Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of Environment Denmark Lea Wermelin, and Minister of Development Co-operation Denmark Flemming Moller Mortensen along with an Indian delegation launched a white paper on ‘Urban Wastewater Scenario in India’ at International Water Association (IWA) World Water Congress and Exhibition 2022 held in Copenhagen.

The white paper was launched on Monday, according to a government think tank Niti Aayog statement. India formed an interdisciplinary team with partners from Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, Ministry of Jal Shakti and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), international agency Innovation Centre Denmark (ICDK) and academia Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) to develop a whitepaper on urban wastewater management.

Considering all stakeholders’ concerns for wastewater management, this whitepaper holistically captures the current status of wastewater treatment in India and potential pathways for future treatment structures, co-creation and collaborations.

Curated by experts from AIM-NITI Aayog, ICDK, NCMG and IIT Bombay, the whitepaper further highlights some success stories, the need for wastewater treatment, the scope for improvement and augmentation in existing infrastructure and and technologies, methods for public participatory approach, financing and co-financing options, smart technologies for rapid data collection and dissemination and building capacity via training and stakeholder apex bodies for increasing the efficiency of urban wastewater treatment for India.

The statement said the launched whitepaper is an outcome of the Green Strategic Partnership with a focus on green hydrogen, renewable energy and wastewater management between India and Denmark and their bilateral ties.

Speaking during the launch, minister Shekhawat said: “Recognising the importance of holistic water management, our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has brought various activities related to water under one umbrella and formed an integrated ministry in the name of Jal Shakti in 2019. “

“This has given greater synergy and coherence to water management in India and we have committed investments of more than US $ 140 Billion by 2024 in the water sector. Along with massive investment from Government, we adopted a community-centric approach whereby at least 10% funds are contributed by the community in every program ensuring community ownership and participation,” the minister was quoted in the statement.

Meanwhile, discussing the white paper on the Urban wastewater Scenario in India, Avinash Mishra, Advisor, Water Vertical, NITI Aayog said: “This white paper is a straightforward narration of the Indian urban wastewater sector. However, this has parallels across the world.

 India’s ancient wisdom promulgates that ‘the whole world is one family’, which enunciates the need of transcending man-made boundaries to address the common issues.”