Today at the 4th World Water Summit in New Delhi, the Australian Government announced its contribution of $10 million to support cooperation between Australia and India on urban water security.
The Australia-India Water Security Initiative delivers on our commitment to strengthen water security cooperation under the auspices of the Australia-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, agreed by our respective leaders in June. It also reflects the high value Australia and India place on water security – the life blood of our communities, environments and economies.
Australia’s funding will support the exchange of the latest tools and technologies for safeguarding water supply to India’s fastest growing cities, and will focus on wastewater treatment, recycling and water-sensitive city design.
On June 5, through a virtual meet between Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, Australia and India through a renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed to deepen policy and technical cooperation to improve water management and sustainable economic development.
The MoU renewed on 20 May 2020, was co-signed by Secretary Andrew Metcalfe AO of Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and Secretary UP Singh of India’s Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Minister of Jal Shakti (Water Power) on 20 May 2020.
The first water MoU between India and Australia was signed in 2009 and first renewed in 2014 which for the second time in May this year.
Key projects under the auspices of Australia and India’s water MoU include:
- The Brahami-Baitarni basin management project
- The National Hydrology Project
- Village-scale groundwater recharge and management
The Water Security Initiative will pair Australia’s expertise in water and urban design with Indian counterpart agencies and institutes – known as a “twinning arrangement” – to address the increasing challenges associated with providing water and sanitation to cities.
The partnership will create opportunities for Australia’s private sector to develop and implement world-leading water management systems.
This is another example of Australia and India’s commitment to an ambitious partnership, which is making a vital contribution to human health, environmental management and economic growth in both our countries.
Earlier on 10 November, Australia-India Water Centre was inaugurated virtually through a Webinar, in view of the pandemic situation. The Water Centre is led by University of Western Sydney from Australia and IIT Guwahati from India along with 21 other partners from India and Australia.