Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Colorado Institute for Irrigation Management

Colorado Institute for Irrigation Management (CIIM)


The Colorado Institute for Irrigation Management (CIIM) coordinates resources of Colorado State University and its experienced professional faculty in the area of irrigation management. The CIIM provides integrated interdisciplinary training, technical assistance, and project management services worldwide to organizations involved in all phases of irrigation management. In addition, CIIM has responsibility for Colorado State’s large-scale interdisciplinary irrigation project activities.

With access to the University’s vast resources of expertise and experience for its special courses and other activities, CIIM’s resources include Colorado State’s computers; the University’s hydraulic and irrigation laboratories; the National Technological University (worldwide satellite communication technical training courses); Colorado State’s engineering facilities, world famous for irrigation research and hydraulic engineering; and comparative data bases on lrrigation Management issues in a number of countries.

CIIM and Colorado State University are committed to excellence in training. CIIM conducts custom study tours, workshops, intensive short courses, and field trips for a wide variety of irrigation topics.  CIIM’s activities involve:

  1. Research
  2. Technical Assistance and Development
  3. Education and Training

The Colorado Institute for Irrigation Management (CIIM) was established in March 1986 for the purpose of promoting and coordinating the capability and activities of Colorado State University in all aspects of irrigation development, improvement and management, and to promote interdisciplinary participation on campus in irrigation activities. CIIM carries on its activities in the State of Colorado and elsewhere in the United States, and in other countries.


  1. To provide technical assistance in irrigation water management and utilization.
  2. To promote research in irrigation management consistent with the goal of contributing to the knowledge base and enhancing research in this field.
  3. To provide training and educational programs on campus, elsewhere in the United States, and in host countries on any aspect of irrigation and irrigation management.
  4. To maintain a technical resource entity specializing in the processes of utilizing water for agricultural production.
  5. To contribute to international cooperation and understanding through professional activities of CIIM and other University programs by participation in national and international organizations and professional societies, and through the dissemination of information and training methods.

Success Stories

Advancing Water Resources and Irrigation Management in Egypt: Colorado State gained this opportunity to work with the MPWWR because of its worldwide recognition as a leader in research, training, and development in water resources and irrigation. Through the Consortium for Intemational Development and with funding from the United States Agency for International Development, Colorado State has led three successful projects in Egypt:

  1. Objective:

    The goal of CSU’s first project in Egypt was to improve the social and economic conditions of Egypt’s small farmers by developing and using improved irrigation water management and associated practices that increase agricultural production, promote efficient water use, and decrease drainage problems.  


    An interdisciplinary approach, focusing on problem identification, search for solutions, and testing solutions through pilot programs led to several major accomplishments:

    • Extensive field data were collected and analyzed, providing a valuable description of the nature and use of water and soil resources, irrigation infrastructure, crop productivity, and socioeconomic factors in Egypt’s irrigated agriculture.
    • Major constraints to on-farm water management were identified and described and measures for improvement were evaluated, including precision land leveling with furrow and border irrigation, improved crop management, use of irrigation scheduling, enhanced design of basin irrigation, etc.
    • Improvements in water delivery were introduced, such as rehabilitation and lining of distributary canals and farm channels; implementation and testing of structures for improved flow regulation; and enhanced procedures for design, construction, and management of water delivery systems.
    • Methodologies were developed and tested for organizing farmers into water users’ associations to enhance irrigation water management.
    • A comprehensive database for farm management and planning was established for use in economic evaluation of alternatives for improved water management.
    • Advanced academic and non-degree training was provided to numerous Egyptian professionals and a successful ongoing short course in on-farm water management was established.
    • Twenty-four specific recommendations for improving irrigated agriculture were made to the Nation of Egypt for implementing at regional and national levels.
  2. Objective:

    Building on the EWUP’s findings, the EIIP focused on strengthening the capabilities of the WRC in addressing Egypt’s water problems, and developing practical procedures for rehabilitating the irrigation-water-delivery system that could be rapidly extended throughout Egypt.


    • Water supply and distribution to farms were improved through structural rehabilitation and by developing a group of specialists who could identify problems and provide solutions.
    • An innovative WRC plan for conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water during periods of peak demand was further explored and evaluated.
    • A cadre of administrators, agronomists, engineers, managers, and sociologists were trained in modern methodologies of irrigation system evaluation and improvement through advanced academic programs, non-degree training, and short courses.
    • Further progress was made in instituting water users’ associations and an Irrigation Advisory Service within the MPWWR.
  3. Objective:

    An extension of the EIIP’s goal of strengthening the WRC, the NWRCP sought to upgrade the research institutes of the WRC so they could more effectively assist the MPWWR in meeting the challenges of managing Egypt’s land and water resources.  


    • More than 450 person-months of technical assistance were provided to the II institutes and the director’s office in fulfillment of the WRC’s research mission.
    • About 30 Egyptian professionals received Ph.D. degrees and 45 received M.S. degrees from American universities in fields related to water resources.
    • More than 100 person-months of short-term technical training were provided to staff members from the research institutes.
    • A modern information processing, storage, and retrieval system was set up at the WRC headquarters, and a new library system has been established.
    • A satellite campus of Colorado State University was established in Cairo, and seven courses were offered for credit to numerous Egyptian professionals.

Irrigation Improvement Project in Egypt: CSU has played a key role in assisting Egypt to advance water resources and irrigation management. The University looks forward to more opportunities to work with Egyptian colleagues as they face the water resources challenges of the 21st century.


Colorado Institute for Irrigation Management
Department of Civil Engineering
Colorado State University
B212 Engineering Building
Fort Collins, Colorado 80523-1372
Telephone: 970-491-5247
Fax: 970-491-6787

Co-Directors: Dr. Timothy Gates and Dr. Terence Podmore