2011 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.
During this reporting period, a Middle East Regional Irrigation Management Information Systems (IMIS) workshop was held in Jordan in November 2010, with twenty two participants representing all of the partner countries, to present and evaluate the results from each country, strengthen cooperation, offer recommendations to boost the project for the next three years, conduct a site visit of the weighing lysimeter in Deir-Alla Regional station, and visit farms in the Jordan Valley. The benefit of the weather station network was discussed in light of several concerns. First, the reliability and availability of data through the project web site (http://www.merimis.org), and the data integration with the IMIS network in Jordan is incomplete. There have been long-term issues with the timeliness of weather station repair, maintenance and instrument calibration, and checking calibration. A lack of spare parts and financial support for the personnel needs was cited. Thus, the network is playing an essential role in the project. There is a certain degree of unrealistic expectation with regards to the immediate utility of the weather station network for on-farm irrigation scheduling. The means to communicate irrigation scheduling information and advice to farmers is still under discussion; it is apparent that different approaches will be required for the different size farms (large commercial-scale versus small part-time) and types (open field, plastic houses, level of training). The existence or lack of farmer/irrigation associations is a key factor in the success and method of information dissemination.
Reports for the individual projects can be found under accession numbers: 409263 (Arab Agronomists Association), 415243 (El Hawakeer-Assc Comm Ag Env Dev); 414887 (NCARE-Jordan); 414885 (Agricultural Development Association – PARC)