2013 IWC Masters Scholarship recipient interview - Hans Woldring
What is your professional background?
I started my professional career in the provision of irrigation scheduling services to farmers, and spent over 20 years as an agricultural consultant, working with irrigation farmers (businesses) in Australia and internationally. Improving the physical and financial productivity of water was a challenge that needed answers. A consulting practice I managed for six years was responsible for the management of four privately owned off river irrigation schemes servicing over 50,000 ha of irrigated area.
Leaving Australia 11 years ago, I became the founding General Director of a farmer’s co-operative in Tajikistan, before joining the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Philippines, in 2007.
What role are you in now?
Presently I work as an Agricultural and Natural Resources Specialist at ADB headquarters (Manila) in their South Asia Department. As an operations specialist, I prepare technical assistance or investment projects in the agricultural sector, for which ADB provides either loan or grant financial resources to implement. My work focus is currently in Nepal and India.
Why did you choose that professional path?
I have had a long interest in contributing to agricultural development. By working 20 years in the irrigated agriculture sector in Australia before commencing a career in less developed countries, I gained a solid grounding in the elements of commercial and competitive irrigated agriculture. In another 20 years I would like to think that, in a water scarce environment, I contributed to the improved physical and financial productivity of water in South and / or Central Asia.
What attracted you to the IWC Masters program?
To better contribute to the challenges of water scarcity in Asia, I felt a need to deepen my knowledge of integrated water resource management, and the development and use of economic tools for the management of water scarcity. The MIWM is recognised as a premier course with leading institutions, and I am grateful to have been accepted into the MIWM program.
How do you hope to use what you learn in the program in your current work?
In my work we provide water resource policy and strategy advice to governments, finance to assist with the transition costs of policy implementation, and design and finance (i) investments in water storage and distribution infrastructure, and (ii) activities to improve water productivity at the irrigation and farm system levels. By undertaking the MIWM, I hope to be more effective in the provision of policy advice and advocacy to governments, and more competent to design programs and investments which meet the future challenge of water scarcity.
How do you hope the program will help your career?
I hope the program will enable me to better serve the needs of ADB’s client countries with their water scarcity challenges. I expect to be working in the water resource sector for the balance of my career, and the MIWM will help me to be more competent in my work.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I look forward to getting started!