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No. 3 (161) May 2009


The 23rd European Regional Conference of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) was held in Lviv, Ukraine between 18 and 21 May 2009 and focused on the theme “Progress in Managing Water for Food and Rural Development”. The conference was held at the Lviv Ivan Franko University – one of the oldest universities in Ukraine.

In his key note speech, Dr. Vasyl Stashuk, Head of Water Management Committee of Ukraine highlighted the status of Ukrainian Water Development and the irrigated agriculture that the country faces.

The Water Management Committee of Ukraine is applying the new approaches into the water management practice through the basin management organizations. Such organizations are already established in the river basins of Crimea, Dnieper, Siversky Donets, Southern and Western Bug, Prut, Danube and Desna. In the future it is supposed that such organizations will cover all activity on the water resources management sphere including investigations of water resources, monitoring, formation of the basin committees, water resources management for each basin, development of the basin regulation and mechanism for its implementation. Moreover it is outlined to implement:

  • The science-based standards of water use and sewage disposal;
  • The mechanism of compensation for losses caused by pollution;
  • The uncoordinated actions at the water bodies;
  • Payment for the ecosystem services.

In this connection the Water Management Committee of Ukraine focuses large attention on the improvement of the Water Code of the country in which the organizational basis and mechanisms for participation of the interested parties in the water resources management, mechanism for the conflicts resolution, tariffs and the pricing policy are clearly indicated. It should be noted that the irrigated area has reduced by more than 2 times as compared to 6 millions hectares of reclaimed area including 2,5 millions hectares of irrigated lands in 90th years of last century in Ukraine. Though the irrigation network covers 1,7 million hectares of lands no more than 800,000 hectares of lands are actually irrigated. The main reason is that the operation of the sprinkling systems is very expensive.

Large attention was given to development of the drip irrigation systems. Today in Ukraine 10-11 thousand hectares are put under drip irrigation annually, including half of these areas belongs to the lands of the country. The basis for this purpose is the special government decree, under which the State fund for water saving and development of highly effective crops is established. The Fund amounted one percent from selling of all alcoholic drinks including beer is allotted to the Treasury for renewal the lands under hop, and also for development of horticulture and viticulture with drip irrigation.

This year the Fund amounts 540 million hryvnias or 70 million dollars USA. 10 % of that Fund is allocated for development of hop and a little more than 40% is allocated directly for development of the drip irrigation. The same approach is obviously appropriate to implement in other countries for development of the water saving technology.

The European Regional Conference gave large attention to the floods control, to the water use specifying and also to the GIS application for the water resources management.

The special topic was devoted to climate change because the floods and droughts are observed frequently everywhere in Europe.

The river basins management plans are being developed broadly according to the European Framework Water Directive.

Three points - 5th, 6th and 7th - were included to the Lviv Declaration of ICID following the reports presented by Prof. Dukhovny V.A., Director of SIC ICWC, and two his speeches.



The 23rd European Regional Conference of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) was held in Lviv, Ukraine, 18-21 May, 2009 on the theme Progress in Managing Water for Food and Rural Development. The conference was organized by the Ukraine National Committee (UKCID) of ICID in cooperation with the ICID European Regional Working Group (ERWG). Professionals from Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Iran, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and ICID participated in the conference and presented and discussed the various keynotes and papers and agreed on the following recommendations and actions.

Conclusions and recommendations

I. The papers show that there is good on-going development with respect to integrated management of water and land resources both with respect to policy development, stakeholder participation, actual implementation, modelling, data collection, storage and dissemination.

II. More and more projects are being developed and implemented in an integrated way, by taking into account social conditions, stakeholder participation, possible impacts of climate change, technical, economical, gender, and environmental aspects. However, a lot of experiences still have to be obtained to improve these aspects of projects. This will be especially important during the operation and maintenance phase of rural development projects. It is in this phase that the benefits of projects really can be obtained.

III. Primarily due to human activities as well to a certain extent due to the impacts of climate change, the effects and impacts of floods and drought are significantly increasing in many places. Therefore it is increasingly important that in the development of projects both the present day conditions as well as the envisaged mid-term and long-term scenarios are taken into account in the decision-making process. In light of this, the European Water Framework Directive and the European Flood Directive are important guiding documents that jointly have to be implemented.

IV. For improved coordination of the wide range of activities for rural development at different spatial levels, like integrate land and water management, river basin management, rural development and spatial planning, it is recommended to updated legislation and organisation structures where this may be relevant.

V. The conference agreed on the urgent need to strengthen international water legislation for protection of the right of water for agriculture in order to support sustainable and integrated water management - irrigation and/or drainage dependent on the local conditions - as a requirement basis to guarantee food security.

VI. The conference appreciates the activities of the Inter-state Coordination Water Commission of Central Asia in the framework of cooperation of the five states -Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kirgizstan - on trans-boundary waters under the conditions of climate change. They may serve as an example for the trans-boundary cooperation in other river basins.

VII. The conference supports the development of a Russian speaking network of water management specialists that was initiated by the Moscow meeting of January 2009 and recommends that scientific organisations join the network.

Agreed actions

I. In understanding the need to increase significantly food production through sustainable rural development in the forthcoming decades and the potential of several of the European countries, like Ukraine, to contribute to this, it was agreed by several parties that an initiative will be taken for a joint project on Integrated Water Management for improved food production in European countries. The ICID European Working Group will take the initiative to prepare a proposal in cooperation with the potential partners.

II. There was a good representation of, and interesting papers from young professionals. The Ukraine and German ICID Committees will jointly take the initiative to improve the network for European young professionals in the water management sector. They will also promote joint activities like research projects, exchanges, summer schools, etc.

III. The activities of the European Work Team on Sustainable Irrigation Management will be reviewed and further developed in light of the need for integrated approaches for rural development and in support of the action in item I.

The participants thank the organisers for their kind hospitality and good organisation of this interesting conference in the beautiful facilities of the Lviv Ivan Franko University in the historic city of Lviv.

Lviv, Ukraine
21 May 2009