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List of Past European Regiona Conferences
Past European Regiona Conferences

26th European Regional Conference, 11-16 October 2015, Montpellier, France

ICID’s 26th Euro-Mediterranean Regional Conference on irrigation with the theme “Innovate to improve irrigation performance” was organized by the French National Committee of ICID (AFEID) from 11-16 October 2016 at Montpellier, France. The core objective was to provide analysis and to exchange experiences with world-wide community of irrigation experts on following three sub-themes: (1) Innovations for smallholders in irrigation; (2) Wastewater use in agriculture; and (3) Governance of surface water and groundwater.

The six technical sessions on these sub-themes focused on innovations in irrigation and analyzed their drivers, processes and results for adoption by irrigation professionals worldwide. What could be the winning formula for drip irrigation was discussed under sub-theme 1. Further, the potential for waste water use in agriculture was discussed in sub-theme 2. The incorporation of treated waste water reuse in the mainstream water management paradigm was recognized. The participants further recognized that the unresolved issues such as global volumes of waste water available for agriculture; most relevant level of water treatment, economic and environmental analysis also need to take up in future. The sub-theme 3 of the conference highlighted the key issues in groundwater governance, monitoring and logistics as well as the alignment of the private and public interests.

During the conference, 10 international workshops were co-organised by ICID WGs/TFs and other partners. The conference was attended by 800 participants from 65 countries (in the field of irrigation gathered there to exchange views and experiences on different aspects of water saving in agriculture) and more than 300 papers/posters were received. All presentations from various sessions of the conference are available at <>.

Besides exhibitions, poster presentations and technical visits/tours, two half-day training workshops were also organized for young professionals. Thirteen young professionals from different countries, were sponsored by Ministry of WR China, WMO and KRC, and actively participated in various technical sessions by way of working as rapporteur/ coordinator of the sessions besides participating in the ICID work body meetings.


25th European Regional Conference, 16-20 May 2011, Groningen, The Netherlands

ICID’s 25th European Regional Conference on the theme “Deltas in Europe: Integrated water management for multiple land use in flat coastal areas” was held from 16-20 May 2011, in Groningen, The Netherlands. More than 150 participants from 24 countries were attended the conference. The conference jointly organised by the Netherlands and German National Committees concentrated on the four topics: (i) Multiple land use: Integrated water management for multiple land use in flat, low lying coastal areas; developments with respect to land use planning and changes in land use in densely populated coastal areas; (ii) Fresh water management and salt intrusion: In coastal areas fresh water/saline water interactions and their consequences for ecology and water quality generally play an important role in coastal zone management; (iii) Flood risk management: Flood risk management in flat coastal areas under the influence of changes in land use, possible increase in storm surges, subsidence and impacts of climatic change, as well as the role of ecology and habitats; and (iv) Institutional arrangements and history: Institutional arrangements for water management and flood protection and the role of central government, provinces, communities and nongovernmental organizations; the role of the European Directives, and historical perspectives for developments in flat coastal areas.

President Prof. Chandra Madramootoo sketched out a number of key global water management challenges facing the world. The keynote speakers gave overview of water management institutional arrangements in the Netherlands and Germany. Spatial development and flood protection projects in the Netherlands were highlighted. Initial results of a benchmark study on the role of water policy actors in the OECD countries were presented. A lecture on the impact of medieval embankment construction on the northern Netherlands coastal area underlined the huge impact of historical processes on landscape development and water management.

VPH Felix Reinders and President Hon. Prof. Bart Schultz offered broad perspectives on climate change, urbanization, food production and the availability of water. Several papers on fresh water management and salt intrusion emphasized salinity intrusion as an ever increasing problem for agriculture and for fresh water intake. A multi criteria analysis appeared to be a useful tool of investigations. Papers on flood risk management presented new methods to determine the design standard of flood protection provisions.

In addition, five special sessions covered various topics such as the Delta Alliance, (a global delta management knowledge network), a case study and a field trip on an integrated spatial rehabilitation project, and workshops on water management education, on flood protection policies as a response to the ‘European Flood Directive’ and on emission control programs. Many young professionals played a very active role during the conference. The conference was concluded with the presentation of a ‘Groningen Declaration’ which is available at


24th European Regional Conference, 14-16 March 2011, Orleans, France

ICID’s 24th European Regional Conference was held during 14-16 March 2011 at Orléans, France. The theme of the conference was ‘Groundwater Management’ and gathered 300 participants from 20 countries. More than 100 papers were presented and discussed in two plenary sessions and six parallel topics. President Chandra Madramootoo in his keynote address spoke on global trends in the usage of the groundwater reserves and resulting pressures from overexploitation. Dr Margat, a world-renowned hydrogeologist presented key data on the usage of the groundwater for irrigation, noting its rapid development during the past 50 years and the difficulties in managing a collective resource for which thousands of individuals have liberal access. Pr Ghislain de Marsily, an eminent hydrologist and member of the French Academy of Science, presented a case study on aquifer management in the French region of Marais-Poitevin which calls into question the necessity for extensive knowledge of water resources for its management.

Despite these challenges, ICID so far has not focused enough on issues related to groundwater. The Conference hosted by AFEID is therefore of significance. The Beauce region is an important region for grain production in France. Here farmers have tested an innovative volumetric management system to manage the groundwater. A return from experience by stakeholders and users of the Beauce groundwater was presented and discussed.

President Chandra Madramootoo in his keynote address spoke on global trends in the usage of the groundwater reserves and resulting pressures from overexploitation. Dr Margat, a world-renowned hydrogeologist presented key data on the usage of the groundwater for irrigation, noting its rapid development during the past 50 years and the difficulties in managing a collective resource for which thousands of individuals have liberal access. Pr Ghislain de Marsily, an eminent hydrologist and member of the French Academy of Science, presented a case study on aquifer management in the French region of Marais-Poitevin which calls into question the necessity for extensive knowledge of water resources for its management.

Dr. Marcel Kuper, on behalf of Dr. T Shah, Senior fellow at IWMI described how communities in India have responded to aquifer development and overexploitation, noting two distinct responses based on the abundance and accessibility of water resources. Pr B Barraqué, political scientist and economist with the French Centre International de Recherches sur l’Environnement et le Développement, described the evolution of water management in Europe, as the status of groundwater resources move from a thing that is privately owned to a common resource under Public Trust.

Key Issues

  • Irrigation withdrawals are causing the imbalance of groundwater in the Mediterranean region. The groundwater quality has deteriorated due to very high nitrate concentrations (sometimes higher than 400 mg/l).
  • While conjunctive use of groundwater in irrigated schemes is desirable, it can also be the source of new inequities between those who can invest in a borehole and other farmers. It would therefore be important to know if a collective appropriation of groundwater and its management is appropriate through allowance policy, collective drillings.
  • There are a few cases of successful groundwater management implementation and also a few cases of uncontrolled “tragedies of the commons.’’
  • The Water Framework Directive 2000/ 60/CE (WFD) requires Member States to protect, enhance and restore waters with the ultimate objective of achieving “good status” for both surface and groundwater bodies. While “good quantitative status” is clearly defined in the WFD, this is not the case for the complex “good chemical status.” So the lessons learned in the last 10 years were presented.
  • Economic approaches of groundwater management discussed were (i) dynamics of, economic activities and groundwater resources, (ii) assessing and comparing the economic cost and/ or benefits of different groundwater management options, and (iii) designing and testing groundwater regulation instruments such as prices, (abstraction/ pollution) charges or taxes and markets of water rights.
  • Groundwater pollution is not only the responsibility of agriculture with a highly variable ratio between agricultural/ non-agricultural pollution sources, but also other users. It is thus necessary to involve all the parties to find solutions at the local scale. The types of action (preventive like local arrangements between water suppliers and groups of farmers or curative like water treatment or alternative resource) should be analyzed in context to technical and economic criteria.


23rd European Regional Conference, 18-24 May 2009, Lviv, Ukraine
23 European Regional Conference
ICID’s 23rd European Regional Conference (ERC) of ICID was held during 18-21 May 2009 at Lviv, Ukraine. The theme of the Conference was ‘Progress in Managing Water for Food and Rural Development’. The conference was organized by the Ukraine National Committee of ICID (UKCID) in cooperation with the ICID European Regional Working Group (ERWG). Professionals from Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Iran, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and ICID participated in the conference and discussed the various keynotes and papers. About 85 professionals/experts were made their papers and posters presentations.

The Conference placed high emphasis on the issues related to flood control, water demands, GIS technologies and application in the field of water management. The special theme was dedicated to the climate change in view of frequent floods and droughts observed in Europe. Special attention was given to the development of management plans for river basins.

The presence of several ICID Office Bearers enhanced the value of the conference. President Hons. Bart Schultz and Peter Lee; Vice President and Chairman ERWG Eiko Lübbe, Vice Pres. Peter Kovalenko (the host); Vice Pres. Hons. Victor Dukhovny, Dr. Ricardo Segura Graiño, Prof. Ferenc Ligetvári, and Secretary General M. Gopalakrishnan contributed and shared their views during the proceedings. Prof. Joachim Quast, GECID coordinated the deliberations on inter-state cooperation on capacity building and young professionals.

Welcoming the galaxy of experts from outside, Vice President and President UKCID Peter Kovalenko pointed out the significant opportunity that the occasion provided in understanding the remarkable strides that Ukraine has made since 1991; and the exchange of views on several new challenges to address the river basin management comprehensively.

In his key note speech, Dr. Vasyl Stashuk, Head of Water Management Committee of Ukraine highlighted the status of Ukrainian Water Development and the water management issues that the country faces. The challenges that the Carpathian region faced due to unusual flood events and the programmes being launched with international cooperation were highlighted. An example is seen in the Transcarpathian Water Management where “Automated information measuring systems for flood forecasting and water management” in this regard. Dr. Bart Schultz in his keynote addressed the challenges faced in doubling the food production for the global needs in the coming decades. The role of water management has to comprehensively include all aspects that impact the tasks; and small holder ownership may face a challenge in a competing environ. PH Lee’s key note speech touched upon the active and inactive National Committees as spelt out in ICID Bylaws. What is more crucial is the need for ICID National Committees’ connectivity and out-reach. This could be national, regional and / or global.

Secretary General Gopalakrishnan pointed out the important role of Ukraine in Europe in respect of food security. Ukraine shares about 10% of irrigated area and 7% of drained area of Europe’s agriculture. Remarkable examples of water productivity have been achieved in Ukraine, thanks to the contributions of national agrarian universities that have a very rich history. Secretary General highlighted the need for developing a Russian speaking network of our professionals and urged the cooperation of all scientific institutions in the region in enhancing the technology and outreach. The Conference concluded with following Declaration/Recommendation:

  1. The conference papers highlighted the good ‘on-going’ development with respect to integrated management of water and land resources both with respect to policy related developments (stakeholder participation, actual implementation, modeling, data collection, storage) and their dissemination.
  2. More and more projects were being developed and implemented in an integrated way by taking into account social conditions with stakeholder participation. Possible impacts of climate change including technical, economical, gender, and environmental aspects are getting addressed. However, more need to be done to improve these aspects. This will be especially important during the operation and maintenance phase of rural development projects. It is in this phase that the benefits of projects are really realized.
  3. Primarily due to human activities and to a certain extent due to the impacts of climate change, the effects and impacts of floods and droughts are significantly increasing in many places. Therefore, it is increasingly important that in the development of projects, both the present day conditions as well as the envisaged mid-term and long-term scenarios are taken into account in the decision-making process. In the light of this, the European Water Framework Directive and the European Flood Directive are important guiding documents that have to be implemented jointly.
  4. For improved coordination of the wide range of activities for rural development at different spatial levels, like integrated land and water management, river basin management, rural development and spatial planning, it is recommended to update legislation and organizational structures where relevant.
  5. There is an urgent need to strengthen international water legislation for protection of water rights for agriculture in order to support sustainable and integrated water management - irrigation and/or drainage, dependent on the local conditions - as a requirement to guarantee food security.

    The conference recorded its appreciation to the activities of the Inter-state Coordination Water Commission of Central Asia in the framework of cooperation of the five states - Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan - on trans-boundary waters under the conditions of climate change and felt that it could be an example for the trans-boundary cooperation in other river basins.

    The conference also supported the development of a Russian speaking network of water management specialists that was initiated in the Moscow meeting of January 2009 and recommends that scientific organizations join the network.

Agreed Actions

  • To increase food production significantly, through sustainable rural development in the forthcoming decades by realizing the potential of several of the European countries, like Ukraine, it was agreed (by several parties) that an initiative will be taken for a joint project on ‘Integrated Water Management’ for improving food production in European countries. The ICID European Working Group will take the initiative to prepare a proposal in cooperation with the potential partners.
  • To improve the network for European young professionals in the water management sector to be initiated jointly by UKCID and GECID. They will also promote joint activities like research projects, exchanges, summer schools, etc.
  • To review and further develop the activities of Work Team on Sustainable Irrigation Management (WT-SIM) in light of integrated rural development.


22nd European Regional Conference, 2-6 September 2007, Pavia, Italy

ICID’s 22nd European Regional Conference with a theme “Water Resources Management and Irrigation and Drainage Systems Development in the European Environment” was held from 2-6 September 2007 at the historic city of Pavia, Italy. Two international workshops viz. “History of Irrigation, Drainage and Flood Control” and “European Framework Directive in the Field of Water Policy” were also held on the ocassion. The Conference was organized by the Italian National Committee (ITAL-ICID) and attended by about 120 participants from 19 countries from Europe and outside. Study tours to Pavia – Novara – Vigevano, and Pavia - Mantova were also organized.

A workshop on 'History of Irrigation, Drainage and Flood Control' on 2 September 2007 and another Workshop on 'European Framework Directive in the Field of Water Policy' on 3 September 2007 were also successfully organized during this period. Several ICID Office Bearers and professionals attended the Conference who included President Peter Lee, President Hon. Bart Schultz, Vice Presidents Lübbe and Guluyk, Vice Presidents Hon. R. Segura Graino, Alain Vidal and Ligetvári, Secretary General M. Gopalakrishnan and Secretary K.N. Sharma, besides the members of the host Italian National Committee including ITAL-ICID President Ubertini, General Secretary Maria Elisa Scarascia, and Prof. de Wrachien.

The Conference was opened in the presence of Mr. P. Lassini (representative of the Lombardia region), Mr. G. Guizzetti (Vice President and Pro-retor, University of Pavia), Mr. M. Cutonilli (Italy), Mr. C. Gattoni (Italy), President Peter Lee (ICID) and Prof. L. Ubertini (ITAL-ICID) on the dais. The Opening Speech was delivered by President Lee followed by speeches by Prof. Ubertini, Mr. Lassini and Mr. Guizzetti.

Two technical tours were organized during the week. Tour 1 - Pavia - Novara - Vigvano enabled the delegates to visit Irrigation and Land Reclamation Consortia in the Ticino River Park (Varese) and in Novara. The delegates in Tour 2 - Pavia - Montava saw the Pumping Station of the Terre dei Gonzaga Irrigation and Land Reclamation Consortium in Montava.

President Peter Lee said that the irrigation and drainage are the two main threads of agricultural water management (AWM), which has two key objectives viz. (1) the “productive”, epitomized by the commercial farming sector, and (2) the “developmental” concerned with rural well-being and agriculture’s role as one of the principle pathways out of poverty. ‘These two objectives are recognized in ICID’s motto “water for food and rural development”, acknowledging that it is rare to find examples of AWM that do not have, to a degree, both productive and developmental objectives. But there are some systems that are predominantly productive and others that are, predominantly developmental, said the President. The President said that we should not confuse the productive and developmental objectives, and be given due attention to both. ‘Although the productive and developmental objectives each have their own constituency, ICID’s international meetings tend to be more orientated to the developmental objective and are held in countries where that objective dominates’. ‘But ICID must not forget the productive objective, and the second green revolution that is needed to increase global food production by 67% over the next 25-30 years. If ICID is going to contribute properly to this objective it is going to have to look beyond the world of development orientated institutions, and connect with commercial farmers, agri-business, technology suppliers and the big food and energy companies, many of which have European headquarters or strong links to Europe’ said the President.

The President said that in the span of just 25-30 years, many AWM systems will remain predominantly developmental, whilst much of the increased demand for more food will be met by other systems having predominantly productive objectives. ‘These productive systems may co-exist alongside developmental systems, but more likely they will be in different countries and regions, linked to the demand by trade and international food business, and facing competing demands on commercial agriculture for bio-fuels and other non-food produce’.
‘European businesses were strongly represented at the Stockholm Water Week this year, exploring new ways to link investors and businesses to the water sector. Even more significantly, several major European food companies have joined together to launch the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI), a partnership to actively develop and promote sustainable agriculture. This reflects ICID’s own primary purpose - managing water for sustainable agriculture’.

The President called on National Committees to help ICID to connect better with such businesses and others concerned with the implications of the productive objective on society and the environment, particularly where this would be facilitated by using Europe as a meeting place. President Lee proposed the launching of ‘The Pavia Initiative’ to connect ICID with other organisations, particularly Europe-based organisations interested in the global challenge of managing water for sustainable agriculture. With this initiative, Europe has a vital role to play in the 5th World Water Forum to be held in Istanbul in March 2009, said the President. The conference was attended among others by PH Prof Bart Schultz, VPs Dr Georgi Guluyk, Dr Eiko Lubbe, Chair of the European Regional Working Group, Vice Presidents Hon. Dr Ricardo Segura (Spain), Prof Ligetvari (Hungary) and Mr Alain Vidal (France), Mrs Maria Scarascia, Secretary General ITAL-ICID, Er M Gopalakrishnan, Secretary General and Er K N Sharma, Secretary from the Central Office.


21st European Regional Conference, 15-19 May 2005, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, Slubice, Poland

ICID’s 21st European Regional Conference of ICID was held from 15-19 May 2005 at Frankfurt (Oder), Germany and Slubice, Poland, under the patronage of the Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Food, and Agriculture of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Brandenburg Minister for Rural Development, Environment, and Consumer Protection. The event was organised by the German National Committee (GECID) in cooperation with the Polish National Committee (POCID). The conference was attended by 225 experts from 20 European and 8 Non-European countries at the Kleist Forum in Frankfurt (Oder). Funds were made available by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for attendance of 44 Young Professionals from selected East European, Asian, and African countries, of whom 35 could participate. Further Young Professionals came from Western and Northern European Countries. They had ample opportunity to interact and share their experiences. During a special forum, many of them stated that they felt encouraged to participate in the activities of their ICID National Committees and will like to do so in future ICID events. The theme of the Conference was “Integrated Land and Water Management: Towards Sustainable Rural Development”, wherein a total of 108 papers and 68 posters were presented in various sessions on important topics like:

1. Water Resources Protection (Chair persons F. Dolezal, W. Mioduszewski, W. Werner), 2. Flood Management (E. Lübbe), 3. Irrigation and Drainage (P. Kovalenko, A. Maziliauskas, O. Zhovtonog, G. Guluyk), 4. Drought and Drought Management (L. Vermes, L. Pereira), 5. Integrated Land and Water Management (F. Ligetvari, B. Schultz, D. Zavgorodnyaya), and 6. History of Irrigation, Drainage, and Flood Control (H. Fahlbusch).

The current problems related to integrated management of land and water resources management with a focus on Central and Eastern European countries were presented even beyond this region. Specific problems of integrated management under transitional economies were brought out including aspects of multifunctional landscapes and requirements for harmonized co-action of agricultural land use, integrated river basin management (e. g. according to the EU Water Framework Directive), protection of nature and landscapes, and development of tourism and infrastructure for sustaining the rural areas. All presented papers and posters along with a batch of 19 paper only contributions were included in Conference. Five different full-day excursion tours were organized. Four of them presented examples of integrated resources management, land and water management, harmonization and conflicts of agriculture, protection of nature, and importantly conservation of cultural heritage. During the first plenary session, welcome addresses and statements were made by representatives of the German and Polish governments, by the Brandenburg State Minister of Rural Development, Environment, and Consumer Protection, and others. Plenary lectures were held on water budget at landscape scale, on multilateral tasks of the International Odra Commission, regional water management in Poland, and on nutrient loads of the Odra River. The closing plenary session gave room for revenues and closing remarks and ended with an outlook and invitation, given by Mrs. M.E. Scarascia, to the 22nd European Regional Conference to be held during September 2007 at Pavia and Rome, Italy.

On the occasion of the conference, a meeting of the European Regional Working Group was held. Among others, the Chairman of the European Work Team on Drought, L. Vermes, gave a detailed overview of the activities of the Work Team within the Drought Mapping Project. Further-on, the Working Group offered its congratulations to its initiator and long-year Chairman, W. Dirksen, who celebrated his 65 th birthday in February 2005 The ICID Working Group on Integrated Land and Water Resources Management also had an interim meeting in Frankfurt. The European Regional Conference was preceded by the second workshop of the project on Irrigation Management Transfer in European Countries of Transition, from 13 to 15 May 2005 at S³ubice. This project was an activity of the ERWG Work Team on Sustainable Irrigation Management. As an outcome of the European Regional Conference, the Final Note on the Frankfurt (Oder) – S³ubice Conference was elaborated as a draft and discussed during the closing plenary session. Among others, the participants pointed out the interaction of water availability and land use and the impact of land use on water quality. Integrated land and water resources management has to coordinate all activities concerning agricultural land use and nature protection with water management practices at regional scale and catchment scale.

Future tasks within the drainage sector will rise from the necessity to mitigate negative impacts on the environment. The draft is launched on the Internet ( for a continued discussion so that a final version could be presented at the forthcoming ICID Congress at Beijing in September 2005. Numerous private companies, associations and ministries took part in the conference leading to good performance. Thirteen of the partners participated in the exhibition which was arranged at the conference venue and for providing opportunities for additional interesting information. The conference website will be continued to provide the Conference Proceedings and the Final Note as mentioned above.


20th European Regional Conference, 14-19 September 2003, Montpellier, France

All over the world, an imbalance between water supply and demand creates periods of scarcity and situations of conflicts with regard to access to water resources. Having various usages (drinking water, fishery, crop irrigation, energy, navigation, water sports, etc.), water has to be shared among various stakeholders who do not have the same objectives and priorities. In developing countries, the increasing demand is mostly related to a strong demography. In Eastern Europe, the changes in economic and social organization of the recent years has modified and diversified agricultural and industrial water uses, yielding new water use conflicts. These water use conflicts were the main issues of the 20th European Regional Conference held at Montpellier, France, from 14- 17 September 2003. The main conclusions of the conference were as follows:

  • The historical analysis of the evolution of water management shows the permanent nature of water and land use conflicts. It also shows the evolving nature of conflicts and of the resulting priorities.
  • The strategies to avoid conflicts are threefold : (i) Modernize networks by integrating local requirements, advices and know-how, and by setting up an appropriate institutional framework ; (ii) Clarify the source of conflict : insufficient water resource, non-compatible requirements, society background, management failure, non-respect of rules; and (iii) Use research to assist the analysis of conflicts and the consensus building.
  • Three types of conflict resolution tools were identified: (i) negotiation support tools and information tools, (ii) technical, economic and institutional tools, and (iii) adapted organization frameworks.
  • Negotiation support tools and information tools are still under theoretical research or experimentation.
  • Although, water users associations are developing, they fail to address the poor quality of the irrigation service. Strengthening these is necessary to solve water resource conflicts.