EU-India Water Co-Operation:
from Wastewater Treatment
to Drinking Water Purification & Monitoring & Control Systems in Distribution & Treatment

On 30th of April, the SME Connect Working Group SDG6 together with the VTA hosted a zoom webinar on “EU-India Water Co-Operation – From Wastewater Treatment To Drinking Water Purification & Monitoring & Control Systems in Distribution & Treatment” in contemplation of evaluating the current water situation in India and highlighting the potential of paving the way for a possible joint venture for manufacturing of water treatment technologies and systems.

After a short introduction from Srita Heide in which she set the scene of the current water situation in India and mentioned that a couple of initiatives has been implemented already, Dr. Paul Rübig highlighted the importance of the Sustainable Development Goal 6 and the urgent need of a circular approach with high quality standards to guarantee people´s health.

The first keynote speech by Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, put special emphasis on the National Mission for Clean Gangawhich aims to ensure effective abatement of pollution and rejuvenation of the river Ganga by adopting a river basin approach. This aims to promote inter-sectoral co-ordination for comprehensive planning and management. Furthermore, it seeks to maintain minimum ecological flows in the river Ganga with the aim of ensuring water quality and environmentally sustainable development. He enlightened the importance of the EU inter cooperation in terms of encouraging SMEs with technology to invest and support the project.

Dirk van der Stede stated that water is not only business, but its life. Not only because we need water to survive, but also because from the global perspective 90% of the economy and 75% of the jobs rely on water. Reaching the Sustainable Development Goal is impossible without a suitable water solution. He shed light on initiatives already implemented like the CGanga which is supported by Water Europe and Vlakwa Vito. His approach is to think global and act local!

Anita Roy explained that the ganga river has improved on its own during the complete lockdown. Nevertheless, the clean ganga mission is more vital than ever. Moreover, she stated the legal framework for international SMEs to collaborate with Indian companies in providing technology for the Indian market to join a variety of projects or joined ventures.

Ravi Varanasi has accentuated the focus of SMEs from the Indian market prospective. He underlined the importance of definitions. Wastewater has a stigma, a negatively association. When one calls it used water instead, it is giving water a better image. Transparency is as much important as sharing information, as European research is fundamental for approaching water security. Therefore, he highlighted the importance of a joint venture between Europe and India.

The webinar ended with Anja Pölz who summarised the technologies and the progress of the VTA Group. The importance of suitable water management plans around the world is necessary for reaching the SDG6. With the efficient use of wastewater treatment plans, India might improve the water stress level to ensure fewer risks of health hazards for healthier citizens.