Technical Meetings – 2014


Management of Groundwater Resources for Irrigation and Co-users

Date: 07th November 2014

See the recording here.

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. With this in mind, this IWF meeting discussed the issues and best practices associated with the management of groundwater resources for the needs of both agricultural producers and local stakeholders.

Speakers and Topics

Groundwater Management in Irrigated Catchments – Key Principles and Common Misconceptions” Dr Stephen Foster

Excessive groundwater use – how to think about it, and what to do about it. The Chinese perspective” Dr Chris Perry

“The groundwater systems of north-western India” Prof Alex Densmore

“Groundwater irrigation in sub-Saharan Arica: trends, potential and constraints for development” Dr Karen Villholth

“UPGRo” Richard Carter

“Groundwater storage and recharge in Africa” Prof Alan McDonald 

“Adaptive Management of Groundwater in Africa (AMGRAF)” John Gowing

“Some reflections on groundwater development and poverty reduction” Dr Roger Calow

The Daunting Challenge of Canal Irrigation Reform for Water Productivity and Food Security

A joint meeting with the University of East Anglia.

Date: 21st February 2014

Bruce Lankford and Hervé Plusquellec
Bruce Lankford and Hervé Plusquellec

The Irrigation and Water Forum and University of East Anglia Water Security hosted a half-day technical meeting on the appropriate design and reform of canal irrigation systems and services under the guise of irrigation rehabilitation and modernisation. The improvement of irrigation performance, underpinned by design that offers better manageability, is a vital part of the anticipation that water and land productivity will have to rise over the next few decades to meet future food demands – yet without having to default to pressurised systems.

To set the stage, it is perhaps remarkable that the 2013 publication “Solutions for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems” prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network failed to refer to the challenges and rewards of canal irrigation, instead highlighting the popular but nonetheless risky solutions of micro-scale irrigation technologies. 

This meeting started with a keynote presentation from Herve Plusquellec, one of the most foremost specialists working in this field.

Speakers and Topics

Keynote Speaker: “Improving performance of canal irrigation
systems in developing countries is long-overdue:  Hope or desperation?” Herve Plusquellec (Recently World Bank)

“Experiences of Irrigation Rehabilitation and Modernisation
in Vietnam” Martin Donaldson (Independent Consultant)

Directions and degrees for canal modernisation; more or less?  (with reference to Pakistan, Sudan and Armenia).” Adrian Laycock (Independent Consultant)  

“Performance of irrigation management: Analysis from 60 irrigation systems in the world” Robina Wahaj (FAO)

“Inconvenient truths: irrigation modernization in transition and lessons from the Western U.S.” Beau Freeman(Lahmeyer International)

Read the full report of the meeting here.