ICE WaRM Helps Restore the Cradle of Civilisation

Friday, 30 November, 2012

Marshland between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

Marshland between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

Three thousand years after the introduction of irrigation by the people of Mesopotamia, labelled by classical scholars as the Cradle of Civilisation, ICE WaRM is helping expose their descendants to the latest Australian water resources management techniques.



ICE WaRM recently has hosted two delegations from the region, now known as Iraq – a two-week programme for 10 senior water officials, followed by a four-week intensive programme for 22 emerging leaders of the nation’s Ministry of Water Resources. Both programmes were implemented with Austraining International, supported by AusAID through the Iraq Partnership Facility managed by Coffey International.

The senior Iraqi representatives focused on policy-level discussions with key Australian water managers in Canberra, Melbourne and Shepparton in Victoria and took part in the joint International Commission for Irrigation and Drainage–Australian Irrigation Limited Conference in Adelaide.

The emerging leadership group was involved in hands-on short courses and practical field trips studying water resources issues in Adelaide, the South Australian Riverland, Canberra and Sydney. In particular, they studied the latest irrigation and salinity management systems in Australia, focusing on field technologies and supporting data management.

Iraqi officials are dealing with the impact of the conflicts in the region since 2003, as well as severe salinity, supply issues and complex relationships with the upstream nations of Turkey and Syria.

These latest Professional Development Programmes follow the success the AusAID scholarships which helped more than 40 Iraqi students join ICE WaRM’s award-winning Master of Water Resources programmes based at the University of Adelaide.

Interest has been expressed in having more groups of Iraqi water professionals come to Australia to undertake ICE WaRM postgraduate and non-award training programmes.