Water Reuse in India, a priority area for the India-EU Water Partnership
The India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP) is an outcome of the ‘Joint Declaration on Water’ adopted by India and the EU on 30 March 2016 during the 13th EU-India Summit in Brussels, to enhance cooperation on water issues, including the ‘Clean Ganga’ programme of the Government of India. It aims to facilitate cooperation between India and a flexible coalition of EU Member States on water-related issues of mutual interest by further developing the IEWP; and to foster business opportunities for EU companies having the technical know-how to contribute to improving the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of water management in India. Within the IEWP, nine Priority Areas have been established for work, including one (PR8) on promoting “Treated Wastewater Reuse”.
Over the past years, the reuse of treated wastewater has become increasingly important in India, in particular in water stressed basins, and several Indian states have developed policy documents, including regulation for standards and mandatory use for certain water users (e.g. PWC, 2016; WSP and IWMI (2016)). In addition, the National Mission Clean Ganga has fostered water reuse as a means to strengthen the financial sustainability and access to water in the Ganga River basin. So far, few data sets are available on the actual implementation of reuse in India; however, several reports have been published in the past years, suggesting further actions to be taken.
In this context, and considering the difficulties to address treated wastewater reuse across the country a Roundtable Discussion on ‘Treated Wastewater Reuse Polices and Approaches in India and the European Union: A Comparative Assessment’ was convened by the IEWP on 23 July 2019 in close cooperation with National Mission for Clean Ganga and National Water Mission. The objectives of the discussion were:
- to compare the elements included in treated wastewater reuse policies and approaches;
- to discuss implementation challenges, possible solutions and a strategic way forward towards formulation of a national policy framework on reuse of treated wastewater
Seventy five participants from Ministry of Jal Shakti, its allied institutions (CWC, CGWB, NMCG, NWM), Academia and Research, representatives from States, Public & Private Industries, IEWP/GIZ PMU participated in the discussion. More information and the power point presentation can be found here: https://www.iewp.eu/news-events.
Roundtable Discussion on ‘Treated Wastewater Reuse Polices and Approaches in India and the European Union: A Comparative Assessment’ – July 2019.
From left to right: Ms. Martina Burkard, GIZ India; Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga; Shri U. P. Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India and Prof. Vinod Tare, IIT Kanpur.
During the event, the Ministry of Jal Shakti confirmed its interest in updating the national water reuse policy of India, with the support of the IEWP. The European Union (EU) provides a good learning example for India as a pan-European guideline for treated wastewater reuse in agriculture and for managed aquifer recharge has been developed, and common minimum standards for water reuse in agriculture are under endorsement. Further steps and activities are planned in 2019 and 2020.
As one of these actions, Water Reuse Europe and VITO have contributed over the summer of 2019 to further strengthen contributed to the IEWP review and comparison of several treated wastewater reuse (TWWR) policies and approaches in Indian states and the EU, illustrating the policy development and implementation experience in the EU.
In addition, Collaboration in Research, Innovation & Technology is aimed for, in particular with the Horizon 2020 projects WATER-INDIA, which deal with Drinking water treatment, Wastewater treatment and Monitoring of water quality, applying different pilots across India. Further information on the projects can be found here.
For further information, please contact the IEWP at https://www.iewp.eu/contact.
PWC (2016). Closing the water loop: Reuse of treated wastewater in urban India. September 2016 Knowledge paper.
WSP and IWMI (2016). Recycling and reuse of treated wastewater in urban India: A proposed advisory and guidance document. Colombo, Sri Lanka.