International Commission on Irrigation & Drainage Commission Interationale des Irrigation et du Drainage

Watsave Awards

Improving water efficiency is the imminent challenge faced in agriculture today. There is a need to innovate and change existing water policies, management practices and new water-saving techniques. A holistic approach involving all the stakeholders like farmers, corporates, government and civil society organisations is required to increase water productivity. Recognizing this need, ICID constituted WatSave Annual Award(s) in 1997 to identify and promote exceptional water conservation/saving practices in agriculture. They are presented every year to individuals or a team of individuals after evaluating actual realized savings; and not promising research results, plans or good ideas/intentions to save water. 

The award consists of an honorarium of US$ 2000 and a citation plague. The WatSave Awards are presented during the Annual ICID Executive Council Meeting (IEC). An autonomous international panel of judges adjudges the winners every year. 

Apply Online for Watsave Awards 2021:

Categories of the WatSave Awards

1. Innovative Water Management Award: It is presented to recognize non-technological interventions, innovative land and water management practices and policy interventions helping in increasing water availability for different uses. It aims to identify new policies/approaches for water-saving leading to the cost-effective and beneficial use of water. 2. Technology Award: It is presented to recognise the best technological applications or projects developed; which has been successful in saving water and/or recovering wastewaters/low-quality waters.
3. Young Professionals Award: It is presented to recognize young professionals (below 40 years) contributing in original research and innovative water-saving techniques leading towards sustainability. 4. Farmer Award: It is presented to farmer or farmer(s) who has successfully developed or implemented water-efficient farming techniques in the farms as well as the community.  

Nominations are open for 2021 and the deadline for submission is 30 June 2021

The nominations are received through the automated online form submission system (, which is announced at the beginning of every calendar year. ICID’s National Committees need to endorse their countries respective applications. The entries are open to all professionals/teams from ICID member countries as well as non-member countries. In case of entries from ‘nonmember’ countries, the nominations have to be routed through and validated by an active National Committee of ICID. Such National Committee should be aware of the nominee's to support the nomination.

WatSave - Scheme (PDF) and Nomination Form 

Winners of WatSave Awards 2020

1. Technology Award: Dr. Nasser Sedaghati (Iran)
For his work on "Use a Low-Pressure Sub-surface Irrigation System with Perforated PVC Pipes to reduce Water Consumption in Pistachio Orchards". In this system water is conveyed from the source to the subsurface gravity pipes that are perforated around the root zone of the trees. There are also vertical tubes installed for ventilation. It resulted in a 25% reduction in water consumption (about 1,800 m3/ha) and a 62% increase in water use efficiency compared to flood irrigation.

2. Mr. Mahdi Afsari (Iran)
For their work on "Sub-surface Irrigation and Tree Shades". Introduction of drip irrigation and sub-surface irrigation technology to adapt to water scarcity in Faizabad-MahVelat area in Khorasan Razavi province. Awnings for pomegranate trees along with steam generators were developed against  higher temperatures. It resulted in  significant reduction in water consumption with better pomegranate production.

3. Young Professionals Award: Mr. Mohammad Sadegh Keshavarz, and Dr. Hamed Ebrahimian (Iran)
For their work on "Reduction of Water and Phosphorous Losses and Soil Erosion by Micro-Dams in Furrow Irrigation". Micro-dams were built as water barriers inside the irrigated furrows to reduce surface water velocity and consequently reduce runoff and soil erosion losses in open-end furrows. The ‘effectiveness of micro-dams in controlling erosion’ technique can be adequately used for sloping areas where the soil is prone to erosion. 

4. Farmers Award: Mr. Mekala Siva Shankar Reddy (India)
For his work on "Micro Irrigation with Fertigation". Despite adverse weather conditions in a drought-prone area in Southern India, Mr. Reddy successfully harvested healthy crops using water-conserving irrigation practices like drip and micro-sprinklers with the use of organic inputs and mulching. He has economically harvested a varieties of crops such as grape (red & green), fig, hybrid papaya, pomegranate, hybrid muskmelon, pink guava, chia, and quinoa.

Innovative Water Management Awards-

Technology Awards+

Young Professional Awards+

Farmer Awards+

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