An AWP delegation recently visited Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh at the request of the Andhra Pradesh government via the Australian Consulate General in Chennai. The delegation comprised Sophie Smith and Svetha Venkatram from the Australian Consulate General in Chennai, South India, Ralph Ogden (AWP), Colin Chartres (AWP and Crawford Fund), Michael Spencer (Water Stewardship Australia), Simon Tilleard (Alluvium), Nick Schofield (University of New South Wales), Andrew Johnson (ICEWaRM), Brian Mcintosh (International Water Centre), Carl Daamen (eWater Solutions), and Chris Chesterfield (CRC for Water Sensitive Cities). The Indian hosts included the Water Minister, the Chief Secretary and Secretary of Planning for the Andhra Pradesh public service, the Engineer-in-Chief and several senior engineers from the Water Resources Department of Andhra Pradesh, and senior and academics from the region.
Andhra Pradesh has recently been divided into two states, with some of the capability for managing water resources now residing in the newly formed state of Telangana. The new government of Andhra Pradesh is looking to re-build the capability it needs to manage water resources for the benefit of it’s 50 million residents.
Discussions centred around (i) the establishment of a new Government Water University/Centre of Excellence, and (ii) development of several new ‘Smart Cities’ in the state. Our hosts provided details about their current plans and the Australian’s outlined their experiences and capabilities in relation to these. The exercise of presenting such broad and ambitious plans to ‘outsiders’ is always useful. The advice of the Australians based on our experiences in universities, research-industry partnerships, co-development of programs and in direct service delivery was well received by our Andhra Pradesh hosts, and they are revising their plans accordingly.
Follow-up activities, including future opportunities for engagement by Australia, are being led by the Australian Consulate General in South India. We expect some further activities will be announced before the end of 2016. Open calls to engage in further activities will be advertised via the AWP Newsfeed.
For further information please contact Ralph Ogden .