International Commission on Irrigation & Drainage Commission Interationale des Irrigation et du Drainage


Future is often the reflection of the past. The rapid changes that are taking place around the world over a few decades have, however, cautioned us to learn from it. One can learn by studying the past processes, the causes of successes and failures, despite new complexities.

Working Group on History of Irrigation, Drainage and Flood Control (WG-HIST) has worked over the years to motivate ICID National Committees in various countries to set up their national working groups and provide guidance to compile, publish, update and/or translate documents on history of irrigation, drainage, flood management, and river engineering, incorporating relevant agricultural, political, socio-economic, climatologic and geographic aspects for proper understanding of the technological developments. The WG has brought out many outstanding publications and presently exploring the possibility of compiling a book on “Water Sustainability through History”. The Group also organizes a History Seminar at the time of ICID Congresses, on regular basis.

Notification No. 2 of 2018 - Establishment of WG-HIST

Committee on assembling irrigation efficiency data (1974-1978) Constituted as Committee on History of Irrigation (1978).  Renamed as Committee on History of Irrigation, Drainage and Flood Control (C-HIST) in the year 1998 and again renamed as Working Group on History of Irrigation, Drainage and Flood Control (WG-HIST) in the year 2000



(a) To motivate ICID National Committees in various countries to set up their National Working Groups on History; (b) To provide guidance to compile, publish, update and/or translate documents on history of irrigation, drainage, and flood management; (c) To promote inter

Established : 1998
Sl. No. Name Email Country Position
1 Dr. Kamran Emami kk************* Iran Chair
2 Dr. A. Hafied A. Gany ha************* Indonesia Member
3 Dr. Ahmed Adam Ibrahim ah************* Sudan Member
4 Eng. Ahmed Awad Hag Abd-Elnabi en************* Egypt Member
5 Mr. Chaiwat Prechawit c_************* Thailand Member
6 Mr. Charles L.   Abernethy ab************* United Kingdom Member
7 Dr. Dai Xiaoping - Young Professional xi************* China Member
8 Dr. Dia El Din Ahmed El Quosy lm************* Egypt Member
9 Mr. Gao Lihui - Young Professional ga************* China Member
10 Dr. Gerhard Backeberg ge************* South Africa Member
11 Mr. Ju Chang Kim kl************* South Korea Member
12 Mr. Krishna Prasad ne************* Nepal Member
13 Dr. Laszlo G. Hayde l.************* Hungary Member
14 Dr. Masaomi KIMURA mk************* Japan Member
15 Dr. Shivaji T. Sangle sa************* India Member
16 Dr. Sinite YU dr************* Chinese Taipei Committee Member
17 Engr. Sirika Ahmad Abubakar si************* Nigeria Member
18 Prof. Dr. Yutaka MATSUNO ma************* Japan Member
19 Prof. (Ms.) Chen Jing ch************* China Observer
20 Dr. Yao Jianfeng ji************* China Observer
21 Dr. Qazi Tallat Mahmood Siddiqui qa************* Pakistan Provisional Member
22 Mr. Wang Li wa************* China Provisional Member
23 Dr. (Mrs.) B. Dolfing ************* Netherlands Permanent Observer
24 Dr. (Ing.) Klaus Röttcher - Direct Member k.************* Germany Permanent Observer
25 Dr. Ir. M. Ertsen (IWHA) m.************* Netherlands Permanent Observer


In the long history of mankind, the 21st century would be very distinct from the other centuries and may be considered as the most challenging era for humanity. In this context, ensuring sustainability of water systems in changing and unknown circumstances is one of the most crucial challenges.



The development of societies in the last 5,000 years is closely connected with water management problems that have shaped the relevant society and its structures. In the course of the centuries, systems and methods worked out under these conditions have conclusively demonstrated their sustainability. Today, the knowledge and structural remains of these methods are not only interesting archaeologically and historically, but can also help solve current problems.


In view of Data, Information, Knowledge, Intelligence and Wisdom hierarchy studied in knowledge management, the water wisdom of the past which was achieved in a period of hundreds of years, can be regarded as a unique and irreplaceable gift from our ancestors to our generation.






Bali, Indonesia 2019

  1. Irrigation Tunneling in Ancient Indonesia (Historical Perspective)
  2. Analysis on Dujiangyan Irrigation System and its sustainable development experience
  3. Research on Water Conservancy Legislation and Related Issues in Xixia
  4. Water Supply and Water demand – a model for a better understanding of the Assyrian settlements along the Lower Habur River
  5. Characteristics and Values of Irrigation Historical Sustainability in China
  6. Historical Water Sustainability: A Case Study of the PHAD Irrigation System of Maharashtra State, India
  7. Institutional Setup of Irrigation and drainage in Afghanistan
  8. International Workshop on Historical Water Sustainability
  9. Historical Water sustainability in Iran: Lessons Learned
  10. Good Practices
  11. Reservoir regulations in 1662 by the Government of Joseon Dynasty, Korea
  12. World Water System Heritage (WWaSH) Program - A Proposal by ICID
  13. Technology transfer and water sustainability - Experiences of Japan
  14. Research on Jiangxiyan Irrigation System

Montpellier, France 2015

  1. Sustainable Irrigation in South Africa: Evidence from History by Lani van Vuuren
    and Gerhard Backeberg
  2. History of Water Crisis in Thailand and its Preparation for the 2015 Drought by Chaiwat Prechawit


  1. Irrigation tunneling in ancient Indonesia - Historical perspective (VPH A. Hafied A. Gany, Indonesia)
  2. Historical background of some present flood management plans in Hungary and in the Netherlands (VP László G. Hayde, Hungary
  3. What did hydraulic engineers know in the early 18th century? Taking a look at the proposal of Burchard Christof Von Muennich (Klaus Röttcher, Germany
  4. The Beemster - A drained lake since 400 years (PH Em. Bart Schultz, Netherlands)


  1. Tradition and Modernity  -  New Ways for an efficient Water Management, von Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Röttcher
  2. A Brief Introduction to: The International Conference on Traditional Knowledge for Water Resources Management (TKWRM 2012)
  3. ICID Congress History Conference - An Introduction to the International Center on Qanats and Historic Hydraulic Structures, A. A. Semsar Yazdi 
  4. History Seminar – Using Traditional Methods in Modern Water Management Systems, Bijan Farhangi  


An Outlook of Infrastructural Heritages of Irrigation in Indonesia (VPH A.Hafied A. Gany)






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