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From Secretary General's Desk

Secretary General_ICIDEr. A.B. Pandya

Secretary General, ICID
48 Nyaya Marg
New Delhi 110 021


Tel : +91 11 2611 6837, +91 11 2611 5679
Fax : +91 11 2611 5962
E-mail : icid@icid.org
Website : http://www.icid.org 


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From News Update, November 2018


Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the upcoming 9th International Micro-irrigation Conference (9IMIC) from 16-18 January 2019 in Aurangabad, India, I have the pleasure of sharing my recent observations as part of ICID's study visits to solar-operated irrigation projects in and around New Delhi, India. Our team visited Jain Irrigation's project site in the northwest State of Punjab where they have installed several solar panel batteries to pump water from a canal network to irrigate the fields of nearby farmers.

The project is a very good example of cooperation among local government officials, project staff and farmers. Assured supply of water has made a significant impact on the income level of farmers, who are able to cultivate horticultural and other cash crops such as mustard. The site also had storage tanks made of concrete to ensure continuous water supply even when there is no sunlight. As a result, the agriculture in this water-stressed area has revived and helped mitigate urban migration of villagers.As our freshwater availability for food production is stressed, we need to look out for newer sources of water for irrigation, improve irrigation efficiency by reducing transport losses, precision application and better management. We also observed similar systems in the Alwar region of the State of Rajasthan, however, there they have solar-assisted pumps to draw groundwater for irrigation of spring onion farms. The Delhi-based Water Technology Center (WTC) has been working in this area for last several decades and replicating the success in 35+ villages to benefit thousands of farmer families. This site had a very interesting business model as some progressive farmers have now become dealers of irrigation systems and other farm supplies. Prior to Rajasthan visit, we met WTC scientists and observed their commercial-scale research farms equipped with solar-powered drip irrigation technology.


These study visits are part of our preparation to host a high-level delegation from Egypt and Tunisia in January 2019, who are coming to India, to gain valuable experience of success stories of solar-powered irrigation. FAO has collaborated with ICID to facilitate the study tour of these senior level decision makers and we are eagerly waiting for them.

ICID has been part of many other events which have been covered in this issue of the News Update and I am sure you would find these recent visits interesting and inspiring.

Best Wishes,


Ashwin B. Pandya
Secretary General



From News Update, October 2018


Dear Colleagues,

As I gear up to participate in the upcoming African Young Water Professional Forum (Af-YWPF) in Cairo, Egypt next week, I am delighted to share that ICID is now spreading its wings and testing new horizons in the form of partnerships around the globe that synergize our common quest to improve water productivity of the agricultural sector to address challenging issues of global hunger, higher demand for food, dwindling freshwater availability; all this in a seemingly unpredictable climate change scenario. The only miscalculation we can make right now is by grossly underestimating the magnitude of the task that lies ahead. To achieve the same, we all need to be in the mission mode and focus our efforts that translate ICID Vision 2030 into ground reality.

Just last week, our ICID President Felix Reinders delivered a keynote speech during the Global Water Security Conference (GWSC) for Agriculture and Natural Resources in Hyderabad, India wherein he echoed the sentiment I have expressed above. The conference was yet another example how ICID is now interacting with other like-minded organizations such as the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the main organizer of the GWSC. I, also chaired a session during the conference on ‘Advanced Waste Water Treatment’ and how it can be monitored and made suitable for irrigation.

As our freshwater availability for food production is stressed, we need to look out for newer sources of water for irrigation, improve irrigation efficiency by reducing transport losses, precision application and better management. ICID also made its presence felt by two paper presentations by its Knowledge Management Team.

Other notable achievements and outcomes of ICID's recent efforts have been the establishment of a Working Group on Rainwater Harvesting which will involve global partners; the upcoming 9th International Micro-Irrigation Conference in Aurangabad, India (9IMIC) in January 2019 to showcase new research and technologies that can lead to water saving in irrigation in the range of 40-50%; and accelerated preparations for the Third World Irrigation Forum (WIF3) in Bali, Indonesia in 2019.

I sincerely look forward to your esteemed presence in the above major events so that we all could unanimously ensure a continuity in our dialogue on better collaboration for finding solutions to the problems our sector faces.

Best Wishes,


Ashwin B. Pandya
Secretary General



From News Update, August_September 2018


Dear Colleagues,


This special issue highlights the various activities of ICID, its members, partners and other water sector stakeholders. Obviously, the major event last month was the International Conference and 69th IEC Meeting of ICID in Saskatoon, Canada involving more than 500 global experts. It was a pleasure to meet many of you at Saskatoon during the 6-day international event that covered a significant variety of technical and social activities. I hope you all had a safe journey back home and now head on to your professional mission.


I am pleased to share with you that the Indian National Committee on Surface Water (INCSW) will be organizing the upcoming 9th International Micro-Irrigation Conference (9IMIC) from 16-18 January 2019 at Aurangabad, India. The conference aims to provide a platform to promote micro-irrigation as one of the improved water-efficient irrigation technologies and invite the researchers, entrepreneurs, policymakers and other stakeholders in the water sector to share their views and experiences of new technologies and best management practices in drip, micro-sprinkler and other localized irrigation systems.


Aurangabad city is very close to Jain Irrigation's sprawling campus which houses their R&D labs as well as a large commercial-scale facility for farmers' training and field demonstration center. I believe, it is the right place for the micro-irrigation conference and participants would benefit from the study tour to Micro Irrigation projects which is a part of the conference. I would like to take this opportunity to request you all to kindly share the announcement in your professional networks so that we are able to attract abstracts from professionals engaged in high-quality research and development work on micro-irrigation.


The main theme of the conference is 'Micro Irrigation in Modern Agriculture' with Sub-theme 1: Micro Irrigation Design, Innovations, and New Techniques for increased Crop Productivity; Sub-theme 2: Micro Irrigation fund and Government support through Micro Irrigation; Sub-theme 3: Micro Irrigation for Cluster Level Farming & small farm holders; and Sub-theme 4: Operation & Maintenance Services and Capacity Development for the Micro Irrigation Systems.


Through this message, I would like to personally invite you all to be a part of India’s first of its kind major international event on micro-irrigation. More information on the conference is just a click away: http://micro-irrigation2019.com


Best Wishes,


Ashwin B. Pandya
Secretary General



From News Update, July 2018


Dear Colleagues,

I am filled with rejoice and happiness as ICID has entered into 69th year of its operation and no one could have fathomed at the time of its establishment that this network of voluntary professionals would traverse such a multi-generation journey. It’s indeed a remarkable achievement and we all should be proud of it. During the celebrations of the 69th Foundation Day last month, it was a humbling experience to observe the participation of more than 70 delegates from 16 countries, members, associate members, direct members, well-wishers and old friends. I must thank all the participants for making the event a huge success with their warm presence and wishes. It was truly a family reunion!

Colleagues, it’s only a matter of weeks that we will be gathering again, but for a different purpose. The International Conference and the 69th IEC Meeting from 12-17 August 2018 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Province in Canada will give us an opportunity to discuss more scientific and technical issues that challenge the irrigation and drainage sector as well as organizational matters to further improve the effectiveness of deliberations among working groups, national committees and international partnerships.

The “virtual” meetings and seminar platforms are now becoming a regular feature and very useful for ICID to enhance interactive communication as they are breaking the prolonged silences that we sometimes experience in e-mail communications. We are able to hold our Management Board (MB) and Working Groups’ (WGs) meetings and I hope the Canada event will be a perfect rendezvous to deliberate further on how ICID can make better use of the new emerging ICTs.

As water touches many sectors of the economy, we need to re-double our efforts to connect with other stakeholders. We have now amped up our communication with the agriculture sector peers. ICID is one of the knowledge partners of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and the Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers for their Global Water Security Conference (GWSC) to be held later this year. And, we excitedly anticipate the outcomes of these fora.

As I close this column, I am eagerly looking forward to meeting many of us in Canada to continue our enriching conversation and technical deliberations.

Wish everyone a happy and safe journey to Saskatoon!

Best Wishes,


Ashwin B. Pandya
Secretary General



From News Update, June 2018


Dear Colleagues,

As I write this column, ICID is excitedly gearing up for the International Conference and its 69th IEC Meeting to be jointly organized with CANCID and Canadian Water Resources Association from 12-17 August 2018 at Saskatoon, Canada. It is my pleasure to inform that our CANCID colleagues have made elaborate preparations for the event that will also include many side events and several tours to Canada’s irrigation systems as well as cultural sites. You will find more details about the event in this issue and I urge cooperation from each one of you in making this upcoming Canada event a mega success.

I am pleased to share that, as usual, this year too we have received several nominations from our National Committees for the recognition of World Heritage Irrigation Structures (formerly HIS) and the WatSave Awards 2018. These nominations are currently being reviewed by panel of eminent international experts and the results would be announced before the Canada meetings You would be interested to learn that from this year on, we are on our final lap to move our popular programme of HIS to World Heritage Irrigation Structure (WHIS) and thereby raise the level of recognition much higher. While talking about heritage, ICID is working closely with ICOMOS-Netherlands to initiate “Water as Heritage” movement by involving experts from both the water world and the heritage networks. As engineers, we have been trained to focus mainly on the physical and chemical aspects of water, however, there are also social, cultural, religious and spiritual dimensions of water that need consideration when we design water structures and systems.

You all would agree that Internet Technologies (IT) are now playing a key role in all our activities, for example, Australia’s premier research agency CSIRO is developing a web-based capacity development and planning tool called Basin Futures (BF) and recently they gave a demo presentation at our Central Office. ICID is of the opinion that such GIS-enabled tools can be very effective for rapid assessments, basin and country-level planning and monitoring, and climate scenario analysis with regard to water resources in data sparse regions of the world. ICID Young Professionals may find such tools very interesting and useful in their professional sphere. We enthusiastically look forward to the release of beta version of BF.

As you are aware that on 5th June we observed the World Environment Day, which reminds me that the Water-Food-Energy (WEF) nexus framework is being increasingly used in balancing the natural resources consumption in a sustainable way, particularly keeping in mind the ambiguities of climate change.

There are many more things to be discussed and I look forward to continue our enriching conversation in Canada meetings in August.

Best Wishes,



Ashwin B. Pandya
Secretary General



From News Update, May 2018


Dear Colleagues,


Last month we witnessed a very encouraging example of regional cooperation involving ICID, CNCID and KCID when the Young Professionals (YPs) Training Program hosted by CNCID and supported by KCID was held in Beijing, China. ICID Resource Persons, including our current president, ex-presidents, myself and our executive director, delivered the training sessions. A total of 19 YPs from 14 countries participated and benefitted from the interactions with experienced irrigation and drainage experts. ICID through its Technical Support Unit (TSU) aims to provide such capacity development services so that developing countries share more knowledge and expertise with each other. The training was followed by a very interesting workshop by CNCID.


The experience was not much different during the 8th Asian Regional Conference held last week in Kathmandu, Nepal, prior to which another YP training program was organized by NENCID with several international resource persons for 25 YPs from Asian countries. Most of the YPs also got an opportunity to attend the regional conference and benefit from the discussions and knowledge sharing. The regional conference with the participation of high-level decision makers and technical experts demonstrated the potential of regional and international cooperation and collaboration in learning from each other. I hope the momentum gained, thus so far, does not diminish and such fruitful, high-impact activities take place more often.


ICID has also stepped up its interactions with several international research and development bodies, and I am sure that it will benefit all our NCs with cutting-edge knowledge and technological developments in our sector. We are working very closely with CSIRO-Australia to explore ways of making newly developed software tools available to developing countries of all regions for better planning and assessment of development interventions in the Irrigation and Drainage sector.


A gentle reminder to my colleagues that August is approaching fast when we will have our 69th IEC Meeting and International Conference in Canada and I look forward to meeting many of you there to share ideas on how we can work together better, be more impactful and result-oriented leading to sustainable development of all.


As I sign off, I would like to take this opportunity to remind all that on 24th June we will celebrate the 69th ICID Foundation Day and have already started preparations for that. You will hear more about it in the next month’s News Update. I urge all NCs to also organize various events to highlight our unique sector that touches all lives.


Best Wishes,


Ashwin B. Pandya
Secretary General



From News Update, April 2018


Dear Colleagues,


With the success-ful conclusion of the 8th World Water Forum last month in Brasilia, Brazil, there is a sense of new energy among the water sector stakeholders to focus more on field level interventions and change, and that’s the way it should be. The sheer diversity of participants during the Forum helped to deliberate the multi-disciplinary aspects of water. ICID was well represented by its members, partners, office bearers, stakeholders among others, and I am certain the Forum recommendations will reverberate in ICID activities in future.

This year, ICID commenced recognition of World Water System Heritage (WSH) program as a joint member initiative with the World Water Council (WWC). The awards recognize the water administration and distribution systems performing over historical periods. Three systems- two from Japan and one from Iran- were recognized at the global level. It is necessary for us to learn from such systems so that increasing tensions over resource allocation can somewhat be eased.

Interestingly, this year the World Water Day theme was ‘Nature-based solutions’ (NbS) and it drew our attention to the natural systems and mechanisms available around us that address some of our most serious water-related problems such as water scarcity and pollution.

This issue of News Update covers many events wherein ICID participated or was represented by our National Committees. The World Water System Heritage program, collaboratively organized by World Water Council and ICID, saw the maiden recognition of three heritage systems in an exclusive event during the inaugural ceremony of WWF8. ICID also took part in many technical sessions, meetings and side events, including WASAG and Water Accounting initiative. Finally, the White Paper on Water Accounting was officially published and released at a side event. ICID has made a significant contribution to this White Paper.


Last month also witnessed celebrations all over the world to celebrate ‘International Women’s Day’ on 8th March. It reminds us all the significant role that women, both urban and rural, are playing in agriculture, water and sanitation, and rural development.
They are also taking large strides in various fields as well-deserved professionals.

Recognizing the important role that young professionals play in analysing and solving major problems facing the humankind, ICID has been regularly conducting webinars and e-discussions through its open online platform – IYPeF (ICID Young Professionals e-Forum). Accordingly, face-to-face trainings are also organized for selected professionals to coincide with ICID annual events, which makes it possible for young professionals to interact among themselves and with international experts for better knowledge exchange. Currently, CNCID and NENCID are conducting such training for the YPs.

As I sign off, let me take this opportunity to remind all our NCs that ‘International Mother Earth Day’ will be observed on 22nd April. Let’s use the occasion to unite and shape the future of 21st century environmentalism and bring the message to people that they have a collective responsibility to protect the environment and to balance the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations.


Ashwin B. Pandya
Secretary General



From News Update, March 2018


Dear Colleagues,

Unfortunately, this message has to begin with a sad note that our Vice President Hon. Dr. Brane Ivan Maticic is no more among us. However, we can be sure that his tireless contributions to the professional field of irrigation and drainage through ICID over several years will continue to guide us towards a path of sustainable water use in agriculture, a very prominent overarching theme in the upcoming World Water Forum 8 (WWF8) at Brasilia, Brazil this month.

ICID members and partners are all geared up for an active participation in various technical and thematic sessions of WWF8. Frequent incidences of water scarcity are raising awareness not only about an urgent need for water accounting for better management of this finite and increasingly unpredictable resource in both spatial and temporal dimensions, but also on several other related issues such as role of technology for efficiency, resource conservation, multi-stakeholder dialogues, and so on. Cape Town scare has already rung the alarming bells and just glancing through digital media confirms that Cape Town may not be alone. Let us hope WWF8 raises the pitch and results in more action at the ground globally.

I would again like to highlight the special WWC-ICID session on Water Systems Heritage in which the three recognized systems will be given Citation Plaques and Certificates. Such systems reflect ancient water wisdom around us and there are uncountable examples around the world that we would like to recognize and share among all the stakeholders. So, I urge all the NCs to look around and nominate these hidden treasures of water knowledge.

On a parting note, all I would like to say is that both ICID President and myself eagerly look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in Brazil.


Best Wishes


Ashwin B. Pandya
Secretary General



From News Update, February 2018


Dear Colleagues,


It gives me great pleasure in informing you that ICID is gearing up for the first major international event of 2018. The 8th edition of the World Water Forum (WWF8) which will take place from 18-23 March in Brasilia, Brazil. The Forum will hold more than 200 sessions and debates about themes related to water. ICID President, myself and several delegations of our member national committees will take part in this important event to highlight the issues related to irrigation and drainage.

One of the highlight of WWF8 is ICID and WWC will jointly recognize three World Water Systems of historical significance as World Water Systems Heritage (WSH). The systems have been selected by an international panel of judges from a total of eight nominations received from various countries. Citation plaques and certificates will be presented in an exclusive session on World Water Systems. Water systems have a long and almost indefinite life, if they are maintained and manged well. Keeping in mind our limited working life spans, the well adopted management systems make impact across multiple generations of the beneficiaries. WSH celebrates this permanence of thoughts and concepts. I urge all National Committees (NCs) to send in nominations for this recognition of time-tested water governance systems as well as for WatSave Awards and Historical Irrigation Structures (HIS).

Being a member of the International Steering Committee of WASAG – The Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture – ICID will participate in an FAO-led session on water scarcity in agriculture and discuss ways to ensure future food security in an uncertain climate. WASAG serves as a collaborative platform for all in supporting countries and stakeholders in their commitments and plans related to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Water management forms the core of sustenance. Being a dynamic resource, the management is a continuous exercise. Simultaneously, being a temporally random resource, management policies have to evolve almost constantly. We need to keep on building our knowledge base in order to leverage our past experiences into forming proactive policies for future sustainability. Therefore, ICID continues to play a key role through landmark events on water with the help of our NCs and Working Groups. We would like to expand our reach further and further.

ICID recognizes the centrality of the role of the Young Professionals in our activities as well as water sector, and accordingly ICID Young Professionals e-Forum (IYPeF) has kick started the year 2018 with a wide range of discussions on technical issues related to water management in agriculture. The outcomes of these deliberations will be made available through various ICID communication outlets.

We are also witnessing an improved cooperation among the various NCs which is a good sign. On the parting note, I am happy to report that Vietnam and Georgia have become the newest members of ICID family. More the merrier!

With Best Wishes,

Ashwin B. Pandya
Secretary General


From News Update, January 2018

Dear Colleagues,


As I make my debut to the world of Irrigation and Drainage as Secretary General of ICID, I convey my best wishes to all for the New Year 2018. I will strive towards a better informed and more developed community of irrigation and drainage professionals in years to come. Let us begin our journey together.

Water, a life-critical finite resource, is being consumed increasingly with various competing demands. At the same time irrigation being the largest consumer of water is coming under increasing pressure with other sectors demanding a greater consumption from its existing share.

A holistic management strategy is needed for the purpose. While this is the case with the countries with substantial urban and industrial base, many countries are struggling with making enough resources available for bringing up their societies to kickstart the socio-economic development process.

The irrigation development has to address the twin issues of managing, maintaining and improving their irrigation facilities in an enhanced manner for generating inter-sectoral adjustments and the development of new facilities providing cover to virgin areas which have seen little or no engineered irrigation due to lack of development.

Managing and improving irrigation infrastructure is an ongoing process requiring specific solutions suiting the problems encountered. Large number of innovative technologies and solutions are available in the specific areas of application which may overlap or leave out some space when a new approach/solution is needed to be developed.

Modern management technologies with remote data collection and asset management are making great strides in this direction and irrigation professionals need to leverage them to their best advantage.

New areas coming under irrigation need a lot of capacity building for absorption of new concepts in their psyche to migrate from a water insecure area to one with greater security. The leap from no technology to a sophisticated state- of-the-art solution becomes quite great at times often leading to the collapse of a newly implemented system. Breaking up of the solution in a set of easily absorbable steps is an exercise which has to be planned with great care keeping the status of society.

Irrigation systems not only bring prosperity but also new power structures and inter-linkages amongst the members of the beneficiary community. The social change also needs to be managed smoothly for achieving the desired results of a well and evenly developed society.

Thus, as I look at the vast challenges and scope available for the work in the sector at the inception of my tenure at ICID, the cooperation of the irrigation and drainage community in the working of the organization becomes more valuable.

I am happy to inform you the launch of the e-Discussion on 'Use of Groundwater for Sustainable Agriculture' on our ICID Young Professional e-Forum (IYPeF). Members are requested to encourage young professionals to participate actively in these discussions . Also a good number of virtual meetings as planned during the 68th IEC are also in pipeline.

New initiatives taken in the field of knowledge management and capacity building are close to our hearts towards making our contribution to the development of the sector and thereby a more equitable and stable water availability regime. Our detailed thoughts on plans for future of the sector have been collated in our ICID Vision 2030 document. I would urge the community to study them for adopting the appropriate goals.

With Best Wishes

Ashwin B. Pandya
Secretary General




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