, July 17, 2019, photo, hose-pipes are used to fill train wagons with drinking water piped in from the Mettur dam on the Cauvery River, at Jolarpet railway station, about 216 kilometers (135 miles) from Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Wednesday, July 17, 2019, photo, a worker takes a break to drink water as train wagons are filled with drinking water piped in from the Mettur dam on the Cauvery River, at Jolarpet railway station, about 216 kilometers (135 miles) from Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Wednesday, July 17, 2019, photo, a railway guard clears the track for a train carrying drinking water piped in from the Mettur dam on the Cauvery River, at Jolarpet railway station, about 216 kilometers (135 miles) from Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Wednesday, July 17, 2019, photo, a train carrying drinking water, piped in from the Mettur dam on the Cauvery River, leaves Jolarpet railway station, about 216 kilometers (135 miles) from Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Thursday, July 18, 2019, photo, a train carrying drinking water arrives at Villivakkam railway station in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Thursday, July 18, 2019, photo, workers arrive to decant drinking water from a train at Villivakkam railway station in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Thursday, July 18, 2019, photo, a worker attaches a pipe to decant drinking water from a train at Villivakkam railway station in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Thursday, July 18, 2019, photo, workers attach a blue pipe to decant drinking water from a train at Villivakkam railway station in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Thursday, July 18, 2019, photo, a blue pipe is used to decant drinking water from a train at Villivakkam railway station in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. On its daily sojourn, the 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water, a small but critical source for Chennai’s water board, which is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Monday, July 15, 2019, photo, a water tanker driver waits for his turn as other tankers get filled at a water filling depot in Chennai, in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Demand for water in India’s Motor City, a manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal, far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents. Like other fast-growing cities in the developing world, Chennai's water woes have been in the works for some time. Years of urban sprawl, rapid population growth and poor management of water resources have now reached a breaking point. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Thursday, July 18, 2019, photo, a water tanker driver Ranganathan climbs onto his vehicle at a water filling depot in Chennai, in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Demand for water in India’s Motor City, a manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal, far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents. Like other fast-growing cities in the developing world, Chennai's water woes have been in the works for some time. Years of urban sprawl, rapid population growth and poor management of water resources have now reached a breaking point. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Thursday, July 18, 2019, photo, a water truck carrying drinking water arrives at a locality in Chennai, in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Demand for water in India’s Motor City, a manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal, far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents. Like other fast-growing cities in the developing world, Chennai's water woes have been in the works for some time. Years of urban sprawl, rapid population growth and poor management of water resources have now reached a breaking point. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Monday, July 15, 2019, photo, people fill drinking water from a water tanker truck in Chennai, in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Demand for water in India’s Motor City, a manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal, far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents. Chennai’s water board is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to turn off the taps for millions of users in June. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Monday, July 15, 2019, photo, colorful vessels lie in wait to be filled with drinking water from a water truck in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Demand for water in India’s Motor City, a manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal, far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents. Chennai’s water board is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Monday, July 15, 2019, photo, residents wait for water trucks to arrive in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Demand for water in India’s Motor City, a manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal, far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents. Chennai’s water board is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Monday, July 15, 2019, photo, residents fill drinking water from a truck in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Demand for water in India’s Motor City, a manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal, far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents. Chennai’s water board is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. A 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water to the city daily. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Thursday, July 18, 2019, photo, K. Devi, 41, center, talks to her neighbor as they wait for a water truck to arrive in their shanty town in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Devi said that her daily ration means bathing and washing clothes only once a week. Sometimes she supplements her supplies with cans of water for 35 rupees (about 50 cents) apiece. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Monday, July 15, 2019, photo, a woman carries drinking water filled from a water truck in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Demand for water in India’s Motor City, a manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal, far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents. Chennai’s water board is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. A 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water to the city daily. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
In this Monday, July 15, 2019, photo, a woman walks into a house with a vessel of drinking water filled from a water truck in Chennai in Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Demand for water in India’s Motor City, a manufacturing and IT hub on the Bay of Bengal, far outstrips supply, forcing authorities to take extreme and costly measures to deliver potable water to its residents. Chennai’s water board is employing an army of trucks to deliver 500 million liters of water a day since desiccated reservoirs and fast-diminishing groundwater forced the city to ration public tap water to millions of users for months. A 50-tank train carries two and a half million liters of drinking water to the city daily. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)