The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recently organized the Workshop on Water and Sanitation Systems in India: Leveraging Standards for Infrastructure Improvement in New Delhi, India. It was the first of six workshops to be held in India under the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA)'s U.S.-India Standards and Conformance Cooperation Program (SCCP), Phase II. The SCCP II is carried out in coordination with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and the workshop, on June 26-27, was co-hosted with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
Over 100 people were in attendance during the course of the event including individuals from U.S. companies, U.S. standards developing organizations, U.S. government, Indian government ministries, regulators, private-sector organizations, trade associations, water utilities, standards developers, and individual companies.
Presentations by U.S. and Indian experts from both the private and public sectors focused on standards-related aspects of water supply to point of use, water quality, and wastewater management. U.S. private-sector speakers included individuals from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Water Works Association (AWWA), Headworks International, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), and NSF International. Additionally, representatives from USTDA and the U.S. Commercial Service gave opening remarks and were in attendance. The Indian water sector was represented by the following private and public organizations: BIS, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Indian Plumbing Association (IPA), the Safe Water Network, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Indian Plumbing Skills Council (IPSC), the Indian Water Works Association (IWWA), the Delhi Jal Board, the Water Quality Indian Association, and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
The Workshop on Water and Sanitation Systems in India provided an opportunity to share experiences and best practices from a U.S. company and standards developing perspective on water efficiency, utility management and distribution of safe water, developing a skilled workforce, water quality, and wastewater and treatment management. The speakers conveyed the importance and benefits of internationally approved standards and codes to the quality and safety of this vital resource. Additionally, they stressed the importance of standards harmonization, certification, and compliance to foreign investment in India.
According to IAPMO's senior vice president of government relations, Dain Hansen, high-quality product standards are a "vehicle to drive industry and foreign investment. IAPMO stands eager, ready, and willing to work together with Indian stakeholders to update construction codes, adopt internationally recognized product standards, and not only create an environment for companies to invest, but also increase the overall health and safety of the country's water and sanitation at the same time." Further, this workshop successfully brought together many of the sector's vital Indian stakeholders into the same room to reflect on the successes and challenges for their water sector, enhance their exposure to international water standards and codes, and facilitate conversation on actions needed to be taken.
Presentations and photos from the workshop can be found on the SCCP II website: https://standardsportal.org/usa_en/toolbox/us-india-sccp-phase-2.aspx.
The U.S.- India Standards and Conformance Cooperation Program (SCCP) Phase II is a comprehensive project to facilitate interaction and engagement between the public and private sectors in the United States and India. The goal is to increase cooperation in the areas of standards, conformity assessment, and technical regulations in three sectors of interest to industry: smart and sustainable cities, water and sanitation, and clean energy.
Sponsored by the USTDA and coordinated by ANSI and CII, the program aims to facilitate India's development of transparent and streamlined standards, conformity assessment, and a technical regulations system. SCCP also aims to provide information on U.S. and Indian standards and conformance and U.S. technical assistance to facilitate increased U.S.-India trade and investment; encourage greater Indian public and private sector participation in international and regional standards and conformity assessment fora; and support increased cooperative exchange between U.S. and Indian counterpart organizations working to address trade-related issues at the technical level.