Israel, one of India’s biggest defence partners, wants to offer its expertise in water management and help the government with its ambitious Ganga cleaning project.
Israel’s water management, desalination and recycling techniques, which helped it overcome a water crisis following years of drought, have been emulated by several countries. Israel has also set a template for reusing wastewater for irrigation. It treats 80 per cent of its domestic wastewater, which is recycled for agricultural use, and nearly 50 per cent of the total water used for agriculture.Experts to visit India
Armed with these water management techniques, Israeli officials have met their counterparts in the Union Ministry for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, headed by Uma Bharti, to offer help in water conservation and the Ganga cleaning programme.
A delegation of experts from Israel will be in India in August to assess the areas of Ganga cleaning that the country can contribute to.
Considering the losses made by water utilities across the country and high volume of non-revenue water, Israel has also offered to streamline the water management and distribution services. “The advantage we have is that we have a wide range of solutions for problems; there are specific problems in different States and our experts have solutions. We are pushing for more government-to-government agreements,” the spokesperson of the Israeli Embassy, Ohad Horsandi, says.
Israel’s Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon recently called on Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu to offer his country’s assistance in water management to meet the challenge of water scarcity in the burgeoning urban areas. Water management through reuse, recycling and distribution management will be a component in the Smart Cities and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation ‘Amrut’ programmes flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June.
The Ambassador has extended an invitation to Mr. Naidu to attend a conference on water-related issues in Tel Aviv in October.
Speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Horsandi said: “Israel’s work in water desalination has been widely accepted and used. We are keen to help India meets its water needs for drinking as well as agriculture.”
India and Israel have already signed agreements for agriculture partnership and 28 centres of excellence have been set up in Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. These centres offer training to agriculturists on how to increase their produce and on effective means of irrigation.