Gone With the Flow
The Khasi Hills of northeastern India are one of the wettest places on Earth, typically experiencing torrential rains throughout the monsoon season and laying claim to the world record of 1,000 inches of rainfall in just one year. Now, though, the Khasi Hills are drying up due to environmental changes wrought by pollution, deforestation, the development of industry, and a growing population. In recent winters, the rains have almost stopped and springs have run dry, forcing villagers to bring in water from neighboring areas. The Khasi Hills city of Cherrpunji, which is particularly hard hit, received less rainfall in all of 2001 than it got in just one month in 1861, according to an Indian meteorological service.