Keynote Speakers

Felix B Reinders
President-International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)
Felix Reinders is a Professional Engineer, registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa. He completed his Engineering degree studies in 1979 at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He specializes in Water resources management and Irrigation engineering in the Agricultural and Civil Engineering field, including research, design, training and mentoring. As Programme Manager Agricultural Water use and Conservation of the Agricultural Research Council’s Institute for Agricultural Engineering, he plays a pivotal role in the co-ordination of especially irrigation research, development, testing and design.

Apart from lecturing students in South Africa, he is currently also a visiting Lecturer at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, a UNESCO ‘category I’ institute in the Netherlands, dedicated to contribute to the education and training of young professionals from all over the world where he lecture Design and operation of Drip and Sprinkle irrigation systems.
He is a previous President of the South African Irrigation Institute (SABI) and a previous President of the South African Institute of Agricultural Engineers (SAIAE).
Mr Reinders has been actively involved in all aspects of the establishment of SANCID as a member of ICID in 1993. Initially from 1993-1999 he served as Vice Chairman of SANCID and Chairman of SANCID from 2000-2003 and 2008-2014. With his experience in the irrigation field and as Chairperson of the SA National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (SANCID), he has the opportunity to present South Africa on International committees and interact with international counterparts on irrigation matters. At present, he serves on several International committees and is Vice-President Honoraire of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) and chairperson for the ICID Working Group for On-Farm Irrigation Systems as well as chairperson of the ICID’s Permanent Committee on Technical Activities.
Under his chairmanship for the period 2008-2011, SANCID was adjudicated as the Best performing National Committee of ICID.

Marco Arcieri
Vice President – International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
Dr. Arcieri career spans over more than 20 years of study and research in agricultural water management, land and water resources development, irrigation and drainage, flood prevention, drought monitoring, forecasting and mitigation. His professional experience brought him to visit almost 40 Countries worldwide, in order to implement International research projects and attend to Advanced Professional Specialization Courses. From 1996 to 1998 he has been working with the DEPARTMENT OF CROP PRODUCTION of University of Basilicata (Italy) as a researcher, working on aspects connected with Crop Yield and Productivity.

His research activity has been focused on issues concerning sustainable agriculture and soil-water plant relationships, with studies on environmentally sound soil management and irrigation techniques. From 2002 to 2006 he has been attending the DEPARTMENT OF CROP SYSTEMS, FORESTRY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES of University of Basilicata in Italy, where he earned an International Ph.D. Degree. The research has been focused on the Evaluation of bulk surface resistance for the calculation of crop evapotranspiration. Particular attention has been paid to the role exerted by crop resistance parameters within the Penman-Monteith single step approach formula, under the influence of environmental factors such as solar radiation and air temperature, in order to have precise assessments of crop water requirements. During his PhD he spent a six months period as a Visiting Researcher in the Department of Natural Resource Management & Agricultural Engineering of the Agricultural University of Athens, from June to October 2004, where he has been working with Prof. Kerkides and Prof. Alexandris. Moreover, in order to exchange experiences and knowledge on the topics of interest, he has been visiting several other Research Departments and International Institutions, such as IHE of UNESCO in Delft (The Netherlands), ICARDA in Aleppo (Syria), CIHEAM Research Institute in Bari (ITALY), Zaragoza (Spain) and Chania (Crete, Greece), INRAT (Tunis, Tunisia) and the University of Technology in Nicosia (CYPRUS). During his professional carrier, Dr. Arcieri has been serving as a technical researcher for the Italian Ministry of Agriculture (INEA, National Institute of Economics & Agriculture), conducting several surveys in Italy and abroad. His activity has been focused on the study of social and economic characteristics of agriculture in irrigated areas, in order to provide technical assistance to farmers on irrigation, within the framework of Research Projects co-financed by EU, the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Public Works. Other activities have been concerning the study of the social and environmental factors triggering land degradation and subsequent desertification processes in Southern Mediterranean Regions such as Spain, Greece, Italy, Northern Africa Countries and others; this research activity has also been financed by EU Projects.
He is a member of ICID since 2008, being elected as Vice President of Italian Committee in 2011 and appointed as its Secretary General in 2013, confirmed in 2016 for a second term. He is member of the ICID Working Group “Water and Crop”, of the “European Regional Working Group” and of the “History” Group. On behalf of ICID, he is Permanent Observer to UN Agencies FAO and IFAD and, since April 2017, focal point within the “GLOBAL FRAMEWORK ON WATER SCARCITY” (GFWS, now WASAG), an International initiative coordinated and fostered by UN FAO to cope with water scarcity under the threat of climate change. He also serves as a representative member of the Interim Steering Committee and for Working Group on “Sustainable Use of Water Resources” of WASAG, led by ICID. He has also been part of the FAO – WWC driven initiative “WATER ACCOUNTING IN AGRICULTURE” and is working on the Regional Node for the Mediterranean Area within the ICID IRPID Program. He has been recently asked to join the FAO WASAG Working Group on “SALINE AGRICULTURE”, led by ICBA (International Center for Bio saline Agriculture).

Dr. Ravinder Kaur
Principal Scientist & Former Project Director – Water Technology Centre
Former Director – Indian Agricultural Research Institute
Dr. Ravinder Kaur, is a doctorate (Gold medalist & Jawahar Lal Nehru awardee) in Agricultural Physics with specialization in Soil Physics & Soil – Water Conservation, from Indian Agricultural Research Institute. She has 26 years of rich experience in applied and extension research on several global/ domestic priority areas, with specific reference to abiotic systems which led to the development of several novel technologies such as-
(a) Eco-friendly wastewater treatment technologies (of 1500 LPD, 50,000 LPD, 75,000 LPD and 4-MLD capacities at IARI and Mathura, UP) for re-use of treated waters in agriculture;

(b) Environmental impact assessment tools (such as IMPASSE and Usar) for assessing short/ long term impacts of a range of geo-hydrologic conditions / resource management plans on the environmental degradation and productivity from salt-affected agricultural lands, planning length of long term field experiments, proposing appropriate adaptation strategies for managing chemically degraded agricultural lands and evaluating food and ground water vulnerability to heavy metals/ salts;
(c) Novel decision support system (such as DROP) for assessing total run-off, peak run-off, peak run-off time, design hydrographs, and soil loss from un-gauged catchments;
(d) Linear programming and simulation model integrated techniques (such as LP-SWAT model) for proposing optimal land use and conservation practice plans for minimizing water and soil losses from erosive, humid catchments;
(e) Novel multi-spectral/ hyper-spectral techniques (such as Img2Info and Ref2Info ) for precise resource characterization/ discrimination;
(f) Spatial decision support tool (such as ResourCeS) for assessing regional water use/water productivity and soil/water/ vegetation health, delineating actual canal command areas & their extent during different cropping seasons, benchmarking & assessing canal irrigation performance, assessing feasibility & implications of operational canal water rotational plans and targeting pollution contributing sources.
The developed technologies have been tested on Indian, USA and Taiwanese watersheds; widely disseminated through training-programs/ workshops/ symposia/ seminars in several national/ international organizations as well as local TV/ Radio shows, and copyrighted/ patented and published in reputed journals.
Dr. Kaur has been honored with several prestigious national/ international awards (viz. ICAR Young Scientist Award, ICAR Punjab Rao Deshmukh Women Agricultural Scientist Award, ICAR National Fellow position, NESA Fellowship, Fulbright and IHELP fellowships from Fulbright Commission and CGHERA, Visiting Scientist position under India-Taipei Program of Co-operation in Science & Technology).

Dr. Mohamed Wahba
Chairman Egyptian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (ENCID)
Dr. Mohamed Wahba has graduated in civil engineering and got his Master and Ph.D. from , Alexandria University. Egypt. Dr. Mohamed Wahba has more than 34 years of integrated and diverse experience starting from the field work and supervision of the implementation of projects irrigation and drainage, research work and field studies, evaluation of the use of modern technologies in drainage networks and the use of drainage water for irrigation as well as savings in irrigation water, Development and management of water resources, follow-up implementation of large projects, designing and implementing various training programs in all

fields related to water resources, irrigation and drainage, training needs assessment plans and capacity building for all different functions at the ministry level.
During his career, Dr. Wahba worked well in teams and working environments under high pressure, with a clear ability to work within specified deadlines and work across organizational boundaries with some kind of balance.
Dr. Wahba, representative of the Egyptian government in several international and regional forums, including the International Commission on Irrigation and , Drainage (ICID), where he was elected as Vice-President of ICID (2014-2017), a representative of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in the water resources committee of ESCWA , He is the coordinator of cooperation between the Ministry and similar ministries in China and Iraq and he has attended many international conferences and published 23 scientific papers.
Dr.Wahba was the general coordinator for the 4th African Regional Conference on Irrigation and Drainage (ARCID) , 26-28 April 2016, Aswan , Egypt, and now he is the chairman of ENCID, Chairman of the African regional Working Group of ICID, vice president honoraria of the ICID.

Dr. Harminder Singh Sidhu
Senior Research Engineer – CIMMYT – Borlaug Institute for South Asia
Dr. Harminder Singh Sidhu is a Senior Research Engineer with CIMMYT at the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA), based at Ludhiana, India. Before joining BISA/CIMMYT, he was working as Professor of Farm Machinery and Power atPunjab Agricultural University Ludhiana, India.He has 25 years’ experience and his research work was mainly focused on the machinery related to conservation Agriculture (CA) and his team started layering CA with precision water and nutrient management. Dr Sidhu has made significant contributions in capacity development on conservation agriculture for a range of stakeholders in South Asia &

beyond and organized/participated in more than 30 international workshops/trainings on CA machinery around the world in last 10 years. His research contributions have been well documented in over 50 publications. He was awarded John Dillon young scientist fellowship by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in 2006 and he has received a “Jyoti Award”& ISAE fellow from Indian Society of Agricultural Engineering (ISAE).He is also a member of the International Conservation Agriculture Advisory Panel (ICAAP) for Africa since 2015.

Dr. Alok K. Sikka
IWMI Representative – India
Dr. Alok K. Sikka is with the International Water Management Institute, Delhi Office as IWMI Representative-India since April, 2016. Prior to joining IWMI, he served as Deputy Director General (Natural Resource Management), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Technical Expert (Watershed Development) (in the rank of Additional Secretary to Govt. of India), National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA), Planning Commission, Government of India, New Delhi. He was Director of ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region, Patna and Basin Coordinator for Indo-Gangetic Basin under the CGIAR Challenge Program on

Water and Food from 2002-2007. He is Ph. D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with specialization in Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering from Utah State University, Logan, Utah. Besides working with ICAR for many years at Indian Institute of Soil & Water Conservation, Dehradun and its Research Centres, he was with National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee; visiting Professor at University of Arizona, Tucson; and Faculty at the Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA. He has more than 250 publications and is recipient of many national awards including Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
He has a rich and diverse experience of over 38 years in research, institutional and policy issues, teaching, training, extension and consultancy in the areas of natural resource management, soil & water conservation, watershed management, water harvesting, hydrologic modelling, water management, drought management, climate change, water productivity and farming systems. He has more than 250 publications in the form of research papers in the international and national Journals/Proceedings, book chapters, bulletins, reports and books to his credit. He is also recipient of many national awards and recognition.