Australia India Water Security Initiative (AIWASI)

Australia India Water Security Initiative (AIWASI)

News: The Union Cabinet has approved a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between India and Australia on Technical Cooperation for Australia –India water Security initiative (AIWASI).

• AIWASI is a project Under South Asia Water Security Initiative (SAWASI) of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia.
• It aims to work towards the Water Sensitive City vision which is based on holistic management of the integrated water cycle.
• AIWASI will strengthen India’s water governance and undertake investments that provide - urban water services, support to disadvantaged communities to access reliable, safe water and sanitation services.

What is Water Security and Challenges associated with the same in India?
• The definition of water security as proposed UN Water means the capacity of a population to safeguard sustainable access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, and socio-economic development, for ensuring protection against water-borne pollution and water related disasters, and for preserving ecosystems in a climate of peace and political stability.

According to the Sustainable Development Goal Report (2019),
• 1 in 4 health care facilities lacks basic water services
• 3 in 10 people lack access to safely managed drinking water services.
• 6 in 10 people lack access to safely managed sanitation facilities.
• At least 892 million people continue to practice open defecation.
• Mostly, Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 80% of households without access to water on the premises.
• If the current trends of over-exploitation continue, India is set to become a water-scarce country in the not-too-distant future.

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