2030 WRG Signs MOU with WBCSD for Private Sector-Driven Collaboration in Karnataka

In April 2018, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) signed an MOU with 2030 WRG to jointly promote private sector-driven collaboration to tackle the threat of industrial water insecurity in Karnataka.

Karnataka has one of the most dynamic economies in India. Not only is Karnataka the manufacturing hub for some of India’s largest public-sector industries, and it is also home to some of India’s most prestigious science and technology research centers. Notably, Bangalore, Karnataka’s capital, has earned the title of the Silicon Valley of India due to the concentration of information technology companies there. Although, Karnataka’s booming economy means better livelihoods for its population, a booming economy is also expected to aggravate the competition for scarce water resources among companies operating there.

The looming threat of industrial water insecurity is not lost on the private sector. In April 2018, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) signed an MOU with 2030 WRG to jointly promote private sector-driven collaboration to tackle this challenge through a combination of new programmatic approaches, partnership models, financing mechanisms, and policy interventions.

To kick off this joint venture, the WBCSD-2030 WRG team conducted multi-stakeholder meetings to identify some key objectives, including:

  • Improve adoption of circular water management approaches by industries
  • Increase data sharing and use
  • Develop benchmarks for efficient and sustainable industrial water use
  • Provide guidance for industrial water-use tracking and valuation of water
  • Develop synergies and cross-sectoral collaboration for wastewater reuse at the industry-urban, and industry-agriculture levels
  • Develop new programmatic approaches for Industrial wastewater management and common effluent treatment plants
  • Promote knowledge sharing and development of policy instruments for creating an enabling environment for water use and wastewater management in the state

Following the first multi-stakeholder workstream meeting on this topic in Karnataka on May 24, 2018, initial themes prioritized through task forces include: (a) circular water management in industrial clusters and cross-sectoral collaboration (municipal-industry-agriculture) for integrated approaches to wastewater management; and (b) enabling environment including policy and governance for promoting improved management of industrial water.

Both priorities build upon the Urban Wastewater Reuse Policy that was developed by 2030 WRG—and approved by the Karnataka state cabinet in December 2017—as well as 2030 WRG’s hydro-economic analysis on urban-industrial sectors. The aim is to develop the right mix of practical solutions, including behavioral, technical, and financing options. The task forces will interact and interface with the various industries and implementing agencies in Karnataka to develop action plans to solve water management challenges in Karnataka.

Photo credits: Satvik Shahapur from Pexels