The Australian Water Partnership is excited to embark on a new partnership with the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to provide Australia’s urban water management expertise to two Indian cities – Amaravati and Vijayawada.
Following the signing of the MoU between the Andhra Pradesh Government and the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities in December 2017 to establish the Andhra Pradesh – Australia Water Sensitive Cities Partnership, a project will be developed with a focus on improvements to urban water drainage systems. These have been shown to deliver a range of beneficial outcomes that help cities become more sustainable, liveable and resilient to a changing climate.
Over the first 12 months, the Partnership will build Australia’s world-leading water sensitivity practice into the development of the city of Amaravati; and complete a pilot project to demonstrate how alternative approaches to drainage infrastructure can be retrofitted in Vijayawada to enable more sustainable urban water management.
For the city of Amaravati, a Water Master Plan will be produced, outlining the opportunities to deliver sustainable and resilient water management through the overarching master plan for the city’s development. This Master Plan will include an agreed vision for sustainable water management; design principles to operationalise the vision; strategies, actions and targets to overcome barriers to achieving the vision; and a framework for roles and responsibilities of key stakeholder organisations in delivering the vision.
For Vijayawada, a water strategy will be developed that outlines the city’s opportunities for improved water sustainability and resilience, particularly in relation to identification of suitable retrofits of its stormwater drainage system to demonstrate water sensitive urban design.
India, through its ‘Smart City’ projects, provides huge potential for the application of Australia’s expertise in managing all aspects of urban water, and it’s encouraging to see this first project commence with substantial local co-funding.