At the 1st German Water Partnership Day on 22 October in Bangalore (Federal State of Karnataka in south-western India) and at IFAT India in Mumbai German and Indian experts discussed the challenges facing the Indian water sector but also opportunities of cooperation.
Under the headline „German Solutions to Indian Challenges“ over one hundred participants in the 1st Indian-German Water Partnership Day explored the needs of water management in India and discussed sustainable approaches, focusing on three aspects: challenges of monitoring the drinking water quality in urban and rural regions, efficient treatment of industrial and municipal waste water, and sustainable solutions for municipal waste water and storm water management.
Three panels discussed possible approaches towards a sustainable development. „Many GWP members, especially those active within the Regional Section India are already involved in various local projects of water management. The 1st Indian-GWP Day which we were able to realise with support by the German-Indian Chamber of Commerce and the German Consulate General in Bangalore showed that India is in need of extensive investment in the development of sustainable water management. We, as the German water sector have the expertise needed and are looking forward to further dialogues and cooperation with our Indian partners.", stated Michael Kuhn, Deputy Head of the Regional Section India.
Beside the panel discussions, the participants took the opportunity for both individual conversations and to learn more about the products and services of GWP members at the small exhibition.
After the conference in Bangalore, GWP and nine member companies travelled to Mumbai to present German technology, products and services for all fields of water management at a joint booth at IFAT India, which took place from 24-26 October. Within the framework of the exhibition GWP organised a one-day forum with presentations by GWP members and on this occasion consolidated the exchange about needs of the Indian water sector and possibilities of cooperation.
Christine von Lonski, director at German Water Partnership, declared herself happy with the outcome of the GWP presentation at IFAT India 2013: "Messe München International India has done extremely good work with the first IFAT India. Our members are more than satisfied, both as individual companies and as a network. During the whole trade fair we have been busy talking to highly qualified visitors who were very interested in our products and services. We are proud to be partner of Messe München and are looking forward to the next event."
India’s water management faces huge challenges: the high demand of water contrasts starkly with the poor supply infrastructure. Though India possesses only four percent of the global fresh water resources it has to provide drinking water for 16 percent of the world population. Strong population growth together with exploding economic growth further aggravates the situation. The situation on the waste water sector is just as difficult: round about two thirds of the total amount of waste water flow back into the water cycle without any treatment.
India has set itself the goal of increasing the efficiency of water use by twenty percent by 2017. There are several approaches and measures to reach this goal.
For instance the new governmental draft of the National Water Policy intends to treat water as a commodity. The access to drinking water shall become easier while at the same time directives will be issued stipulating sustainable and careful use of the water resources. Among other things, it is intended to significantly reduce the rate of non-revenue water, which lies at about forty percent at the moment. Further, the draft includes increasing the water prices in order to push ahead with the expansion of the water infrastructure.
There are already some concrete measures in planning for Bangalore: for example the government of the Federal State of Karnataka in the south-west of India has announced investments in the order of billions for measures to improve the Bangalore infrastructure. For the improvement of drinking water supply and waste water disposal alone it plans to invest round about 650 million US-dollars between 2015 and 2010.
Picture: Jörn Rohde, German Consul General in Bangalore, also spoke about the region’s infrastructural problems in water management at the 1st Indian-GWP Day (Image: GWP)
Source: German Water Partnership