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India - Water overview

Country profile

Policies and Initiatives

Governance structure

Water governance in India falls under the states’ powers within the Indian Constitution. However, the Union Government has authority over interstate river waters, it funds Centrally Sponsored Schemes, and gives overall policy direction. The Ministry of Jal Shakti is the central government ministry responsible and is aided by the technical bodies Central Water Commission, Central Ground Water Board, and Central Ground Water Authority. The National Water Mission, a part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change launched in 2008, is the overarching body that coordinates, gives policy direction, and monitors water resource management projects.

Aside from Antarctica – Australia is the driest continent on the world. Much of the population live on coasts where there is more rainfall – however water is still a concern of governance, especially when it comes to the agriculture sector.

Australia - Water overview

Country profile

Policies and initiatives

  • The National Water Initiative, agreed to in 2004, is a shared commitment by governments to increase the efficiency of Australia's water use, leading to greater certainty for investment and productivity, for rural and urban communities and for the environment. It serves as the national blueprint for water reform.
  • The draft National Water Reform 2020 report assesses the progress made of Australian, State and Territory governments towards achieving the objectives and outcomes of the National Water Initiative (NWI), and provides practical advice on future directions for national water reform
  • The Water Act, 2007, provides the legislative framework for ensuring that Australia’s largest water resource, the Murray-Darling Basin, is managed in the national interest.
  • The Commonwealth Environmental Water Office (CEWO) delivers water for the environment when and where it is needed most, including to help rivers flow, keep native plants healthy, and support feeding and breeding of native animals, birds, fish and frogs.
  • All Options on the table for urban water supply. This report aims to inform water security discussions with the community and stakeholders and to increase understanding around the attributes and costs of different water supply options.
  • The Water Efficiency Labeling and Standards Scheme (WELS) provides a label which is designed to help consumers make informed choices about the water efficiency of products bought.
  • The National Water Grid will be a series of region-specific water storage and distribution solutions that will secure predictable supplies of water now and into the future.

Governance structure

Water governance primarily comes under the States’ jurisdiction under the Australian Constitution. However, through collective decision-making by the Council of Australian Governments, a system of mutually binding obligations have made Australia’s Basins an effectively collectively governed subject. The most important case is that of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and its corresponding Water Management Partnership Agreements. Australia effectively uses a system of Water Markets for resource allocation, and is constructing an ambitious National Water Grid to further augment its water resources.

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Bilateral frameworks for cooperation between India and Australia

Trade and investment opportunity

  • The Confederation of Indian Industry’s CII-Triveni Water Institute (CII-TWI) is a unique institution where government, industry, and civil society have partnered to address water-related issues in a holistic manner.
  • The India Water Works Association is a voluntary body of professionals concerned and connected with water supply for municipal, industrial, agricultural uses and treatment and disposal of wastewater, focusing on all aspects of the water cycle.
  • The Australian Water Association is Australia’s biggest water network and includes members from every facet of the water sector including professionals and practitioners working in utilities, engineering, urban design and planning, science, and research.
  • The Water Industry Alliance (WIA) is a globally recognised hub of water expertise and research based in South Australia.
  • The India Economic Strategy to 2035 lists groundwater conservation as one of Australia’s competitive advantages, and advocates for Australia to become a trusted partner in land and water management priorities. The strategy also identifies water scarcity and climate change-related challenges. The updated five-year action plan states the India-Australia Innovation and Technology Challenge will tackle complex environmental issues, including water security, by supporting small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs to launch technology solutions.

Cooperation and collaborations

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