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Prospects for Productive Use of Saline Water in West Asia and North Africa

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Stenhouse, John; Kijne, Jacob
Date: 2006
Agency: Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Series: Research Report no.11
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4631
Sector: Agriculture
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Africa
Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): irrigation
water resources
Abstract: "This study of the potential to use saline water for irrigation in Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Tunisia concludes that it is technically feasible but its economic viability remains to be established. Expert opinion suggests that saline irrigated agriculture is most likely to succeed in the West Asia/North Africa region as a complement to small-scale mixed livestock and cropping farming systems. Precise quantification of the available saline water resources is not possible because of the lack of hard data. As a result, precise quantification of the likely impact of introducing saline irrigated agriculture on poverty alleviation and food security is also impossible, although anecdotal evidence suggests that this would be positive. The report argues that the environmental effects of saline irrigated agriculture--both positive and negative--need to be integrated into policies and decisions on the use of saline water. Uses other than agricultural (for example, amenity uses, industrial, landscaping, carbon sequestration or biomass production for energy) also need to be considered, and may be more socially and economically beneficial."

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