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WatSave Award 2013Background

The major challenge facing irrigated agriculture today is producing more food using less water per unit of output i.e. increasing water productivity in both, irrigated and rainfed agriculture. This goal will only be achieved if the appropriate water saving technologies, management tools, and policies are in place. All those involved in irrigation water management – managers, farmers, workers need to be encouraged and guided, through appropriate policies and incentives, to save/ conserve water and to minimize wastages to mitigate negative environmental impacts.

Recognizing the need to encourage innovations in irrigation and drainage, ICID instituted WatSave Annual Award(s) in 1997 and are presented each year to recognize outstanding contributions to water conservation or water saving in agriculture. The Awards given to individuals or a team of individuals are made in respect of actual realized savings and not for promising research results, plans and/or good ideas/intentions to save water.


Nominations for the awards are received through the National Committees of ICID through a call sent out around the beginning of every calendar year. The award consists of an honorarium and a Citation.




Invitation for Nominations - 2014



ICID is inviting nominations for the WatSave Awards 2014 from across the world to recognize outstanding contributions to water saving/conservation in agriculture. The Awards are given in the following four categories –


1.         WatSave  Technology Award
2.         WatSave  Innovative Water Management Award
3.         WatSave  Young Professionals Award
4.         WatSave  Farmer Award


The WatSave Awards will be presented during the 65th meeting of the IEC scheduled to be held during 14-20 September 2014 at Gwangju Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea.


Nominations are invited for the ‘WatSave Awards 2014’ from individuals/ team of individuals through ICID National Committees/ Committee. The entries are open to all professionals/ teams from ICID member countries as well as non-member countries. In case of an entry from a ‘non-member’ country, the nomination has to be  routed through and validated by an active National Committee of ICID, who should be in touch with the nominee and is aware of nominee’s work’.


All the National Committees/ Committee are requested to send their nominations by inviting contributions on outstanding achievements from all those professionals/ farmers who are engaged in water saving/ conservation activities. The deadline for receipt of the entries from the National Committees along with a completed Nomination Form to the ICID, New Delhi is 30 May 2014. The selection of the winners from amongst the nominations received will be made by an International Panel of Judges to be appointed by the President, ICID in consultation with Management Board.


I request all the national committees/ committee to carry out primary evaluation of the nomination(s) in light of the questions posed in the evaluation process, and submit only one of them in any particular category

(if there were more responses) to the Central Office, New Delhi.  National Committee must check and certify the originality of the nomination/ submission. Nominations not complying with the above requirements or more than one nomination from the same National Committee in a particular category are liable to be rejected.


Contact: Dr. Vijay K. Labhsetwar, Director, ICID, New Delhi (e-mail: icid@icid.org)



Categories of the Award(s)


WatSave Technology Award


This award is presented to promote and encourage the best technological applications or projects which have been successful in saving water.


WatSave Innovative Water Management Award


This award is presented for promoting non-technological interventions and/or innovative land and water management/techniques for increasing the availability of water for different uses; Promoting research that leads to substantial savings in water applications or uses; or Promoting development of new policies/approaches for water saving leading to cost effective and beneficial use of water.


WatSave Young Professionals Award


This award is presented for promoting water saving technologies, innovative water management practices, original research leading to substantial water saving/ conservation etc. by young professionals (below 40 years).


WatSave Farmer Award


The WatSave Farmer Award is given to a farmer(s) for proven water saving success story to promote successful water conservation.





Announcement for Winners of WatSave Awards 2013

Technology Award

[ Version française French]

Prof. Yi Yongqing (China) Prof. Yi Yongqing


In order to explain the farmers, Prof. Yi Yongqingnamed the water saving irrigation for paddy rice as “Thin and exposed irrigation”. “Thin” means that the irrigation layer should be as thin as possible, usually around 20 mm; and “exposed” means that the soil surface exposed to the air for oxygen absorption and emission of harmful gas. The International Panel of Judges of WatSave Awards has adjudged that Prof. Yi Yongqing’s work on “Thin and Exposed Irrigation for Paddy Rice” has won the WatSave Technology Award 2013.


Since 1980’s, Prof. Yongqing has been experimenting with the irrigation methods for paddy (rice) that save water and also increase yields. After many years of theoretical study and field experiments, he presented “Thin and Exposed Irrigation for Paddy Rice” to the world which has been widely adapted in Yuyao municipality since 1994. This technology has since been extended to Zhejiang province over 4.20 million ha, where 3.91 billion cubic meters of water and 0.26 billion kilowatt of power have been saved and an increase of 1.45 billion kilogram of grain has been achieved with the economic benefit of RMB 3.63 billion Yuan (US$ 0.70 billion).


Zhejiang provincial government has held two on-the-spot meetings for extension of this water saving technology in Yuyao municipality. Over 150 domestic and international experts and 3600 technicians visited and acquired the knowledge of the water saving technology in Yuyao. These technologies have been extended to over 5.11 million ha of farmland, where 5.15 billion cubic meters of water has been saved, an increase of 1.58 billion kilogram of grain has been achieved, and 0.30 billion kilowatt of power has been saved all together. Besides ecological benefits, the direct economic benefit was RMB 11.98 Yuan (US$ 1.93 billion).


In last two decades, Prof. Yongqing has been awarded 16 patents, and each patent has been applied in agricultural water saving schemes. He has published 40 papers and 4 books.


Congratulations to Prof. Yi Yongqing!

[More details... ]

Innovative Water Management Award


Mr. Zhang Xuehui (China)


Mr. Zhang XuehuiSince 1984, Mr. Zhang Xuehui has worked with Jiamakou Irrigation Scheme (JIS), also known as Jiamakou Yellow River Diversion Irrigation Scheme in Shanxi Province of China. The JIS was the first large high-lift irrigation scheme in Yellow River Basin constructed from July 1958 to July 1960 it. With the innovations of the special lubrication system and impeller, the pump set can operate 2,630 hours and the annual maintenance cost was lowered by 10 percent and the service life of the impeller jumped from 1000 hours to 4000 hours. In 2002, Mr. Zhang designed and constructed a floating pumping station which could accommodate the fluctuating water level of the Yellow River and with this a major water shortage problem was solved.


The International Panel of Judges of WatSave Awards has adjudged that Mr. Zhang Xuehui’s work on “Innovations and Reforms for Modern Irrigation Management in Large Irrigation Schemes” has won the WatSave Innovative Water Management Award 2013.


With the application of this innovation, water use efficiency at the main and branch canals of JIS has increased from 0.68 in 1996 to 0.83 in 2012 resulting in water saving of more than 18 million m3 every year. About 120 million m3 of water has been saved from year 2000 to 2012. From 2002 to 2012, the annual added value of irrigation water increased from 570 million RMB Yuan (US$ 93.4 million) to 1730 million RMB Yuan (US$ 283.6 million). During the period, the annual net income per farmer increased from 5040 RMB Yuan (US$ 826) to 14,100 RMB Yuan (US$ 2311). The irrigated area has been increased from 12,333 ha in 1998 to 33,530 ha in 2007 and to 60,600 ha in 2012, while annual average income of each staff in JIS has increased from 3300 RMB Yuan (US$ 540) in 1998 to 35,263 RMB Yuan (US$ 5780) in 2012.


A training center has been established in JIS and more than 20 training programs have been conducted for extending the innovations and reforms achieved in JIS to other places. The innovations and reforms practiced in JIS have been extended to 10 large irrigation schemes in Shanxi Province and 3 large irrigation schemes in Gansu Province and 2 large irrigation schemes in Henan Province of China. The total extended area with the application of the innovations and reforms from JIS covered an area of 645,000 ha and saved 630 million m3 of water in 3 years.


Congratulations to Mr. Zhang Xuehui!

[More details... ]


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Title of the award winning contribution

Award winner(s)

Jiamakou Irrigation Scheme (JIS), China Mr. Zhang Xuehui, China, 2013

Integrated water recovery provides regional growth
for Northern Victoria, Australia

Mr. Peter McCamish, Australia (2012)


Participatory Rainwater Conservation of Rainfed Agriculture of Vidarbha Region (Maharashtra), India

Prof. Dr. Subhash Madhawrao Taley, India (2011)

Water distribution management at the Vaalharts irrigation scheme

Mr. Kobus Harbron, South Africa (2010)

Transformation of irrigation through management transfer

Messrs Shahaji Manikrao Somawanshi, Bharat Kawale and Sanjay Madhukar Belsare, India (2009)

Innovative Method for Rice Irrigation with High Potential of Water Saving

Dr. Yousri Ibrahim Atta, Egypt (2008)

Provision of Irrigation Scheduling Advice to Small Scale Sugarcane Farmers Using a Web Based Crop Model and Cellular Technology: A South African Case Study

Dr. Abraham Singels, South Africa (2007)

Water Administration System (WAS)

Dr. Nico Benadé, South Africa (2006)

Innovative Water Saving Technologies in China

Prof. Li Daixin, China (2005)

An initiative towards saving of water and sustainable Irrigation Management in Maharashtra State, India

Er. Suresh. V. Sodal, India (2004)

Comprehensive approach in water resources management such as Irrigation, Drainage, On-Farm Water Management, Water Quality, Groundwater Modeling, Contaminant Transport

Dr. Muhammad Akram Kahlown, Pakistan (2003)

Spatio-Drainage Approach: A Tool for Proper Management, Accurate Design and Cost Effective
Subsurface Drainage Projects and Water Saving

Dr. Mahmoud Moustafa, Egypt (2002)

Water-Saving Irrigation Practice in China - Demands, Technical System, Current Situation,
Development Objective, And Countermeasures

Prof. Gu Yuping, China (2001)

Modernization Plan of Mula Traditional Irrigations

Dr. Francisco del Amor Garcia, Spain (2000)

Modified Drainage System for Rice Growing Areas : A Tool for Water Saving

Eng. Hussein El-Atfy, Egypt (1999)

Development of Water Saving Irrigation Technique On Large Paddy Rice Area in Guangxi Region of China

Prof. Wu Xijin, China (1998)


Title of the award winning contribution

Award winner(s)

Thin and exposed irrigation Prof. Yi Yongqing, China, 2013

Theory and technology of controlled irrigation of rice in China

Prof. Peng Shizhang, China (2012)

SAPWAT 3: Irrigation Water Planning Tool

Messrs Pieter S van Heerden and Charles T Crosby, South Africa (2011)

Irrigation water security: promoting on-farm reservoirs in the UK

Dr. Keith Weatherhead, Mr. Melvyn Kay and Dr. Jerry Knox, UK (2010)

Wheat Bed Planter

Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, Pakistan (2009)

 Micro Irrigation – A Technology for Prosperity

Dr. Yella Reddy, Mr. Satyanarayana and Mrs.G Andal, India (2008)

Growing Rice with Pivots – A Step Towards Water Conservation

Messrs Werner and Herbert Arns, Brazil (2007)

Contributions and Achievements to Water-savings in Agriculture

Prof. Kang Shaozhong, China (2006)

Efficient Water and Resource-saving Technique of Soils Pre-sowing Treatment Under Winter Wheat Cultivation Conditions

Mr. Omar Redjepow, Turkmenistan (2004)

Wetting Front Detector: A New Tool to Help Farmers Save Water

Dr. Richard John Stirzaker (2003)

Dripping with success- The Challenges of an Irrigation Redevelopment Project

Mr. Robert E. Merry, UK (2002)

Rotational irrigation scheduling in rice paddy with the operation rule curve of irrigation reservoir

Prof. Tai Cheol Kim, Korea (2001)

Water Efficient Irrigation and Environmentally
Sustainable Irrigated Rice Production in China

Prof. Mao Zhi, China (2000)


Title of the award winning contribution

Award winner(s)

Development and application of innovative and advanced simulation tools for the evaluation and optimization of surface irrigation systems

Dr. Malcolm Gillies, Australia (2009)

Water Banking – Conjunctive Water Use Management Approach for Water Saving and Improve Productivity and Environmental Performance

Dr. Amgad Elmahdi, Australia (2008)

Micro Irrigation – A technology to save water

Ms. Neelam Patel, India (2006)

Computer-Aided Mapping Irrigation Scheduling for Arab Republic of Egypt

Dr. Mohamed Maher Mohamed Ibrahim, Egypt (2005)

IGRA: An Approach for the Application of the Benchmarking Initiative to Irrigation Areas

Dr. Juan Antonio Rodriguez Diaz, Spain (2004)

Contribution in the field of flow measurement, canal system modernization and operations improvements, debris and fish screening at irrigation diversions, hydrology, and improved hydraulic laboratory techniques

Mr. Tony L. Wahl, USA (2003)

A Scientific Approach for Water Management in Rice Fields

Dr. Ashutosh Upadhyaya, India (2002)

Participatory Irrigation Management in Katepurna Irrigation Project : A Success Story

Er. Sanjay M. Belsare, India (2001)

Decision-Making Support System for Irrigation Water management of Jingtai Chuan Pumping Irrigation Scheme at the Upper Reaches of Yellow River

Dr. Gao Zhanyi, China (1999)


Award winning success story

Award winning farmer(s)

The Willow Creek Piping Project

Mr. Jerry Erstrom, USA (2011)

Rainwater conservation through natural cracks in deep black soils

Mr. Arvind Narayanrao Nalkande, India (2009)






  • 2013 - Turkish National Committee, ICID (TUCID)
  • 2012 - IACID, Irrigation Australia’s Committee on Irrigation & Drainage
  • 2011 - Iranian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (IRNCID)
  • 2010 - Indonesian National Committee of ICID (INACID) & Chinese National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (CNCID)
  • 2009 - Indian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (INCID)
  • 2008 - Pakistan National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (PANCID)
  • 2007 - U.S. National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (USCID)
  • 2006 - Malaysian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (MANCID), andSpanish National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (CERYD)
  • 2005 - Spanish National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (CERYD)
  • 2004 - French National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (AFEID)
  • 2003 - Japanese National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (JNC-ICID)
  • 2002 - Canadian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (CANCID)
  • 2001 - Korean National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (KCID)
  • 2000 - Indian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (INCID)
  • 1999 - Chinese National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (CNCID)
  • 1998 - Netherlands National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (NETHCID), Directorate General of Public Works & Water Management, and IHE Delft




Laureats du Prix Watsave 2013


Prix de la Technologie


Prof. Yi Yongqing (Chine)


Prof. Yi Yongqing

Afin d’expliquer aux agriculteurs, il a appelé la technique d'irrigation économique d’eau pour le riz paddy comme « l’irrigation mince et exposée ». "Thin" signifie que la couche d'irrigation devrait être aussi mince que possible, généralement de l’ordre de 20 mm, et «exposés» signifie la surface du sol exposée à l'air pour l'absorption d'oxygène et l'émission de gaz nocifs. Le Panel International des Juges du Prix WatSave a retenu les études du Prof. Yi Yongqing sur « l’Irrigation mince et exposée pour le riz paddy » pour le Prix WatSave de la technologie 2013.


Depuis 1980, le Prof. Yongqing a fait des expériences des méthodes d'irrigation pour le riz paddy permettant ainsi d'économiser l'eau et d’augmenter les rendements. Après plusieurs années des études théoriques et des expériences sur le champ, il présente au monde la méthode « d'irrigation mince et exposée pour le riz paddy » qui a été largement adaptée par la municipalité d’Yuyao depuis 1994. Cette technologie a depuis lors été étendue jusqu’à la province du Zhejiang sur 4,20 millions d'hectares de terre, où 3,91 milliards de mètres cubes d'eau et 0,26 milliards de kilowatts d’énergie ont été économisées et une augmentation de 1,45 milliards de kg a été réalisée avec l'avantage économique de 3,63 milliards de yuan RMB (0,70 milliards de dollars américains).


Le Gouvernement provincial de Zhejiang a organisé deux réunions sur-le-champ pour l'extension de cette technologie d'économie d'eau dans la municipalité d’Yuyao. Plus de 150 experts nationaux et internationaux et 3600 techniciens ont visité et acquis des connaissances sur la technologie d'économie d'eau à Yuyao. Ces technologies ont été étendues jusqu’à 5,11 millions d'hectares de terres agricoles, où 5,15 milliards de mètres cubes d'eau ont été économisées, une augmentation de 1,58 milliards de kg a été atteinte et 0,30 milliards de kilowatt d’énergie a été économisée. Outre les avantages écologiques, l'avantage économique direct était 11,98 yuans RMB (1,93 milliard de dollars américains).


Au cours des deux dernières décennies, le Prof. Yongqing a reçu 16 brevets, et chaque brevet a été utilisé dans les programmes d'économie d'eau agricole. Il est l’auteur de 40 articles et 4 livres.


Félicitations au Prof. Yi Yongqing!



Prix de la Gestion innovatrice de l’eau


M. Zhang Xuehui (Chine)


Mr. Zhang XuehuiDepuis 1984, M. Zhang Xuehui a travaillé avec le système d'irrigation Jiamakou (JIS), également appelé « Jiamakou Yellow River Diversion Irrigation Scheme » dans la province de Shanxi de la Chine. Le JIS a été le premier grand projet d'irrigation à haute levée dans le bassin fluvial de Jaune construit entre la période de juillet 1958 à juillet 1960. Avec les innovations du système de lubrification spéciale et de la roue, l'ensemble de la pompe peut fonctionner 2630 heures et le coût d'entretien annuel a été abaissé de 10 pour cent et la durée de vie de la roue a passé brusquement de 1000 heures à 4000 heures. En 2002, M. Zhang a conçu et construit une station de pompage flottante qui pourrait accueillir le niveau d'eau varié du fleuve Jaune et avec cette technologie le problème majeur de la pénurie d'eau a été résolu.


Le Panel International des Juges du Prix WatSave a retenu les études de M. Zhang Xuehui sur « les Innovations et les réformes pour la gestion d’irrigation moderne dans les grands périmètres irrigués » pour le Prix WatSave de la Gestion innovatrice de l’eau 2013.


Avec l'application de cette innovation, l'efficience d'utilisation de l'eau dans les canaux principaux et secondaires de JIS a augmenté, passant de 0,68 en 1996 à 0,83 en 2012 grâce aux économies d'eau de plus de 18 millions de m3 par an. Environ 120 millions de m3 d'eau ont été économisées depuis l’an 2000 jusqu’à l’an 2012. De 2002 à 2012, la valeur ajoutée annuelle de l'eau d'irrigation a augmenté de 570 millions de yuans RMB (93,4 millions de dollars américains) à 1730 millions de yuans RMB (283,6 millions de dollars américains). Durant la période, le revenu annuel net par agriculteur a augmenté de 5040 yuans RMB (826 de dollars américains) à 14.100 RMB yuan (2311 de dollars américains). La superficie irriguée a augmenté de 12.333 ha en 1998 à 33 530 ha en 2007 et à 60.600 ha en 2012, tandis que le revenu annuel moyen de chaque membre du personnel du JIS a augmenté de 3300 yuans RMB (540 de dollars américains) en 1998 à 35 263 yuans RMB (5780 de dollars américains) en 2012.


Un centre de formation a été établi au JIS et plus de 20 programmes de formation ont été menés pour étendre les innovations et les réformes réalisées sur d'autres endroits. Les innovations et les réformes pratiquées au JIS ont été étendues sur 10 grands projets d'irrigation de la province de Shanxi, 3 grands systèmes d'irrigation de la province de Gansu et 2 grands projets d'irrigation de la province d’Henan en Chine. La zone étendue totale avec l'application des innovations et des réformes de JIS couvrait une superficie de 645.000 ha et économisait 630 millions de m3 d'eau en 3 ans.


Félicitations à M. Xuehui Zhang!



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