C
The Ganga River is of great importance in India, as a source of drinking water, supplying agricultural and economic activities, as well as having spiritual, cultural and religious value. It is estimated that the Ganga provides a livelihood for 400 million people. This means that the impact of poor water quality in the Ganga river basin is particularly detrimental and it is vitally important to develop a coordinated approach to improving water quality. Within Europe the Water Framework Directive has been successful in creating a holistic approach to make these kinds of improvements, taking in control of wastewater management, industrial pollution and water withdrawal. India is a Federal Republic with a Central Government and States, which presents similarities in term of governance to Europe and its Member States. Thus, the coherent involvement of the EU, working closely with the Indian authorities, to show and replicate the successes achieved in Europe in term of River Basin Management, appears directly relevant. This cooperation will begin with development of a consolidated analysis of the Ganga River Basin Management Plan in order to contribute to a work programme for the Clean Ganga Initiative, including assisting the Indian Government in finding the most appropriate governance structure. In close cooperation with the relevant Indian authorities, the objective of this assignment was to facilitate a coherent involvement of the European Union and its Member States, in the Clean Ganga Initiative of the Government of India. The involvement aimed to establish a concrete example of EU-India relations where the EU and its EU Member States are engaged as key players and act in a coordinated and complementary manner, to allow the replication of EU policies and best practices. Further, the EU involvement with India should generate opportunities for EU companies to get involved in water resources management and liaise in business. Within the frame of this assignment, the implementation has covered the following aspects: • The most fundamental activity under this assignment has been the continuous technical exchange with representatives of the Government of India at different levels, including a high political level (e.g. State Secretary, Secretary), an intermediate level (Chairmen, nodal officers) and a technical level. This exchange has led to frequent requests for information (e.g. on the Water Framework Directive implementation in Europe, the set-up of river basin organisations, water allocation schema, river basin management plans, legal boundaries of the WFD), which have resulted in the development of documents and have driven the celebration of specific events around these themes. • Four major and demand-based IEWP events have been jointly developed with the Government of India, with an evolution from more general to specific topics, and with an increased participation from the Indian side, including officials from the National and State level, as well as water stakeholders and experts • A Forum was held within the World Sustainable Development Summit (October 2016), to visualize the different areas of cooperation within the IEWP, and to showcase experiences which can enable further cooperation, between governments, with business and in research. • Three workshops have been developed with strong participation across the European Union and India, with the following topics: 1) River Basin Management Planning and Governance, 2) Water allocation, water economics and e-flows in River Basin Management, 3) River Basin Management Planning. These workshops have been designed with the Indian authorities, and are relevant for the water policy and management framework India is currently developing. The workshops have also positioned the EU in an effective way as a counterpart for exchanging on river basin planning, which is also a strength of the EU water legislation and its implementation. The relevant information from the workshops (e.g. agenda, presentations, conclusions, background documents) is available online. • One event (business meeting March 2016) has entirely focused on business opportunities in India, and EU businesses have been invited to participate in the other events, with different roles (e.g. speakers, exhibitors, participants) according to the set-up. One important policy & business opportunity (development of river basin management plans) has been followed in detail by the contractor’s team, providing early stage input for the drafting of Terms of reference (by the Indian authorities) and as a focus for the 3rd workshop. • Under the framework of the IEWP, the experts have furthermore teamed up with other National (e.g. FICCI, TERI, Government of Uttar Pradesh) and international (e.g. 2030WRG, OECD, WWF) players, and cooperated with other donors (e.g. World Bank, Israel, Australia) in order to build a better network aimed to promote sustainable water policy and management in India, and provide solutions and learned lessons based on previous experiences in the same area. The specific activities have been very varied, but include cooperation for the “India – EU Water Partnership workshop: Water & Industry” (September 2016), the participation in other events, meetings or work initiatives (e.g. to team-up with 2030WRG on “water accounting”). • In the field of communications, a website (http://www.eip-water.eu/india-eu-water-partnership-iewp) has been set up and nurtured with information, including details for the events that have been organised. Furthermore, activities have been promoted on Twitter (mainly via @EU_in_India), and a slideshare account (www.slideshare.net/IEWP) has been created and a first wave of presentations has been uploaded. The project was carried out by a team of three experts. The Team Leader was providing strategic guidance, with 8 missions in the country, with 98.5 working days. The Team Leader was supported by a Water Expert, whose technical work included preparation of detailed inputs on European water legislation and river basin management. In-country inputs were spread over 3 trips, and 63 working days. Finally a Local Coordinator acted as a more permanent presence for the project, bringing knowledge of the structures and functioning of Indian water. His input was of 168,5 working days.

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