This Award established in 2012 is conferred by IAHR during the World Congress on a local infrastructure of lasting and international importance. It has the purpose of giving international professional recognition to the work of local hydro-environment engineers, and should demonstrably have stood the test of time (and be at least one hundred years old) and be accepted and valued nationally.
2017 IAHR Hydro-Environment World Heritage Award
Terusan Wan Mat Saman (Wan Mat Saman Canal)
Terusan Wan Mat Saman was constructed by the Prime Minister of Kedah, Wan Muhamad Saman in the last quarter of the 19th century. The purpose of the canal was to improve drainage but primarily to facilitate journeys of sampan through the waterways for the transportation of paddy and other goods. The canal constructed in 1885 southwards of Alor Setar, the present state capital, towards the mountainous range of Kedah Peak (Gunung Jerai) where the water source originates. When completed in 1895 the canal is 22miles in length, width of 24 feet and has a depth of 5 feet. The canal also serve as route for flood mitigation during heavy rain in the Gunung Jerai mountain range.
The construction of the canal enables the transformation of useless swamp lands into another vast area for rice cultivation and soon attracted a large numbers of settlers along the canal. Mr. F.A. Swettenham during his visit in 1889 express his surprise by saying “the paddy fields are of greater extent than any other states I have seen elsewhere in Peninsular. The whole country up to Perlis for some distance from the coast is one vast paddy plain”.
Prior to the development of the Muda Irrigation project, the canal was under the care of the State of Kedah Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID). When Muda Irrigation Project was developed in the First Malaysia Plan (1966-1970), the canal was incorporated in the design by the Consultant to serve as one of the major trunk drain in the reticulation system. Since then the canal serve as major drain to paddy cultivation as well as urban drainage final discharge point for small town along the canal. The canal was then handed over to MADA for operation and maintenance from the Kedah State DID. More info
This is an irrigation infrastructure built in 256 BC during the Warring States period of China by the Kingdom of Qin. It is located in the Min River in Sichuan province, China, near the capital Chengdu. It is still in use today to irrigate over 5,300 square kilometers of land in the region.