2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this cooperative research project is to develop technology and methodology for efficient use of water in agricultural systems suited to dry land climates by applying Irrigation Management Information System (IMIS) techniques.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
1. As appropriate, conduct research and technology transfer, and cooperate on the Irrigation Management Information System (IMIS) project, which is part of a cooperative research project bringing together participants from Israel, Jordan, Palestine, and the United States to Improve water management by providing data for scheduling irrigation and other crop management decisions to increase irrigation efficiency in the Middle East and The United States.
2. Establish an IMIS research and extension sites to represent important agricultural production systems in Palestine. Evapotranspiration (ET) models for several conventional and specialized crops will be evaluated for the designated sites and prioritized according to applicability criteria. Soil and plant water-status measurement instrumentation will be evaluated, adapted and integrated into the system according to the same applicability criteria.
3. Conduct collaborative regional research on measurement of crop water use and calculation of crop coefficients for key crops, such as cucumbers, peppers, and specialty crops.
4. Establish interaction with local universities, farmers, farm advisors, and extension personnel in order to implement the IMIS system to ensure wide acceptance and sustainability.
During this reporting period, PARC provided the overall maintenance to the IMIS weather stations network and collected data from all the stations on regular basis. The data collection is done automatically and processed to the centralized database. Thirteen weather stations were installed in the 2003-2006 period and need maintenance and replacement parts, both of which continue to be problematic. PARC and its sister organization in Jerusalem, the Arab Agronomist Association (AAA), hosted an IMIS workshop which was held in Jerusalem on 7 September 2012. The IMIS partners presented: progress on the project; presentation of work plan for 2012 – 2013; new elements, subjects and technologies to be include in the projects; technical and professional cooperation between the partners in the region; and new technologies such as Sonic anemometers, including why they are needed and how to install and use them.
Further, PARC/AAA assisted ARS in organizing a training program that was designed for novice to expert water resources modelers as well as agricultural economists interested in learning basic as well as advanced water resources and related economics modeling methodologies. The 3-day traning was cunducted in Jerusalem in September 2012. This training was supported by the Department of State under the Middle East Regional Water Databanks Executive Action Team (EXACT). The training focused on moderate and expert modelers who want to acquire new modeling skills that use advanced GIS techniques. This was accomplished by using peer-reviewed case studies that use two models: the Agricultural Drainage and Pesticide Transport (ADAPT); and Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT).
Oversight was maintained through the exchange of emails and telephone calls.