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Listen again to the 16 May Gerald Lacey Lecture!
Irrigated Agriculture in the 21st Century – A Suitable Career Choice?

When: 16 May 2016 (18:00 – 19:35)
Where: ICE London
How: Click here to book online
About: Ian Makin, Vice President, ICID and Lead Irrigation Specialist at the International Water Management Institute, Colombo will share thoughts on the critical challenges for irrigation, drainage and agricultural water management in the 21st century and why this ancient profession must be revitalized in order to attract and retain skilled engineers, water managers, and the farmers necessary to deliver food and water security that will under-pin achievement of the recently agreed sustainable development goals.

Delegates will have the opportunity to continue the discussion and network at the Café Bar, which will remain open after the event.

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The Role of the Private Sector in Irrigation Management: Experiences and Opportunities

Half day meeting on Friday 26 February 2016 (14:00 to 17:00) at ICE Westminster 

Click here to register.

Good management of large scale irrigation remains a challenging prospect, despite numerous initiatives in recent decades. Although a large proportion of global food production is dependent on such irrigation systems, they are still widely perceived to be poorly managed, wasteful of water and money, and to cause adverse social and environmental impacts. Since the 1990s Water Users’ Associations have been almost universally promoted to address these problems, but these cannot yet address the underlying problems, particularly on very large scale irrigation in South and East Asia. More recently, a more commercial approach has been promoted by the World Bank and Asian Development, with much larger components of irrigation development and management being contracted to the private sector. The Guerdane scheme in Morocco is often cited as a success story, but decades on it has rarely been replicated.

This meeting aims to explore some of these issues, including the challenges of managing irrigation for subsistence purposes in very poor countries, the opportunities for introduced advanced methods from more developed economies, and the role that agribusinesses and socially aware consumers can have.

IWF members have been involved in many of these developments and have a strong interest in improving the performance of irrigation systems globally. This meeting will provide an opportunity to share experiences, successes and failures.

The meeting will be held at ICE, One Great George Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3AA.  As always, the meeting will include coffee, tea and networking.  Register today!

 

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Missed the event? Listen again to the November 6th IWF conference on Irrigation – Improving social and environmental outcomes.

Click here to view Part 3Part 4, and Part 5

Brief: Irrigation can contribute significantly to poverty alleviation, food security, and improving the quality of life for rural populations.However, irrigation it often does not live up to expectations and can also have negative environmental and socio-economic effects, such as water logging and salinization, water and vector borne diseases, and inequitable access to water.

Speakers included Dr. Ragab Ragab, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UK), Conor Linstead, Freshwater Specialist (WWF-UK), Guy Jobbins (Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute), Dr. Jeroen Ensink (Senior Lecturer, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), Dr. Barbara Adolph (Principal Researcher, International Institute for Environment and Development), Dr. Ian Tod (CEng MICE Independent Consultant), Simon Foxwell (Asia/Pacific Division Director, Landell Mills), and Simon Howarth (CEng MICE – Chair of IWF).

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Sign up today: Joint IWF/ICE/Jack Warner Memorial Trust: 2 Day Irrigation Training Course 

With support from both the ICE and Jack Warner Memorial Trust, we are pleased to announce that we are hosting the next irrigation training course at the ICE London on 22 October to 23 October 2015.

The course is designed for graduates and professionals who are, or will be, working internationally in the water resources and rural development sectors. The course is broad-based, covering engineering, social sciences, economics and management disciplines; it does not require specialist knowledge in individual disciplines but does require an interest and desire to learn about water resources and irrigated agriculture in the context of international development.

The cost of this 2-day course is £300, with a concessionary fee of £125 for self-funding participants. For those qualifying for the concessionary fee the balance of the course fee will be funded by a grant from the Jack Wright Memorial Trust. The concessionary fee is not available to participants funded by companies. Participants should request support from the Trust when applying for the course. The cost includes the provision of lecture notes, refreshments and lunch. Participants are expected to make their own arrangements for any travel to, and accommodation in, London.

Applicants need to apply and pay online. Any queries should be addressed by phone or mail to Tim Fuller, IWF Secretary, c/o The Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, Westminster, SW1P 3 AA, Email: Tim.Fuller@ice.org.uk Tel: 0207 665 2234.

Separately, applicants are requested to provide a short CV and covering letter explaining why they wish to attend the course and, in the case of individual applicants, justification for seeking support from the Jack Wright Memorial Trust. Please send by email or post to Tim Fuller.

There are a limited number of spaces available so applicants are asked to book by no later than Friday 16th October 2015 at the latest. Registration will take place between 09:30 and 10:15am on Thursday 22nd October. A certificate will be awarded to participants who complete the course.

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Early notice: The next national meeting of the Irrigation and Water Forum will occur on Friday, 6 November 2015.  The topic will be ‘Environmental and social impacts of irrigation.’ Stay tuned for more details!

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Calling all water and irrigation professionals! Be part of the discussion today by joining the IWF LinkedIn group and by following us on Twitter.

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18 May 2015: Why Groundwater Matters – The Case for New Approaches

The 2015 Gerald Lacey Memorial Lecture was given by Dr. Frank van Steenbergen, who presented on the topic of groundwater and shallow aquifer systems.

Groundwater resources provide an important mechanism for balancing the supply of water to meet local needs. The consequences of mining groundwater resources for immediate benefit are well known; however, across large tracts of Africa for instance groundwater provides a significant source, available for those that understand how to abstract it.

Based on practical cases the lecture make the point of understanding groundwater and aquifers better – sustenance of many agricultural economies, part of the productive water cycle, part of the landscape – and argues that new approaches in managing and making use of groundwater are possible.

For those unable to attend the lecture or would like to hear the presentation again, the lecture can be heard by clicking this link.

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20 February 2015: Dams for Irrigation: Technical and Social Considerations for Sustainability

Where: ICE Westminster
When: Friday 20 February 2015 (14:00 to 17:00)
Click here for registration and payment
Brief: Although often essential for water management, dams can be controversial and have had much adverse publicity in recent decades. The focus of this joint meeting is on dams for irrigation, for which there is an increasing need for storage of water in order to meet the seasonal requirements for crop production. Groundwater – the subject of our last meeting – has a valuable role in this regard, but there is often a need for surface storage as well. Climate change, with a resulting increase in the variability in river flows, combined with population growth and changes in livelihoods will make the need even greater. There is a need to build better dams, and manage them better to avoid the problems encountered in the past, to help achieve food security, and to do so in a way that is socially and environmentally sound.

This will be a joint meeting with the British Dams Society, which is also an associated society of ICE and aims to advance the knowledge of technical subjects relating to planning, design, construction, maintenance, operation, safety, environmental and social issues.

IWF is strongly interested in the sustainable development of irrigation and water management for agriculture and is well-placed to hold a short meeting and debate on optimising the design and are management of dams. The subject was recently debated at the Environmental Change Institute in Oxford in November 2014 in a meeting entitled “Africa, Dams and Development”. This meeting at IWF aims to focus specifically on design and management of dams for irrigation, highlighting good practice and solutions rather than simply identifying problems
IWF logoUPDATE: The guest speaker for the Gerald Lacey Lecture on May 18, 2015 will be Dr. Frank van Steenbergen who will be presenting on the topic of groundwater and shallow aquifer systems.

Check out our new page dedicated to IWF groundwater presentations

Groundwater resources provide an important mechanism for balancing the supply of water to meet local needs. The consequences of mining groundwater resources for immediate benefit are well known; however, across large tracts of Africa for instance groundwater provides a significant source, available for those that understand how to abstract it.

ICID is strongly interested in the sustainable development of irrigation and rain fed agriculture and is well-placed to hold a short focus meeting and debate on optimising how groundwater resources are managed. The subject was recently debated at the meetings on Groundwater, climate change and poverty reduction and Africa’s ‘hidden water’ held back in March in ODI, London, that promoted discussion about different perspectives of using groundwater to promote agricultural growth and food security. Since then more progress has been made with the NERC/ESRC/DFID UPGro Programme – a major investment in facilitating the use of groundwater resources to promote development and alleviate poverty.

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A few words from our incoming Chairman Simon Howarth:

Dear IWF members,

I have recently taken over from Bruce Lankford as chairman and look forward to building on his prodigious efforts to promote the society and put irrigation in its rightful place as a key requirement for food security and as a central component of the water-energy-food nexus. This nexus was the subject of the 2014 Gerald Lacey lecture which was ably delivered in May by Jeremy Bird, Director General of IWMI. Although some dismiss talk of the nexus as being just the latest fad or a reincarnation of IWRM, Jeremy made an eloquent case for use of the term and highlighted its value in bringing more people into the debate on water resources management and raising its profile. The cost of energy is a huge part of the cost of irrigated agriculture, and a very large proportion of water is used (even if not consumed) by electricity generation. With ever increasing pressures on water resources, through urbanisation, industrialisation and climate change, the more dialogue there is the better.

We have three more events this year:
Irrigation: An Introduction to Policies and Practices in the Context of International Development – a 2 day course on 16th / 17th October. This is designed for graduates and young professionals who are, or will be, working internationally in the water resources and rural development sectors. The course is broad-based, covering engineering, social sciences, economics and management. Members of IWF are generously donating their time to deliver the course, which has been ably masterminded by Geoff Pearce and Martin Burton. There are still places available, at the very low cost of £125.

Management of Groundwater Resources for Irrigation and Co-users: a one day meeting on Friday 7 November 2014. Full details will be published shortly; there will be a keynote presentation by Dr Stephen Foster, Director GW-Mate Team, World Bank and a further six papers by groundwater practitioners and researchers describing experiences from Asia and Africa.

Irrigation Visit to Agadir Morocco: Jointly with the UKIA, Melvyn Kay is organising a study visit to see commercial irrigation farming in Agadir Morocco and to learn at first hand the challenges they are facing matching the increasing demand for groundwater with limited supplies.

I hope we will get very wide attendance at these meetings from NGOs and academics with an interest in all aspects of water, as well as from the irrigation professionals who have provided the core of our membership in the past.

I look forward to hearing about any suggestions for future activities and meetings. We will have a half day meeting in February 2015, the Gerald Lacey Lecture in May and a full day meeting in November.

Looking forward to seeing you at the November 2014 meeting,
Best wishes
Simon

SIGN UP TODAY FOR THE IWF IRRIGATION TRAINING COURSE

Irrigation: An Introduction to Policies and Practices in the Context of International Development

Where: Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George St., Westminster SW1P 3AA
When: 16-17th October 2014
Cost: The cost of this 2-day course is £125, which includes the provision of lecture notes, refreshments, and lunch.
Who: The course is designed for graduates and professionals who are, or will be, working internationally in the water resources and rural development sectors. The course is broad-based, covering engineering, social sciences, economics and management disciplines; it does not require specialist knowledge in individual disciplines but does require an interest and desire to learn about water resources, agriculture and international development.

There are limited spaces so booking early is essential by logging onto the ICE website.

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The Irrigation and Water Forum is the British section of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). Its headquarters is in London at the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The Irrigation and Water Forum (IWF) is very active both nationally and internationally.

Throughout the UK there is considerable interest in irrigated agriculture, drainage and flood control and alleviation.

Internationally there is a traditional interest in irrigation and drainage from many UK professionals and consultancy companies working primarily in the developing world and increasingly in eastern Europe and central Asia.

What we do:

  • Organise a lively Programme of meetings on irrigation and agriculture throughout the year as well as technical visits and other events in London and throughout the United Kingdom
  • Publish News and Views – a magazine for members which circulates nationally and internationally through the ICID membership
  • Participate in International conferences and working groups on issues affecting world food security
  • Support an internationally renown research publication – Irrigation and Drainage – now published through John Wiley and Sons.

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