India and the European Union have decided to jointly invest Rs 323 crore (approximately USD 45 million) on seven projects over four years to find affordable solutions to improving drinking water quality and boosting wastewater management in India. These projects were selected under the EU – India Joint Call on Research and Innovation for Water.
Presented by the Delegation of the European Union to India, the Department of Science & Technology and the Department of Biotechnology, these selected projects will develop new and/or adapt the most suitable existing innovative and affordable solutions for Indian conditions, both in urban and rural areas, thus providing some key solutions to the urgent water challenges.
In total, 130 entities will be a part of these projects, ranging from universities and research labs to municipalities and private companies. Amongst others, IIT Bombay, IIT Guwahati, IIT Bhubaneswar, IIT Roorkee, IIT Delhi, CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) and TERI are some of the institutes that will be collaborating in these projects with leading universities and institutes from Europe. European and Indian businesses and SMEs are also participating to test the manufacturing of water treatment technologies and systems.
These projects will not only support the Ganga rejuvenation initiative, but also facilitate the transfer of European technologies to India, which will be tested, demonstrated and customised to Indian needs at an affordable cost. The cooperation will also lead to increased scientific excellence while ensuring that at the end of the project, the technology can be deployed and be of benefit to the entire Indian population.
Uneven distribution of water resources triggered by climate change, extreme water-related events (floods and droughts) and increasing demand due to population growth and economic development, as well as water pollution add additional stress to water, the environment and food security.
“Many of these water challenges are common to India and the EU. India and Europe have, in the past, collaborated intensively on water, enriching each other’s technological and scientific knowledge and management capacities to cope with stress on water resources. The selected research and innovation projects will/or aim at further addressing these key water issues together with India and in doing so, will contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals to which both Europe and India are committed,” said Mr Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union to India.
The seven selected projects are:
- India-H20: bio-mimetic and phyto-technologies designed for low-cost purification and recycling of water.
- LOTUS: Low-cost innovative technology for water quality monitoring and water resources management for urban and rural water systems in India.
- PANI WATER: Photo-irradiation and adsorption based novel innovations for water-treatment.
- PAVITR: Potential and validation of sustainable natural & advance technologies for water & wastewater treatment, monitoring and safe water reuse in India.
- PAVITRA GANGA: Unlocking wastewater treatment, water re-use and resource recovery opportunities for urban and peri-urban areas in India.
- SAEASWATI 2.0: Identifying best available technologies for decentralized wastewater treatment and resource recovery for India.
- SPRING: Strategic planning for water resources and implementation of novel biotechnical treatment solutions and good practices.
Prior to the launch event, the India-European Water Partnership (IEWP) met on 13 February to ensure full synergy between the policy dialogue between India and the EU on water and how research and innovation efforts could facilitate the implementation of the issues identified.