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Opinion

Chennai's drought has tough lessons for Asia's economies

Chronic water shortages risk hampering industrial globalization

| India

Chennai is meant to be India's great manufacturing center, a self-styled "Detroit of Asia," with plans to transform itself into a global hub for electronics and smartphone exports. But lately this megacity has made headlines for a less happy reason: running out of water.

For months many of Chennai's seven million residents have survived on deliveries from tankers, lining up each morning for a daily water ration. These travails illustrate a wider problem which will soon be faced by many other developing Asian countries, in which water supplies begin to act as a major barrier to industrial development.

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