This week, the second part of the Water Accounting Training for the Agriculture, Climate and Water Sector Organizations in Pakistan has been successfully completed at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) office in Islamabad, Pakistan.

As an agrarian economy that heavily depends on water, it is crucial for Pakistan to adopt a more integrated water management approach and formulate data-driven strategies to avert from the deepening water crisis.

This training has been designed by FutureWater and FAO as part of the Green Climate Fund funded project titled: ‘Transforming the Indus Basin with Climate Resilient Agriculture and Water Management’. Component 1 of this project focuses on enhancing information services for climate change adaptation in the water and agriculture sectors.

This second part of the training is comprised in seven modules and the aim is to enable stakeholders to develop water accounts at different scales. Given the growing issues of water scarcity, climate change impacts and unmet irrigation demands, this water accounting system can aid decision-makers to design evidence-based policies and achieve sustainable water resources management.

In this in-person training of one week, participants further extended their knowledge on how to compute inflows and outflows of a system at using remote sensing and assessing global datasets.

More information about the project can be found here.

Group presentation
Group picture
Theoretic lesson

On May 22-23, FutureWater attended the Preliminary Design Review Meeting (PDR) for the MAGDA project in Bucharest, Romania.

The meeting was hosted by the National Meteorological Administration, and it was a great opportunity for project partners to meet in person and present the latest achievements. The major outputs from the first six project months were the following:

  • Selection of the three major MAGDA demo sites in France, Italy and Romania.
  • Analysis of MAGDA user requirements (surveys for the agricultural and water sectors are still open for participation!)
  • Detailed MAGDA system design: Summary of the technical data requirements of GNSS stations, IoT sensors, Meteodrones, remote sensing, weather forecast and hydrology modelling with SPHY.

The next months will now be used to install the equipment at the demo sites and start with the first modelling and site measurements, as well as the evaluation of historical data for calibration.

FutureWater is leading the irrigation advisory service of MAGDA, making use of hydrological modelling using SPHY (Spatial Processes in Hydrology). The output expected consists of an operational irrigation service to provide advice on when and how much to irrigate at certain moments during the cropping season, using as input data improved weather forecasts.

More information about the project can be found here and visiting the MAGDA Project website.

FutureWater presentation on MAGDA System Architecture
Preliminary Design Review Meeting
MAGDA Partners at MeteoRomania

 

Last week, the first part of the Water Accounting Training for the Agriculture, Climate and Water Sector Organizations in Pakistan was successfully completed at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) office in Islamabad, Pakistan.

This training has been designed by FutureWater and FAO as part of the Green Climate Fund funded project titled: ‘Transforming the Indus Basin with Climate Resilient Agriculture and Water Management’. Component 1 of this project focuses on enhancing information services for climate change adaptation in the water and agriculture sectors.

FutureWater conducted a capacity needs assesment in order to design a tailor made training that facilitates the development of water accounts at different scales (from basin to water course level) for key stakeholders in Pakistan. In total, approximately 30 participants from federal and provincial government departments (Punjab and Sindh) as well as academia actively participated in the training program.

The training consisted of the following three modules:

  1. Introduction to the components of Water Accounting
  2. Understanding and quantifying water pathways within a domain (using FutureWater’s in-house tools: REWAS and Follow the Water)
  3. Understanding and quantifying water inflows and outflows (using Google Earth Engine for accessing and processing remotely sensed datasets).
In person sessions at FAO office in Islamabad
Theory presentation
Group work discussion

Solidaridad and FutureWater partnered to conduct a tailor-made training on ‘Geo-spatial data skills development for improved soil water management and enhanced crop productivity at the national level in Zambia’.

The training project for the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI) was a Tailor-Made Training (TMT), as part of the Orange Knowledge Programme, funded by Nuffic, and enhanced capacity in accessing and using innovative data and tools in the public domain, to analyse crop performance and improve soil water management.

Staff of ZARI and the Ministry of Agriculture were trained on a range of geospatial data skills, including survey design using Kobo Collect, and remote sensing environmental analysis using GIS, Google Earth Engine, Earth Map and InVEST. The feedback received from participants was very positive:

“The TMT is a well-developed program that provides important tools for brushing up one’s skills in data compilation and analysis. The program materials are easy to go through and the instructors were friendly and easygoing. The training package included a good set of free and open-source tools for a wide variety of purposes, including; Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) assessments, monitoring agricultural land and urban areas and exploring how changes in ecosystems can lead to changes in the flows of many different benefits to people. The knowledge and insights provided in the TMT program are well delivered”

Chrispin Moyo Principal Agricultural Specialist Ministry of Agriculture Zambia

“This course gave me a good understanding of the applications of GIS and remote sensing in soil and water management. I’m particularly excited about the opportunity to quantify the benefits which regenerative agricultural practices would have on degraded environments using the InVEST tool. This was one of my best learning experiences and I can’t thank the organisers and trainers enough. Thank you to FutureWater, Solidaridad and Nuffic for a well-tailored and excellently delivered training.”

Belinda Kaninga (Ph.D) Senior Research Officer/Soil Scientist Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI)

More information about the project can be found here.

Trainers and participants during the closing event
Participants during training sessions
Participant during the training sessions  

InfoSequia, the Drought and Early Warning System (DEWS) developed by FutureWater, was granted for being part of the Cajamar-INNOVA Incubation Programme powered by Cajamar Fundation. 

InfoSequia has been granted by Cajamar-INNOVA, a High-Tech Incubator/Accelerator focused on the Water and Agro sector. During the 6-month granted period, FutureWater’s staff is being mentored and supported by experts on topics that cover technological and business aspects. Two main objectives have been planned: 1) to increase the technical readiness level of the service by testing its reliability and suitability for the private agrobusiness and agroinsurance sectors, and 2) to improve the business strategy by identifying market opportunities and reinforcing the communication with potential stakeholders and early adopters.

Since the beginning of the Programme, several campus have been organized to deal with specialized training workshops and promote synergies among the start-ups granted. Recently, in November 2020, a campus session was also organized in parallel with the DATAGRI 2022 Forum held in El Ejido (Almería, Spain). During one-day field visit at Experimental Research & Innovation Center of Las Palmerillas-Cajamar, our colleagues Amelia Fernández and Sergio Contreras introduced InfoSequia to the participants of the event.

InfoSequia is currently part of the HERMANA system of the Cauca Valley Basin (CVC) in Colombia. Nowdays, the impact-based forecasting capabilities of the service are being tested in two pilot regions in Mozambique and Spain. These activities are also being supported by the Incubed Programme funded by the European Space Agency.

More information about the project can be found here.

Cajamar-INNOVA incubation programme participants

 

Currently, farmers rely on weather forecasts and advisories that are either general for a given, often wide, region of interest, or highly customized to the farmers’ needs (e.g. by combining large scale atmospheric variables into synthetic parameters of interest). In both cases, such forecasts and advisories often don’t rely at all on observations collected at or around the target cultivated areas, or they are limited to traditional observations provided only by weather stations, without exploiting the full extent of measurements and observations available through European space-based assets (e.g. Galileo GNSS, Copernicus Sentinels) and ground-based radar data.

MAGDA objectives go beyond the state-of-the-art by aiming at developing a modular system that can be deployed by owners of large farms directly at their premises, continuously feeding observations to dedicated and tailored weather forecast and hydrological models, with results displayed by a dashboard and/or within a Farm Management System.

FutureWater is leading the irrigation advisory service of MAGDA, making use of hydrological modelling using SPHY (Spatial Processes in Hydrology). The output expected consists of an operational irrigation service to provide advice on when and how much to irrigate at certain moments during the cropping season, using as input data improved weather forecasts.

During this task, the SPHY water balance model will be setup for three selected demonstrator farms in Romania, France and Italy. Finally, the irrigation advisory will be validated using performance indicators (e.g., water productivity, crop yield analysis, water use efficiency) using ground truth data (e.g., weather stations, moisture probes, crop biomass measurements)

Los recursos hídricos en todo el mundo están sometidos a una presión cada vez mayor. Entre otros factores, el cambio climático, el aumento de la demanda de alimentos y energía y la mejora de los niveles de vida han multiplicado por seis las extracciones mundiales de agua durante el último siglo, con importantes consecuencias para la calidad y disponibilidad del agua, la salud de los ecosistemas y la biodiversidad. como estabilidad social.

Al promover y vincular modelos de sistemas hídricos con modelos de sectores como la agricultura y la energía, la biodiversidad o el transporte de sedimentos, el Proyecto SOS-Agua pretende sentar las bases para un marco de evaluación holístico de los recursos hídricos en escalas espaciales. Basado en cinco estudios de caso de cuencas fluviales en Europa y Vietnam (la cuenca del río Júcar en España, la región del Alto Danubio, los deltas de los ríos Danubio y Rin, y la cuenca del río Mekong), un equipo interdisciplinario de investigadores de diez instituciones en ocho países Desarrollar un SOS multidimensional para el agua. El marco permitirá evaluar los ciclos de retroalimentación y las compensaciones entre las diferentes dimensiones del sistema hídrico y ayudará a abordar desafíos globales, regionales y locales urgentes.

Además de ir más allá del modelado de sistemas hídricos de última generación, el proyecto desarrollará un conjunto integral de indicadores para evaluar y monitorear el desempeño ambiental, social y económico de los sistemas hídricos. Los investigadores participantes colaborarán con autoridades regionales y locales, representantes de los usuarios del agua, organizaciones no gubernamentales y ciudadanos para cocrear escenarios futuros y vías de gestión del agua. Al racionalizar la planificación hídrica en diferentes niveles, se puede garantizar que la asignación del agua entre sociedades, economías y ecosistemas sea económicamente eficiente, socialmente justa y resiliente a las crisis.

En asociación con el líder del proyecto IIASA y socios como la Universidad de Utrecht y EAWAG, FutureWater es responsable de varias tareas bajo el paquete de trabajo que busca mejorar las tecnologías de observación de la Tierra existentes para monitorear el desempeño de los sistemas de agua. Se desarrollarán y probarán nuevas aplicaciones en el contexto de las cuencas del estudio de caso SOS-Agua de los ríos Mekong y Júcar.

Para más información, visita la web del proyecto.

Pakistan is ranked as the 8th most climate vulnerable country in the world as per the Global Climate Risk Index (2019) and in recent years has been facing the worst brunt of climate change. Irregular and intense precipitation, heatwaves, droughts, and floods have severely impacted the agriculture and water sector. Approximately, 90% of the country’s freshwater resources are utilized by the agricultural sector. However, lack of information services makes it a challenge to implement a water accounting system for improved water resources management.

The GCF funded project titled “Transforming the Indus Basin with Climate Resilient Agriculture and Water Management” aims to shift agriculture and water management to a new paradigm in which processes are effectively adapting to climate change and are able to sustain livelihoods. FAO Pakistan, as per the request of the Ministry of Climate Change, has designed the project to develop the country’s capacity to enhance the resilience of the agricultural and water sector. There are three major components:

1. Enhancing information services for climate change adaptation in the water and agriculture sectors
2. Building on-farm resilience to climate change
3. Creating an enabling environment for continued transformation

FutureWater will be actively involved in Component 1 which focuses on facilitating the development of a water accounting system and improving the availability and use of information services. Given the limited data availability in the region, FutureWater will integrate the use of remote sensing technologies within the existing Water Accounting methodology to address this gap. A capacity and needs assessment will be conducted and a series of tailor-made trainings will be designed subsequently to enable key government stakeholders to use open-source geospatial analysis tools as well as models to estimate real water savings, particularly in the context of agriculture. The trainings will help build the country’s capacity to implement water accounting at different spatiotemporal scales and cope with the worsening impacts of climate change.

The beneficiaries of this training, provided by FutureWater together with Solidaridad, belong to the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI).
ZARI is a department within the Ministry of Agriculture of Zambia with the overall objective to provide a high quality, appropriate and cost-effective service to farmers, generating and adapting crop, soil and plant protection technologies. This department comprises a number of sections, one of which, for the purpose of this training request is the Soil and Water Management (SWM) division. ZARI and the SWM carry out demand-driven research, trying to find solutions to the problems faced by Zambian small-scale farmers, especially considering the near- and long-term impacts of climate change.
The training programme consists of a hybrid approach of e-learning and in-person training sessions and is structured around the following modules:
  1. Remote sensing-based analysis using Google Earth Engine to assess trends in land use, management, degradation and hotspots for intervention.
  2. Data collection and database management.
  3. GIS and remote sensing to assess suitability for SWC.
  4. Effectiveness and prioritization of SWC using open-source tools.
  5. Independent working on case study.
At the end of the training, it is expected that participants have achieved several objectives such as acquisition of technical skills for extracting relevant data from open access remote sensing products and improved knowledge of data collection and database management.

Last week, first module of the Nuffic TMT training course on Geo-spatial data skills development was kicked-off at Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI). 

Solidaridad is partnering with FutureWater to conduct a tailor-made training on ‘Geo-spatial data skills development for improved soil water
management and enhanced crop productivity at the national level in Zambia’.

The training project for ZARI is a Tailor-Made Training (TMT), as part of the Orange Knowledge Programme, funded by Nuffic and will enhance capacity in accessing and using innovative data and tools in the public domain, to analyse crop performance and improve soil water management.

This first module was focused on the use of Google Earth Engine (GEE).

The objective of this module was to build capacity of the participants in using the basic functionalities of GEE, by working on applications specifically relevant for land use management and identification of degradation hotspots. This objective has been achieved by participants by obtaining hands-on experience in script-building and interpretation of outcomes.

The first module has been conducted by:

And the rest of modules will take place during the incoming months, following the training project.

Introduction in classroom
Trainers and participants