Gerald Lacey Lecture

Gerald Lacey was Professor of Civil Engineering (1915-17, 1928-32, 1945) and the last British Principal (1945-46) of the University of Roorkee near Delhi. He earned worldwide recognition for his `regime theory’ used for the design of major irrigation canals, made rich contributions to the field of Stable Channel Flow, and provided the technical guidance and insight that guided the successful development of irrigation systems in the Indian sub-continent. He was awarded the Kennedy gold medal in 1930 and the Telford gold medal in 1958.  In the 1960s he was involved with the design of large regime canal systems in Iraq with consultants Sir M MacDonald & Partners, London (now Mott MacDonald).

In Summer each year, to commemorate Gerald Lacey’s contribution to irrigation development, the Irrigation and Water Forum holds a prestigious lecture at the Institution of Civil Engineers, Westminster, to provide a platform for an address by a world authority in the irrigation and drainage development sector.


All Gerald Lacey Lectures are free to attend, and are streamed live.

Details and, where available, recordings of our previous Gerald Lacey Lectures can be found below.

Achieving SDG 6 – the ‘Water Goal’

GL 2018

Date: 21st May 2018

Speaker: Professor Stefan Uhlenbrook, Director of UNESCO Programme Office for Global Water Assessment and Coordinator of the Annual UN World Water Development Report


Read more and see the recording here

The Water Scarcity Crisis – Fact or Fiction

GL 2017

Date: 15th May 2017

Speaker: Professor Ian Barker, Managing Director of Water Policy International Ltd and Vice President Environment at the Institute of Water


Read more and see the recording here.

Irrigated Agriculture in the 21st Century – A Sustainable Career Choice

farm background, irrigation system

Date: 16th May 2016

Speaker: Ian Makin, Vice President, ICID and Lead Irrigation Specialist at the International Water Management Institute, Colombo


Read more and see the recording here.

Why Groundwater Matters

GL 2015

Date: 18th May 2015

Speaker: Dr. Frank van Steenbergen


Read more and see the recording here.

The Water Energy and Food Security Nexus – is it Really New?

GL 2014

Date: 12th May 2014

Speaker: Jeremy Bird of the International Water Management Institute


Read more and see the recording here.

Small is Bountiful (but Messy): informal irrigation and new directions for food security in sub-Saharan Africa

Date: 20th May 2013GL 2013

Speaker: Professor Charlotte de Fraiture, Professor of Land and Water Development, UNESCO-IHE Delft

See the recording here.


Past lectures

Recordings of the following lectures are not available.




01st May 2012Mr Rudolph Cleveringa Manager of the International Fund for Agriculture Development’s Innowat ProgrammeWhat a Difference a Drop Makes – Joint Learning Between IFAD and ICID to Address Rural Poverty Through Agricultural Water Management
25th July 2011Professor David GreyVisiting Professor of Water Policy at the University of Oxford and also an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of ExeterWater Security – a Global Challenge
21st May 2010Lord Cameron of DillingtonCo-Chair to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for DevelopmentGlobal Food Security in 2030 – Why the World should support agricultural development in Africa
15th May 2009Dr Sean LongfieldFlood Risk Science Manager Environment AgencyGlobal persective of natural disasters
16th May 2008Professor Sir Gordon ConwayChief Scientific Adviser to the Department for International Development.How do we feed the world?
16th May 2007Jeremy BerkoffIndependent ConsultantInter-basin water transfer: regional development, economic growth and climate change
17th May 2006Charles AbernethyIndependent ConsultantManaging irrigation under comprehensive water resources management
18th May 2005Jeremy BirdIndependent ConsultantDammed, Damned or Doomed?
19th May 2004Dr David KingDirector of Water Management, Environment AgencyThe Water Environment in 2010
14th May 2003Keith PitmanWorld BankWater And Development At The World Bank – What Have We Learned Since 1990
15th May 2002Peter LeeMott MacdonaldResearch & Technology in Irrigation & Drainage
16th May 2001Prof  Bart ShultzPresident ICIDThe Role of Water In Food Production And Rural Development
16th May 2000Alan HallHR Wallingford LtdThe World Water Forum And Its Implications For ICID
19th May 1999Dr Peter Leeds-HarrisonSilsoe College, Cranfield UniversityIrrigation And Drainage:  Is There Still A Role For Soil Physics?
23th May 1998Dr Roberto LentonDirector International Irrigation Management InstituteThe International Irrigation Management Institute: Its objectives & Initial
20th May 1998Johan HolmbergExecutive Secretary of the Global Water PartnershipA Knowledge-Intensive Network for Sustainable Water Resources Management
21th May 1997Prof Tony AllanSOAS London 
22th May 1996Reg PurnellChief Engineer, Flood and Coastal Defence Division, Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and FoodFlood Defence And Drainage – Money Down The Drain?
24th May 1995John HennessyGlobal Water Conservation
25th May 1994Roy StonorSouthampton UniversityThe Nile
20th May 1992Peter AckersCanal & River regime in theory and practice 1929-1992
22th May 1991Prof Jack KellerManaging Irrigation Enterprises
23th May 1990Sir Hugh FishThe Role of the NRAs in Drainage Basin Management
24th May 1989Jim DempsterDevelopment of the Lower Brahmaptura Basin
20th May 1987Brian TraffordHead of Environmental & Land Management Services MAFFA Review of the UK Work on the drainage and irrigation engineer
21th May 1986Bart SchultzHead Water Management Ijsselmene Polders Development Authority NetherlandsDrainage Works on the Zuuiderzee Project
30th May 1985Guy Le MoigneIrrigation Adviser World BankWorld Bank Involvement in Irrigation and Drainage
16th May 1984Bob RangeleyPresident ICIDChallenges, Problems & Solutions in Irrigation Today