The ICID@70 celebration kickstarted on ICID’s Foundation Day (24 June 2019) with a Seminar on “Leveraging Water Security for Sustainable Agricultural Water Management” at New Delhi which was graced by the presence of the Ambassadors/ High Commissioners from Brazil, Nigeria, and Uzbekistan. In addition, a good number of high-level officials from Embassies of member countries, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt. of India, Country Director, India Resident Mission, Asian Development Bank (ADB) also graced the occasion and made presentations to enrich the event. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the celebration took place virtually.
The dignitaries who made time to participate in the conference include: H.E. Mr. Andre Aranha Correa do Lago, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Brazil, New Delhi; H.E. Maj. Gen. Chris Sunday Eze (Rtd.), High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; H.E. Farhod Arziev, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan, New Delhi; Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director, India Resident Mission, ADB, New Delhi; Mr. U P Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti; and Mr. S Masood Husain, Chairman, Central Water Commission (CWC) and Indian National Committee on Surface Water (INCSW).
The inaugural session began with a welcome address by Dr Vijay Labhsetwar and a message from ICID’s President Eng. Felix Britz Reinders. SG Pandya presented an overview of ICID and the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the foundation day of ICID. His presentation dwelt on the challenges of water management; the need for an international platform for exchange of ideas and experiences on water management which led to the formation of ICID; various factors that lead to challenges in AWM, food security etc. He also explained how the focus of ICID has expanded over the years to include social and economic aspects; sustainable agriculture and capacity building, water security and sustainable rural development; creation of National Committees, global partners and working groups to give shape to the vision and mission of ICID.
ED Er Harish Kumar Varma gave a presentation on ICID Programmes and initiatives. His talk revolved around direct membership, awards and recognitions, World Heritage Irrigation Structures (WHIS), Technical Support Programme (TSP), young professionals e-forum, capacity development, products and services directory, and ICID events.
DKM Dr Sahdev Singh of ICID offered a presentation on Knowledge Management and Dissemination.
Dr Singh explained the Knowledge Management (KM) philosophy and gave an idea about knowledge management in ICID. He also dwelt on other issues like key players in knowledge management and the ICID portal that is being developed, recent webinars, ICID journal and other publications; use of social media; and, plans for the future.
H.E. Mr. Andra Aranha Correa do Lago’s address highlighted the importance of irrigation in Brazil emphasizing the efficient use of water for sustainable development. The power point presentation that accompanied his talk introduced latest technologies being employed at various levels of water management in Brazil. Brazil is one of the largest producers of pump manufacturing plants. Brazil received the ICID WatSave Award in 2007 for Centre Pivot Irrigation System used for coffee plantation in Brazil. He also made brief references to transposition of the Sao Francisco River, their WEG manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu and Naan Dan Jain facility in Brazil stand out as examples of bilateral cooperation. In short, he emphasized the strong bond between India and Brazil in AWM.
H.E. Maj. Gen. Chris Sunday Eze (Rtd.) spoke on the water situation in Nigeria and acknowledged the role of ICID in promoting sustainable agricultural water management. He felt that ICID can play a much larger role in Africa —particularly in Nigeria—to promote sustainable use of water and invited ICID to assume a more prominent role in alleviating poverty and hunger.
H.E. Farhod Arziev’s talk, which was accompanied by a wonderful video clip. He drew the attention of the gathering towards the issue of limited water resources in Central Asia. He dwelt on the crying need for a better cooperation among countries of Central Asia on issues related to water management. He also raised the issues of Aral Sea problems, water use efficiency, capacity development etc. He conceded the important role played by ICID in helping the region—particularly, Uzbekistan. He assured his country’s support to ICID and its activities. Uzbekistan’s the main problem relates to transborder issues of water resources in central Asia. Due to lack of cooperation among central Asian nations a lot of water is being wasted. He called for joint action of central Asian nations and the international community in dealing with the Aral Sea disaster.
Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama of the Asian Development Bank reminded the gathering that water security in developing countries is a high priority area in governance. He was quick to endorse the shared vision of ADB and ICID on AWM. He also spoke of the significant contributions and expertise the ADB has rendered to WIF3. Mr. Yokoyama’s presentation focused on water security in Asia with special reference to India; addressing challenges and forging partnerships. He also spoke on ways to ensure water security at various levels.
The CWC Chairman Mr. S. Masood Hussain, who is also the chairman of the Indian National Committee of ICID reminisced that the 70th anniversary of the Foundation Day of ICID marks the 70th anniversary of the Indian National Committee of Surface Water as well. Accentuating the deteriorating state of water resources in the country, he opined that water should be managed in Mission Mode. He also placed on record the fact that the Indian National Committee has always extended cooperation and full support to events organized by ICID.
In his keynote address, Mr. U P Singh, Secretary of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, stressed that demand for water is going up in all sectors of the economy. Acknowledging the cooperation between ICID and the Government of India, Mr. Singh said that Government of India was always concerned about management of water resources and was instrumental in procuring land for building the central office of ICID.
At the end of the inaugural session, a vote of thanks was proposed by Mr. Anuj Kanwal, Director (CWC) and Member Secretary (INCSW).
The Technical Session opened with a Presentation on “Agricultural water use and management for efficiency and economic productivity” by Mr. Ajith Radhakrishnan, Country Coordinator, India, 2030 Water Resources Group of World Bank, New Delhi.
Mr. Dan Alluf, Counsellor for International Development Cooperation (Mashav), Science & Agriculture, Embassy of Israel gave a Presentation on “Upscaling the Indo-Israel Agricultural Project (IIAP).” This project has already created 28 centers of excellence in 12 Indian states.
This was followed by a presentation on “Policy interventions for effective micro irrigation” by Dr S K Sarkar, Senior Director, Natural Resource & Climate TERI, New Delhi.
Dr Man Singh, Project Director, WTC, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi, came up with a presentation on “Creation of Countrywide Networks of Irrigation and Drainage Infrastructure for Sustainable Development Goal.”
Director (Commercial and HRD), WAPCOS Limited, New Delhi, Mr. Anupam Mishra gave a presentation on Water Resources Development and Management in Africa.” WAPCOS is a global consultant on water resource management, power and infrastructure. It is a direct member of ICID and has identified over 190 projects in Africa for Integrated Water Resources Development and Management.
The presentation by Dr Sangita Laddha, Vice President, Jain Irrigation (JISL) on “SDG for Efficient Water Management in Agriculture” began with their corporate philosophy of ‘More Crop Per Drop’ which is the crux of efficient agricultural water management.
Mr. Sudipto Lahiri, Senior General Manager, Electrosteel Castings Limited, Kolkatta gave a brief presentation outlining the activities and achievements of his organization. Electrosteel is an international water infrastructure company and a direct member of ICID.
The last presentations in the technical session was made by Dr Teresa Barres of the Embassy of Spain on the Research and Knowledge Hub approach of ICID.
The third and final session comprised of a Discussion on “How ICID can support its Members and Partners in Alleviating Poverty and Hunger?” The discussion was moderated by SG Er Ashwin B Pandya and VP Dr Yella Reddy of ICID.
ICID's 70th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE VOLUME (1950-2020)
A Coffee Table Book was released as part of the ICID's 70th Anniversary Celebration which showcases key milestones achieved by the Commission in its efforts to make a water secure world free of poverty and hunger through sustainable rural development. The book is also a house of information about the global status of irrigation and drainage and professionals will find it very useful.
The ICID@70 Coffee Table Book was released by President Felix Reinders during the 71st International Executive Council Meeting held virtually in two sessions on 7th December and 8th December 2020.