We have to learn to work with water: H.E. Marten van den Berg, Ambassador to The Netherlands in New Delhi, at the Closing Ceremony of 'Live with Water' programme organized by TERI
New Delhi, November 15, 2021: "Water is key in the Indo-Dutch collaboration. India has a rich history of water conservation which we need to learn from. We have to change our behaviour towards water and it can only happen if we learn about the issues around it," said the H.E. Marten van den Berg, Ambassador to The Netherlands in New Delhi, at the Closing Ceremony of 'Live with Water' programme hosted by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
"Given the success of the project, an initiative like 'Live with Water' should be carried forward," he further added. Increasing population, overuse of water resources and changing rainfall patterns has greatly affected the country's per capita water availability. With the release of sewage and effluents into rivers and other water bodies, the issue has been complicated further. As climate change impacts are set to worsen in the coming years with changing weather patterns, the need to look for alternate sources of water to feed the increasing demands becomes crucial.
In this regard, treating wastewater serves as a potential solution to not just foster water reuse but also to prevent polluted water from being discharged into clean water sources. With this in mind the 'Live with Water' programme by TERI, in partnership with the Government of Netherlands, worked towards designing a school education programme that augments and sustains an extremely critical natural resource - water. With its three-pronged approach, the programme worked towards enhancing knowledge, building capacity and facilitating action to promote wastewater reuse to meet rising water demand for health and sanitation. By providing an overview of the prevailing water scenario (at both regional and national level) for the students (of grade 6-8, i.e. 12-15 years) through innovative educational approaches, the programme was designed to be relevant for students.
Welcoming the dignitaries to the closing ceremony of the Live with Water programme, Drs Fernanda van der Velde, Senior Project Advisor, Partners for Water, Netherland Enterprise Agency said "Thanks to the hard work of the participants, the collaboration has been successful."
Delivering the Special Address at the closing ceremony, Dr. Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI highlighted, "Children are the most important stakeholders of water conservation and waste water reuse for not just the present, but the future as well."
"The best way to tackle water pollution, its treatment and conservation is to have an understanding of water issues. I hope that this project has helped nurture future water warriors," underscored Mr. Bart Jeroen Bierens, Senior Water Advisor, Netherlands Enterprise Agency in his Special Remarks.
Speaking about the programme, Ms. Neha, Fellow and Area Convener, Environmental Education and Awareness Division, TERI said, "The programme has helped students develop new ways to inform, respond and work towards waste water reuse and water conservation."
This was followed by a session where members of the 'Live with Water' programme interacted with the dignitaries on various issues that the project sought to highlight around wastewater treatment and its reuse. The session also saw the launch of a book titled "Reclaiming the Blue Planet" that aims to generate awareness and develop consciousness about the use, reuse, and reclamation of water. Its content hopes to sensitize people towards the use and reclamation of wastewater through critical thinking and problem-solving. The text has been supplemented with simple solutions for effectively dealing with potential problems related to water at homes and in community, at large. This was followed by the felicitation of winners for several competitions held as part of the project.
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is an independent, multi-dimensional research organization, with capabilities in policy research, technology development, and implementation. It has pioneered conversations and action in the energy, environment, climate change, and sustainability space for over four decades. Headquartered in New Delhi, TERI has regional centres and campuses in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Mumbai, Panaji, and Nainital, supported by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists, sociologists, economists, engineers, administrative professional and state-of-the-art infrastructure.
About Partners for Water
This project is supported by the Dutch program Partners for Water (PvW16-21). This program focuses in particular on urban deltas and the river basins and production chains that provide them with food, water and energy. The Partners for Water program is one of the implementation instruments to realize the International Water ambition of the Netherlands. India was a focus country in this program.
The program is a shared responsibility of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) and the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) are jointly implementing this program.