Western lead new India Young Water Professionals (YWP) Program

Caption: Training the Young Water Professionals (YWP) from India, a program led by Western Sydney University for the Australia-India Water Centre (AIWC).

Western Sydney University has partnered with the Australia-India Water Centre (AIWC) to lead the India Young Water Professionals (YWP) Program. Funded by the Australian Water Partnership (AWP), the YWP is a transformational capacity development program for young Indian water professionals.

India is facing a set of severe water challenges, with demand for fresh water expected to exceed supply by 50 percent before 2030 unless major water management reforms are undertaken.

The YWP Program, which focuses on gender equality and diversity, will equip emerging water professionals with the necessary skills, knowledge, behaviours, and networks to better enable them to contribute to the development and management of water resources and water management reforms in India.

Western Sydney University’s Professor Basant Maheshwari, who will lead the YWP program, said the program was unique compared to typical capacity building and training programs, with about 70 percent of the program focused on project-based learning with real-world situations and clients.  

“While leading this innovative training program, we will immerse trainees in a transdisciplinary approach to water management – this is still new to many, with many confusing it with multi-disciplinary, cross disciplinary or interdisciplinary,” said Professor Maheshwari.

“Some trainees from this YWP program may also engage with the a major in Sustainable Water Futures, currently under development, in our existing Master of Science program.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Enterprise and International), Professor Deborah Sweeney, welcomed the collaboration.

“Investing in our next generation of water leaders is essential if we are to address the world’s most challenging water issues. The innovative YWP Program is driven by research excellence and impact and is set to build a long-lasting relationship between India and Australia. Western Sydney University are delighted to be leading this important program,” said Professor Sweeney.

AWP has successfully pioneered similar programs in South-East Asia and the Pacific. Through AWP support, the program will be implemented by the AIWC and draws on a co-design workshop held alongside the NHP Sustainable Water Management conference in November 2019. Through the modularisation of the program, stand-alone Alternative Credentials will also be developed to provide continuous professional development to industry professionals, as well as an opportunity to stack these credentials as credit towards the Masters. The India YWP Program aims to provide structured capacity development training with strategic and long-term investment to support water management reforms in India.


8 December, 2021

Emma Sandham, Senior Media Officer