International consortium to drive New Delhi water resilience project

International consortium to drive New Delhi water resilience project

The Australia India Water Security Initiative (AWASI) project continues its momentum following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Australian and Indian Governments. Supported by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the four-year design and implementation project will be delivered by consortium partners World Resources Institute (WRI) India, Australia India Water Centre (AIWC), Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT), National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), McGregor Coxall, INDE (Integrated Design), and Sycom Projects Consultants Private Limited. McGregor Coxall’s Environment Team are leading the technical team comprising India-based partners Integrated Design (INDE; Landscape Architects & Urban Planners) and Sycom Projects Consultants Private Limited (Engineers), responsible for the design and delivery of Living Infrastructure demonstration projects at vulnerable community sites situated within degraded environments of New Delhi.The project is aimed at strengthening city-level water governance with direct investment in Blue-Green ‘Living’ Infrastructure that address climate change-related challenges, urban heat, water security, flooding, and environmental pollution. The outcomes will promote the regeneration of urban environments through applications of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), supporting New Delhi in its transition towards a Water Sensitive City. The AIWASI project brings together key expertise from leading multidisciplinary design firms of Australia and India in pursuit of positive educational, social and environmental outcomes, including water literacy of students and the community, creation of green public spaces, improved environments, and the rejuvenation of the broken urban water cycle and degraded water bodies.“A steep increase in urbanisation presents an unprecedented challenge and an unmissable opportunity to solve some of the most urgent sustainability challenges and deliver on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” said McGregor Coxall’s Global Environment Leader, Owen Richards.“Biomimicry and implementation of innovative NBS solutions within mostly impervious city settings will restore natural water cycles and regenerate our urban environments. Taking steps towards the vision of a Water Sensitive City will benefit the water security of communities in conjunction with regenerating the natural environment, ultimately providing better social and economic outcomes.”The project is currently in the first phase of site identification, where the two locations in New Delhi are being selected for implementation of exemplar WSUD/Living Infrastructure demonstrations in a bid to create more climate adaptive, disaster resilient, and water-sensitive communities.“The employment of Living [Blue-Green] Infrastructure concepts will re-integrate the natural environment within these heavily urbanised settings. A significant number of climate change drivers are addressed and as a result, we will be able to create healthier and more resilient communities,” said Richards.“Bespoke solutions will be responsive to the region’s current environmental characteristics, restoring ecosystems and promoting access to healthy waterways through natural intervention. Proven success with Living Infrastructure solutions will allow us to create a framework that is applicable to scalable communities in need, globally.”Following site identification, design and construction phases will be undertaken, culminating in a final year programme of monitoring, testing, and evaluation.For more information about AIWASI, head to the official project website.

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