in Mosul, city residents digging for their own groundwater

A remarkable piece in this morning’s New York Times about urban residents’ drive for water:

MOSUL, Iraq — The water taps are dry in Rashidiya.

The water and sewage system collapsed in this eastern Mosul neighborhood after 100 days of street combat. On Sunday, Haitham Younis Wahab and his neighbor Shamsuldeen Ahmed Saed decided to do something about it.

Out came the sledgehammers, steel pipes and shovels.

The two men pounded and dug for three days. Sixteen feet down. Twenty feet down. Nothing. And then, 26 feet beneath the cracked sidewalk, they struck water. After all, they live just a half mile from the muddy Tigris River, which divides eastern and western Mosul.

It is not drinkable, David Zucchino and Ben Solomon report. But it is something.