India's first 'Water Attaché' on how Mumbai and Maha can tackle water woesDr Lior Assaf talks to mid-day in an exclusive interviewIndia's first...India's first 'Water Attaché' on how Mumbai and Maha can tackle water woes
Dr Lior Assaf talks to mid-day in an exclusive interview
India's first 'Water Attaché' on how Mumbai and Maha can tackle water woes
Dr Lior Assaf is the first-ever Water Attache to the Embassy of Israel in India. He has an M.Sc in hydrology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Ph.D from the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. Pic/Nishad Alam
This year marks the 30th year of commencement of full diplomatic relations between Israel and India. As of December 2020, India is among 164 United Nations (UN) member states to have diplomatic ties with Israel. It was understood that in 2019 when India needed Israel’s help to save the water-parched region of Marathwada, the loyal friend stepped in. On his Mumbai visit in 2018, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu signed an MoU with the Maharashtra government, appointing Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP) and Mekorot [the national water company of Israel] to design a water grid system in Marathwada, south east Maharashtra. The Rs 10,000 crore project aims to provide water to a population of 30 million by 2050. The initiative is one of the largest non-defence projects of the Israeli government in India.
In keeping with tradition, this year, the Government of Israel has for the first time appointed a Water Attache to India. Dr Lior Assaf is not a diplomat; he has an academic background. He has an M.Sc in hydrology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Ph.D from the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. He has over 20 years of experience in groundwater hydrology, surface water hydrology, soil investigation, and environmental impact analyses for a variety of projects throughout Israel, USA and Sri Lanka.