Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

European Union and India are coming together to address the challenges that lies in water in India. Both will jointly take up seven research and innovations projects of approx INR 320 crores.

Three European countries on Wednesday signed agreements with India to support India’s river rejuvenation project under the India-EU water partnership (IEWP) framework.

This pact will enable the implementation of EU innovative technologies for the water programme.

As many as 130 entities, including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), universities and municipal corporations, would work together on these time-bound projects which are aimed at improving quality of drinking water, waste-water management and real-time monitoring of water systems, said a press statement issued by the European Union on Thursday.

Six expressions of intent and MoUs were exchanged between the IEWP and several European member states, including Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, international organizations as well as IIT Kanpur at the 4th EU India Water Forum (IWF) on Wednesday.

Arjun Ram Meghwal, minister of state for water resources, river development, and Ganga rejuvenation, who inaugurated the forum, oversaw the signing of the MoUs.

Besides supporting the government initiative to rejuvenate the river Ganga, the projects will also support transfer of European technologies to India, which would require them to be tested, demonstrated, and customized to suit Indian needs, at an affordable cost. The cooperation will also lead to increased scientific excellence while ensuring that the technology can be deployed and be of benefit to the entire population, it said.

“Many of these water challenges are common to India and the EU. The selected research and innovation projects will aim at 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,” the statement quoted Tomasz Kozlowski, EU Ambassador to India, as saying.

While the project India-H2O will focus on developing bio-mimetic and phyto-technologies for low-cost purification and recycling of water, the focus of the Lotus project will be on developing cheaper and innovative technologies for water quality monitoring and water resource management in urban and rural areas.

Developing innovative decentralized water treatment technologies for urban and peri-urban areas will also be attempted as part of these projects which would be carried out over the next four years. The Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Biotechnology will be responsible for the Indian part of the funding, the statement said.

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