Water Journal : Current November 2017
www.awa.asn.au 42 China & India enter the mainstream so that every institution contributes to managing water demand and reducing pressure on existing water reserves." Saklani said a lack of comprehensive regulation, enforcement and engagement at all levels have pushed the country's water security to breaking point. India now uses more groundwater than China and the United States combined. The impact of urbanisation on groundwater sources has been profound; according to the government's Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) more than half of groundwater sources are contaminated with toxic levels of arsenic, nitrate and heavy metals. There are signs the government is taking some innovative steps to address the country's increasingly dire water situation. "Delhi Jal Board is an example of an Indian water utility that is currently experimenting with radical new initiatives to bring a halt to Delhi's water crisis," Saklani said. Delhi Jal Board is responsible for water supply in Delhi and has implemented a number of programs, including upgrading pipe infrastructure to reduce water loss and installing solar-powered 'water ATMs' in areas in Delhi where laying pipelines isn't technically feasible. Rachel Barratt, Water Industry Alliance (WIA) CEO, said that industry is not going to shut down in India because of water concerns, but if the current issues prove costly governments and corporations will be forced to innovate and come up with solutions. "The CII [Triveni Water Institute in north India] has asked WIA to discuss solutions with them, and bring organisations to meet with their companies to learn about the challenges and start dialogue on how we can collectively provide an offering to help." OPPORTUNITIES DOWN UNDER Both China and India are engaging with international experts who can help them form comprehensive water management systems, and are positioned to benefit from Australia's extensive water knowledge. "There are areas that we see a lot of commonalities," said Barratt. "One is water security frameworks and planning specifically in terms of how to govern and share a very scarce resource. Australian knowledge and expertise in treating water in remote communities, technologies and expertise in treating water is something we can share." Barratt stressed the alliances are long-lasting and collaborative partnerships. Formed in 2016, the Australia China Sponge City Consortium is a group of South Australian-based companies, including Syntec Global, Hassell, Australian Water Environments, Aqueon, Alano Water, and Water Data Services, that are currently running pilot projects in China. The Chinese Government launched the $128 million Sponge City initiative in 2016 in a bid to improve flood management and water supply. AT A GLANCE: KEY DIFFERENCES Asia's two most populous countries share more than a border. They both have rapidly developing economies and need to balance the demands and opportunities of globalisation with the need to protect their natural resources. Fundamentally, however, the two nations are on different paths. China is a communist government that consolidates its power through the National People's Congress. Representatives are chosen through indirect elections. China initiated market driven reforms in the late 1970s, and is now a highly industrialised country with a massive economy. Now the country dominates manufacturing -- and shows no signs of slowing down. In China, a lack of cooperation and coordination between 'vertical' health services coupled with the decentralisation of public health are pressing issues in China. India has a democratically elected parliamentary system of government, with state and federal governments elected India's economic growth has been hindered by crippling infrastructure issues, but the country has niche specialising in the services industry. In India, several administrative districts and units share responsibility for public sector deliverables including healthcare, and misalignment between these sectors has caused problems for the sector.
Current August 2017