Water benchmarks project: Phase II launched

May 15, 2010 at 10:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Amman, Jordan: launching meeting for Phase II of the Water Benchmarks Project

The second phase of the Water Benchmarks Project (2010-2013) has been launched, with support from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD). The project, coordinated by ICARDA, aims to improve water productivity in agriculture, and encourage sustainable use of scarce water resources. Activities will cover ten countries, with benchmark research sites in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco; and satellite sites in Algeria, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Sudan, Syria and Tunisia.

Project launch meetings were held in March and April in Jordan, Egypt and Morocco, attended by the full range of national partners – farmers, research centers, universities, NGOs, extension services and development projects. Project outlines – and detailed workplans for the first season – have been developed and agreed upon, and activity coordinators identified for each project component.

During the first phase, the project developed/optimized and tested a range of technologies for three agroecosystems: rainfed systems, irrigated systems, and dry rangelands. Phase II aims primarily to disseminate these technologies more widely, and to further strengthen research and development capacity in each partner country. In addition, research will focus on systems modeling in each agroecosystem: watershed modeling, monitoring and management in rangeland areas; water and nutrient flows in irrigated areas; and optimization of water allocation and utilization at field, farm and broader levels in rainfed production systems. Other studies will examine socieoeconomic, policy and institutional factors, and ways to rationalize water use in agriculture.

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