What is it about?

ABSTRACT: This paper examines the differences in agricultural water application per crop ton output in semi-arid jurisdictions in the Jordan Basin, focusing on Israel and Jordan, with some analysis relevant to Palestine. In order to understand differences in water application, it delivers a nationally averaged assessment of applied water application for 14 key regional crops, with most cases suggesting Israeli best practice in water application per unit crop. The paper draws on a secondary assessment of agricultural water intensity and primary data from farmer interviews to demonstrate differences in applied water productivity and agricultural context. The analysis suggests a conservative estimate that a difference of 168 Million Cubic Meters (MCM)/yr (33% of agriculture and 18% of national total) exists in terms of water application for a given crop production in Jordan when compared with Israel. The paper then proposes further work required to establish how differences in water application might translate into differences in agricultural water productivity, and thereby potential water savings that might enable growth of production within current agricultural allocations, allowing new future resources to be allocated to other economic and social needs. The paper also delivers a preliminary analysis of the political and institutional landscape for implementation, assessing the challenges of institutional silos and overlap that some policy stakeholders see as hindering cross-sectoral progress. The paper concludes by examining the limitations of the analysis, and it proposes future work to deepen the robustness of results and examines some of the challenges facing improved agricultural water productivity and changing farm behaviour in the region. FOR CITATION: Gilmont, M., Rayner, S., Harper, E., Nassar, L., Tal, N., Simpson, M., and Salem, H.S., 2018. The potential for enhanced water decoupling in the Jordan Basin through regional agricultural best practice, “Land” (A Special Issue on Desert Agriculture), May, 7(2):63, DOI: 10.3390/land7020063, MDPI Journals, Basel, Switzerland. URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-445X/7/2/63 and https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325123696_The_Potential_for_Enhanced_Water_Decoupling_in_the_Jordan_Basin_through_Regional_Agricultural_Best_Practice

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Why is it important?

The importance of this paper lies in the fact that in arid and semi-arid regions, like the Jordan River Basin, decoupling water from agricultural practices is essential, especially in the presence of water conflicts in the region and the impacts of climate change.


What makes this paper remarkable is what is heard from Palestinian farmers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip) regarding their suffering, as farmers and Palestinian citizens, resulted from water shortages in the region, which has enforced some of them to leave their work in the agriculture sector, once and for ever.

Prof. Dr. Hilmi S. Salem

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Potential for Enhanced Water Decoupling in the Jordan Basin through Regional Agricultural Best Practice, Land, May 2018, MDPI AG,
DOI: 10.3390/land7020063.
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