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

Highlights: 24th ICID International Congress and 73rd International Executive Council Meeting, October 2022, Australia

The ICID with its Australian counterpart, Irrigation Australia Ltd. (Australian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, IACID) organized its 24th International Congress and 73rd International Executive Council meeting and exhibition from 3–10 October 2022, at the Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia. The 24th ICID International Congress centred around the theme ‘Innovation and Research in Agricultural Water Management to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals.’ The event brought together irrigation and drainage professionals and a broad range of other stakeholders to share their knowledge and experience in sustainable agriculture water management focusing on irrigation management.

The 73rd meeting of the International Executive Council (IEC) was organized in three sessions. The Opening Plenary aimed at addressing all stakeholders, experts, representatives, partners, and observers with the objective to communicate issues of general concern and also presenting ICID annual awards and recognitions. The plenary session was attended by about 400 delegates from 44 countries. They participated in the various working group meetings, task teams and committees in the following two days. The main session of IEC was conducted in two sessions on 10 October 2022, took all decisions based on the outcomes and recommendations of the workbodies and permanent committees.

President Prof. Dr. Ragab Ragab welcomed the members to the 73rd IEC meetings. He thanked IACID for making excellent arrangements for the 73rd IEC meetings. The Council observed one-minute silence in remembrance of the late President Hon. Marvin Jensen (USA) and late VPH Abdellah Bekkali (Morocco) and other departed souls from the ICID fraternity.

In his opening remarks, the President emphasized the opportunity to spotlight where ICID – and various stakeholders of the irrigation and drainage sector as a whole – needs to come together to promote sustainable management of water for agriculture worldwide, as Agenda 2030 provides an opportunity to ICID to revisit its vision and mission to align with UN SDGs, and the main theme of the 24th ICID Congress “Innovation and research in AWM to achieve SDGs” further underlines it. The President highlighted the main initiatives of the Commission during the last year since the 72nd IEC meeting and impressed upon the need for a coherent approach towards the mission of ICID among its various stakeholders. He informed the Council about the membership drive to bring in more countries to the ICID fraternity to fulfil the vision, mission and goals of ICID may benefit almost all countries around the world. He gave a brief insight into his participation in various international meetings, which are of interest to ICID, his attendance in the virtual meetings of the ICID workbodies and ICID’s new partnerships with international organizations in the water sector. He also gave a glimpse into the recent and new initiatives like the establishment of a task force on Transboundary Water Management, the Members’ Profile Section, the Register on World Irrigation and Drainage Schemes (WIDS), and so forth.

Secretary General Er. Ashwin B. Pandya introduced the agenda for the 73rd IEC meeting and provided an overview of the important issues before the Council such as the review of the action plans identified under the Roadmap to ICID Vision 2030. Mr. Carl Walters, the representative of the Australian National Committee (IACID) presented the report bringing out the important aspects regarding agriculture water management in the country, and how they resulted in increased agriculture activity in Australia. His presentation mainly focussed on integrated approaches to irrigation management in Australia. In Australia, social and economic objectives drove development initiatives across the Murray Darling system and adverse impacts started to emerge such as increased algal blooms, irrigation region salinization, environmental issues, less water for the environment – reversed river operation, reduced forest/wetland flooding, etc. and increased closure of Murray Mouth.

Dr. Bahrom Gaforzoda, the representative of the Tajikistan National Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (TajNCID) of ICID briefly presented the activities of TajNCID, irrigation and drainage facilities in Tajikistan with its historical perspective and the main challenges of their country’s irrigation and drainage sector. Dr. Gaforzoda in his presentation gave an overview of the water resources of Tajikistan, with 947 rivers and 276 streams with a total length of 30,000 km. He informed about the initiatives by the Republic of Tajikistan at the UN General Assembly which resulted in the declaration of International Freshwater Year (2003), International Decade for Action “Water for Life” (2005-2015), International Year of Water Cooperation (2013) and International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028”, with their country being an active member of the global water processes.

The event brought together lessons from technical, social, and institutional innovations tested in the field by water managers across different sectors and irrigators, government, researchers, and donors to build climate resilience through water management with irrigation infrastructure and communities’ behaviours. The event acknowledged that water conservation & management, innovative agriculture practices, renewable energy, food systems and nutrition are interlinked and that the rising trend of losses caused by natural and human-induced disasters must be addressed, with particular attention paid to people in vulnerable situations, including least developed countries, leaving no one behind.

VP Prof. Dr. Tsugihiro Watanabe, Chair of AC-IRPID, gave a brief introduction about the objectives of the IRPID Scheme, including its organizational structure, responsibilities, and functions. VPH Dr. Marco Arcieri, Chairman, PFC presented the report of the 43rd meeting of the PFC held on 07 October 2022. The Council requested National Committees to nominate expert members well-versed in financial matters for the membership of the PFC, which is allowed to have a maximum of 15 members.

Hon. Minister of Water Resources, India, Mr. Gajender Singh Shekhawat also attended the conference. He talked about the role of India in sustainable water management for a water secure world. He also talked about the strategies and policies of the Government of India to ensure water availability and the importance of India in emerging as a key player in the water resources management of South Asia.

The session also announced the winners of the WatSave Award, WHIS, Best Performing National Committee/Workbody, Best Paper Award and the activities of Young Professionals, election for the new Vice Presidents. & (Office Bearers). Mr. Bryan Ward, Chairman of IACID and CEO of Irrigation Australia thanked the delegates for making the event success. The event acknowledged that water conservation & management, innovative agriculture practices, renewable energy, food systems and nutrition are interlinked and that the rising trend of losses caused by natural- and human-induced disasters must be addressed, with particular attention paid to people in vulnerable situations, including the least developed countries.

WatSave Award Winners – 2022

WatSave Awards are annual awards that were instituted by ICID in 1997 to recognize and encourage the development of innovative ideas to facilitate robust and result-oriented technologies that could be implemented to save the usage of water for agricultural purposes. This year, the recipients received awards under four categories—Innovative Management, Technology, Young Professionals and Farmer. The winners of the 2022 WatSave Awards for various categories were:

1.    Technology award

Sumith Choy, Varun Ravi, N Srinivas Reddy, and Satya N Jaddu (Australia) for their work on 'Leveraging Canal Automation Technology to Improve Karnataka’s Precious Water Resources.' The project is expected to improve the water efficiency within the NLBC network by up to 20% while delivering an equitable service to farmers and supplying water at consistent flow rates enabling farmers to increase their on-farm crop production and economic productivity.

2.    Management award

Li Gendong and Su Xiaofei (China) for their work on 'Water Rights Trading of Hetao Irrigation Scheme.' The implementation of the project can play a good leading role in China's water rights management. Especially the large-area and large-scale implementation of household management of water rights confirmation, three-dimensional monitoring, and cross-industry trading, which is the first time in China and fills the gap.

3.    Young professional award

Ramtin Nabipour Shiri (Iran) for his work on 'Drip Tape Irrigation of Transplanted Rice in Puddled Paddy Soil.’ The research demonstrated that drip tape irrigation of transplanted rice on puddled paddy soil is productive compared to the water-intensive conventional flooding of rice while reducing irrigation at least by 51% and also at least 24% compared to AWD irrigation.

4.    Farmer Award

Nader Zarei (Iran) for his work on 'Cultivation Model Compatible with Arid and Semi-arid Climate of Iran to Increase Water’s Economic Productivity.’ Through his work, it was demonstrated that with the change of cultivation pattern from crops, especially wheat to fig orchards, economic productivity increased dramatically, so this index in figs is 24 times higher than wheat.

ICID Newly Elected Office Bearers – 2022-25
Mr. Bruno Grawitz (France) Prof. Dr. Sylvester Mpandeli (South Africa) Mr. Kushvinder Vohra (India)


WHIS Recognized by ICID in 2022

ICID identifies, recognizes and maintains a record of World Heritage Irrigation Structures of archival value that are more than a century old and help understand the evolution of irrigation systems among civilizations across the world. This concept was mooted at the 63rd International Executive Council (IEC) Meeting held in Adelaide, Australia in 2012. The idea is to conserve these heritage structures for posterity on the lines of the world heritage sites recognized by UNESCO. Nineteen heritage structures have been recognized by ICID in the year 2022.

1.     Dethridge Outlet/Wheel (Australia)

2.     Chongyi Shangbao Terraces (China)

3.     Songgu Irrigation Scheme (China)

4.     Tongjiyan Irrigation Scheme (China)

5.     Xinghua Duotian Irrigation and Drainage System (China)

6.     Baitarani Irrigation Projects (India)

7.     Lower Anicut (India)

8.     Rushikulya Irrigation System (India)

9.     Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage (India)

10.   Al-Adhem Dam (Iraq)

11.   White Bridge (Iraq)

12.   Kanuki Irrigation Canal (Japan)

13.   Teradani Irrigation System (Canal) (Japan)

14.   Yukawa Irrigation Canal (Japan)

15.   Uiseong Small Reservoir Irrigation System (South Korea)

16.   Kala Wewa (Sri-Lanka)

17.   Maduru Oya Ancient Dam and the Sluice (Sri-Lanka)

18.   Padaviya (Sri-Lanka)

19.   Hekkam Anicut (Sri-Lanka)

11th N.D. Gulhati Memorial Lecture

Ms. Karlene Maywald, South Australian Water Ambassador and Chair of the Australian Nation Water Commission delivered the 11th N.D. Gulhati Memorial lecture for International Cooperation in Irrigation and Drainage on the theme “Putting People at the Heart of What We Do’’. The memorial lecture, established in the memory of Late President Hon. N.D. Gulhati is held during the triennial ICID Congress. The memorial lecture aims to encourage the exchange of significant global developments relevant to irrigation and drainage engineering, including all allied aspects like the environment, sociology and economics, as well as fostering and enhancing international cooperation to meet the ICID objectives.

The focus of the lecture was on: (i) The importance of sustainable environmental management and societal behavioural change to enable our global irrigation communities to embrace the reforms; (ii) What extent of water scarcity is exacerbated by climate change; and (iii) Why is it that the world is so slow to make progress at both global and local scales?

In the address, Ms. Karlene Maywald highlighted the key principles of the core framework on conservation of the water by investment, new reforms in water quality, wastewater management and minimizes the key segment of pollution in agriculture practices. The full report can be accessed at:

About Ms. Karlene Maywald

Hon. Karlene Maywald is currently the South Australian Water Ambassador. Her previous roles include South Australian Minister for Water Security and the River Murray, Murray Darling Basin Ministerial Council Member and Chair of the Australian National Water Commission. Karlene is currently the Managing Director of Maywald Consultants and holds a portfolio of Board positions including Chair of WaterAid Australia, Chair of the Peter Cullen Environment and Water Trust and she is also the Chair of Cancer Council SA, as well as the Director of WaterAid International and the Australian Water Association..

5th Best Performing Workbody Award

The 5th Best Performing Workbody Award  (BPWA) was presented to the African Regional Working Group (AFRWG) by President Prof. Dr. Ragab Ragab on the occasion of the 73rd IEC Meeting and 24th ICID Congress held in Adelaide, Australia, October 2022. The performance of a workbody is adjudged based upon a set of criteria and its contribution towards the mandate and mission of ICID. The Award was presented to Vice President Hon. Dr. Eng. Mohamed A. Shehata Wahba (Egypt), Chairman, AFRWG.

Best Paper Award Awarded by ICID – 2022

The ICID Journal ‘Irrigation and Drainage’ is the flagship publication of ICID. The journal is a prestigious, peer-reviewed publication, publishing original papers on scientific, engineering, environmental and socio-economic issues associated with irrigation and drainage. It is a rich resource of reference to professionals, engineers, researchers, university professors, and students of irrigation, drainage, and agriculture disciplines. Its management is governed by an International Editorial Board (EB).

'Best Paper Award ' was started in 2006 to recognize the outstanding papers contributed to ‘Irrigation and Drainage’, annually. The award consists of a citation plaque and either US$ 500 cash or US$ 800 worth of Wiley books from M/s. Wiley Blackwell (UK).

During the 73rd IEC Meeting, the Best Paper Award 2022 was presented to Jiaxin Wen, Yang Xiao, Peng Song, Bo Sun, Tahir Muhammad, Lianghe Ma, An Waier Aosiman, Yunkai Li from China for their outstanding paper entitled ‘Bacillus amyloliquefaciens application to prevent biofilms in reclaimed water micro-irrigation systems’ published in Volume 70 Issue 1 (2021) of Irrigation and Drainage - the Journal of ICID.

Reclaimed water (RW) applied in drip irrigation systems could be a solution to cope with the challenges of limited freshwater resources. Biofilm growth in irrigation systems is an unavoidable issue when using RW. To date, strong chemical bactericides mostly dominate the commercial market in controlling biofilms. However, recently scientists have been concerned about their real efficacy and environmental risks. This study assesses a low-concentration microbial antagonist (i.e., Bacillus amyloliquefaciens inoculums, BAI) intermittently injected into the systems to mitigate biofilm formation in three types of drip emitters using two kinds of treated RW. The results indicated that the application of BAI significantly (p < .05) mitigated the microbial biomass within biofilms when compared with the control groups (no-BAI). In addition, BAI reduced the contents of extracellular polysaccharides and proteins of biofilms, which decreased the total biomass in BAI treatments by 44.9%–73.8%. Consequently, BAI effectively improved the emitter performances and increased the discharge variation rate by 31.9%–44.3%. These findings might provide a new perspective to control biofouling when applying RW in irrigation systems, with potential implications for sustainable water management in agricultural production.

You can access the paper at:

Sign up for newsletter

Follow us