Hon’ble Minister for Jal Shakti Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Minister Ms. Lea Wermelin, Minister of Environment, Denmark and Hon’ble Minister Mr. Flemming Møller Mortensen, Minister of Development Co-operation, Denmark along with the Indian Delegation launched a Whitepaper on ‘Urban Wastewater Scenario in India’ at International Water Association (IWA) World Water Congress & Exhibition 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 12, 2022.
A government of India interdisciplinary team was formed with partners from Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, Ministry of Jal Shakti and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), international agency Innovation Centre Denmark (ICDK) and academia Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) to develop a whitepaper on urban wastewater management.
Considering all stakeholders’ concerns for wastewater management, this whitepaper holistically captures the current status of wastewater treatment in India and potential pathways for future treatment structures, co-creation and collaborations was collectively produced.
Curated by experts from AIM-NITI Aayog, ICDK, NCMG and IIT Bombay, the whitepaper further highlights some success stories, need for wastewater treatment, scope for improvement and augmentation in existing infrastructure and technologies, methods for public participatory approach, financing and co-financing options, smart technologies for rapid data collection and dissemination and building capacity via training and stakeholder apex bodies for increasing the efficiency of urban wastewater treatment for India.
This whitepaper is an outcome of Green Strategic Partnership with a focus on green hydrogen, renewable energy and wastewater management between India and Denmark and their bilateral ties.
Speaking during the launch, Minister for Jal Shakti, Government of India Shri Gajendra Singh said “Recognising the importance of holistic water management, our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has brought various activities related to water under one umbrella and formed an integrated ministry in the name of Jal Shakti in 2019. This has given greater synergy and coherence to water management in India and we have committed investments of more than US $ 140 Billion by 2024 in water sector. Along with massive investment from Government, we adopted community centric approach whereby at least 10% funds are contributed by community in every program ensuring community ownership and participation.”
Meanwhile, discussing the white paper on Urban wastewater Scenario in India, Shri Avinash Mishra, Advisor, Water Vertical, NITI Aayog said “This white paper is a straightforward narration of the Indian urban wastewater sector. However, this has parallels across the world. India’s ancient wisdom promulgates that ‘the whole world is one family’, which enunciates the need of transcending man-made boundaries to address the common issues. Collective global thinking and concerted local actions should be the strategic model to deal with the problem, or rather an opportunity, of urban waste water management. When cities are growing smart, water cannot take a back seat.”
As part of Indo-Danish Bilateral Green Strategic Partnership, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog in partnership with Innovation Center Denmark (ICDK) – a unit under Embassy of Denmark and Denmark Technical University (DTU) design, earlier planned and implemented the AIM-ICDK Water Innovation Challenges in India.
These challenges were placed to identify promising innovators from India, who could represent and form the Indian participation in the global Next Generation Water Action program hosted by IWA and Denmark Technical University.
AIM on boarded academic partners – IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay and International Center for Clear Water at IIT Madras and Incubator partners – AIC- Sangam and AIC FISE to guide the teams. Teams working on India problems were provided mentorship support by a carefully curated and illustrious panel of water experts.
Following this, the Danish embassy conducted the AIM-ICDK 2.0 water innovation challenge again with the partnership of Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog.
Next Generation Water Action (NGWA) is an international initiative with the ambition to engage young talents from leading universities and innovation hubs before, during and after the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition 2022.