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21st International Congress on Irrigation and Drainage
Tehran, Iran, October 15-23, 2011 

Congress Theme:  Water Productivity towards Food Security

Photo Credit : IRNCIDIn the last century, the world population has tripled. It is expected to rise from the present 6.5 billion to 8.9 billion by 2050.  Water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century, and, although there is no global water scarcity as such, an increasing number of regions are chronically short of water. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population could be under conditions of water stress. The situation will be exacerbated as rapidly growing urban areas place heavy pressure on local water and land resources.

In most countries, the agriculture sector is the predominant consumer of water. In many cases, irrigated agriculture has played a major role in the development of rural economies, supporting economic growth and poverty reduction.

Although enough food is being produced to feed the world’s population, there are still some 850 million undernourished/hungry people in the world. With nearly the same water and land resources base, we shall have to grow enough food to additionally feed about 2 billion people. Considering the increased demand resulting from expected increase in the standard of living, we need to double the level of food production. Securing our food supply is not negotiable. We all need safe and good-quality food in order to live a healthy life.

However, increasing water productivity holds the key to future water scarcity and food security challenges. There is scope for an accelerated increase in water productivity. Water productivity in agriculture has increased steadily in the recent decades, largely owing to increasing crop yields, and the potential exists for further increase. However, the pace of such increase will vary according to the type of policies and investments, with substantial variations in the impact on the environment and livelihoods of rural populations.

21st ICID congress shall provide an opportunity to exchange updated knowledge and researches on Irrigation, Drainage and Flood Control that contribute to enhanced food production with less water, and better protection from uncontrolled flooding.    

Question 56: Water and Land Productivity Challenges

Today, agriculture consumes 70 percent of all global water withdrawn for consumptive use, up to 95 percent in several arid and semi-arid countries. Increasing the efficiency of soil and water use and enhancing agricultural land and water productivity at all levels of the production chains are becoming priorities in a rapidly growing number of countries. A systematic approach to agricultural land and water productivity requires actions at all levels, bottom to up, crops to irrigation schemes, and national to international economic systems, including the trade in agricultural products. It calls for an informed discussion on the scope for improved land and water productivity in order to ameliorate intersectional competition for water resources and optimize environmental, social and economic outcomes.

No doubt, irrigation should play a greater role to meet the food demand of the 3rd millennium by focusing on land and water productivity, while preserving rural employment. Researchers are invited to submit their papers on the following sub-topics:

56.1: Water and Land Productivity; Concepts, Indices and Targets

Developing of Water and Land Productivity Concept and Indices; Water and Land Productivity Framework; Approaches to Water and Land Productivity Improvement; Impact of Climate Change on Water and Land Productivity Trend; Strategies to Systemically Improvement Productivity; Planning to Enhancement of Water and Land Productivity; Role of Various Inputs towards Water and Land Productivity; Measuring of Productivity Indices; Productivity Analyzing Methods; Monitoring and Evaluation; Performance Assessment Frameworks; Adverse Impacts of Water Productivity Increase.

56.2: Innovations and Technologies and best practice for sustaining and/ or increasing Water and Land Productivity

Water-Saving Technologies; Innovations on Increasing Water and Land Productivity; Innovations on Soil Fertility Improvement; Effect of Water Pricing Policy on Water Productivity; Techniques on Irrigation Methods Improving; Technology to Improve Water Productivity in Greenhouse Farming; Developing Local Technologies; Adapting Technology According to Farmers Knowledge; Integrating Indigenous Knowledge with Modern Development; Reinvent Irrigation Techniques; Nanotechnology and Bio-Technologies on Irrigated Agriculture; Application Information Technology (IT) in Irrigation and Drainage; Controlling Pest and other Damages through Sustainable Land Management by a whole of Catchments or Region Approach; Agri-business Food Chain Approach to Improve Productivity.

56.3: Productivity of Low Quality Waters for Irrigation Uses

Sustainable Use of Low Quality Water for Irrigation  Purposes; Technology for Managing LQW in Irrigation; Measurements of Water Quality; Impact of Low Water Quality on Crop Production; Guides and Principles; Policy Frameworks on Use of Low Quality Water; Monitoring and Management of Water Quality; Classification of Low Water Quality; Managing Using Saline Groundwater and Surface Fresh Water; Adaptation of Crops to Low Quality and Brackish Water; Socio- economical and Environmental Impacts of Using  Low Quality Water for Irrigation.

56.4:  Improving Crop Water Productivity under Stressed Environment

Soil – Water Management under Water Stress Condition; Deficit Irrigation; Evapo-Transpiration Management; Soil Moisture Retention Techniques; Genetically Modified Crops for Stress Environment; Agronomic Enhancement to Cope with Stress Environment; Improving Soil Fertility Management to Control Land Degradation. 

56.5: Irrigation and Drainage Management Improvement

Training and Education;  Capacity Building on Irrigation and Drainage; Operation and Maintenance of Irrigation Systems; Performance Assessment of Irrigation and Drainage; Decision Support System; Benchmarking of Irrigation and Drainage Systems; Rehabilitation and Modernization of Irrigation and Drainage Systems; Organizational/Institutional Reforms; Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM); Irrigation Management Transfer (IMT); Comprehensive Research on Irrigation and Drainage Management; Strengthening Accountability for Irrigation  Service Delivery; Better Water and land Management.

Question 57: Water Management in Rainfed Agriculture

Sixty Percent of world harvested crops is coming from rainfed agriculture covering 1.2 billion hectares of land. There are also six billion hectares of natural grass land and pastures which are contributing to human food chain. In spite of such a vast rainfed area available to the human utilization its contribution to the global food security is limited. No proportional efforts have been put forward by governments, international agencies and concerned NGOs to enhance the benefit of such natural resources. Little development has been contemplated to the traditional dry farming in past decades, particularly in developing countries. The productivity of rainfall, so called green water, in these regions is relatively low and there are considerable rooms for improvement, through rainfall management, agro-technical and agro-business innovation, investment in infrastructures and technology accompanied by biotechnology enhancement to introduce appropriate varieties of crops.

57.1: Drainage and Flood Management in Rainfed Farming

Spate Irrigation; Drainage Management in Rainfed Agriculture; Bio Drainage in Water Logged Area; Flood Spreading Management to Increase Soil Moisture Storage; Controlled Flooding and the Role and Importance of Flood Plane Management in Food Production; Calamity Polders (as Part of Flood Management).

57.2: Water Harvesting and Conservation

Low-Cost Water Storage; Micro Catchments Water Harvesting Systems; Hillside Runoff and Conduit Systems; Floodwater Harvesting and Stream Diversion; Water Harvesting Techniques; Identification of Unconventional Water Resources; Appropriate Technology to Utilize Unconventional Water Resources; Suitable Technology to Utilize Fog; On-Farm Storage of Water Harvested their Design;  Management and Economic Viability; Impact of Water Harvesting on Stream Flow and  the Environment; Reduction of Water Losses from On-Farm Storage; Application of Mono-layers to Suppress Evaporation Losses.

57.3: Supplementary Irrigation

Appropriate Scheduling for Supplementary Irrigation; Economical Consideration of Supplementary Irrigation; Promote Efficient Pre-Irrigation Techniques; Cropping Strategies to Mitigate Water Scarcity Effects; Small Scale Irrigation Systems such as Promoted in South Africa for Small Enterprises; Drought Planning; Optimal Storage Seize.

57.4: Rainfed Farm Management

Separate Policy for Water Resource in Rainfed Areas; Water and Soil Conservation Methods; Research Strategies for Soil Moisture Potentials Enhancement; Improvements in Rainfed Crop Yields; Policy Reform and Infrastructure Investment in Rainfed Areas; Improvement in Rainfall Effectiveness; Applications of Super-absorbers in Rainfed Farming; Modern Technology to Improve the Soil Moisture Holding Capacity including Super-absorbers and Polymers; Biotechnological Methods to Increase Crops Productivity; On-Farm storage; Business Models for Successful Rainfed Agriculture.

Call for Papers : Download (PDF, 185 KB)


Key dates: 




Submission of comprehensive “summary and conclusions”  (500-600 words)

30 November 2010 (revised)

Intimation of acceptance of “summary and conclusions”

15 January 2011 (revised)

Receipt of full text of accepted papers

01 March 2011





Invitation to 21st ICID Congress on Irrigation and Drainage
Tehran- Iran, 15-23 October 2011

SG, IRNCIDAs you are aware, International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) organizes its International Congress on theme of global interests – every three years in one of its member countries.  Accordingly, the 21st ICID Congress Irrigation and Drainage will be organized during 15-23 October 2011 at Tehran, Iran. Also Micro-Irrigation Congress organizes every 5 years in one of ICID member countries. Therefore the 8th International Micro-Irrigation Congress will be simultaneously held with 21st Congress in October 2011 in Tehran.

The theme of the Tehran Congress is "Water Productivity towards Food Security".  The themes and sub-topics for various events during the Congress will be:

21st ICID Congress: Water Productivity towards Food Security

Question 56:  Water and Land Productivity Challenges

Question 57:  Water Management in Rainfed Agriculture

Special Session: Modernization of Water Management Schemes
Symposium:  Climate Change Impacts on Soil and Water Resources
Seminar: Possibilities of Using Traditional Methods in Modern Water Management Systems

8th International Micro-Irrigation Congress: Innovation in Technology and Management of Micro irrigation for Enhanced Crop and Water Productivity

The sub-topics and scope of all above events are given in the Call for Papers which is available on the Congress Website ( ).  The time schedule for submission and selection of papers along with guidelines for authors are announced in the "Call for Papers".

I believe that the setup of the 21st ICID Congress, as well as, 8th International Micro-Irrigation Congress with the selected topics and their scope, will offer a splendid opportunity to present and discuss new developments and results for sustainability in the field of irrigation and drainage.  All potential authors are invited to contribute their valuable papers to the Congress and other events.

Download Call for Papers (PDF, 230 KB)

Download the Second Announcement of 21st Congress (PDF, 7 MB)

Visit the website:

Key Dates:

Submission of comprehensive summary and conclusions (500-600 words): 30 November 2010
Intimation of acceptance of summary and conclusions: 15 December 2010
Receipt of full text of accepted papers: 01 March 2011

Please contact Iranian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (IRNCID) should be need more information.

Yours sincerely,


S. A. Assadollahi
Secretary General, IRNCID

21st International Congress on Irrigation and Drainage
‎8th International Micro Irrigation Congress,‎
‎62nd ICID IEC Meeting,‎



20th Congress on Irrigation and Drainage
October 2008, Lahore, Pakistan

Theme : Participatory integrated water resources management - From concepts to actions


More details


19th Congress on Irrigation and Drainage
September 2005, Beijing, China

Theme : Use of water and land for food security and environmental sustainability


[ Keynote address : President Hon. Dato' Ir. Hj. Keizrul bin Abdullah (Malaysia); Question 53 - Prof. Liu Ning (China); Mr. M. Salah Darghouth (World Bank) ] [Conclusions and Recommendations (Q52, Q53, Symposium) ] [Presentation : Use of Water and Land for Food Security and Environmental Sustainability PDF - 5.17MB (President Hon. Dato' Ir. Hj. Keizrul bin Abdullah) ] [ Presentation : Improving water and land management for efficient water use in irrigated agriculture (Dr. Luis S. Pereira, Vice President Hon., ICID and President, CIGR) ]





It is well recognized that irrigation and drainage as an integrated water management system for agriculture has been critical to increasing crop yields and productivity in the agricultural sector. Improvement in the productivity of irrigated agriculture is seen as important component to meeting future world food demands. At the same time, these agricultural systems must be sustainable - based on renewable water supplies and in harmony with the environment.

This question is presented in terms of 6 subtopics:

Q52.1 : On farm water and soil management
Q52.2 : Performance evaluation and integrated management
Q52.3 : Conjunctive use of water to optimize food production
Q52.4 : Policy options for water saving in irrigation
Q52.5 : Management transfer and participatory irrigation and drainage management
Q52.6 : Application of information technology in irrigation and drainage management

These subtopics have some overlapping issues.

General observations and recommendations

  1. On-farm water management practices have a strong influence on the quality of agricultural production and the sustainability of the agricultural production system. ICID should focus on issues related to direct support of agricultural producers. In addition to field irrigation systems and water delivery service, these include financial support and banking services, access to agronomic inputs, links to knowledge centers and government agencies, assistance with access to markets, and assistance with organization and management of water users associations and cooperatives. Such activities should be geared toward empowering farmers.
  2. More emphasis needs to be placed on management of water supplies in such a way that agricultural production is sustainable. A clear understanding of the hydrology and water balance for a project is critical to making wise choices on utilization of surface and groundwater supplies. It should be recognized that water-saving technology at the farm level may have a different impact on water availability in different hydrologic settings. Selection of technologies for aid programs to improve field irrigation practices should be based both on the influence on farm productivity and on the net impact on the hydrology and supply availability and sustainability.
  3. Irrigation water supply systems often do a poor job of supporting agricultural production. Raising the productivity of many large-scale irrigation projects will require significant improvement in the service provided to farmers. Water user associations and other intermediate non-government organizations need to be professionalized and empowered to provide the appropriate amounts of water and service to farmers. Funding sources for the modernization needed to provide the needed future service to farmers is a significant issue.
  4. Poor use of existing technology and adoption of inappropriate technology continue to be a significant issue in most regions of the world. Many systems, at both the system and field scales, function inadequately just because of lack of knowledge by users and operators. Education and capacity building continue to be an important issue. Such efforts should precede modernization efforts so that users will be able to understand new technology and will be able to provide input into what technology is appropriate for their system. It is important to continue to develop new technology, but ICID should focus more on promoting programs that will lead to appropriate adoption of technology.
  5. Recent efforts by ICID to develop methods for the evaluation and benchmarking of irrigation projects should continue. Data on the productivity of projects and the performance of irrigation systems is extremely difficult to obtain and can be very inaccurate. While important progress has been made, more effort is needed to provide more realistic assessments that can guide modernization efforts.

Q52.1 : On farm water and soil management

(1) Improvements in water use efficiencies for field irrigation systems are possible. While the physiological efficiency of the crop may not change, improved irrigation can result in less non-productive consumption and greater harvests through better cultural and harvesting practices. If water use efficiency is defined in terms of water supplied, then it can be increased by reducing the application of water that is not consumed.

(2) Technology can be applied to help farmers improve water use efficiencies in a variety of ways

(a) Micro-irrigation technology can improve irrigation efficiency and raise yields. It is most applicable to high-value crops and requires significant technical support.

(b) An exciting new micro-irrigation for smallholders has been developed that has significant potential since it is low cost, low head, and can be installed and maintained by those with little technical knowledge.

(c) Fertigation and deficit irrigation can be very effective practices for improving crop quality. These require sophisticated irrigation systems to be useful.

(d) The irrigation community continues to make advances in providing weather and soil water data for scheduling irrigations. Methods that provide information to farmers, particularly through the internet, appear to be more acceptable to farmers.

(e) Laser-controlled land grading is an essential tool for improving surface irrigation efficiency. Making it applicable to small-scale farms continues to be a challenge.

(f) Simulation models can be applied to manage resources on a larger scale and to make recommendations for modernization efforts. Examples from this congress include: improving surface irrigation performance, improving conjunctive use, and improving soil water management.

(3) Papers from this congress appeared to give conflicting reports on the impact of partial drying of rice paddies, for example partial ponding, sprinkling, etc. These difference may result from different rice varieties, different soil conditions, or different climatic conditions. These need more investigation.

Q52.2 : Performance evaluation and integrated management

(1) An important issue in most irrigated regions is to improve the basin-wide overall efficiency of water use. This include all uses of water; agricultural, urban, industry, environmental, navigation, etc. While some progress has been made on this issue in isolated areas, this should be a major focus of future ICID activities.

(2) The operations of irrigation water supply systems often have a significant effect on the environment and other water needs. Consideration of these other uses should be included in operating plans and associated performance measures.

Q52.3 : Conjunctive use of water to optimize food production

No report was available

Q52.4 : Policy options for water saving in irrigation

1. Systems modernisation and introduction of new on-farm technologies imply

a. a significant investment cost, usually not affordable for farmers without government subsidies
b. An increasing operation cost, esp. those (eg sprinklers) highly energy-demanding

2. Unsuccessful adoption by farmers calls for improving

a. Training on new technologies (system and on-farm)
b. Irrigation equipment verification and testing at local level (also to develop local industry)
c. Physical (access to inputs such as seeds, fertilisers and pesticides) and technical capacity to increase yields
d. Access to and non-saturation of local markets to support an economic return, esp. for new (cash) crops

Recommendations include

3. Explore obstacles to government subsidies and incentives for modernization at system and on-farm level

4. Address the increasing weight of energy in irrigation farm costs, in relation with pressurized systems and groundwater exploitation

5. Better analyze the reasons for failures in modernization programs, and possible remedies esp.:

a. Lack or absence of training on new technologies (system and on-farm)
b. Lack of equipment verification and testing
c. Lack of physical and technical capacity to increase yields
d. Saturation or inexistence of local markets to support, esp. for new (cash) crops

Q52.5 : Management transfer and participatory irrigation and drainage management

1. Involving private stakeholders associations in the various management activities is essential.

2. Providing opportunities for cooperation and coordination between the government and the stakeholders is important.

3. The need for proper mechanisms for incentives, monitoring and evaluation of the performance of WUOs.

4. The need for a proper legal framework to support the establishment of Water User Organizations (WUOs) as well as providing autonomous structure for them.

5. Prerequisites for successful task transfer to private associations should include a firm policy decision to transfer a meaningful level of responsibility over the management of irrigation system to private associations\Water User Organizations and capability within public irrigation agencies to provide technical and institutional support to their associations.

6. The existence of Capacity, Autonomy, Effectiveness, Accountability, Relevance, Legality and Mission at the associations/ Water User Organizations (WUOs) is necessary for guaranteeing successful task transfer.

Q52.6 : Application of information technology in irrigation and drainage management

(1) Irrigation and drainage is faced with the main challenge of playing greater role of meeting food demands with less water. This challenge has grown in intensity in the past decade. The priority has metamorphous from the development of early infrastructure, to the constantly evolving commodity market and production environment leading to significant water reforms, to the subsequent participatory irrigation management and irrigation management transfers and to the more recent growing concern for the environment.

(2) In all this the need for greater water use efficiency and productivity has remained the main driver of many new innovative application of IT that has rapidly been gaining momentum in irrigation and drainage management. Some of the IT strategies are based on spatial and temporal database and utilising remote sensing (RS), decision support systems (DSS), web-technologies and automatic control systems. The database include wide ranging information such as cropping patterns, soil types, daily ET, precipitation, irrigation water deliveries, water orders, asset information, crop yield, specification of irrigation infrastructure.

(3) The papers revealed some pioneering efforts in developing skills and knowledge for efficient and sustainable irrigated agricultural production utilising information technology for on-farm water management, to regulate the systems and for asset management. They showcased the creative strategies of employing information technology to ensure higher productivity for less water and land use.

(4) The systems and strategies advocated in the papers are not yet optimal, but they showed tremendous promise. They should inspire all of us in the ICID family to experiment with or even utilise them and to contribute in further fine-tuning and developing the skills and knowledge needed to optimise them for greater efficiency and sustainable production.


Floods are a recurrent phenomenon from time immemorial. Almost every year floods of ranging magnitude affect certain parts of countries. Floods may be caused by excessive snowmelt, heavy rainfall, cyclones, typhoons, etc. With the increase in development activities and occupation of floodplains, the magnitude of damages and losses has increased. In ICIDs work the focus is on the river floods. Flood issues were discussed under six themes and the following general and theme specific observations and recommendations emerged.

General observations and recommendations

(1) While flood protection measures have been attempted since long, levels of protection are generally below the economic optimum, especially for urban areas in flood prone zones. When an extreme event occurs, losses in terms of human lives and property are generally considerable.

(2) Costs of only physical solutions to reduce flood risk are generally unaffordable. With the limitations in physical solutions for flood protection and control, there is a need to move towards improved flood management approaches. A river basin approach with integrated flood risk management will generally be required to find optimal solutions. In such a holistic flood risk management approach, the design of hydraulic structures would have to be based on economical and efficient considerations. The drastic change in policy from flood control to flood management that China recently has made may serve as an example.

(3) For analysis and planning of appropriate solutions, reasonable databases need to be generated, a classification or categorization of the nature of floods, including the possible effects of climate change, needs to be made and methodologies need to be developed for realistic assessments of flood damages.

(4) Water resource management including floods and land use planning are to move close to each other. It is vital that the mechanisms that lead to floods and droughts and the physical effects are fully understood, before mitigation and response measures are planned and implemented. Flood Risk maps and floodplain zoning may help in reducing damages.

(5) There is a need to shift from traditional flood relief measures to effective and efficient water management, including flood risk management. Such a management will be dependent on adequate polices and legal measures, sound institutional arrangements and funding. The appropriate institutional arrangements for flood management are necessary for study, planning, design and implementation of flood protection and management schemes. Coordination between the various agencies dealing with dikes, as well as with rail and road embankments and other works in floodplains is essential.

(6) Flood forecasting will generally be a useful tool in operating large reservoirs and advance actions for evaluation of human habitation, where needed. For adequate follow-up actions after a flooding a suitable mechanism for relief and rehabilitation needs to be in place.

(7) In many cases maintenance of flood control infrastructure needs more emphasis.

(8) With respect to flood management in international rivers, cooperation between riparian countries is essential.

(9) Increase or contribution to pollution levels arising out of floods need to be carefully monitored. Measures to control pollution will have to be taken shortly after an incidence of flooding in such cases. Post flood recession needs suitable acceleration to minimize spread of epidemics and health hazards.

Observations and recommendations per theme

53.1 : Land use planning and its impact on flood and drought regime and 53.3 Adjusting urban and rural development to reduce flood risk

1.1. Water management and land use planning must not be independent activities - rather they are interdependent activities. It is the interaction of floods and drought with land use that is the cause of concern for human society. The interruption of established land use by flooding and, more chronically, by drought, can have severe consequences on both the lives and livelihoods of people and the communities in which they live.

1.2. It is therefore disappointing that only one suitable paper on theme 53.1 was submitted. The paper addresses the mapping of soil moisture content and its spatial and temporal variability, which are important determinants for both the chance and timing of floods and droughts. The benefits of this knowledge go beyond land use planning and extend to agriculture and water management generally, including the health of the natural environment - ecosystems and habitat.

1.3. Climate change will impact on soil moisture, as both precipitation and evaporation patterns will be affected. There is now greater consensus amongst meteorologists and others that man-made climate change is a reality. Carbon emissions from the atmosphere over millions of years, is now being released back into the atmosphere in decades, leading to increasing global temperatures. Although there is some uncertainty about the precise effects, it is accepted that oceanic seawater will expand, and that ice caps will melt more rapidly, leading to sea level rise. The warmer atmosphere will lead to more severe weather extremes - droughts and floods will become more frequent.

1.4. Against this background, the suitability of land for both agriculture and urban use will change. Areas, which are marginal for agriculture at present, may not support crops and grazing in the future without irrigation. The availability of water for irrigation will also be affected. The flood risk to low lying coastal communities, or those in river valleys, may increase to the point where protection by dikes is no longer viable. The potential impacts of these changes on food security, human safety and economic stability are very serious.

1.5. It is obvious that both urban and rural communities are vulnerable to weather extremes and their consequences. Flood damages are a function of both peak discharges - and therefore both the depth and extent of floodwater - and the duration of flooding. The benefits of catchment based planning and the value of sustainable drainage systems will have to be taken into account.

1.6. Land use planning will need to consider risk. This refers to the chance of adverse circumstances and their consequences, as well as to primary measures to reduce the chance of a flood or drought. Measures to address residual risk need to be considered if the consequences of failure of primary measures are sufficiently serious.

1.7. A typical and tragic example serves to illustrate, the city of New Orleans was known to be vulnerable to flooding and defences were put in place to provide a degree of protection. However, as is now evident, there were no means of preventing most of the city from floodwater in the event of a breach of a dike. Buildings and services were vulnerable to flooding and many people had no personal strategy for coping with the flooding. In addition, measures to improve navigation in the River Mississippi such as new channels and dredging of existing channels, may have served to increase vulnerability to a storm surge. Development on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico appears to have increased the exposure of people and property to the potential hazard. As a result, both the chance and consequence of flooding were increased - but there seems to have been no systematic monitoring of the changing situation.

1.8. In the rural situation, agricultural land use can have a significant impact on both floods and drought. Good practice, such as preventing deforestation, providing buffer strips along the banks of rivers and contour ploughing can reduce sediment runoff, maintain soil moisture and limit pollution. Similarly, natural drainage patterns and geomorphologic processes need to be understood and respected. The natural environment has developed to cope with prevailing conditions. Serious disturbance of the balance can increase vulnerability to extreme weather and lead to desertification or waterlogging.

53.2 : Integrated planning and management of flood diversion, storage, retention and discharge areas

2.1. For efficient and powerful planning and management of flood issues integrated approaches are needed and appropriate administrative systems will have to be in place. Although each individual measure of flood management is important, integration of measures and their complimentary role gives them added effectiveness. Floods are inevitable in a certain time scale in flood prone areas. We need wisdom and knowledge and to be prepared not only for the normal floods, but also for extreme floods, which are beyond the design standards. Integrated planning and management of flood management measures with respect to extreme floods were presented. In such cases it is vital to consider how the administration and people will respond to a flood, like in the case of New Orleans. However, an important question remains how comprehensive flood management measures, by integrating structural, non-structural and watershed approaches, would have to be done under the different location specific conditions remains.

2.2. Local traditional measures are important. This especially concerns the multi-functional role of paddy fields with respect to their flood detention effect. In the Asian monsoon region, water use is well integrated because of the sustainable water use in agriculture. From the point of view of watershed management, paddy fields help to regulate floods by serving as retarding basins. This way of coexistence with floods was, for example, presented in the case of Lake Tonle Sap and the surrounding paddy fields in Cambodia. Here floodwater storage in paddy fields concerns more than 20% of the total storage volume. However, it was expressed that in India and Pakistan this role may not always be feasible.

2.3. For the coexistence with floodwater we need to think more about the use of floodwater especially for agricultural use by spreading, storing, etc. Agricultural management can make a sound contribution to flood risk management though good practice. In line with this approach the considerations underlying the recent change in policy with respect to flood management in China were clearly presented. Several interesting and important ideas were introduced. Comprehensive approaches including keeping equity in communities will have substantial advantages for flood management in the near future. This was, for example, illustrated with the flood control system and philosophy in the Hanjiang River. The structural flood management and its harmonious modification make this example of use for other countries.

2.4. Improving risk management for flood and drought is necessary for the safety of flood control works. Under the progressive urbanization keeping the capacity of water storage or infiltration as in the farmland is efficient for mitigating the level of floods. The effect of urbanization to flood peaks will have to be evaluated and included in the design of the hydraulic system. The same concerns the potential effects of climatic changes.

2.5. Training for flood mitigation, peoples' participation to flood fighting and equity in community are important.

2.6. Ecological effects on rivers of projected hydraulic works need to be seriously considered, before decisions on such works are taken. In the development of flood management plans the potential environmental benefits will have to be accommodated as well. ICID will have to promote that due attention is being paid to this aspect.

2.7. Some papers dealt with the basic aspects of structures for flood protection, like improved hydraulic structure design, capacity of present storage infrastructure and structural measures of protection against floods. Coexistence with floodwater in the river foreland between the dikes was introduced for the Indus River where around 590 spurs and 5,800 km long dikes have been constructed. In such cases people live, cultivate their lands and coexist with the floodwaters, like their normal life.

2.8. An important integrated approach with respect to flood management is the conjunctive use of floodwater, and the hydrological efficiency of dispersed floodwater to groundwater recharge. One paper showed that in this way the discharge from qanats and karez is increasing and prevention of flooding and also storing of water for future use is a good way of living with water.

2.9. The Piano Keys Weir was presented as a new low cost solution of a free-flow spillway for increasing the specific flow by a factor 2 to 4. The weir is also applicable for reducing the cost and/or increasing the storage of dams. It may be combined with gates for optimised management of floods. Most of the examples applied to irrigation dams and to reservoirs for drinking or industrial water, which are usually managed as irrigation reservoirs.

53.4 : Mechanism for protection relief and rehabilitation

4.1. Floods may cause considerable damage to environment, by affecting agriculture, humans and nature areas, due to release of pollutants from farms, households, industries and cars. In this example cars may release more serious pollutants than other sources. This needs to be assessed in order to be able to take remedial measures.

4.2. Sediment transport management can prevent deposition of sediment and scouring, thereby preventing breaches in dikes. It is possible to develop models in order to determine critical discharges and time for this purpose.

4.3. Where floodwaters are stagnant over long periods of time and people live on mounds or dikes, prevention of erosion due to waves is important. Planting of trees which can grow in standing water and other hard protective measures may need to be taken as per site requirement. There is a need to find cost effective measures to provide sustainable and equitable solutions.

4.4. Immediate relief after occurrence of a hazard is providing safe drinking water to people who have been rescued. Regular water supply schemes have to be restored immediately thereafter. If applicable, impact of salinity has to be eliminated as a long-term measure. Informing the public of the measures taken will have to go a long way in getting them prepared for such hazard situations.

53.5 : Information technical systems and professional contingent for flood fighting

5.1. Flood management strategies are essential for flood risk prevention and preparation. They have to be integrated, taking into account technical, but also socio-economical aspects under consideration. Some countries are more prepared than others and would have to share their expertise.

5.2. Flood modelling may play an essential role in the development of a flood management strategy. Simulations can serve to illustrate the efficiency of strategies and therefore of the hydrological risk. Collection of data will play an important role in ensuring the quality of models used.

5.3. A flood management strategy will have to be adapted to the geographical scale and to take into account local specificities (events, land use, population, economic development, etc.).

5.4. The population concerned by potential floods has to be prepared. Communication techniques will therefore have to be developed, for acceptance of risks and their consequences.

5.5. ICID has an important role to play in this context. It has to convince their own members to contribute more and more to the development of those strategies, even in the rural areas.

53.6 : Case studies

6.1. Most case studies dealt with examples from Asia and were of a technical nature. However, there were also papers of a different nature. They dealt with institutional aspects, community initiatives and recovery of fish catch.

6.2. One paper showed lessons to be learned from the history of the Kurit Dam in Iran, the world's highest dam from 1350 until the early 20th century. Although the dam was built 650 years ago, it still serves as an illustrating example of harmony with floods, sustainable development and coping with uncertainties.

6.3. Floodplains in developing countries are among the most populous regions in the world. Natural disasters due to water related hazards such as floods and inundation are severe in such countries. A wide variety of structural, non-structural and watershed measures have been adopted for flood control and management. The participation of the community in flood control and management is on the increase. Integrated flood management with a judicious combination of structural, non-structural and watershed measures has become increasingly significant in developing countries. Where floodwaters cannot be prevented, suitable conditions will have to be created to live with them. Many such practices originated as community initiatives and were finally adapted as the government strategies. The recent tsunami disaster has highlighted the vulnerability of coastal zones. Long-term rehabilitation programs will have to cover livelihood and ecological secutiry.



Symposium on : Water Quality and Salinity management


Irrigation is a common denominator among all participants in this international event, and we have come here to exchange our views and experiences within the concept of irrigation science and technology to meet the ever increasing demand on global food production. But this ambition, by no means, has a simple and straightforward path to follow.

In this particular symposium, we are going to look at a very delicate issue of irrigation related to the environmental consideration, as well as, the economical viability of consuming saline water and drainage reuse while maintaining the livelihood of irrigated agriculture.
We know that irrigation is a process by which dissolved salts are conveyed from some points of upstream to a location in downstream. To overcome this negative consequence of irrigation practices, numerous works have been done during the last half a century, mainly concentrating on the removal of such accumulated salts within the root zone through different means of drainage.
Nevertheless in spite of these global endeavors, the problem of salinity has not been solved yet. The rate of land degradation and secondary salinization as the result of excessive irrigation is still growing, drainage execution projects are getting more expensive, water shortage for such practices is another constraint, the highly saline drainage effluent disposals are considered problematic issues by the environmentalists, groundwater contamination is another dilemma, and nutrient leaching is also a concern of saline management practices.

On the other extreme, new approaches to soil and water salinity management have been put forward by researches and practitioners such as minimum irrigation water application, bio-drainage, dry-drainage, shallow groundwater consumptive use, and many other ideas in order to control the important balances of salts, particularly in the saline soil and water environment. But there are yet questions to be answered, such as; how to monitor this critical process? What are the appropriate indices to be considered and used? What is the effect of irrigation system on the soil salinity balance and salt redistribution? What are the economical consequences of salt management in the soil profile? Should we consider the livelihoods of downstream water users who are relying on the drainage reuse?

It seems we are faced with dynamic and multidisciplinary decision making processes which should be dealt with in integrated and holistic manners. From the review of the papers, their presentation and our discussion it became clear that holistic, multidisciplinary and innovative approaches to the problem of water quality and salinity management are being researched and applied.

Symposium results :

  • Having accurate real time data from well thought out monitoring is a key to success of water quality/salinity management. The presentations pointed out the necessity of not gathering data for data sake, but rather only gathering the minimum data at proper intervals. Good data helps refine models to improve outputs. To perform proper integrated management of the catchment area accurate data is necessary to properly apply water and nutrients for maximum benefit. It is necessary to monitor in the appropriate locations. It was generally agreed that the focus should be the root zone area.
  • The use of models is very important to understanding the dynamics of the catchments area. A model serves to show trends in water quality under a variety of circumstances. The discussions pointed out that models should not be considered predictive. Due to multiple parameters it would not be possible to simulate all situations and experiences plays a great role interpreting results. Several presenters discussed their studies and models. Participant consensus was the flexibility of the models needed to be improved to allow more variables to better portray condition. It was recognized that increasing flexibility probably means an increase in complexity; the goal of future modeling efforts should be to build in flexibility while keeping the model as simple as possible so those needing to understand the results can readily see how the results were arrived at
  • One of the main themes of the discussions was the principle of integrated management. It was apparent that several of the presentations did a good job of describing the catchment's area, but had not sufficiently taken into account the results such as the impact on the downstream environment of saline drain water disposal. A good integrated plan must include scheduling, monitoring, drainage and disposal of byproducts. Most participants agreed the use of collected drain water may be used to offset proving new supplies depending on outlet quality.
  • Disposal of unused drain water is an issue that applies to all irrigation systems. Many ideas were discussed including: fully self contained disposal within the irrigated area boundaries, disposal in the ocean, reuse of the drain water to supplement water supplies and transporting to evaporation ponds, the quality of the water coming from the drains somewhat dictates treatment requirements, infrastructure to treat the used water is very expensive. One creative environmentally compatible treatment method: discussed was the use of phytoremediation, while the results of a small scale study shows promise questions remain: can the biomass treat all heavy metals, what is the saturation point of the biomass needs to be removed and disposed off, is it as economical as it appears. All participants appeared to agree the subject of proper disposal of drain water is crucial to successful irrigation strategy.
  • Overall water quality and salinity management is a long term process. It seems to take at least 4-5 years to get good results, but to continue progress constant monitoring and updating of the management plan is absolutely necessary. Agreement by the farmers on the plan is essential to success. The overall feeling by the audience was that it is not necessarily the results of the studies that provide the greatest results, but the combination of experience with the area and the utilization of the tools currently available.

Research needs

  • Develop models that perform analysis using a wide variety of variables at the system and farm levels. The sensitivity of the models needs to improve to refine the results to meet future needs.
  • Perform studies to result in a manual of suggested depths to install drainage systems for maximum crop production under a variety of conditions. The manual should be written with the end users, the irrigation districts and farmers in mind.
  • To better assess water logging and salinity conditions develop a better way to separate climate and management impacts.
  • Many times assessment of conditions in an irrigated area is based upon load versus concentration numbers. Assemble a technical work group to provide a paper on the pros and cons of assessments by either method and recommend other ways to assess the desired result at the end of the irrigation system.
  • Assemble a technical group to prepare a practical primer on the minimum requirements to design monitoring systems at minimum cost and maximum observe ability of the water quality/drainage management.
  • Research the range of external factors impacting managing water quality and provide a guide on how to quantify and cost estimate them.
  • Pursue larger scale studies of phytoremediation looking at the range of containable removal for a variety of plant structures; compare the economics of phtormediation to other treatment processes.
  • The current salinity sensors are not adequate for future monitoring needs. New technology is needed to better measure salinity and other contaminates.
  • More research needs to be done to better qualify the relationships between plant and water interactions to give farmers greater flexibility in managing crop rotations. This will require the involvement of plant researchers.
  • Little is known about where plants are actually getting their water. By understanding the root absorption process, it may lead to shallower drains and a reduction in water usage.
  • Continuing studies need to be made in improving current disposal of drain water and research new methods and manners.
  • Study the true salt tolerance of plants. The results could be greater utilization of tolerant plants, finding out some plants are more tolerant than thought and more efficient management of salt disposal.







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