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IGS At 3rd World Irrigation Forum

Methods to mitigate the scandalous loss of water from poor irrigation systems will be discussed when the IGS Vice President speaks at ICID’s conference next week.

In her lecture ‘Water Saving Upstream of The Farms’, Dr Nathalie Touze will explore the importance of properly lining agricultural canals to prevent the huge amount of leakage endemic to these irrigation structures.

Ninety per cent of the rainwater used by humans in organised applications is used in irrigation. Dr Touze will explain how protecting this precious natural resource through the use of geosynthetics is key not only for environmental gains, but economic ones too.

Dr Touze said: “Agriculture through irrigation is putting a stress on the freshwater resource. Two-thirds of the water conveyed in irrigation canals is lost upstream of the farms from evaporation, operation and leaks.

“My lecture will show how this can be easily prevented through the use of geomembranes; not only saving water but making the conveyance systems more robust and irrigation more effective.”

Dr Touze will speak in Plenary session IV – Sub-theme 3 on day three of the seven-day event in Bali, Indonesia.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Development of water, food and nutrition security in a competitive environment’. The conference aims to gather multidisciplinary stakeholders to share best practice, ideas and solutions to the challenges facing the agricultural irrigation industry.

IGS’s Technical Committee on Hydraulic Applications is dedicated to advancing understanding of geosynthetics’ use in the filtration, erosion control, coastal protection and drainage sectors.

Its chairman Pietro Rimoldi said the Bali conference was an ideal forum for a knowledge-swap.

“Irrigation, drainage and agricultural applications in general are important markets where geosynthetics have been extensively used. But curiously there is little knowledge of this among ICID members, while there is little knowledge about agricultural applications among IGS members,” he said.

“This mutual exchange of information and cross-participation are positive for both societies.”

The IGS has participated at two previous ICID events, holding workshops at the 23rd International Congress on Irrigation and Drainage in Mexico City in October 2017 and ICID’s 69th International Executive Council Meeting in Saskatoon, Canada, in August last year.