The award was presented to Wallender at the 2013 ASABE Annual International Meeting
Wesley W. Wallender, P.E., was named the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Eng. (ASABE) 2013 ADS Soil and Water Engineering Award recipient for his accomplishments and contributions to irrigation engineering, hydrology, watershed management and technical literature through research and education.
At the University of California, Davis, Wallender is professor of the hydrology and engineering, biological and agricultural engineering department, and land, air and water resources department. The ASABE award, sponsored by ADS, a supplier of agricultural and storm water management products, recognizes Wallender's contributions and leadership in the science and management of water.
"Professor Wallender is highly respected worldwide for his expertise in irrigation engineering and for the extent of his research program," stated Tori Durliat, director of marketing for ADS. "For more than 30 years he has extensively studied irrigation and provided invaluable contributions not only to the industry but to the world's population. He is an eminent researcher, distinguished teacher and respected author, and we are very pleased to present him with this award."
Wallender connected the spatial variability of infiltration characteristics and soil water to the analysis, design and evaluation of surface irrigation systems. By linking spatially distributed hydrology models and economic models, he was able to predict poverty in developed and developing countries. He developed a nanoscale-based model to predict saturated hydraulic conductivity as clay soils deform during groundwater pumping, and he quantified water requirements for human diets in Africa, France and the U.S. to demonstrate diets high in animal products require far more water than vegetal diets.
During the past 31 years, Wallender’s research program has grown and expanded from the study of the hydraulics of surface irrigation to his current, globally prominent research focused primarily on the interdisciplinary analysis of regional, irrigated watersheds and the application of geographic information systems and spatial analysis.
He also quantified the reduction in winter pesticide runoff when crops are irrigated shortly after pesticide application and initiated the use of spatially distributed hydrology models to analyze and predict water and salinity in irrigated agroecosystems. In addition, Wallender developed a method to predict irrigated land use within the limits of a groundwater system to attenuate deep percolation from the root zone; such predictions are needed to maintain root zone salinity for sustainable agriculture.
Wallender has authored or coauthored more than 175 refereed journal articles and book chapters and has given numerous invited presentations to audiences worldwide. He recently completed editing the second edition of the American Society of Civil Engineers Manual of Practice titled Agricultural Salinity Assessment and Management, considered a leading reference manual for irrigation professionals.
A 31-year member of ASABE, Wallender has provided leadership to Soil and Water division steering, publication, surface irrigation, and hydrology committees and has served as the division’s editor and associate editor. He recently chaired the Publications council and is currently serving on the Nominating committee. Among his many honors are awards from ASABE, including several Technical Reviewer special recognitions, a Leadership citation, and election to Fellow in 2009. His professional memberships and activities include the American Society of Civil Engineers, International Journal of Water Resources Engineering, and three advisory boards.
Called one of its most prestigious honors by the Society, the ADS Soil and Water Engineering Award recognizes noteworthy contributions to the advancement of soil and water engineering in teaching, research, planning, design construction, management or materials development.
ADS has sponsored the ASABE award since 1966. It was presented to Wallender at the 2013 ASABE Annual International Meeting.