There are many ways to steal water. Close a tap. Block access to a river. Drain a well. Or, more viciously: steal life out of it.
This is what cholera does. It creeps into its victims when they drink or eat, and once inside their bodies it keeps on looting: it siphons water, making it gush out, from vomit and from diarrhea, continuously, relentlessly. In the most extreme cholera cases an adult can lose up to twenty liters of water in just one day. Death is quick to follow.