In news– Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding between India and Australia for Technical Cooperation for Australia-India Water Security Initiative (AIWASI).
- The MoU was signed in December 2021 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Government of Australia for Technical Cooperation in urban water management.
- AIWASI is a project under South Asia Water Security Initiative (SAWASI) program of DFAT.
- AIWASI is a multiple-million dollar program established following a Joint Working Group on Water meeting in September 2020.
- It is designed with Water Sensitive City (WSC) Vision and Gender Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) principles at its very core.
- It aims to work towards a resilient water sensitive city vision based on the holistic management of integrated water cycles.
- It also aims to improve access to safe water and sanitation services in cities/regions experiencing significant water-related challenges.
- The Water Sensitive City (WSC) approach is identified to address social exclusion dimensions such as water scarcity, unequal distribution and rationing, unequal ownership rights over water systems, poor water quality and the absence of sewage collection and treatment systems, large distances to water sources etc in urban (disadvantaged) communities especially in the face of climate change-driven shocks.
- SAWASI aims at strengthening South Asian city-level water governance by supporting governments to provide urban water services and improving water security for disadvantaged communities in India and Pakistan.
Note: Water security is a policy goal that describes the fundamental societal goal of water policy and water management, whereby the productive potential of water is harnessed and its destructive impact is limited.