USDA Supports Collaboration and Exchange to Improve Water Resource Management
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), USDA’s extramural scientific research, education, and outreach funding agency, funded “Securing Water for and from Agriculture Through Effective Community and Stakeholder Engagement” (Pennsylvania State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Arizona State University, USDA Agriculture Resarch Service [ARS]) that has developed a partnership of true collaboration with Israel.
The partnership provides opportunities to learn from other countries’ experiences in collaborative management of water and natural resources more broadly. The NIFA-BARD (U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development) Collaborative with Israel focuses on multiple issues that include exposure risks of pathogens and disinfection byproducts from on-site treated rainwater and drainage water for Irrigation.
Five members of the NIFA project team visited Israel for a week in March 2019 to exchange ideas and understanding about how Israel has managed its water resources. Two specific research collaborations are ongoing: one between the USDA Agriculture Research Service in Maricopa, AZ, and the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Ben Gurion University, which focuses on the use of recycled water for irrigation of crops eaten fresh, and one between the ARS in Maricopa, AZ and the Arab National Society for Health, Research and Services located in Shefa ‘Amr, which focuses on optimizing water resources.