Webinar on the Role of ICT technologies for sustainable irrigation management and scheduling (MENA Region-Case studies)
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Date: Wednesday, 07 April 2021 at 17:30 Hours (IST) 

This year’s World Water Day focuses on what water means to people, its true value and how we can better protect this vital resource. In the MENA region, it is a systemic crisis where the region faces extreme climate change mainly droughts with some fluctuations with floods, which exacerbate the water scarcity problem and lead to loss of biodiversity and land degradation, besides high population rate, malnutrition and conflict and fragility. Given the high population growth, scarcity of arable land and water resources most of MENA food production policies and strategies are increasingly providing efforts to increase production per use of resources to achieve food security. Promoting and adopting information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is on of the most effective and promoting means in upgrading of land and water management and increasing food production and digitizing the agricultural sector.

This Webinar will introduce various low-cost ICT, techniques and approaches and their use in irrigation management in the MENA Region. It will show examples from three countries in the region, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon bringing insights about:

  • Information system applications in irrigation management and water saving
  • Low-cost irrigation technology and applications with a focus on phone applications
  • Water saving technologies and market system Development Approach
  • Wide spectrum of stakeholders and partners engaged, scales addressed and ICT tools uses
  • Financial, institutional and technical constraints to the expansion of ICT use

The Second presentation by Prof. Dr. Yusuf Ersoy YILDIRIM covers ICT Applications in Irrigation Projects in Turkey.

Out of the 112 billion m3 in our country but Turkey can make use of 54 billion m3 of water reserves section. In other words, it is only used at a rate of 48.2%. Until the end of 2019, 6.65 million hectares of land has been opened to irrigation and 3.61 4.36 million hectares of this area has a modern irrigation network built by DSI. The majority of irrigation operations in our country are carried out by irrigation unions and irrigation cooperatives. Currently, irrigation activities are carried out on 6.4 million ha area by 179 irrigation unions and 2450 cooperatives. The majority of irrigation networks operated by irrigation unions have canal and canalette systems. More than 70 percent of the land irrigated with groundwater is being made by irrigation cooperatives, and the use of pressurized irrigation methods is more common in these cooperatives. In order to ensure efficient use of water in agriculture throughout the country, supports have been started in the last 10 years with the aim of spreading pressurized irrigation methods and these supports are still being provided. The most important problem of irrigation cooperatives is their accumulated electricity debt, and opportunities have begun to be created that will enable them to establish production facilities where they can meet the electrical energy they will use in agricultural irrigation by alternative means such as solar or wind. Water-saving irrigation automation examples are spreading more rapidly in irrigation cooperatives. In order to ensure effective water use in agriculture throughout the country, supports have been started in the last 10 years in order to spread pressurized irrigation methods and these supports are still being provided. The most important problem of irrigation cooperatives is their accumulated electricity debt, and opportunities have begun to be created that will enable them to establish production facilities where they can meet the electrical energy they will use in agricultural irrigation by alternative means such as solar or wind. Water-saving irrigation automation examples are spreading more rapidly in irrigation cooperatives. In addition, the number of systems that monitor climate data and soil moisture with sensors and operate remote irrigation systems according to these values is rapidly increasing. Studies on artificial intelligence and smart irrigation applications in irrigation have been initiated. The number of people is increasing rapidly. In this webinar, it will-evaluated ICT applications used in different irrigation areas in Turkey.



SPEAKER: Dr. Amgad Elmahdi, Director of MENA Region, IWMI
Dr. Amgad Elmahdi is a Water Systems and Solutions Specialist with over 25 years experiences and expertise in Hydrology, Water Resources Assessment, Water Accounting, Water governance, Water information management, Digital technologies for water management, water policy and planning, NEXUS assessment and management, in operational, research, and academic settings. Dr Elmahdi, served as water system analysts, and water resources manager. Before joining IWMI, He was the Head of Water Resources Section and Chief Supervising Hydrologist at the Bureau of Meteorology-Australia, His experiences involved providing evidence-based science and low-cost solutions to sustainably manage water and land resources for water and food security, people’s livelihoods and the environment. He is also a recognized International Water and Natural Resources Management Expert and the Australian representative for several international agencies- such as ICID- International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage. He is the Chair of Water Security Bureau – International Water Resources Association-IWRA. He has received several awards nationally and internationally for his Science Impact for Landscape Water modelling in Australia and Strategic Excellence Award for Partnership and Watsaving award-ICID. 
SPEAKER: Prof. Dr. Yusuf Ersoy YILDIRIM, Dean, Faculty of Agriculture at Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Turkey and Chairman, Irrigation Association, Turkey

He graduated from Ankara University Faculty of Agriculture in 1986. He completed his Master's and Doctorate education at the same University. He attended irrigation trainings in Italy and Japan. Between 1996 - 1999, he worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Cornell University and University of Nebrasla-Lincoln in the United States. He became Professor in 2004. He is currently a faculty member at Ankara University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Structures and Irrigation, and also serves as the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at Eski?ehir Osmangazi University. He is also Chairman of the Irrigation Association in Turkey.


PRESENTATIONS

  1. Role of ICT Technologies for Sustainable Irrigation Management and Scheduling MENA Region-Case studies by Dr. Amgad Elmahdi Head of MENA Region
  2. ICT Applications in Irrigation Projects in Turkey by Prof. Dr.  Yusuf  Ersoy  YILDIRIM, Ankara University Agriculture Faculty Farm Structures & Irrigation Department President, Turkish Irrigation Association