The Government of Scotland is to sign an MoU with partners in India underpinning Scotland’s commitment to collaborate with India on certain water challenges, particularly related to the Ganga River.
Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced new collaborations on water challenges at the India Water Impact Summit 2017 which was hosted last week in New Delhi by the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (CGanga), a Center of Excellence at the Indian Institute of Technology which acts as a think tank for the Government of India regarding its goals and objectives for the Ganga Basin.
Swinney set out some background to the Scottish Government’s “Hydro Nation” policy, with its “central aim of developing and growing the value of water resources in a responsible and sustainable way, and why (we) believe that the partnership model we are developing with Indian colleagues is a perfect illustration of our overarching approach.” He highlighted areas where Scotland and India are already working together, such as the collaborative Ganga River Health research project which is funded by the Scottish Government and led by the UNESCO Center for Water Law Policy and Science at the University of Dundee, Scotland.
Swinney said that Scotland’s objectives remain to address the country’s International Development Strategy and deliver against Sustainable Development Goal 6 with a view to tying in the provision of other expert services or technology through engagement in projects and collaborative workshops including:
• Continuing support of the Ganga River Health Project led by the UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science in Dundee, Scotland
• Supporting a Modular Rural Waste Water Treatment Project led by Scotland’s James Hutton Institute
• Developing MoUs between (Scotland’s) Hydro Nation initiative and CGanga, and between Hydro Nation and the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)
The River Health Project is described as a feasibility study to address research, capacity building and policy requirements in support of the restoration of Ganga within the context of the Ganga River Basin Management Plan. The initiative will provide a framework for the Centre for Ganga River Basin Management and Studies (CGANGA), supported by India’s Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, to determine how research, policy support and capacity building can support the infrastructure development required to restore Ganga water quality and support socio-economic, governance and social benefits.
It is understood that collaboration agreements were signed last week in New Delhi between CGanga and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and CGanga and Scotland’s James Hutton Institute.