A week-long visit to the UK by an Indian delegation of senior civil servants and research leaders with responsibility for the water sector has achieved its objective to develop knowledge-sharing links with key UK policymakers, regulators, researchers and water industry specialists.
A top priority for India is to harness international capabilities across water science, management and policy so that it can apply this knowledge to hasten the clean-up of its own rivers, in particular the River Ganga, through the ‘National Mission for Clean Ganga’ strategy.
With pre-existing parallel administrative and legal systems to the UK, the opportunities for India-UK collaborations to build water research, regulation and environmental protection capabilities are considerable. Clear openings for the application of UK scientific, technical and governance expertise were identified following the various presentations, seminars and workshops.
Once implemented, the water infrastructure and regulatory improvements will help deliver improved public health through better water supply and sewage treatment. These and other improvements to the freshwater environment will deliver enhanced water security and support economic development.
Commenting on the Exchange, Mark Lane, Director, UK Water Partnership said, “This Summit was announced in a joint statement issued by Prime Minister Modi of India and David Cameron in November 2015 and the UK Water Partnership, working with partner organisations, has played an important role to catalyse the
initiative and help make it happen.
“Deliverables from the Exchange are intended to include a summary of the main issues and an action plan. The next stage will be to appoint organisations with a view to implementing the tasks in the action plan,” he added.
The visit was supported by a number of organisations, including the British High Commission in New Delhi, the Scottish Government, Costain Group and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and was run by the NERC’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH).
Dr Harry Dixon from CEH said, “The UK is a recognised global leader in water with advanced capabilities in hydrological science, water innovation and the implementation of environmental and economic regulation. The links developed through this initiative will help UK organisations and companies build collaborations which will be beneficial to both the UK and India.”
Further information about the visit, including photos and presentations from the week can be found at:
For further information about the UK Water Partnership, please contact:
Alexa Bruce, Secretariat, The UK Water partnership