Under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince El-Hassan bin Talal of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Chairman of the Higher Council for Science and Technology, the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), Methods for Irrigation and Agriculture (Jordan), and the National Information Center for Science and Technology (Jordan) organized a 3-day workshop on “River System Modeling and Planning” with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa Region and the Tigris-Euphrates Basin.
The workshop was held from 14 to 16 March at the Higher Council for Science and Technology in Amman, Jordan. The workshop brought together 20 academics and practitioners from six countries in the Middle East and North Africa Region, namely Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Sudan, and Egypt. The workshop included: (1) a half-day of high-level policy discussions and presentations on natural resources management, (2) one and a half-day of technical training on WaterStrategy — a water-energy-food-environment modeling tool developed by the FutureDAMs project, and (3) and a field visit to a major water resources management facility in Jordan.
Major challenges and solutions
In the first half-day of the workshop, His Royal Highness Prince El-Hassan bin Talal, led a high-level policy discussion on natural resources management, challenges, and opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa Region.
His Royal Highness Prince El-Hassan bin Talal gave a speech stressing the need for regional dialogue and cooperation to overcome increasing challenges in managing natural resource systems. His Royal Highness highlighted the need for tools and approaches such as the ones developed by FutureDAMs to promote regional dialogue.
Dr. Samer Talozi from Methods for Irrigation and Agriculture and Professor Julien Harou from the University of Manchester presented the narrative and main findings and innovations of the FutureDAMs Project, highlighting new approaches for collaborative management of natural resource systems.
Professor Julien Harou (University of Manchester) delivering technical training, Amman, Jordan.
The workshop included one and a half-day of technical training on WaterStrategy. The participants were introduced to the online modeling tool through structured training exercises. The participants were trained using water resource system models that resemble real-world river basins such as the Tigris-Euphrates Basin in western Asia, the Nile Basin in northeastern Africa, and the Tana Basin in East Africa. The diverse backgrounds of the workshop participants and the various river basins on which they were trained enabled knowledge and experience exchange across countries and regions and laid a strong foundation for long-lasting future collaborations.
A picture from the field visit. In the background appears King Abdullah Canal.
On the third day of the workshop, a field visit was organized to a water management and control unit in the Jordan valley, where the participants were introduced to the water system of Jordan and how the country’s water resources are managed to counter water scarcity, as Jordan is among the water-scarce most countries worldwide.
Participants from the technical workshops in front of the Dead Sea.
During the field visit, the participants learned invaluable lessons from established communication channels with Jordanian water resource engineers to continue knowledge exchange between Jordan and the rest of the countries represented in the workshop.
Top image: A group picture at the end of the high-level policy presentations and discussions