Danish organisation to share water management lessons with Pune, help conserve natural reserves

Pune Knowledge Cluster (PKC) and hydrological experts from Denmark are teaming up to address water-related problems and chalk out future ways to conserve available natural reserves around Pune region.

PKC and Water Valley, an organisation working on water and allied technology in Denmark, recently exchanged a Letter of Intent (LoI) in this regard in New Delhi. PKC, constituted by the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, is involved in collaborating academics and industries in the areas of environment, health, big data, mobility and capacity building.

The Indo-Danish collaboration is being planned under the Green Strategic Partnership agreed upon by the two countries, which covers a range of areas like economy and commerce, science and technology, environment, energy, culture and education.

Danish government officials, led by Prime Minister Mette Frederikson, were on an official visit to India last week.

“We will work on projects that will cover all aspects related to water — from its precipitation, flow, management and more. The collaboration aims at creating an Indo-Danish Water Technology platform to coordinate water technology research, development and demonstration activities between the two countries,” said Prof Ajit Kembhavi, principle investigator, PKC.

The LoI was signed between Kembhavi and Prof Flemming Besenbacher, vice-chairman of Water Valley, last week.

The geographic area under consideration will be Pune Metropolitan Region, particularly areas along the course of rivers and their basins.

Even though PKC will lead and act as a facilitator, its primary responsibility will be to provide a platform for all Pune-based stakeholders — those involved in hydrology, land, groundwater and aquifer management, river and dam management — who can collectively then address matters pertaining to water in Pune region.

The PKC has called upon experts in hydrology in Pune to join this endeavour. For this, they have been holding dialogues with a number of such organisations — both government and private– towards this goal.

The plans are yet to be finalised but discussions with organisations, NGOs and the respective government agencies at municipal corporation and Zilla Parishads in Pune region have, so far, been positive, said Shantanu Goel, programme manager of the Sustainability and Environment vertical at PKC.

“The Danish have advanced technologies that could be useful for India, especially for the farming community. The two countries are evaluating possible technologies which can be taken up for Pune’s requirements, especially along the east-ward flowing rivers. We hope to roll out some projects in the next three months,” said Goel.

While the Hyderabad and Delhi clusters also have ongoing projects on water, PKC officials said they aim to make a Pune-centric model. “We also wish to scale up and replicate our work in other Indian cities,” added Kembhavi.

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