MAWRED Knowledge Hub

MAWRED – Monitoring Agriculture and Water Resources during Droughts (mawred) in Arabic means ‘the source’.

The aim of the MAWRED knowledge hub is to empower decision-makers across the MENA region managing droughts and their impacts on water and food security today and under climate change.The drought maps, and supporting water, climate and agricultural data made available through the MAWRED Knowledge Hub has been generated at ICBA or processed from other sources and fitted to end-user needs in the region. It is provided in English, Arabic and French so that it can be used by as many users as possible in their work.

Drought is a worldwide threat to food and water security and is a constant presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Current droughts reveal the gaps and limitations in drought management in the region. Drought conditions in the southern Levant in January and February 2014 once again emphasized the urgent need to support the governments and people in these countries in developing efforts to manage the impacts of these extreme events. This need is further heightened by any analysis of future climate conditions in the region. There is rare convergence in agreement in the data from the major Global Climate Model, which highlights the likely future increases in temperatures, decreases in rainfall and increases in extreme events, particularly drought.

The data generation combines the expertise of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), the Food and Agricultural Organization (RNE), the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), CALMIT and the Daugherty Water for Food Institute (DWFI) at the University of Nebraska, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NOAA, University of Maryland, US Department of Agriculture, University of Oxford, and various regional partner organizations to deliver new insights, management plans and drought resilience strategies at the national and local levels that will reduce drought impacts on the food supply and on the quantity and safety of the water supply in vulnerable communities.

The MAWRED knowledge hub is part of the Regional Drought Management System (RDMS) for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA RDMS) will focus on drought risk management through the development of monitoring and early warning systems, and preparedness and mitigation measures. It will serve the region by:

Establishing a regional drought monitoring and early warning system and associated information delivery systems Providing assessment of drought vulnerabilities and impacts Developing actions and measures to mitigate and respond to drought impacts Through data provided on the MAWRED knowledge hub, regional drought conditions can be monitored that will assist with drought planning and coordination activities, and empower officials charged with relief efforts by providing “value-added” information during drought events.

In MAWRED knowledge hub cutting edge developments in space-based earth observations and water, land and crop modeling have been harnessed to bring new insight to water and agriculture resource assessment in MENA. These models and data sources have been adapted, calibrated and verified over the last few years so that they represent well the unique conditions of the region Outputs from the modeling include regional maps on water balance variables, irrigation, climate current and future conditions. At the national scale for a number of countries more details maps and data are available on key water, climate, agriculture and drought variables. An important areas of data generation is in drought monitoring and the capabilities are being further developed in the near future to allow vulnerable communities to be better identified early and supported

The data through this Knowledge Hub is provided under four main headings:

Drought – current regional and national monthly drought conditions generated using a Composite Drought Index (CDI) that uses data on climate, water and agricultural crop conditions Supporting data on:

Climate – The current monthly conditions (anomaly values for precipitation, temperature); historical averages (precipitation, temperature); future conditions (annual temperature and precipitation for 2026-2045 and 2081-2100 for scenarios RCP and 8.5) Water – The extent current monthly conditions differ from averages (evapotranspiration, soil moisture, water resources stress index); Agriculture – crop conditions, current irrigation and crop type maps.