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Amgad Elmahdi (IWMI) • 2019 IFPRI Egypt Seminar "Options for improving irrigation water efficiency"


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As part of the seminar held by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in collaboration with IWMI, World fish and ICARDA “Options for improving irrigation water efficiency for sustainable agricultural development”.

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Amgad Elmahdi (IWMI) • 2019 IFPRI Egypt Seminar "Options for improving irrigation water efficiency"

  1. 1. Water and Agricultural Productivity Overview Dr Amgad Elmahdi Head of MENA Region-IWMI
  2. 2. Who we Are • Think tank conducting research to generative Innovative Water Solutions for Sustainable Development • Provider of science for a transformative agenda (science- based products and tools) Food – To improve food security will sustainably managing water resources and ecosystems. Climate – To adapt to and mitigate climate change while building resilience to water related disasters and disruption. Growth – To reduce poverty and advance inclusion with equality as agriculture transforms, energy transitions and urbanization intensifies. • Facilitator of learning to strengthen capacity and achieve uptake of research findings
  3. 3. Why 60% - 90%
  4. 4. Projected Demand in MENA by 2050 m3 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 250000 300000 350000 400000 Algeria Bahrain Djibouti Egypt GazaStrip Iran Iraq Israel Jordan kuwait lebanon libya Malta morocco Oman Qatar SaudiArabia Syria tunisia UAE WestBank Yemen Total Water Demand 2001-2010 Water Demand 2041-2050
  5. 5. Agricultural Water Productivity Water productivity: • Output (kg/$/kcal) in relation to water consumed • Multiple sources of water • Multiple scales • Multiple, sequential (re)use within a basin Objectives: • Meet rising demands for food from a growing, wealthier, and increasingly urbanized population, in light of water scarcity • Respond to pressures to re-allocate water from agriculture to cities and ensure that water is available for environmental uses • Contribute to poverty reduction and economic growth > 350 journal articles, reports and other documents on water productivity: methods, tools and applied research in diverse settings
  6. 6. Agricultural Water Productivity Lessons learned from 20 years of applied research  Increase the productivity per unit of water consumed/withdrawn (e.g., change crop varieties or type, improve timing/application of water, non-water inputs)  Reduce non-beneficial depletion (e.g., non-beneficial evaporation, flows to sinks)  Reallocate water among users (e.g., from lower to higher value uses)  Tap uncommitted flows (e.g., storage, water reuse)  Policy change and donor investment Beyond Crop per drop To More Crop per drop and Kwat
  7. 7. Management of irrigation water at the command level: The water consumed by the rice plants is partitioned into transpired and evaporated components. Spatial assessments of WP are increasingly being used by IFIs to: • establish a baseline against which to evaluate changes in WP • identify opportunities for more efficient water management Water Accounting
  8. 8. Improving water production • Shift in cropping pattern (from rice to wheat) • Increasing irrigation efficiency (60% water losses in irrigation) - Water saving technologies and management • Use of non-conventional water sources: -treated waste water -de-salinated water • Drainage
  9. 9. Improving Agricultural Productivity At Rainfed: • Soil and water conservation techniques • Crop selection • Storage for supplemental irrigation At Farm: • improving water use efficiency • diversify crops At Scheme: • Irrigation modernization ( Social to productive, S to D, Cent to decent) • Empowering people ( state run to Farmer associations) At National and Int.: • Reform of national water and land policies • Transboundary agreements • Investments Capacity ICT Markets and Credits Investments Institutions & Governance Integrated Approach
  10. 10. Reducing the agricultural water productivity gap- Capacity Building Solutions-WAPOR Capacity needs assessment Develop, design, pilot and evaluate potential solutions to increase water productivity Identify solutions, build capacity to use them
  11. 11. Locally appropriate solutions: Wetting Front Detectors • Simple irrigation tools to improve the timing and quantity of water applied and to build farmer capacity • Quantification of the effect on crop and water productivity as well as soil moisture regimes. Water accounting to assess the extent to which water productivity increases have an effect on basin water use and availability Indicator up: Field capacity at the top layer is reached Indicator up: Field capacity is reached within the entire root zone: over irrigation 2/3rd of the effective root zone (cm) 1/2 of the effective root zone (cm)
  12. 12. Locally appropriate solutions: Chameleon Sensor Below 2/3 of the effective root zone Chameleon reader 1/2 of the effective root zone 1/3 of the effective root zone Wet soil Bed Furrow Gypsum blocks
  13. 13. Locally - Nationally appropriate solutions: ICT Field conditions Groundwater resource management Aquifer Surface water resource use and management Data collection, processing and analysis Crop water needs, ETO, soil moisture, weather LARI CNRS NGOs FAO Farmers
  14. 14. Take home messages • Development of land and water resources will need to be much more strategic; • Agriculture has to improve water productivity (more per drop and Kwat) • We have to empower the water users • Investments are needed • Integrated approach
  15. 15. Thank You Dr Amgad Elmahdi Head of MENA Region
  16. 16. Effect of IE Improvements • On farm Crop per drop River flow