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:
Oversight was maintained through the exchange of emails and telephone calls. 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. Technical training was carried out during June 2013, in the West Bank. The Technical Training, “Olive Irrigation strategies focusing on irrigation technology and application,” was held in Ramallah, the West Bank. The training was organized in two parts: 1) a full day of classroom training; and 2) field training. Actual metrological data for Israel, Jordan and Palestine can be retrieved from the IMIS website: www.merimis.org. The IMIS project is making a gradual impact and a measurable increase in water use efficiency (WUE) - a combination of increased crop yields with decreased water use per land unit. The process of change and review of current scheduling methods and irrigation systems by itself, in addition to implementation of rational irrigation scheduling using IMIS recommendations, continues to making considerable improvements in WUE. Together the expected increase in water use efficiency can be estimated to be 5% to 25%. This increase in WUE will enable decrease of water allocation to agriculture, without decreasing total production