The government of Maldives has declared a state of emergency after a fire at a water treatment plant cut off drinking water to the capital.
About 100,000 residents in Male have lost access to drinkable tap water, the government says.
The authorities are providing bottled water for free. Scuffles were reported as residents fought to buy up water supplies in shops.
India says it is airlifting drinking water to the low-lying island chain.
The Maldives government has also appealed to Sri Lanka, China and the US for help.
Sri Lanka is to provide assistance to the Maldives which is suffering from a water crisis, the External Affairs Ministry said.
A Ministry spokesman told the Colombo Gazette that Sri Lanka had been approached for assistance and arrangements are being made to respond to the request.
“100,000 water bottles will be sent. The first batch will be sent tonight,” the External Affairs Ministry spokesman said.
India on Friday sent an IAF transport aircraft and naval vessels carrying a large consignment of water to meet the immediate requirement of over 100,000 people.