FAO announces its efficient water and irrigation project for sustainable use of resources

FAO announces its efficient water and irrigation project for sustainable use of resources

16/03/2020

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) in the Syrian Arab Republic conducted an inception meeting to launch a project to improve monitoring of water resources, and water management/irrigation practices in the country. The meeting took place at the Damascus Water Supply and Sewerage Authority and was attended by staff of the MoWR, of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform (including agricultural research), the National Remote Sensing Organization, INGOs and NGOs. In addition, FAO’s Regional Programme Leader from Cairo, Jean-Marc Faures also contributed to the event.

The project will restore and reactivate two key water-monitoring centers in Damascus and Homs, which can underpin sustainable recovery of livelihoods. The centres will be equipped with an updated database, monitoring applications, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and tools for collection of water resources information.

“Water and irrigation are vital for farmers to restart their agricultural production activities; knowledge about efficient resource use helps them protect their assets, increase their crop production and sustain their livelihoods,” said Mike Robson, FAO Representative in the Syrian Arab Republic.

FAO’s vision: improved cooperation on sustainable water for irrigation in Syria

Water is the key to farming and food production and to rural livelihoods in the Syrian Arab Republic. The FAO water team, led by Wael Seif, is working with partners at MoWR to develop a road map to restore irrigation systems in the country based on validated assessments of damage.  This will involve the use of modern technologies (such as remote sensing) and on ground studies of natural resource availability; rehabilitation work; introduction of more efficient irrigation practices; and restoration of technical capacity in water management, which has been lost during the crisis, through classroom training and on-the-job training.

Taken together, this will be a significant contribution towards the Syrian Arab Republic achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 6: “By 2030, to substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity.”