Home > About > Genesis and History of ICID > Milestones in the History of ICID

ICID History In 1946, the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) (a non-official national organization comprising heads of the irrigation services in all the States of India and entrusted with the tasks of encouraging and coordinating research relating to, and developments, in irrigation techniques) requested the Government of India to invite the Governments of other countries to cooperate with them in the setting up of a non-governmental international organization for the development of the science and technique of irrigation.  The response to the invitation from Government of India was encouraging and the International Commission on Irrigation and Canals was set up with support from 11 countries as Founder Members (Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia (former Yugoslavia), Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand and Turkey) and its Secretariat (Central Office) located in New Delhi, India, at a meeting held at Simla (India) on 24 June 1950 when a provisional constitution was adopted. The Constitution was finalized at the First International Executive Council meeting of the Commission, held in Delhi (India) in January, 1951 and the name of the Commission changed to International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage.  The Commission at its 8th meeting held in April 1957 widened the scope of the Commission by including in its function the subject of flood control and river training.

Central Office

ICID 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, and World Water Forums etc., which have become the focal point of several of its technical activities.

SG_IPower Award

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.

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.

Milestones in the History of ICID


  • Released web version of the Multilingual Technical Dictionary (MTD), 2015
  • organized First World Irrigation Forum (WIF1), 2013
  • Established Scheme for Recognition of Heritage Irrigation Structures (HIS), 2013
  • Established Scholarships to Young Professionals, 2013
  • Micro Irrigation Congress renamed as International Micro Irrigation Symposium 2012
  • Direct Membership to Companies /Institutions and Individuals, 2012
  • Established World Irrigation and Drainage Prize, 2012
  • Elected to WWC Board of Governors, 2012
  • ICID e-Bulletin (English & French) started, 2012



  • Released MTD CD-ROM in multiple languages in 2010
  • Release Special Postal Cover on 60th Anniversary, 2009
  • Country Policy Support Program (CPSP), 2002-2007
  • Start of Best Paper Award, 2006
  • Best Performing WB and NC award, 2003
  • Released 1stEdition of MTD CD-ROM, 2001
  • Renamed ICID Journal as “Irrigation and Drainage”, 2001



  • Guidelines on Benchmarking, 2000
  • Release of Special Postal cover on Diamond Jubilee Year, 2000
  • Launch of Website, 1999
  • Start of WATSAVE Awards 1998
  • ICID Journal started, 1995
  • Young Professional Forum (YPF) established, 1994
  • Global Water Saving/ Conservation Program initiated, 1993
  • Change of Logo, 1992



  • IPTRID started, 1990
  • ICID News Update started, 1990
  • Joint Publication with World Bank, 1989
  • Received UN Peace Messenger Award, 1987
  • ICID Newsletter started, 1986
  • First Worldwide Micro-Irrigation Survey, 1982
  • N.D. Gulhati Lecture started, 1981



  • First Irrigation and Drainage Workshop, Wageningen, 1978
  • Joint Publication with FAO, 1975
  • Release of Special Postal cover on Silver Jubilee Year, 1975



  • Multilingual Technical Dictionary (MTD) released, 1967
  • Central Office building inaugurated by the then Vice President of India, Dr. Zakir Hussain, 1966




  • Irrigation and Drainage - A Global Review, the First Publication released, 1955
  • ICID Bulletin started, 1952
  • First Congress organized in New Delhi, India, 1951
  • Change of name as International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, 1951
  • First International Executive Council (IEC) meeting in Shimla, India, 1950
  • Established on 24 June 1950 as International Commission on Irrigation and Canals, with 11 founding member countries



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