World: How Dry They Are

At Tokyo's supermodern Olympic Village last week, drilling crews were digging furiously in four places at once. Storage holes for pole-vault poles, perhaps? No. They were emergency artesian wells. With the 1964 Olympics only eight weeks away, the world's biggest city (pop. 10.6 million) was running out of water, and fast.

Drained by an exploding population, leaky water mains and an abnormal lack of rainfall, Tokyo's reservoirs have been emptying for three months. Even water rationing, mild at first but increasingly drastic, did little to slow the ebb: by last week there were only 4,800,000 tons of water left—less than the city...

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