“Coping with water scarcity – the role of agriculture – Phase 3: Strengthening national capacities” focuses on strengthening national capacities regarding possible interventions for improved water management in general, and dealing with the agricultural component of water scarcity in particular.
|Government of Italy Cooperative Programme
||Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
2 373 000
The project will provide a detailed assessment of agricultural water use, including its productivity, its value-in-use, and its efficiency during the water use process, giving the countries handles to adapt their water policy and improve their water management in the future through strategic interventions to increase their capacity to cope with water scarcity.
Expected impacts and beneficiaries
By following both a regional and a national approach, the project aims at strengthening national capacities to cope with water scarcity through the improved knowledge of their water resources situation and increased technical skills in agricultural water use.
The ultimate beneficiaries of the project will be the communities, who will benefit from development programmes and interventions utilizing water for agricultural production more efficiently. The primary beneficiaries are national government institutions who will benefit, through a set of decision support instruments, of improved ability to manage available water resources.
Other beneficiaries will be donors, international and local NGOs, educational institutions and the private sector, all of whom will have access to improved decision support instruments for planning, programming and implementing their response to water scarcity.
The projects outputs to support the strengthening of national capacities are the following:
(+) Increased capacity for water demand management in large-scale irrigation systems
(+) Increased capacity to enhance water productivity in agriculture
One objective is to control water at secondary and more importantly at tertiary levels to make water allocation demand driven.
Modern and flexible irrigation systems with reliable irrigation water delivery services give farmers and water managers more options to reduce water losses and invest in modern irrigation techniques.
- Regional capacity building workshop in the use of RAP (Rapid Appraisal Performance of large collective irrigation networks) and MASSCOTE (MApping System and Services for Canal Operation TEchniques) methodologies to evaluate and analyze the performance of large scale irrigation systems.
- Apply RAP and MASSCOTE techniques in the three countries to evaluate and analyze large scale irrigation systems, and test possible improvements in water management practices in pilot areas
- Develop modernization plans for large scale irrigation schemes.
(+) Improved use of treated wastewater for irrigation at Iaat Wastewater Treatment Plant in Lebanon
Improving water productivity requires an increase in crop yields, which can be obtained by changing crop, soil and water management. In rainfed agriculture, bridging crop water deficits during dry spells through supplementary irrigation stabilizes production and increases water productivity dramatically. In irrigated agriculture, water productivity can be increased by reducing water losses from drainage, seepage and non-productive evaporation.
Another possibility to increase water productivity in agriculture is the re-use of treated wastewater for irrigation.
- Regional capacity building workshop in the use of CROPWAT and AquaCrop to calculate irrigation water requirements and predict yield response to water under different water management regimes and climatic conditions.
- Regional capacity building workshop on safe solutions for the re-use of treated wastewater for irrigation and the use of sludge from water treatment plants as fertiliser and soil conditioner for agricultural purposes.
- Apply AquaCrop under local conditions in the three countries and test possible changes in crop water management practices improve water productivity in pilot areas.
- Information campaigns in the three countries to promote changes in water management practices in order to improve water productivity.
(+) Contribution to a comprehensive water use policy and strategy
Even though a high percentage of the Lebanese population, especially in urban areas is served by a sewer system, the re-use of treated wastewater is not commonly practiced.
FAO has assisted in the development of guidelines and in building national capacities so as to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of the re-use of treated effluent and sludge.
Wastewater reuse in agriculture presents both technical and institutional challenges which need to be addressed to optimize use of such water for irrigation.
- A strategy for the efficient use of treated wastewater for agricultural production taking into account optimal irrigation techniques and choice of suitable crops.
- A fully developed and operational pilot area, equipped with modern irrigation equipment adapted for the use of treated wastewater, selected with the participation and contribution of beneficiary farmers, to be used for demonstration and training purposes.
- An awareness building campaign for all stakeholders concerned with the re-use of treated effluent and sludge, including farmers, personnel of the Water Establishments who are responsible for the management of the waste water plant, and government personnel of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water and Energy.
(+) Contribution to water harvesting development in Jordan
Currently, four ministries deal with the management of water resources: the ministry of environment, the ministry of housing, the ministry of irrigation and water resources and the ministry of agriculture.
Though the ministries collaborate with regard to water resources management, there is no water resources policy in place that assures that the available water resources are distributed fairly over water using sectors - increasing population can benefit equitably.
- Identifying an effective organisation for an interministerial Water Vision Unit, responsible for developing water management policies and strategies, making maximum use of existing structures and capacity of institutions within the Government.
- A tailor made capacity building programme in water policy development for staff from the different ministries involved in water resources management and development.
- Assessment of legal and institutional requirements in support of a comprehensive national water policy
- Development of a comprehensive proposal for a national water resources management policy and water strategies.
In recent years, low rainfall and successive drought waves jeopardized the livelihoods of many rural communities who depend on rainfed agriculture, especially livestock breeders.
Water harvesting can give them more security for livestock breeders and may also help to irrigate fodder crops.
Maintaining linkage with rural community in poverty hotspot is targeted.
- A fully developed and operational pilot area, with appropriate water harvesting equipment for agricultural production in general and livestock production in particular, selected with the participation and contribution of beneficiary farmers, to be used for demonstration and training purposes.
- A training program on water harvesting technology for capacity building of all stakeholders involved in the implementation and use of water harvesting schemes.
- A strategy for the development of water harvesting in the project region, to serve as input in the national water resources strategy and pilot for other regions.