Agricultural Land and Water Management for
Sustainability under Climate Variability
The 4th African Regional Conference on Irrigation and Drainage (ARCID) was organized from 26-28 April 2016 at historical city of Aswan, Egypt on the main theme ‘Agricultural Land and Water Management for Sustainability under Climate Variability’ by the host Egyptian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (ENCID). Three sub-topics covered were (i) Water Use Management; (ii) Food Security; and (iii) Research, Extension Services and Capacity Development.
Around 250 participants attended the conference representing 31 countries, mainly from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and USA.
The conference held under the patronage of Prime Minister of Egypt, was inaugurated by H.E. Prof. Mohamed Abdel Atty, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt in the august presence of H.E. Magdy Hegazy, Governor of Aswan, H.E. Om Prakash Dhankar, Minister of Irrigation, Agriculture and Rural Development, Haryana State, India, H.E. Eng. Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, Secretary General, African-Asian Rural Development organization (AARDO), Dr. Saeed Nairizi, President ICID, VPH Dr. M.H. Amer, Chairman, ENCID, and an elite assembly of national, regional and international scientists, experts and professionals in the fields of irrigation, drainage, agriculture, environment and related fields.
The 4th ARCID was sponsored by a number of partners from ICID, ENCID, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, KRC, KCID, ICARDA, RTSWRI, NWRC, Arab Water Council, GIZ, WMRP, MWRI Planning Sector, EgyptAir, Banque du Caire, FAO, National Bank of Egypt, among others.
The conference activities included six keynote speeches presented by the top-notch scientists from South African National Committee of Irrigation and Drainage (SANCID), Korea Rural Corporation (KRC), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Center for Environment and Hydrology (CEH), Alterra Team/ESS CALM (The Netherlands), and AARDO; 8 Technical Sessions ( on main topics); 3 Special Sessions (on additional topics); 2 Side Events; a special session for the African Regional Working Group (AFRWG); an Office-Bearer’s meeting (ICID President and Hon. Vice President); around 70 oral presentations; around 18 poster presentations in 3 Poster Sessions; a scientific Exhibition for national and international institutions in the water sector and related industries to display their activities, programs and products; and an exciting program of tours for participants and accompanying persons including cultural/sightseeing tours, technical tours and post-conference study tours.
The following highlights are emerged from the 4th ARCID recommendations:
- Global Initiative on African Green Revolution. ICID needs to prepare a position paper on second Green Revolution in Africa and to set up a mechanism to extend its support in the area of Agriculture water Management.
- Regarding Water Use Management. There is need to narrow gap between water supply and demand through increasing irrigation efficiency, use of non-conventional water resources including reuse of water, amendment to cropping pattern, reducing losses especially evaporation losses etc.
- Climate Change Impacts. Water management plans should take into account temperature increase, rainfall decrease, and subsequent water resources decline. There is need to adopt measures to augment availability of water such as water harvesting, modernization of irrigation systems, adoption of latest technological advances and improved agronomical and water management practices etc.
- Water Quality Deterioration. Water quality deterioration is one of the serious problems and In-stream Natural Clean Flow (INCF) can be applied along polluted water ways to reduce pollution.
- GIS and Groundwater Modeling. GIS can be a very useful and helpful decision making tool at the pre-investigation stage for technical and financial analysis with limited funds. The existing groundwater development plan need to be updated frequently.
- Use of Non-Conventional Water Resources. For Irrigation with Sewage Water, there is a need for groundwater development and management under sewage-based irrigation and for this further studies are required to study impact of sewage water on the aquifer. For Irrigation with Brackish Water, the developed regional “Guidelines on Brackish Water Use for Agricultural Development” should be finalized urgently and disseminated on a wide scale to top level decision-makers and end level practitioners and farmers in the field.
- Stakeholders’ Participation. There is need for adopting participatory approach that involves the stakeholders and local water authorities or associations taking into consideration gender issues
- Public-Private Participation. PPPs are key to the Government’s economic reform agenda and so there is need to develop strategy to increase private sector involvement in public services through leveraging private spending. In order to increase participation of private sector in ICID activities, NCs should give opportunity and encourage them to become members of their NC so that they can bring private sector experience in AWM sector which may also lead to development of some PPP.
- Information Technology and Dissemination. Information technology is an important part for fast learning and dissemination. Participants felt that lot of research and technology development and use is happening at country level, but there are no arrangements for sharing of experience and knowledge among various countries especially in African region. So there is a need for encouraging collaborations and setting up of regional networks of NCs for sharing and dissemination of knowledge. Further there was feeling that in order to facilaitate dissemination of knowledge from NC to their members setting up of a discussion forum on their website can be considered.
...Glimpses of 4th African Regional Conference on Irrigation and Drainage (ARCID)