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Cycle 8 (2019 Deadline)

Evaluate land management practices to improve water quality and address drought and salinity and train stakeholders

PI: Hamad Abdulghafor (, University of Baghdad
U.S. Partner: Ranjith Udawatta, University of Missouri
Project Dates: To be determined

Project Overview:

The main objective of this project is to help improve water quality, soil health, and land productivity of the region by adoption of conservation agricultural practices. The PI and his team will achieve this through demonstrations and management of research plots to be established at three farms. They will disseminate their work through publications and training sessions to help encourage adoption of their agricultural techniques by people living in this region and adjacent areas. The project includes several sub-objectives of the project, including testing improvements in stream water quality through the installation of riparian buffers (grasses, shrubs, and trees) along stream beds. The team will take regular soil, water, and vegetation samples to measure the impacts of the changes. Meanwhile, the researchers will work with local landowners along the streams to implement drought- and saline-resistant agricultural products and water-efficient farming methods by using selected crops (lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, and tomatoes), subsurface water retention technologies, and mycorrhizae to see which techniques are most effective in the local conditions. In addition, the PI and his colleagues will use remote sensing data to track surface water sources in their study area and determine soil moisture, river state, fate of pollutants, evapotranspiration, vegetation growth, and precipitation for the river corridor. Finally, they will train water maintenance personnel, including graduate students, state and federal agency staff members, and other stakeholders about conservation practices (establishment and maintenance) for enhanced adoption of these practices.

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