Rajasthan to get Australian assistance for water sector

July 22, 2022 07:50 pm | Updated 07:50 pm IST - JAIPUR

Rajasthan is set to get technical assistance from Australia for groundwater management, water purification and capacity enhancement in the water sector as part of a memorandum of understanding signed between India and Australia. An Australia-India Water Centre has been established under the MoU for long-term collaboration in research and education between the two countries.

South Australia’s water ambassador Karlene Maywald, who is visiting Rajasthan, had met Additional Chief Secretary (Public Health Engineering) Subodh Agarwal here on Wednesday and discussed the scope for using modern technology for water management. Ms. Maywald said the geographical conditions of Rajasthan and South Australia were “somewhat similar”, which could facilitate cooperation between the two States.

Ms. Maywald is accompanied by a delegation comprising technical experts and policy advisers. She said Rajasthan could take advantage of new research and technology by becoming a participant in the water centre, which focused on water and food security, safe drinking water supply, river health, water-energy-food nexus and other related aspects of mutual benefit.

Ms. Maywald, who earlier represented the seat of Chaffey in the South Australian House of Assembly, said the water centre had developed a technology for water purification by removal of harmful elements at a low cost without adversely affecting the environment. As many as 17 leading technical institutions of India and nine technical and research bodies of Australia are members of the water centre.

Mr. Agarwal said the Public Health Engineering Department was formulating the drinking water supply schemes keeping in view the State’s requirements till 2050. He also apprised the delegation of the steps being taken in the field of water management as well as the techniques adopted for water supply to the geographically difficult regions.

The delegation members later met Rajasthan Foundation’s Commissioner Dhiraj Srivastava and deliberated on a proposal to sign a “sister State agreement” between Rajasthan and South Australia. Ms. Maywald said the two States could work together on technological applications to the water and education sectors and run a students’ exchange programme between selected universities.

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