Short Course and Observational Study Tour on Irrigation Efficiency
Irrigated agriculture dominates freshwater use across the Middle East accounting for more than 80% of all water withdrawals. Climate change, growing populations, food insecurity, increasing water scarcity, and irrigation’s reputation for poor water use efficiency, are focusing government attention on irrigated agriculture as the most effective means of saving water and increasing productivity – more crop per drop. With this in mind, the first working theme of the new Blue Peace in the Middle East structure was chosen as agricultural water use efficiency.
In this regard, one of the project components coordinated and implemented by SUEN as the Coordination Office is capacity development programs and within this scope the second of the programs was held in Izmir on 11-15 October 2021 under the central theme of “Modern Approaches to Improving Irrigation Water Use Efficiency” by the participation of irrigation experts from partner countries, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.
Participants were given information on below topics followed by discussions to share knowledge and experiences in each country.
- Future of irrigation and sustainability
- Irrigation water use efficiency, water and economic productivity
- Utilization possibilities of marginal water in agriculture
- Master planning of irrigation investments
- Governance of irrigation schemes and participatory irrigation
- Principles for irrigation fees and tariff setting and cost recovery
- Monitoring and evaluation (performance assessment) of irrigation systems
- Modern irrigation technologies and practices: drip irrigation and fertigation, sprinkler irrigation
- Deficit irrigation and adaptation of irrigation plans for drought
- Use of remote sensing and GIS in agricultural water management
- Soil salinity and sustainable salinity management
- Basin sectoral water allocation plans
In addition, field visits were paid to WUA’s and irrigation facilities to observe the practices in-situ.
In the last session of the program (overall evaluation), country experts shared their experiences and opinions for the way forward to achieve higher efficiencies in agricultural water use.