The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) is a leading scientific, technical, and professional not-for-profit international organization working in the field of irrigation, drainage, and flood management to the promote and achieve sustainable agriculture water management. ICID was established in India in 1950 with its headquarter at New Delhi. ICID is a network of about 90 nations which, amongst themselves, cover more than 90% of the irrigated and drained areas of the world. ICID provides the member nations an opportunity to network with the world level professionals and gain knowledge and technologies towards improvement in agriculture water management.
ICID primarily works through the mechanism of representative National Committees (NCs). These National Committees are organized under the Ministry/Department responsible for irrigation, drainage or agricultural water management. The wide mandate calls for the engagement of multi-disciplinary professionals such as planners and policymakers; water managers; irrigation and agriculture engineers; research scientists, educationists working in the related areas, private business players, individuals etc. The Indian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (INCID) is India’s representative National Committee under ICID.Click here for more details on ICID
Agriculture has played a definitive role in the shaping of the human civilization. With the advent of time, human societies though progressed by leaps and bounds, still, agriculture managed to remain the core activity, close to the heart, owing to its essence for the survival of civilizations across the globe. The ever-increasing load on farms and agriculture motivated planned and scientific endeavors for making agriculture more productive. This quest for betterment and sustainability made us work towards improved irrigation techniques and strategies. Irrigation and drainage are often seen as the vital organs of the land under cultivation.
Keeping in view the above, the then Ministry of Works, Mines and Power, Government of India vide letter No.DW.2156/48 dated 27 May 1948,with the approval from the Priorities Committee of the Cabinet, sanctioned the proposal to establish an International Commission on Irrigation and Canals (ICIC) with its headquarters in India and nominated the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) to take the initiative further, negotiate with various countries having experience in irrigation and act as the National Committee for India.This was followed up by the Central Board of Irrigation and Power. Accordingly, Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs invited 47 countries through diplomatic channels to join the proposed ICIC.
The contribution of the irrigation structures in stabilizing agricultural production and reducing the menace of famines was observed by our forefathers in the 19th and early 20th century. However, the need for having a common international platform for the exchange of knowledge and experiences, developing the science of irrigation, and planning, design, and operation of irrigation infrastructure was always felt. This culminated in the establishment of the International Commission on Irrigation and Canals (ICIC) – now ICID in June, 1950 with its headquarters at New Delhi, India. The prime aim of ICIC/ICID was to encourage progress in the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of large and small irrigation works and canals and to bring together information from all over the globe. INCID was also established on the same day as ICID.
In May 1948, the then Ministry of Works, Mines and Power, Government of India, with the approval from the Priorities Committee of the Cabinet, sanctioned the proposal to establish an International Commission on Irrigation and Canals (ICIC) with its headquarters in India and nominated the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) to take the initiative further, negotiate with various countries having experience in irrigation and act as the National Committee for India.Further, the Ministry of External Affairs invited 47 countries through diplomatic channels to join the proposed ICIC. Out of these 47 countries, 10 countries accepted the invitation, which culminated into an Inter-Ministerial meeting on 24 February 1950 where ICIC was formally established with the following objective:
“To encourage progress in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of large and small irrigation works and canals (including navigation canals); to bring together information thereon; and to study all questions relating thereto.”
The first meeting of the International Executive Council (IEC) of the ICIC/ICID was held at Shimla on 24 June 1950 under the President ship of Padma Vibhushan Dr. A.N. Khosla. The first IEC was attended by Canada, Egypt, India, Italy, Netherlands, Pakistan, Switzerland, Turkey, Thailand, and Yugoslavia.
The second meeting of the IEC was held at the Parliament House, New Delhi on 12th January 1951 where the Constitution of ICIC/ ICID was finalized and the name of the Commission was changed as “International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)”. Almost all the world renowned experts from irrigation and drainage sector attended the 2nd meeting.
With time, the membership of ICID expanded to reach the current membership of about 90 countries, which jointly cover more than 90% of the global irrigated area.With changing priorities and complexities, the scope of ICID activities also evolved with the current vision focused on a “Water secure world free of poverty and hunger through sustainable rural development”. In its 72 years of existence, ICID has covered the entire agricultural water management field commencing from source to the last mile on farm developments. Agriculture being the largest consumer of water, not only in India but globally, role of ICID in bringing new approaches is quite valuable in managing our water resources.
ICID has played a crucial role in shaping the global water diplomacy, stabilising agricultural production in various regions, improvement of irrigational infrastructure with due technical guidance, acknowledgement and representation. ICID made significant contribution towards the success of the first Green Revolution by facilitating the exchange of information and knowledge, encouraging R&D in the sector and also disseminating technologies to developing countries of Asia and Africa. ICID has made significant contribution in solving the global water security. ICID also launched the Country Policy Support Program" (CPSP) aimed at assessing and integrating water needs for 3 sectors, viz. food, people and nature. In 1987, ICID was designated as a Peace Messenger by the UN Secretary General in recognition of its significant contribution to the programs and objectives of International Year of Peace proclaimed by the UN General Assembly.
INCID has served as an ideal platform to stimulate appropriate application of engineering, agriculture, economic, environmental, legal, and social science technology to improve irrigation, drainage, and flood control practices.It has also worked towards identify technology upgradation needs of country and suggest import of technology from appropriate countries / organizations.