AQUA-Hub India – Water Innovation Hubs and Smart Water Monitoring

For the Indian cities of Coimbatore and Solapur, the establishment of Water Innovation Hubs as network and project centres contributes to sustainable local development and the consolidation of Indo-German cooperation in the water sector. Demonstration projects integrated in these hubs promote technology transfer in a very concrete way, as the exemplary piloting of smart water quality monitoring systems in the two cities shows. This way, partnership-based cooperation in combination with innovative, digital technology can make a sustainable contribution to improving water security in India.

Research approach

AQUA-Hub addresses the local demands in the Indian water sector identified in previous projects as well as the challenges of the German water sector to establish projects, relationships and business in the Indian market. In two smart cities, Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) and Solapur (Maharashtra), Water Innovation Hubs are being established and accompanied by piloting initiatives of German measurement technology for water quality monitoring. A local presence associated with the hubs is of great importance for relations and the exchange of information between German and Indian actors. In addition to promoting networking activities and providing business partners, the hubs fulfill the function of project centres for the realisation of demonstration projects. These projects were demanded by the local actors and are supported by the German water sector through knowledge and technology. The piloting of water quality monitoring envisaged in the project thus offers the opportunity to meet these demands with manageable investments and risks. It also lays the groundwork for better data availability on-site and provides a starting point for measures taken to meet environmental goals and for future technology transfer. Finally, a sustainable, financially viable and transferable format is to be created by further developing the Water Innovation Hubs with additional offers. AQUA-Hub thus contributes to SDG 3 (Health), 6 (Water), 9 (Innovation), 11 (Sustainable Cities) and 17 (Partnership).

In AQUA-Hub, ISOE is responsible for coordinating the activities for the establishment of the Water Innovation Hub and the piloting of a demonstration project for the city of Coimbatore. Coimbatore is one of three Indian cities that is supported by Germany in the implementation of Smart City plans within the framework of Indo-German cooperation. The demonstration project aims to initiate water quality monitoring of surface waters. The project thus promotes local efforts to rejuvenate the lakes in the urban area and improves the evaluation of the effectiveness of related measures. ISOE evaluates the findings from the processes and, together with the project partners, derives recommendations for action for a demand-oriented dissemination of the results.

Background 

India, with its current population of around 1.4 billion is on its way to become the most populous country in the world. At the same time, its economy continues to grow rapidly. For the most part, infrastructure development cannot keep pace with growth. In many cities, especially basic services such as water supply and sanitation fail to meet rising demands. India's cities therefore face the complex task of meeting the infrastructural needs in fast-growing areas. Water scarcity, inadequate wastewater treatment, as well as lack of access to and knowledge of technological solutions pose major challenges for India's water sector. At the same time, many German actors have knowledge and specialised technologies that can contribute to addressing them. Improved merging of these technologies with local needs offers great potential to help overcome the challenges in the Indian water sector.

Research and project partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB, Stuttgart (coordination)
  • State Agency for Environmental Technology BW GmbH (UTBW), Stuttgart

Practice partners

  • Let’s Bridge IT Ltd
  • NIVUS GmbH
  • ribeka GmbH
  • trAIDe GmbH

Funding

The project “AQUA-Hub: Water Innovation Hubs and Smart Water Monitoring to promote Indo-German cooperation” is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) as part of the “Export Initiative for Environmental Technologies” under the funding area “Promotion of the export of green and sustainable (environmental) infrastructure”.

Duration

2020/10 – 2022/09

Contact person

 +49 69 7076919-36

Project team