23rd ICID Congress, 8-10 October 2017, Mexico City, Mexico
The 23rd International Congress on Irrigation and Drainage with the main theme “Modernizing Irrigation and Drainage for a new Green Revolution” was held from 08-14 October 2017 at World Trade Centre, Mexico City, Mexico, organized by Mexican National Committee of ICID (MXCID). The Congress was attended by 832 delegates from 35 countries.
Based on the 151 papers and posters submitted from more than 25 countries, the participants discussed the two Questions i.e. Question 60 “Water productivity: revisiting the concepts in light of water, energy and food nexus” and Question 61 “State of knowledge of irrigation techniques and practicalities within given socio-economic settings “. In addition, a Symposium on ‘Global Review of Institutional Reforms in Irrigation Sector for Sustainable Agriculture Water Management, including Water Users’ Association’; a High-Level Advisory Group (HLAG) on ‘Partnerships for Agriculture Water Management (AWM)’; two training workshops for the young professionals; and 10th N.D. Gulhati Memorial lecture for International Cooperation in Irrigation and Drainage, was delivered by Dr. Felipe Ignacio Arreguín Cortés, Director General, Mexican Institute of Water Technology / Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua (IMTA) on “Reforms in the Administration of Irrigation Systems: Mexican Experiences’’ were organized.
As a result of intense deliberations, the following outcome in respect of Congress Questions 60 and Question 61, has been emerged:
Q. 60: Water productivity: revisiting the concepts in light of water, energy and food nexus
- To improve irrigation services through modernization, there is need to revisit water productivity by identifying challenges and opportunities. Various water saving measures should be passed through the water-energy-food prism for identifying challenges in associated domains and help find opportunities.
- Investing in improving irrigation technologies and techniques help saving agricultural water and can improve equitability of distribution amongst the common stakeholders but the technology transfer is important through capacity building
- Many techniques are available, especially the ICT based ones and also the measurement techniques for assessing the actual releases and regulating them. Water losses at the field level have been minimized using a suite of techniques.
- Volumetric extraction systems for aquifers allow monitoring of allocated and recharge volumes from aquifers.
- Water reuse/ recycle needs assessment of site specific conditions in the contexts and should avoid stakeholder conflicts for water transfers and adoption of structural and operational reforms
- Water, energy and food nexus has multi-dimensional features and is compounded by climate and social changes as has been revealed by studies in a number of countries across the globe.
- Water footprint indicators seem to be useful in assessing water management in irrigated areas. Various water management techniques adopted, strongly influence the water footprints for specific crops at the field level.
- Considerable advances are being made in the satellite image processing areas as well as simulation modeling, which need be leveraged for better impact assessment of measures adopted or proposed for sectoral water management.
- Water security has environmental and social aspects. While managing an extreme situation, both have to be considered in conjunction with each other. Analysis of water laws and legal frameworks to achieve sustainable water management leading to water security is necessary.
- Challenges of water security emerging from international basins need be addressed through cooperation mechanisms based on principles of international water law.
- User’s role in water management is important at the basin level and need to be coordinated with better information dissemination.
- To achieve water security through reuse/ recycle of water, policies have to take associated health issues into account.
Q. 61: State of knowledge of irrigation techniques and practicalities within given socio-economic settings
- The definition of precision agriculture evokes different understanding amongst the community covering a wide range of options and technologies for application management at the field level and also the necessary decision support in a spatial and temporal manner for directing water in a required manner.
- Advances in technologies like ICT and cloud based computing models for real time decision support coupled with accurate determination of the status in the field using drones enable the application to large areas with multiple holdings as against large farms only in the past.
- ET based irrigation scheduling has the potential to improve on-farm efficiency.
- The importance of organizing small farm holder community and ensuring institutional support is required for making the benefits of modernization reach them effectively.
- Role of operating decisions play an important part in improving irrigation efficiencies and it is required that operations may be kept simple to avoid irrigator errors.
- A number of software tools are available for simulating for irrigation system evaluation, design and operational analysis. Further progress in this area is required for using better infiltration models while maintaining computational speeds.
- New technologies have to be adaptable in order to reap benefits after their implementation. Scaling up effects should be properly understood before large scale implementation and adoption by the user communities.
- Adaptability of the technologies should be seen in various contexts of climatic conditions, environmental and socio-economic conditions and then their validity should be determined.
- Land tenure and size of landowners are important factors for adaptation of new irrigation technologies particularly in developing countries. However, new approaches like land pooling and cooperative farming can provide windows of opportunities to implement the techniques and thereby improve efficiencies.