WaPOR, remote sensing for water productivity



Latest news related to Palestine
The IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education in coordination with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), organized the training “Introduction and Validation of WaPOR data” in Ramallah, Palestine, from 11 to 14 Sep...

An EBRD-FAO stakeholders’ inception workshop was conducted in Jericho, Palestine to kickstart a set of activities revolving around the use of WaPOR data and ground data to work towards the maximisation of water productivity of the date palm. Around twenty-four participants gathered to dis...

The International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), a Mediterranean intergovernmental organisation composed of 13 Member States (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia)
A brief 3-day introductory training was held in Amman, Jordan, between the 3rd and 5th July 2022, to provide 32 Jordanian stakeholders and 6 Palestinian with the basic skills needed...
About Palestine

The Occupied Palestinian Territory has a total area of 6 020 km2. The West Bank is a landlocked territory on the west bank of the Jordan River with a total area of 5 655 km2, surrounded by Jordan to the east and Israel to the south, west and north. Most of the Palestinian territories in the West Bank are still under full Israeli control (Area C). Despite the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Palestinian farmers have restricted access to land in buffer or border areas (40% of Gazan agricultural land).

The climate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is predominantly of the Eastern Mediterranean type with cool and rainy winters, hot dry summers and an annual rainfall of 100-700 mm. Water resources include mainly groundwater and some surface water. 20% of Palestine's total land area is used for agriculture (90% of it located in the West Bank and 10% in the Gaza Strip). Rainfed agriculture accounts for 81%, while irrigated land accounts for 19% and is mainly located in the Gaza Strip and the Jordan Valley.

It is important to study both irrigation efficiency and water productivity. The efficiency of irrigation systems is good, ranging from 75 - 90% for drip irrigation and 65 - 75% for sprinkler irrigation. Most losses occur in the water transport systems. There are no actual estimates for water productivity (biophysical or economic) except for isolated statistics.

Project milestones:
August 2022: Palestine becomes a partner of WaPOR
December 2022: project inception workshop
2023: field data collection to take place

Pilot areas

Jericho is an intensively cultivated and irrigated area in the West Bank. Cultivation patterns are diverse, ranging from irrigated trees to date palms, bananas and various open and protected vegetables. Furthermore, farmers in Jericho are organised in various socio-economic organisations: agricultural cooperatives, water user associations, the private sector is represented by date palm companies, large farmers and many small farmers. The main water resources are groundwater, obtained through groundwater wells and springs. Due to the expansion of agricultural activities, other non-conventional water resources are also used, such as treated wastewater and, to a lesser extent, rainwater collected in ponds on the sides of the wadi.

Farmers are facing a critical problem of water scarcity, which continues to worsen. Therefore, there is an urgent need to monitor and control groundwater abstraction, improve irrigation performance and efficiency, and increase water productivity. The project will use WaPOR data through a collective approach with all stakeholders, primarily to assess the gap between current and attainable production. The aim is to increase water productivity and efficiency and ensure sustainability of water supply by exploring WA in the pilot area and various governance aspects.
WaPOR partnerships in Palestine

In Palestine, the WaPOR 2 project is implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Palestinian Water Authority, the Palestinian Meteorological Department and the Environmental Quality Authority. It also includes academic institutions and works with civil society, which gathers the main stakeholders interested in water issues.

© FAO/Kai Wiedenhoefer