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Location: Office of International Research Programs

2009 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.

3. Progress Report
This report serves to document progress made under a specific cooperative agreement between ARS and the Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC), Palestinian Authority. As of now, there are four active metrological stations located in the West Bank. The stations are located in Zababdy in the north, Qalqilia in the center, Hebron in the south and Jericho in the Jordan Valley. The rainfall during the 2008-2009 rain season was as follow: Zababdy, 350.4mm; Hebron, 430.5mm; Qalqilia, 450.4mm; and the lowest was registered at Jericho station at 76.7mm. During this period, PARC project cooperators traveled to Israel and Jordan for IMIS related training and network maintenance. The training covered meteorological station installation, connection of the climatic sensors, data acquisition and maintenance. The Palestinian cooperators worked closely with U.S., Israeli, and Jordanian cooperators to build and maintain a network of agricultural meteorological stations with an Internet site to improve knowledge of crop water use for several crops in the region, and to attain a positive outlook for future collaboration on the pressing water issues in the region. PARC provides the technical support for the MERIMIS Web site. The website is constantly updated and utilized by both, farmers and researchers in the MERIMIS cooperating countries;

4. Accomplishments