48 years ago, Mexico hosted the ICID International Congress and today, in line with the National Water Program goal number 6, “Strengthening Mexico’s participation in the international context on water”, our country is once again hosting the Congress, now in its 23rd edition.
ICID has been organizing its flagship triennial event International Congress on Irrigation and Drainage since 1951. The 1st ICID Congress was held in 1951 at Delhi and so far ICID has held 22 Triennial Congresses, the most recent 22nd ICID Congress being held in Gwangju, Republic of Korea in September 2014.
The list of questions addressed by the Congresses clearly indicates a progressive shift from purely technical questions to sustainability of irrigation and global water and food security issues. Mexico City hosted, in 1969, the seventh International Congress on Irrigation and Drainage with the following questions: (24) Hydraulic structures on small channels, (25) Methods and economics of operation and maintenance of drainage systems in agricultural areas, (26) Development of new irrigation and drained areas: procedures and policies. In addition, two technical events were celebrated, a Special Session on essential elements necessary for succesful irrigated agriculture and a Symposium on the application of computers in the analysis of various problems relating to irrigation and drainage systems.
Now in 2017 during the 23th Congress in Mexico, the theme will be “Modernizing Irrigation and Drainage for a new Green Revolution” with the Question 60: Water productivity: Revisiting the concepts in light of water, energy and food nexus and Question 61: State of knowledge of irrigation techiques and practicalities within given socio-economic settings. The Special Session “Irrigation techniques for reuse of wastewater in agriculture and its impact on health and environment”, and the Symposium “Global Review of institutional reforms in irrigation sector for sustainable agriculture water management, including water users associations”.
This theme and all the items are undoubtedly the most urgent agenda for the irrigation community that needs to be addressed in the 21st century. An evergrowing population, the fast degradation of natural resources, and the potential impacts of climate change, challenge us to find integrated solutions to global problems. The green revolution began in Mexico in the 1940’s and many countries, after using green revolution technologies, have become self-sufficient.