Promoting Innovation and New Technology: UNDP Holds Series of Trainings on Water-Saving for Adaptation to Climate Change

Dec 27, 2016

Ashgabat, 27 December 2016: The United Nations Development Programme and the Adaptation Fund held a series of trainings on the topic “Development of water-saving technologies for adaptation to climate change”.

The trainings were held for more than 50 representatives of the national agencies, university professors and students with the purpose of knowledge dissemination on technologies, legal and practical changes in the water and land use practices introduced with support of UNDP/AF project on addressing the risks of climate change.

“In the recent several years, the Government of Turkmenistan introduced significant changes in the agriculture. UNDP is taking great part in this process. There is a number of low cost water measuring tools that could be introduced to improve irrigation practice of water users groups in Turkmenistan. It is vital that now we train local experts so that they learn and accept the innovation, stated Antanas Maziliauskas, International Consultant.

Participants of the trainings were familiarized with the changes in the legal documents such as Water Code, Law on Pasture Management, and discussed manuals and regulations developed by the project. Project experts also presented the economical and organizational incentives of forming of the water users’ groups, introduced the research equipment used in the pilot areas and introduced computer software AQUACROP and SURFACE.

Prof. Maziliauskas introduced crop water requirement, irrigation schedule composition, biomass and yield modelling by using a dynamic AQUACROP and SURFACE software by using information from CLIMWAT, weather-stations and from research tools.  Prof. Maziliauskas demonstrated models by entering data jointly with students and university professors.

The software allows to schedule the irrigation in the fields and apply the exactly required volume of water. This in turn, helps save up to 20% of water while maintaining the yield or even increasing it. The proper use of the software helps reduce potential soil salinity and increase efficiency of water distribution and use of the land resources.

“The introduced technologies and information is very helpful for the purpose of calculation of the water consumption and planning of the proper distribution to ensure water use efficiency. At least one national expert should be trained in each region of the country and prepare recommendations based on Aquacrop for the interested private farmers and leaseholders,” said Oraz Durdiyev, Professor of the Agricultural University of Turkmenistan named after S.A. Niyazov.

The new irrigation planning and water saving programs will be introduced into the practice of the newly established water users’ groups in Turkmenistan, which will increase their capacity to adapt to climate change.  

Professors of the Agricultural University expressed their interest in assigning graduate students to learn from UNDP/AF project research tools used by the project experts.

Participants of the trainings noted the benefit of crop rotation for water efficiency improvement, and stressed that soil salinity reduction trainings for farmers and rural specialists provided by UNDP/AF were of great benefit to the farmers of Turkmenistan.

It was agreed that the irrigation models and recommendations designed by the software will be applied into practice and information will be collected as a proof of software’s benefit through measuring of the volume of saved water, meanwhile maintaining the yield.

Contact information

Merdan Hudaykuliyev
UNDP Project Manager
E-mail: merdan.hudaykuliyev@undp.org

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