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

Future is often the reflection of the past. The rapid changes that are taking place around the world over a few decades have, however, cautioned us to learn from it. One can learn by studying the past processes, the causes of successes and failures, despite new complexities.

Working Group on History of Irrigation, Drainage and Flood Control (WG-HIST) has worked over the years to motivate ICID National Committees in various countries to set up their national working groups and provide guidance to compile, publish, update and/or translate documents on the history of irrigation, drainage, flood management, and river engineering, incorporating relevant agricultural, political, socio-economic, climatologic and geographic aspects for proper understanding of the technological developments. The WG has brought out many outstanding publications and presently working on finalizing a book on “Historical Water Sustainability” planned to be released during the 74th IEC Meeting, Vizag, India, November 2013. The Group also organizes a History Seminar at the time of ICID Congresses, on a regular basis.

Notification No. 2 of 2018 - Establishment of WG-HIST

Committee on assembling irrigation efficiency data (1974-1978) Constituted as Committee on History of Irrigation (1978).  Renamed as Committee on History of Irrigation, Drainage and Flood Control (C-HIST) in the year 1998 and again renamed as Working Group on History of Irrigation, Drainage and Flood Control (WG-HIST) in the year 2000


Strategy Themes: Knowledge Management

(a) To motivate ICID National Committees in various countries to set up their National Working Groups on History; (b) To provide guidance to compile, publish, update and/or translate documents on history of irrigation, drainage, and flood management; (c) To promote the inter-disciplinary exchange of information, knowledge, and experience, as well as networking on the topic (agricultural, political, socio-economic, climatologically and geographical, aspects) for proper understanding of the technological developments on the subject; (d) To organize seminars at ICID Congresses to enhance awareness of Water history; (e) To prepare a paper on “Historical Water Sustainability” for publication in Irrigation and Drainage (IRD) Journal; (f) To finalize a book on “Historical Water Sustainability”; and (g) To encourage member countries to produce documentaries on Water History

Established : 1998

Chairman Message

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This video was recorded by Chairman, Vice President Hon. Dr. Kamran Emami for the 73rd International Executive Council Meeting held at Adelaide, Australia, October 2022.

In the long history of mankind, the 21st century would be very distinct from the other centuries and may be considered as the most challenging era for humanity. In this context, ensuring the sustainability of water systems in changing and unknown circumstances is one of the most crucial challenges.

The development of societies in the last 5,000 years is closely connected with water management problems that have shaped the relevant society and its structures. In the course of the centuries, systems and methods worked out under these conditions have conclusively demonstrated their sustainability. Today, the knowledge and structural remains of these methods are not only interesting archaeologically and historically, but can also help solve current problems.

In view of Data, Information, Knowledge, Intelligence and Wisdom hierarchy studied in knowledge management, the water wisdom of the past which was achieved in a period of hundreds of years, can be regarded as a unique and irreplaceable gift from our ancestors to our generation.




Sl. No. Name Email Country Position
1 Dr. Kamran Emami kk************* Iran Chair
2 Dr. A. Hafied A. Gany ha************* Indonesia Member
3 Mr. Chaiwat Prechawit c_************* Thailand Member
4 Prof. (Ms.) Chen Jing ch************* China Member
5 Dr. Dai Xiaoping - Young Professional xi************* China Member
6 Mr. Ju Chang Kim kl************* South Korea Member
7 Dr. Laszlo G. Hayde l.************* Hungary Member
8 Dr. Masaomi KIMURA mk************* Japan Member
9 Dr. Qazi Tallat Mahmood Siddiqui qa************* Pakistan Member
10 Dr. Shivaji T. Sangle sa************* India Member
11 Dr. Sinite YU dr************* Chinese Taipei Committee Member
12 Engr. Sirika Ahmad Abubakar si************* Nigeria Member
13 Dr. Tsu-Chuan LEE ts************* Chinese Taipei Committee Member
14 Mr. Wang Li wa************* China Member
15 Prof. Dr. Yutaka MATSUNO ma************* Japan Member
16 Dr. Yao Jianfeng ji************* China Observer
17 Mr. Ahmet Emirhan Yolcu Emirhan Yolcu ah************* Turkey Provisional Member
18 Prof. Cheh-Shyh Ting cs************* Chinese Taipei Committee Provisional Member
19 Mr. Hasan Basri Yuksel ha************* Turkey Provisional Member
20 Mr. Oğuz Şirin og************* Turkey Provisional Member
21 Dr. (Mrs.) B. Dolfing ************* Netherlands Permanent Observer
22 Dr. (Ing.) Klaus Röttcher - Direct Member k.************* Germany Permanent Observer
23 Dr. Ir. M. Ertsen (IWHA) m.************* Netherlands Permanent Observer



Bali, Indonesia 2019

  1. Irrigation Tunneling in Ancient Indonesia (Historical Perspective)
  2. Analysis on Dujiangyan Irrigation System and its sustainable development experience
  3. Research on Water Conservancy Legislation and Related Issues in Xixia
  4. Water Supply and Water demand – a model for a better understanding of the Assyrian settlements along the Lower Habur River
  5. Characteristics and Values of Irrigation Historical Sustainability in China
  6. Historical Water Sustainability: A Case Study of the PHAD Irrigation System of Maharashtra State, India
  7. Institutional Setup of Irrigation and drainage in Afghanistan
  8. International Workshop on Historical Water Sustainability
  9. Historical Water sustainability in Iran: Lessons Learned
  10. Good Practices
  11. Reservoir regulations in 1662 by the Government of Joseon Dynasty, Korea
  12. World Water System Heritage (WWaSH) Program - A Proposal by ICID
  13. Technology transfer and water sustainability - Experiences of Japan
  14. Research on Jiangxiyan Irrigation System

Montpellier, France 2015

  1. Sustainable Irrigation in South Africa: Evidence from History by Lani van Vuuren
    and Gerhard Backeberg
  2. History of Water Crisis in Thailand and its Preparation for the 2015 Drought by Chaiwat Prechawit


  1. Irrigation tunneling in ancient Indonesia - Historical perspective (VPH A. Hafied A. Gany, Indonesia)
  2. Historical background of some present flood management plans in Hungary and in the Netherlands (VP László G. Hayde, Hungary
  3. What did hydraulic engineers know in the early 18th century? Taking a look at the proposal of Burchard Christof Von Muennich (Klaus Röttcher, Germany
  4. The Beemster - A drained lake since 400 years (PH Em. Bart Schultz, Netherlands)


  1. Tradition and Modernity  -  New Ways for an efficient Water Management, von Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Röttcher
  2. A Brief Introduction to: The International Conference on Traditional Knowledge for Water Resources Management (TKWRM 2012)
  3. ICID Congress History Conference - An Introduction to the International Center on Qanats and Historic Hydraulic Structures, A. A. Semsar Yazdi 
  4. History Seminar – Using Traditional Methods in Modern Water Management Systems, Bijan Farhangi  


An Outlook of Infrastructural Heritages of Irrigation in Indonesia (VPH A.Hafied A. Gany)





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