Delegation to explore possibilities of joint ventures with Indian organisations

With its experience in handling water crises through public-private partnerships, South Australia can help India in its water management programmes, according to representatives of the Water Industry Alliance from the State.

Joe Flynn, CEO of the alliance, who is leading a delegation to India to explore possibilities of joint ventures with Indian organisations, said South Australia had developed expertise in water technology due to extreme scarcity.

While countries such as Israel too boasted of innovations in the field, the Australian experience in sharing of river water between States and its concerns with addressing environmental issues mirrored India's approach to solving the water crisis, he said.

Apart from technological innovations, South Australia had relied on PPPs and the separation of land and water rights to ensure efficient use of water. “Creating a market with trading of water rights similar to commodities trading has also helped in efficient resource management,” he said.

A.K.Tareen, senior trade commissioner – India, Government of South Australia, said the delegation, which also plans to visit New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai, held discussions with officials from Metrowater, Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board and the Public Works Department.

As Tamil Nadu is a “sister State” of South Australia, there was interest in learning about techniques used by South Australia in managing water for irrigation, drinking supply and also sewage treatment, he said.

Brian Hayes, chairman, Australia-India Business Council, said the companies that were working under the Water Industry Alliance had the full backing of the South Australian government and invited companies in India to work closely with them.