THE strategic partnership between India and Israel spans across multiple domains, including, but not limited to, agriculture, water management, defence, and startups. Israel, being a global leader in water resources management, boasts of an impressive national non-revenue water rate of around 5 per cent, with a sewage treatment rate of up to 95 per cent and a reuse rate of up to 90 per cent of reclaimed or treated water. Israel has been able to meet 50 per cent of its irrigation requirements through the use of treated wastewater.
Gradual shift in India
India, on the other hand, is gradually moving towards more efficient water resource management, with over 20 per cent of total irrigation shifting to precise irrigation. The southern part of India has widely accepted community-based irrigation methods, but these projects rely on fresh water sources for irrigation.
As part of the India-Israel partnership in water, two projects have been finalised. In these projects, treated wastewater from cities will be transported to nearby areas where sustainable agriculture is limited due to the availability of water. These areas primarily depend on rainfall for agriculture.
The first project involves the transportation of 200 million liters per day (MLD) of treated wastewater from Behrampur (Gurugram) to Nuh district in Haryana. Nuh, being one of the most backward districts in Haryana, mainly relies on rain-fed agriculture, with 70 pc of villages having no irrigation facilities. The project proposes the development of yearround agriculture based on microirrigation and advanced agriculture techniques through the Community Micro Irrigation (CMI) model.
This project is the first-of-its-kind in the country and has the potential to double farmer income in the area. The high-quality tertiary treated wastewater will be utilized for precise irrigation in the Nuh area, and more than 16,000 acres will be irrigated using this treated wastewater.
The implementation of this project by the MICADA division of Haryana Irrigation Department under the technical supervision of Israel is expected to significantly boost the GDP of the area and improve the overall lifestyle of approximately 10,000 families.
The second project aims to utilise the 200 MLD wastewater from the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) STP for drip irrigation in the rural areas surrounding Daduka and Vekariya villages. This project will also irrigate over 16,000 acres of land.
The best part of utilising the treated wastewater is that the cities would consume water and always generate wastewater. The source sustainability can be ensured using the reclaimed water. In addition to uplifting the farmers’ livelihood and lifestyle, each of these projects would save 200 MLD fresh water. This means total fresh water saving from these two projects would be 146000000000 litres of water annually.
(The writer is senior water resources specialist, Embassy of Israel, New Delhi)
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