Symposium on Sustainable Irrigation

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Asia’s surface irrigation sector is beset with a number of intractable problems such as consistent under-performance of irrigation schemes, male outmigration and feminization of agriculture, technical design and management problems resulting in low productivity of irrigation systems, and climate change impacts. 

The symposium on Sustainable Irrigation, which is being organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMD) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) as part of the 8th Asian Regional Conference (8ARC) of International Commission of Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), will try to address critical questions such as: How do irrigation systems manage risks emanating from climate and other social-demographic changes? While the problems are well known and much dwelt upon, the solutions are not as well known. It will also lead discussions on emerging solutions in the arena of technological and institutional innovations and the various ways of managing risks so that a more sustainable irrigation sector can be obtained in the future.

Programme 

Part I – Sustainable Irrigation: Managing Future Uncertainty and Risks (9:00–10:30)

This session will be facilitated by Luna Bharati of IWMI. Each presenter will have 10–12 minutes to make their presentations, followed by 3–5 minutes of Q&A. The session will conclude with an audience interaction lasting 10–15 minutes. 

Speaker 1: Santosh Nepal, ICIMOD: Climate change scenarios and their implications on water resources and agriculture in Nepal
Speaker 2: Alok Sikka, IWMI: Climate change adaptation through risk transfer schemes
Speaker 3: Xueliang Cai, UNESCO-IHE Deft Institute for Water Education: Farmers initiative towards sustainable irrigation modernization: Observations from remote sensing
Speaker 4: Mathias Becker, University of Bonn: Water-saving rice production: Benefits and trade-offs
Speaker 5: Alan Nicol, IWMI: Navigating future uncertainties and risks: Social and intuitional perspectives 

Part II – Panel discussion on Technological and Institutional Innovations for Sustainable Irrigation (11:00–12:30) 

This session will be facilitated by Aditi Mukherji of ICIMOD. There will be two rounds of Q&A, interspersed with audience interaction. Panellists will be asked two questions each and they will have 3–5 minutes to answer those questions. They will also take questions from the audience. 

Panellist 1: Karlene Mayward, Former Minister, Australia
Panellist 2: David Molden, Director General, ICIMOD, Nepal
Panellist 3: Vadim Sokolov, Head of Agency of International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) Central Asia
Panellist 4: Felix Reinders, President, International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)
Panellist 5: Ian Makin, IWMI
Panellist 6: Saumitra Neupane, Policy Enterpreneures Inc (PEI) Associate, Nepal 

Part III: Summing up and conclusions 

Aditi Mukherji and Luna Bharati will sum up the deliberations

Villagers in Marigaon, Assam, India use a traditional irrigation system to bring water to their paddy field. Photo by Samsul Huda Patgiri.