IIT Delhi gets Australian support in managing water

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has entered into an agreement with the Australian agency “eWater” to share a hydrological modelling platform called “Source” for developing river basins and improving water management.

The agreement was signed Wednesday evening at a water round-table on “The Road to Water Reform”, by IIT Delhi Director R.K. Shevganoankar and eWater CEO Gary Jones.

“This agreement marks a high point in our bilateral cooperation on water resource management. This technology transfer and partnership demonstrates our commitment to sharing expertise to support sustainable development with India,” said Patrick Suckling, Australian High Commissioner to India.

IIT Delhi professor Ashwin Gosain, speaking at the event, said: “We see a great opportunity to apply ‘Source’ to the Indian context and to work with government authorities and independent organisations to improve the management of our increasingly scarce and valuable water resources.”

“India needs to develop and deliver training programmes, build a shared knowledge platform and comprehensive data base, as also develop new modelling tools and methods for better water management in the country,” he said.

Jones, CEO of eWater, which is a publicly owned NGO in Australia working in water management, said India, like Australia, has very high rainfall variability, which makes sustainable management of water resources that much more important.

The ‘Source’ technology and training package will enable IIT Delhi to become a centre of excellence to assist governments at the centre and the states to develop river basin plans to improve water management.

The technology has been developed over 15 years by a consortium of Australian governments, universities and private sector, which invested AUD 300 million (Rs.1,600 crore) to improve the management of the Murray Darling river basin.

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