The Use of New Sources of Water for Crop Irrigation: Case Study in the Middle East

25 June - 6 July 2017, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture Food and Environment, Rehovot,  Israel.

Deadline for application: April 18, 2017 or until places are filled.

Introduction

In view of the increasing shortage of drinking water in the Middle East and in other regions, future increases in agricultural production will rely on new water resources for irrigation. These include desalinated seawater and reclaimed (treated) wastewater. Water management is a major topic of research in several departments of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment and in other institutions in Israel. Irrigation with various types of water and its effect on crop production, soil properties and plant and human health will be the subjects of a Summer School: June 25 July 06, 2017.

The course will introduce the students to fundamentals, legal and technical aspects of water and wastewater treatments and the use of wastewater in agriculture. Effects on soil, crop yield and physiology, as well as on potential hazards to the environment and to human health will be discussed in depth. The participation of partners from the ELLS Environment Science Group as well as researchers from the Palestinian Authority will broaden the scope of the course. The course topics will include a series of lectures, discussions with experts, and technical excursions. 

Course contents   

The Course will include the following topics:

1. Lectures

  1. Water management under climate changing conditions
  2. Economics of non-conventional water irrigation
  3. The soil-water-plant continuum
  4. Water recycling, effects of water quality on crops
  5. Plant physiology under water stress
  6. Genetics of water stress in crops
  7. Irrigation with treated wastewater in the Middle East
  8. The politics of water in the Middle East
  9. Water-related research and implementation projects at the Faculty of Agriculture
  10. Introduction of pollutants of emerging concern (i.e., active pharmaceuticals) to the agricultural environment

2. Professional tours

  1. Desalinization plant (Ashkelon) - The world largest desalinization facility. 
  2. Netafim- Drip irrigation system.
  3. Dan regional wastewater treatment plant (soil aquifer treatment; SAT).
  4. Irrigation with treated wastewater at the Lachish Experimental Farm.
  5. Alexander Stream (Wadi)- cross boundaries stream

3. E. learning

  • A website of the course will be created, which will serve as an interactive platform where students and mentors will be able to dialogue and exchange views before course and for the preparation of the final guided project.

4. Final guided project.

  • Case study presentation + written extended abstract.
  • Students will work in pairs and will choose a topic, in advance, among topics of case studies that will be provided by the teachers of the course.
  • The students will present their fruitful work and will hand out an abstract, during the last day of the summer school.
Schedule

Day 1: Organizational procedures: registration, lodging, orientation (tour on campus, get-together), knowing Israel, Welcome address
Day 2: Lecture series: 1) Water security. 2) Economics of non-conventional water irrigation; crop irrigation.
Day 3: Technical visits. Lachish Experimental Farm and Ashkelon desalinization plant.
Day 4: Lecture series: 3) Relation soil-water-plant. 4) Water recycling, effects of recycled water on crops
Day 5: Lecture series: 5) Plant physiology under water stress. 6) Genetics of water stress in crops.
Day 6: Excursion to Alexander Stream (wadi) - Cross boundaries stream.
Day 7: Lecture series: 7) Irrigation with treated wastewater in the Palestinian Authority and the Middle East. – Dan regional wastewater treatment plant (SAT). 8) The politics of water in the Middle East.
Day 8 Lecture series: 9) Current water-related research projects at the Faculty of Agriculture
Day 9 & Day 10: Presentation of guided projects by students (prepared before the course), discussion with panel of experts
Day 11: Dispersion

Credits

7.5 ECTS

Language

English

Application

Please fill in the application form and send it to Ms. Noa Schwarzwald, at the International School of Agricultural Sciences, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture Food and Environment, Rehovot, Israel: noapl@savion.huji.ac.il 
Deadline for application: April 18, 2017 or until places are filled

Information

During the online phase at home, participants will have access to recommended literature for course preparation
Course format: Mix of lectures, technical visits, guided projects and excursions
Level: The course is aimed at students of biology, water and soil and agricultural sciences or related subjects who have already passed university elementary courses of at least 2 years.
Social Program: Welcome and farewell party. A night-out in TLV , students gathering off-campus.
Medical insurance: compulsory
Visa: Students, which are nationals of the ELLS participating countries**, do not need a visa to Israel. Otherwise please contact MS. Noa Schwarzwald to see whether you need an entry visa to Israel.

** Except China.

Location

Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture Food and Environment, Rehovot, Israel

Accommodation

Reisfeld residence, on the Smith Faculty campus
http://intschool.agri.huji.ac.il/reisfeld-residence

Costs

Housing: € 40 per night
Travel expenses and food are not included.
Partial stipends are available to cover part of the costs.

Contact

Contact persons for scientific questions
Prof. Dr. Benny Chefetz
Department of Soil & Water Sciences
Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture Food and Environment, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Phone: +972-8-9489384
Email: benny.chefetz@mail.huji.ac.il

Coordination

Contact person for technical questions:
Ms. Noa Schwarzwald
International School of Agricultural Sciences, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture Food and Environment, Rehovot 76100, Israel. Tel: +972-8-9489996; email: noapl@savion.huji.ac.il
International School of Agricultural Sciences:
http://intschool.agri.huji.ac.il/ells