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No. 6 (222) July 2013


“From a strong field of eminent candidates, the international Jury for the ICID World Irrigation and Drainage Prize 2013, chaired by President Honoraire Mr Peter Lee, with members drawn from FAO, IWMI and ICID has adjudged Prof. Victor A. Dukhovny as the winner of the First World Irrigation and Drainage Prize 2013 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of agriculture water management made over 57 years.

An eminent researcher, academician, engineer and administrator in the Irrigation and Drainage Sector, Prof. Dr. Dukhovny is known for his vision, knowledge,extensive experience, dedication, andunwavering commitment to land and water productivity improvements for agriculture and to achieving food and water security. Prof. Dukhovny is an ardent advocate of the benefits of water sharing for peace, human security and economic prosperity.

The first part of Dr Dukhovny’s career was notable for his leadership of the construction and development of irrigation over 700,000 ha of the Central Asian steppes encompassing best practice at the time, and incorporating several innovations in drainage technology as well as irrigation, which were the result of his field research.

Dr Dukhovny was then for more than 20 years Director of the Central Asian Scientific Institute on Irrigation (SANIIRI) and helped change perspectives on the management of water resources in the Aral Sea Basin. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, he has been a key advocate of inter-state collaboration on the responsible use of water in the basin. He is well-known across the water sector internationally as a champion of irrigation and drainage, and for continuing research and exchange of ideas in its development. He has worked hard in often very difficult circumstances to further these causes, and at the same time nurture a new generation of irrigation professionals.”

Prof. Dukhovny’s commitment and dedication to the water-related activities, especially meeting the irrigation and drainage challenges encountered in the Aral Sea Basin, has evoked admiration among his peers. His name has always been in the forefront and synonymous with Aral Sea Basin Region and its related issues contributing to: the development of water policy and basin strategy for harnessing water resources; assessment of social-economic influence of water development; tackling ecological consequences of irrigation in arid zones; restoration and rehabilitation of old irrigation systems; control of salinity of lands in Central Asia; optimization of water management in river basins; and by enhancing cooperation in I&D sector in Central Asia.

Prof. Dukhovny has more than 30 patents and Certificates of Innovation awarded by the Soviet government especially for new methods of lining canals, design of trench less drainage machines with depth of 3 meters, system of combined drains and others. He was given Soviet Union State Award for implementation of horizontal drainage (1978), and for implementation of specific methods of vertical drainage (1973). Under his leadership, many of these innovations such as subsurface and vertical drainage, combined lining of canals, steady method of leaching, tube irrigation from stationary and flexible tubes and many others were implemented and recognized through numerous awards by the Governments of the erstwhile Soviet Union and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Born on 20 April 1934 at Kharkov, Ukraine Prof. Dukhovny is currently the Director of Scientific Information Center of Interstate Coordination Water Commission of Central Asia (SIC ICWC) where he has been actively engaged in the implementation of drip irrigation, development of theoretical and practical frameworks for integrated water resources management in arid areas, with large-scale pilot testing in the Fergana Valley, and installation of SCADA system on the Syr Darya rivers and the Fergana Valley.

Prof. Dukhovny, a leading Professor of Irrigation and Drainage, has been a universal teacher and mentor to a number of research students from all over the world guiding them in their doctorate work. He has authored more than 350 publications, 28 books and monographs.

Prof. Dukhovny has been associated with many international organizations in the water sector: as Vice President of ICID; Governor of World Water Council; Member of Board of International Water Resources Association; and Executive Secretary of Eastern Europe, Caucasia and Central Asia network of International Network of Basin Organizations, to name a few. Prof. Victor A. Dukhovny will be presented with the First World Irrigation and Drainage Prize comprising of a Cash Award of US$ 10000 and a Citation Plaque at the inaugural ceremony of the First World Irrigation Forum in Mardin, Turkey, on 29 September 2013

Source: ICID