…and there was no water for the people to drink. And the people disputed with Moses and they said, “Give us water, that we may drink.” ..And the people thirsted for water there…The wording here suggests that first there was no water, then the people complained, and only then they became thirsty. In other words, before they became thirsty, they were already arguing about the water. God would not have allowed the people to become thirsty but since they complained – prematurely – that they were thirsty, explains the Netziv, God allowed them to become thirsty