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Water Accounting and Audit
Date: Monday, 3 April 2017
Time: 14:00 – 15:00 hours (Indian Standard Time GMT +05:30)


: Water Accounting and Auditing for Irrigation and Drainage Systems


Irrigated agriculture is an essential component of the rural economy in many river basins. Long term investments in commercial farming and the local agribusiness, makes it difficult to put a halt on irrigation activities. Yet, water shortage is a common element of many irrigated river basins in semi-arid and arid climates. Surface water is becoming rapidly a constraint for keeping the agro-sector healthy. The short term solution of many irrigators is to switch to groundwater exploitation, but this is not a sustainable practice. Many irrigated river basins are in a situation where the total volume of evapotranspiration surpasses the total precipitation. The extra evapotranspiration can be ascribed to these groundwater irrigation practices, and this should discontinue. There is an urgent need to introduce standardized water accounting procedures that quantifies the watershed processes, assesses a safe level of exploitable water volumes and fixes the maximum amount of water that could be withdrawn and consumed by the irrigation sector. The total evapotranspiration of river basins must gradually reduce and become controlled and regulated, in particular by reducing future groundwater abstractions. Examples of a new water accounting system based on satellite data and outputs of global hydrological models that determines the water flows – including groundwater flows - in irrigated river basins will be demonstrated using standard water metrics. WA+ can be used within its intrinsic uncertainty bounds to assess management options to reverse the depletion of aquifers, provide a safe allocation to the irrigation sector and ensures water remains available for necessary ecosystem services. The presentation will focus on the essence of having open-access and reliable earth observation data that is available for all stakeholders in river basins with competing water resources and inconvenient data sharing practices. For more information visit www.wateraccounting.org.


ICID, under its policy to extend its knowledge dissemination wider, is initiating Webinar Services for its members in particular and wider irrigation and drainage community in general. This is the Second Webinar being given under “ICID Webinar Services”, to to introduce standardized water accounting procedures that quantifies the watershed processes, assesses a safe level of exploitable water volumes and fixes the maximum amount of water that could be withdrawn and consumed by the irrigation sector.



Prof. Wim


Prof. Wim (Ph.D) is a senior remote sensing expert with a specialization in agricultural water management. He has a background in agro-hydrology from Wageningen University. Wim Bastiaanssen holds the UNESCO Chair for Global Water Accounting and is a Senior Fellow to the Robert Daugherty Water for Food Institute of the University of Nebraska (Lincoln). Wim Bastiaanssen is a Professor at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at the Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) in the topic Water Resources Management and Remote Sensing. With Ph.D. students, he conducts research on determining earth surface hydrological and water management processes from satellite measurements including rainfall, evapotranspiration, soil moisture, biomass production, crop water productivity, surface runoff, withdrawals for irrigation and wetlands and groundwater interactions. This forms the basis for regional scale water accounting studies. Wim Bastiaanssen is the lead developer of Water Accounting Plus (WA+). Through the repository www.wateraccounting.org, Wim produces open access water accounts for river basins, that can be used by all stakeholders involved in the strategic planning of scarce water resources.


Wim is the developer of the Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land (SEBAL), which has grown out as one of the world leading algorithms that describes local scale actual water consumption of crops and environments. SEBAL3.0 is adopted by the Asian Development Bank to evaluate water productivity in 6 countries throughout Asia. He has used his expertise on water and energy balances in more than 50 projects in 30 different countries. Many of these projects are with the World Bank, ADB, FAO, IFAD and UNESCO. Wim Bastiaanssen as an enterpreneur has (co-) founded small advisory companies such as WaterWatch, eLEAF, SEBAL North America (Davis, CA) and more recently CropZoomer. He grew up with 6 brothers and 3 sisters on a Dutch farm, which shaped him into a very practical person.



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