IIT Guwahati with Western Sydney University & 21 partners from India & Australia, has launched the Australia-India Water Centre. This centre will accelerate collaboration in research, capacity building/knowledge/technology transfer, particularly on aspects of water & food security.

India and Australia face many common water-related issues and challenges including natural extremes of floods and droughts, increasing competition for water between urban, peri-urban and rural sectors and increased threats to water security from climate change.

Australia-India Water Centre was inaugurated online through a webinar, owing to the coronavirus pandemic situation in the country. The event was attended by several dignitaries virtually including Dan Tehan, Minister for Education – Government of Australia, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Jal Shakti – Government of India, Indian High Commissioner to Australia, His Excellency Barry O’Farrell AO, Australian High Commissioner to India, Prof T. G. Sitharam, Director IIT Guwahati, and Directors, Vice-Chancellors, Deans of all the partner institutions.

 

The water issues and challenges of India and Australia share many common elements, including natural extremes of floods and droughts, increasing competition for water between urban, peri-urban and rural sectors and increased threats to water security from climate change.

There are also pressures due to the over-exploitation and water quality degradation of surface and groundwater resources. The recent joint declaration at the virtual summit of the Prime Ministers of Australia and India, in June 2020 stated that “Water security is a critical challenge for both countries, and it was jointly decided to deepen policy and technical cooperation on mutually agreed activities to improve water management and sustainable economic development.” With this in view, a number of universities, research organisations and business partners from Australia and India have committed to establish the Australia India Water Centre (AIWC).

 

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed during the occasion was the attempt to establish an understanding of cooperation for the Australia India Water Centre (AIWC) between the parties. The Australia India Water Centre will enable Australian and Indian partners to explore opportunities and create synergy for a longer-term collaboration in research and education between the two countries.

Highlighting the benefits of this partnership, Prof. T. G. Sitharam, Director, IIT Guwahati, said, “Water is likely to play a key economic and strategic role in the future. This Centre will focus on collaboration in transdisciplinary research, capacity building and knowledge and technology transfer, particularly on aspects of water and food security, safe drinking water supplies, river health, water-energy-food nexus, water for liveable cities and other related facets of mutual benefits to Australia and India”

 

 

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