The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) decided at its 48th meeting in Oxford, UK to institute the ICID WatSave Annual Award(s). Since then the award(s) have been presented each year to an individual or a team. It is ICID's aim to award the Annual Watsave Awards for the recognition of outstanding contributions to water conservation or water saving and thereby to create an ICID-wide culture of water savings for the benefit of all water-users. Therefore, the Awards are only made in respect of actual realised savings and not for promising research results, plans and/or good ideas/intentions to save water. There are four categories of awards viz.:
viz. (i) Technology; (ii) Innovative Water Management; and (iii) Young Professionals; and (iv) Farmer.
The winners of Watsave awards during the 62nd ICID International Executive Annual meeting, 15-23 Oct. Tehran, Iran were as follow:
Innovative Water Management Award
Prof. Dr. Subhash Taley (India)
Prof. Dr. Subhash M. Taley’s work on “Participatory Rainwater Conservation of Rainfed Agriculture of Vidarbha Region (Maharashtra), India” has won the WatSave Innovative Water Management Award 2011. His work demonstrates as how the crop productivity can be increased in rainfed areas by the package of measures like across-slope cultivation and furrows, which are designed to enhance soil moisture in-situ and also capture runoff irrigations during dry spells.
The achievements include an estimated 227 Mm3 of water conserved on 21,000 ha in 2009-10,besides 50,000 m3 made available for protective irrigation by the construction of 15,000 farm ponds, leading to a significant increase in crop yields.
Messrs. Pieter S van Heerden and Charles T Crosby (South Africa)
Messrs Pieter S van Heerden and Charles T Crosby’s work on “SAPWAT 3: Irrigation W a t e r Planning Tool” has won them the WatSave Technology Award 2011. The software can be used for several purposes, but the saving of water could be achieved by way of reducing the irrigation depth from 500 mm (needed to fill the soil profile to field capacity) to 320 mm in order to provide the capacity to make better use of rainfall. The consequent saving of 180 mm, if applicable to the 1.5 Mha of irrigation in South Africa, could save 2,700 Mm3.
Mr. Jerry Erstrom (USA)
Mr. Jerry Erstrom’s work on “The Willow Creek Piping Project” has won the WatSave Farmer Award 2011. He is the Chairman of a local Watershed Council and a Working Group of local growers concerned with the conversion of irrigation laterals to pipes, in order to save a high level of losses. The saving of water is considerable especially in the first month of irrigation in this dry high-desert region, and there are other benefits including the part-conversion of the area to a gravity-pressurized system. Upon completion, it is estimated that the project will save 14.8 Mm3 of water on 4,856 ha, of which about half has already been converted to pipe-distribution and 14% converted to sprinkler.