International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
Managing water for sustainable agriculture
Water for food and rural development


About ICID

ICID Brochure (PDF-1.18 MB)



Objects and Activities

ICID LogoICID - What it is

The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) was established on 24 June, 1950 as a Scientific, Technical and Voluntary Not-for-profit Non-Governmental International Organization (NGO) with headquarters in New Delhi, India. The Commission is dedicated to enhancing the worldwide supply of food and fibre for all people by improving water and land management and the productivity of irrigated and drained lands through appropriate management of water, environment and application of irrigation, drainage and flood management techniques. The activities of the Commission are pursued in accordance with the ICID Constitution and By-Laws. Latest version of these was adopted in 1996. English and French are the official languages of the Commission.

Picture library

Objects and Activities

The Mission of ICID is to stimulate and promote the development and application of the arts, sciences and techniques of engineering, agriculture, economics, ecological and social sciences in managing water and land resources for irrigation, drainage, flood management and river training applications, including research and development and capacity building for achieving sustainable irrigated agriculture.

peaceICID has more than half-a-century of experience in the transfer of water management technology and in the handling of related issues. Building on its past experience, accomplishments, and the comprehensive water management framework, ICID strives to promote programs to enhance sustainable development of irrigated agriculture. ICID has been involved in the global discussions leading to Agenda 21, World Water Vision, World Water Forums etc., which have become the focal point of several of its technical activities.

In recognition of its significant contribution to the programs and objectives of International Year of Peace proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, on 15 September 1987 ICID was designated as a Peace Messenger by the UN Secretary General.

India Power Award 2011

Awarded “India Power Awards 2011” established by Council of Power Utilities (CPU) under International Segment (Improving Water and Land Management) on 24 November 2011 at New Delhi. Dr. C. Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to The Prime Minister of India and Former Governor of Andhra Pradesh State was the Chief Guest. Secretary General M. Gopalakrishnan received the Award on behalf of ICID.



Membership and Organisation
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ICID Membership Map

The membership of the Commission consists of countries which are normally represented by National Committees (NC) and Direct Members (DM)New comprising of individuals, companies and institutions.

Any geographical area independently administered by a sovereign government and having interest in the activities of the Commission is eligible to become a National Committee (NC). Professionals, individuals and officers of government or of an institution or institutions - government and non-government; and companies, effectively representing interests within the scope of the objects of the Commission may participate in ICID activities through Direct Membership (DM), to further the objects of the Commission in their countries or sovereign areas.

Starting with 11 founding member countries in 1950, 110 countries have so far joined ICID to pool their efforts.

The Office Bearers of ICID are - the President, nine Vice Presidents and Secretary General. The President and Vice Presidents are elected for a term of three years. The Secretary General is appointed on a full time basis for a specified tenure.

The conduct of the Commission's affairs is vested in the International Executive Council (IEC). The IEC is composed of current Office Bearers and one representative from each National Committee. The Council meets each year.

It is the aim of the Commission that National Committees should be broad-based and multidisciplinary and collaborate with other organizations having related aims in their countries. The National Committees invite and host Commission's annual IEC meetings, World Congresses held triennially and Regional Conferences held by rotation in the various regions. They also organize activities in their countries to implement various action programs developed, promoted or sponsored by the Commission.

The activities of the Commission are carried out through technical workbodies. National Committees nominate top experts to these workbodies, dealing with various irrigation and drainage issues covering on-farm aspects, development and management of appropriate systems, inter-basin water transfer, socio-economic impacts of irrigated agriculture, livelihood & poverty alleviation, climate change, etc. Currently, there are over 30 such work groups. Regional water related issues are addressed by special working groups covering Africa, Europe, Asia, Americas, Lake Chad Basin and the Aral Sea Basin. To encourage workbodies and member National Committees to turn out increased activities and outputs, awards for Best Performing Workbody and Best Performing National Committee have been introduced.

coA permanent secretariat, called the Central Office, is located in the Commission's building on the land provided by the Government of India in New Delhi. The Central Office staff works under the overall supervision of the Secretary-General and a small team of qualified professionals co-ordinate the technical work of the Commission.



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ICID publishes 5 issues of a peer-reviewed technical journal (Irrigation and Drainage - Managing Water for Sustainable Agriculture - The Journal of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage) carrying selected articles, a quarterly Newsletter and a monthly News Update for its members. Special publications are also released from time to time on subjects of interest to the Commission. Some of the publications have received worldwide appreciation. They include A Global Review of Irrigation and Drainage in the World (in three volumes), A Global Review of Flood Control in the World (in two volumes), A Worldwide Survey on Irrigation and Salinity, Environmental Checklist, and ICID-World Bank Guide 'Planning the Management, Operation and Maintenance of Irrigation and Drainage Systems'. Recently, ICID Guidelines for Rehabilitation and Modernization of Irrigation Projects and a Manual on Non-Structural Approaches to Flood Management have also been published.

Special Publications like the `Role of Dams for Irrigation, Drainage and Flood Control' are brought out to highlight ICID's position on certain currently debted issues. The ICID Multilingual Technical Dictionary (MTD) (1996) has been translated into 14 languages. The MTD is also available on CD-ROM (revised and updated edition, January 2010). Some publications are also brought out in cooperation/collaboration with other international organizations such as ICID-FAO publication on Management of Agricultural Drainage Water Quality. Recently, Guidelines on Use of Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques in Irrigation, volume on 'Historical Dams', volume on 'Danube Valley - History of Irrigation and Drainage and Flood Control', volume on 'The Indus Basin - History of Irrigation and Drainage and Flood Management', publication on Application of Geosynthetics in Irrigation and Drainage Projects, Manual on Planning of Structural Approaches to Flood Management, Planning and Designing of Micro-Irrigation in Humid Regions, Micro Irrigation in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions - Guidelines for Planning and Design, Manual for Performance Evaluation of Sprinkler and Drip Irrigation Systems in Different Agro-Climatic Regions of the World, Water Saving in Agriculture and Report of ICID Task Force for Least Developed Countries in Asia have been published.



ICID Events

ICID organizes triennially World Irrigation and Drainage Congresses and annually, by rotation, one of the four regional conferences, namely, African Regional Conference, Asian Regional Conference, European Regional Conference, and Pan American Regional Conference to address and discuss important current, regional and global issues. Through the year 2011, 21 World Congresses, 25 European Regional Conferences, 10 Afro-Asian Regional Conferences, 4 Pan-American Regional Conferences, 6 Asian Regional Conferences, 3 African Regional Conference and 8 International Exhibitions have been held. Nine International Drainage Workshops and 8 International Micro Irrigation Congresses have been organised. Symposia, Seminars and Special Sessions are also held at the time of Congresses and/or ICID’s annual International Executive Council meetings and on various other occasions.

Tehran Congress 60th IEC


ICID Events



Collaboration with UN and other International Organisations

ICID has a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and UNESCO since 1954 and with WMO since 1960. UNESCO is a permanent observer in the Commission’s IEC while UNDRO and WMO are represented in ICID’s technical work bodies. The Commission has liaison status with WHO since 1955.

ICID has specialized consultative status with FAO since 1955, while FAO has permanent observer status on the Commission’s IEC.

ICID, World Bank and UNDP jointly sponsored the International Program for Technology and Research in Irrigation and Drainage (IPTRID) with headquarters presently in FAO to enhance priority research and technology transfer, especially in the developing countries. The World Bank is a permanent observer in ICID’s IEC and is also currently represented on more than a dozen work bodies of ICID.

ICID has cooperative arrangements with Regional Development Banks and international non-governmental organizations, such as CIGR, IAHR, IAHS, IWRA, ICOLD, IHA, IWA, EurAgEng, WEC, etc. ICID is an observer in the Governing Council of IFAD. It is a founder member of International Union of Technical Associations and Organizations (UATI) since 1950, and has a consultative status of Category A with some of the technical committees of the International Standards Organization (ISO) since 1975. ICID effectively contributes to various global dialogues and initiatives like the World Water Forums.

ICID has a standing Memorandum of Understanding with IWMI since 1993, and with IWRA since 1994. ICID is a founder member of the World Water Council (WWC) and the Global Water Partnership (GWP). The Central Office of the Commission is also functioning as a Secretariat to the International Water-Related Associations' Liaison Committee (IWALC), which is a group of thirteen international water organizations.


Information Exchange

Central Office library houses more than 31000 technical books and receives 65 periodicals. Professionals are encouraged to make use of this library. A Text Delivery Service (TDS) on irrigation, drainage and flood control is available on ICID's web site. This includes accessions to the library numbering over 31000 publications, thousands of article references, grey literature etc., as well as information received from National Committees. Quarterly Newsletters and Monthly News Updates compiled by ICID providing current information on water-related activities of the Commission and other organizations. The ICID Website ( and provides all information on ICID and its activities. The quarterly ICID News, monthly News Update, Annual Report and ICID Directory can be accessed on the ICID Website.

Annually, a Directory containing the names and addresses of all participating experts, member Committees and cooperating international organisations is also compiled. The ICID Website ( provides all information on ICID and its activities.


Special Initiatives

splICID has, through its conferences and meetings, addressed the challenges facing irrigated agriculture in the increased competition for water. Official statements and declarations have been issued setting out action plans to promote and increase conservation of water. Triennially, N.D. Gulhati Memorial International Lecture is delivered by an eminent professional at the time of Congresses. Water Saving (WatSave) in Agriculture brings together all the major irrigation countries in the world to promote progress in this area. Three special WatSave Awards for Technology, Management and for Young Professionals have been established to recognise work of irrigation professionals who have made an outstanding contribution to the conservation of water in irrigation. To help develop effective options by countries for water resources development and management for acceptable level of food security and rural development scenarios through integration of water needs for ‘food’, ‘people’ and ‘nature’ sectors, ICID has recently completed a ‘Country Policy Support Program (CPSP)’ covering China, Egypt, India, Mexico and Pakistan. In the first phase of the program, detailed studies and consultations were organised in China and India, besides a preliminary assessment in respect of other 3 countries; 14 specific technical reports were brought out under this programme.

ICID welcomes and invites participation of all countries and committed irrigation professionals from all disciplines, to contribute to its activities in pursuit of its fundamental objectives, especially in meeting the challenges of sustainable irrigated agriculture in the coming decades.



International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)
48 Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021, India.
Tel: 91-11-26116837, 24679532, 26115679; Fax: 91-11-26115962
Website :


January 2011

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