India's official policy think-tank Niti Aayog and ministry of drinking water has entered into partnership with Singapore Corporation Enterprise and Temasek Foundation to use island nation's expertise in recycle and re-use of water.
Kong WyMun, the CEO of SCE and Benedict Cheong the Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Amitabh Kant, the CEO, Niti Aayog and Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Indian Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in New Delhi yesterday.
"Recycled and reuse of water presents a potential sustainable solution. Niti Ayog is delighted to partner SCE and Temasek Foundation in this unique initiative," Kant said after the signing ceremony that took place in the presence of High Commissioner of Singapore to India Lim Thuan Kuan.
Water resources have come under increased stress in a rapidly urbanising India where urban population has gone up from 290 million in 2001 to 377 million in 2011. The water demand in urban areas is increasing rapidly and the situation in metropolitan cities is particularly exacerbating, with acute water shortage.
Changing climate and its impact on temporal and spatial variability of rainfall, is a further deterrent to timely and sufficient availability of water.
Campaigns for rainwater harnessing schemes for groundwater improvement have still fallen short and there is a pressing need for water portfolio diversification through introducing alternate sustainable water sources.
The government hopes to arrest the deteriorating situation is expertise of Singapore where every drop of water is recycled for reuse.
"The recycle and reuse of water presents itself as a potential solution for ensuring assured water supply in the cities, on a sustainable basis. Such an approach not only reduces pressure on other water sources, but also offers a sustainable solution for water resources management," a statement from Niti Aayog said.
The government also has a scheme in place – Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, or Amrut – that drives the cities to undertake water supplies on a business model, yet the water source augmentation remains a challenge for ensuring an assured water supply in future.
Nearly 30 per cent of urban water supply and 70 per cent of rural water supply in the country comes from groundwater, which is depleting every day.
The SCE collaborates with overseas partners interested in replicating Singapore’s development experience in their own respective countries. Jointly set up trade and foreign affairs ministries, the SCE works closely with Singapore’s 16 ministries and over 60 statutory boards for tailormade solutions to the needs of foreign governments.