The Indian state of Punjab is turning to Israeli technology to improve its water management system, in a new partnership between the two countries.
The decision was reached over a roundtable event between Dr. Lior Asaf, the water attaché at the Israeli Embassy in India, and Neeraj Gahlawat, senior water resources specialist at the Embassy of Israel in India, among others.
The Punjab government said it will use the Israeli technology alongside indigenous innovation to develop cost-effective and sustainable water supply and sewage infrastructure in the state.
It aims to develop 500 smart villages, which will use web-enabled devices that provide 24/7 water supply and sanitation facilities, at an estimated cost of $546 million.
The Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation Department will also undertake wastewater and solid waste management by setting up plastic waste management units, material recovery facilities, biogas plants, and sludge treatment plants at an estimated $157 million.
“Punjab Government has been very concerned with the depleting groundwater levels in the state and efforts are being made to improve the water quality of chappars (ponds) in rural areas,” said the state’s Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Bram Shanker Jimpa.
He said that ground water availability in the villages has significantly decreased over the last 35-40 years.
Dr. Asaf said: “Israel has developed technologies that enable reuse of 90 percent of treated wastewater. Every STP [sewage treatment plant] in Israel is developed close to agricultural lands and is connected to irrigation.”
“Solutions required in India are similar to the solutions developed by Israel. Community engagement, capacity building of stakeholders, private sector participation plays a key role in successfully addressing challenges around water quality, sanitation and groundwater recharge.”