Global Affairs

Israeli Experts to Develop Indian State of Punjab Water Management Plan

Israeli experts will assist the northern Indian state of Punjab to develop a plan for the conservation and management of critical water resources to tackle declining ground water in the region, David Gerstman reported in the Algemeiner.

Punjab’s water resources minister, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria, met Saturday with a team of Israeli experts and apprised them of the state’s challenges in addressing the water crisis. During their three-day trip, the group visited various parts of the state to assess the present situation and got an overview of the existing water resources and infrastructure in the region.

According to the nonprofit Water Aid, 75 million people out of India’s total population of 1.25 billion don’t have proper access to clean water.

The Israeli team — comprised of International Special Projects Coordinator of Mekorot Diego Berger, Project Manager Niv Pintow, and Water Engineer of Mekorotfor North district Tomer Malol — told government officials that they would present, over the next year and a half, six reports advising Punjab on how to manage its water resources.

Indian and Israeli officials have pledged to deepen ties between the two countries and strengthen cooperation in the fields of technology, water management, and agriculture. India also maintains close relations with Israel’s defense establishment, and the Jewish State is a major defense supplier to India, selling an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year.

In October, a leading Israeli defense company, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), won a $777 million contract with India for the supply of Barak-8 long-range surface-to-air defense missiles and missile defense systems for the Indian Navy.

In 2017, IAI struck a deal worth nearly $2 billion to supply India’s army with medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers, and communications technology. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel in 1992, bilateral trade and economic relations have progressed rapidly – climbing 2,000% since the countries formalized relations 26 years ago.