National Geographic : 2010 Apr
Cotton supports a sleepy worker at a plant in Qurghonteppa, Tajikistan (above), and, economically, half the country's population. Rivers charged by glaciers irrigate this thirsty crop. Slum dwellers in Delhi (below) wait hours for a refill from a privately owned tap; many will be turned away. "Some have, some have not," says Syed Hasnain of Delhi's Energy and Resources Institute. "That will always be India."