Gerald Lacey Lecture

2018 Gerald Lacey Lecture

21 May 2018 18:00-20:00 at Institution of Civil Engineers

One Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AA

Professor Stefan Uhlenbrook will speak on “Achieving SDG 6 – the ‘Water Goal’ – is the perquisite for Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development”.

Secure your place now and hear first-hand from Professor Stefan Uhlenbrook. A Professor since 2015, he is also Director of UNESCO Programme Office for Global Water Assessment and Coordinator of the Annual UN World Water Development Report.

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Population growth, agricultural intensification, urbanisation, pollution and a changing climate, are beginning to overwhelm and undermine nature’s ability to provide key functions and services. By 2050 global fresh water demand is predicted to exceed supply by over 40%. Even by 2030, if the ‘business-as-usual’ approach continues, water stress will put at risk 45% of global GDP, 52% of the world’s population and 40% of grain production. The severe drought in Cape Town, South Africa is yet another timely reminder of what nature has in store for us all.

The UN 2030 Development Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognises that water is embedded in all forms of development – food security, health, and poverty reduction, and in sustaining economic growth in the following areas; agriculture, industry and energy generation. All of which contribute towards maintaining healthy ecosystems. Indeed, SDG 6 ensures availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation and known as the ‘Water Goal’ reflects that future social development and economic prosperity depends on sustainable management of freshwater resources and ecosystems.

The UN 2030 Agenda is now in its third year and Professor Uhlenbrook is leading a major evidenced-based review to establish the global baseline status of SDG 6 and what more needs to be done to achieve this goal by 2030. This is still a ‘work in progress’ but he will present some of the findings of this review and the options for policy and decision-makers seeking ways of enabling and accelerating progress within the overall 2030 Agenda.

Missed the 16 May 2016 Gerald Lacey Lecture? Listen again by visiting the ICE Group.

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This lecture was instituted in 1983 in honour of Gerald Lacey for his work in the design and implementation of irrigation and drainage works.

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 and made rich contributions to the field of Stable Channel Flow. 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).

The lecture is given each year at the time of the AGM.  The presenter is requested to select a topic which contributes towards improving knowledge and understanding of the science and practice of irrigation, drainage, and flood control.

Why Groundwater Matters – The Case for New Approaches

18 May 2015

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.

Click here to view a recording of the lecture.

Gerald Lacey Memorial Lecture 2014: The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus – is it really new?

12 May 2014


Click here to view the lecture with video.

Past lectures

Recent lectures are available on video

20 May 2013

Click here to view the lecture

Professor Charlotte de Fraiture
Professor of Land & Water Development UNESCO-IHE Delft
Small is bountiful(but messy): informal irrigation and new directions for food security in sub-Saharan Africa
01 May 2012 Mr Rudolph Cleveringa
Manager of the International Fund for Agriculture Development’s Innowat Programme
What a Difference a Drop Makes – Joint Learning Between IFAD and ICID to Address Rural Poverty Through Agricultural Water Management
25 Jul 2011 Professor David Grey
Visiting Professor of Water Policy at the University of Oxford and also an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter
Water Security – a Global Challenge
21 May 2010 Lord Cameron of Dillington
Co-Chair to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development
Global Food Security in 2030 – Why the World should support agricultural development in Africa
15 May 2009 Dr Sean Longfield
Flood Risk Science Manager Environment Agency
Global persective of natural disasters
16 May 2008 Professor Sir Gordon Conway
Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department for International Development.
How do we feed the world?
16 May 2007 Jeremy Berkoff
Independent Consultant
Inter-basin water transfer: regional development, economic growth and climate change
17 May 2006 Charles Abernethy
Independent Consultant
Managing irrigation under comprehensive water resources management
18 May 2005 Jeremy Bird
Independent Consultant
Dammed, Damned or Doomed?
19 May 2004 Dr David King
Director of Water Management, Environment Agency
The Water Environment in 2010
14 May 2003 Keith Pitman
World Bank
Water And Development At The World Bank – What Have We Learned Since 1990
15 May 2002 Peter Lee
Mott Macdonald
Research & Technology in Irrigation & Drainage
16 May 2001 Prof  Bart Shultz
President ICID
The Role of Water In Food Production And Rural Development
16 May 2000 Alan Hall
HR Wallingford Ltd
The World Water Forum And Its Implications For ICID
19 May 1999 Dr Peter Leeds-Harrison
Silsoe College, Cranfield University
Irrigation And Drainage:  Is There Still A Role For Soil Physics?
23 May 1998 Dr Roberto Lenton
Director International Irrigation Management Institute
The International Irrigation Management Institute: Its objectives & Initial
20 May 1998 Johan Holmberg
Executive Secretary of the Global Water Partnership
A Knowledge-Intensive Network for Sustainable Water Resources Management
21 May 1997 Prof Tony Allan
SOAS London
22 May 1996 Reg Purnell
Chief Engineer, Flood and Coastal Defence Division, Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food
Flood Defence And Drainage – Money Down The Drain?
24 May 1995 John Hennessy Global Water Conservation
25 May 1994 Roy Stonor
Southampton University
The Nile
20 May 1992 Peter Ackers Canal & River regime in theory and practice 1929-1992
22 May 1991 Prof Jack Keller Managing Irrigation Enterprises
23 May 1990 Sir Hugh Fish The Role of the NRAs in Drainage Basin Management
24 May 1989 Jim Dempster Development of the Lower Brahmaptura Basin
20 May 1987 Brian Trafford
Head of Environmental & Land Management Services MAFF
A Review of the UK Work on the drainage and irrigation engineer
21 May 1986 Bart Schultz
Head Water Management Ijsselmene Polders Development Authority Netherlands
Drainage Works on the Zuuiderzee Project
30 May 1985 Guy Le Moigne
Irrigation Adviser World Bank
World Bank Involvement in Irrigation and Drainage
16 May 1984 Bob Rangeley
President ICID
Challenges, Problems & Solutions in Irrigation Today
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