2008 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To develop and improve water management models and irrigation scheduling practices at both the field and watershed scale in the United States and the Middle East.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
In conjunction with the Department of State, conduct necessary theoretical and applied research, and build capacity through necessary education and training; thereby, establishing the technological and human infrastructure required to achieve long-term change in water conservation in the Middle East.
Formal collaborative agreements (SCAs) will be established with regional partners that include the National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer (Jordan), the Cooperative Monitoring Center,(Jordan) the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (Shufat-East Jerusalem, PNA, via Israel), the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), and the Ahali-Center for Community Development, Israel.
This report serves to document activities conducted under a reimbursable agreement with the U.S. Department of State and replaces an agreement that ended in December 2007 (0210-22310-002-44R). Progress in the IMIS project continued supporting scientific cooperation among Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian scientists and agricultural engineers. The project has successfully implemented improved irrigation scheduling methods to increase crop water use efficiency. Accomplishments include building a regional meteorological network linked thorough a centralized data center and internet server hosted and managed by PARC-Ramallah, thus providing reliable weather data that is available to the cooperating partners and other stakeholders. The first Weighing Lysimeter in Jordan is now available to Jordanian scientists for research on crop-water use determination. The project sponsored more than ten technical and scientific training and exchange visits and several farmers training workshops and local demonstrations. ARS-Parlier hosted three scientists from Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority to undertake cooperative research. Seven regional workshops and other scientific meetings were held in the region, allowing scientific and technological exchanges on water technology and discussions of project progress and lessons learned. Several publications and informational materials addressing crop water requirement and water use efficiency, and other informational material were disseminated to extension workers and farmers in the cooperating countries, providing project findings and guidelines for efficient water use methodologies and technologies to apply. Meteorological data for Israel, Jordan and Palestine can be retrieved from the IMIS network website: www.merimis.org, which is updated regularly and modified to reflect project progress. Several articles were published and distributed in Israel, Jordan and Palestine highlighting the IMIS findings and accomplishments. The Royal Scientific Society – Information Technology Center (RSS-ITC) Amman, Jordan assisted NCARTT in updating the IMIS website at NCARTT, which was launched in July 2008 and provides water requirements information to farmers using short text messages to their cellular phones. Two graduate students are conducting research work supporting their advanced degrees using data generated from the IMIS weather stations in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley. The project is also promoting the use of treated wastewater and studying its impact on crops.