Background - Research Projects

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A .Interim Report Form
For Research Projects Funded through the
National Science, Technology and Innovation Plan (NSTIP)
1. PROJECT INFORMATION
Project Code
Project Title
12-ENV2581-02
A Holistic Ecosystem Approach for the
Sustainable Development of Fragile Agroecosystems: A case study of the Al-Kharj
Ecosystem, Saudi Arabia
Prof. Abdrubalrasoul Mosa Alomran
King Saud University
Environmental technology
Started 1/1/2014– Ending 1/1/2016
Principal Investigator
Institution
Strategic Technology Area
Project Period (Starting
Month/Year – Ending
Month/Year)
Reporting Period (Starting
Started 1/1/2014– Ending 1/1/2015
Month/Year – Ending
Month/Year)
1816600
Project Budget (SR)
Project Summary (max. 300 words)
The importance of this research proposal is to develop sound ecosystem-management
interventions and policy-change recommendations aimed at enhancing wellbeing of
communities living in the ecosystem. These recommendations will be developed on the
basis of good understanding of the agro-ecosystem structure and dynamics. Using the
holistic agro-ecosystem approach, a multidisciplinary research team from KSU in
collaboration with the relevant stakeholders have been endeavor to develop packages of
technical, behavioral, and institutional interventions to help restore Al-Kharj ecosystem
and allow for sustainable agricultural development of the system. This project is
supporting the goals of the NSTIP in the identified strategic technology area through: 1)
establishing a national infrastructure for environmental technologies by acquiring; ICS
5000 (Ion Chromatography), GIS and groundwater softwares, and initiating nucleus for
water quality lab. 2) Transferring, localizing, and developing high-quality environmental
technologies to address national environmental issues by creating interdisciplinary
research team in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders. 3) Promoting innovative
research by using modeling and new instruments; furthermore, publication on
conferences and good journals. 4) Developing national and international strategic
partnerships and providing scientific consultation in the field of environmental
technologies, through inviting the international consultant to visit KSU and gave general
lecture in faculty; in addition to advice have been made to our project. The project team
work adopted periodic visit to study area to meet farmers to give advice and deeply
understand the ecosystem.
Our plans for the second year of the grant are:
1
1) Complete the spatiotemporal monitoring and assessment of the ecosystem
attributes
2) Finalize building up database (named Eco-InfoBase) for ecosystem using remote
sensing and geographic information system (RS/GIS) technology
3) The model testing has been carried out; however, more study in Al-Kharj will be
adopted.
4) Determine linkages between ecosystem attributes and ecosystem degradation
5) Develop appropriate interventions and recommendations
2
2. PROJECT PROGRESS
Objectives
Phases
Tasks
1) Understand the
ecosystem history
and identity
Phase 1,
task 1
1. Define ecosystem problems in
collaboration with the community using
PRA methods
2. Develop a questionnaire and prepare
and conduct a town-hall meeting
Collect and analyze geo-referenced soil,
plant, and water samples
Status (Completed,
Ongoing, Planned,
Modified *,
Discontinued*)
Completed
100%
Completed
100%
Ongoing
60%
Ongoing
70%
Ongoing
60%
Percentage
of
achievement
2) Assess and
monitor the
spatial-temporal
variation of
ecosystem
attributes
Phase 1,
task 2
3) Build an EcoInfoBase for the
ecosystem using
RS/GIS
technology
Phase 2,
task 1
4) Construct and test
models
Phase 2,
task 2
Apply the saltmed model under the
study-area conditions.
Ongoing
80%
5) Determine
linkages between
ecosystem
attributes and
ecosystem
degradation.
Phase 3,
task 1
The linkages between ecosystem
attributes and ecosystem degradation
will be determined on the basis of the
results of the investigation and
assessments of the different components
of the ecosystem (including the physical
resources and community) that were
conducted in this study.
Planned
After
carrying out
all project
tasks
6) Develop
appropriate
interventions and
recommendations
Phase 3,
task 2
Appropriate interventions and
recommendations for restoring the
ecosystem will be developed. Two types
of interventions will be developed:
community-based interventions and
issues requiring government actions and
policy changes.
(*) Give details below if modified or discontinued.
Planned
After
carrying out
all project
tasks
1. Build the Eco-InfoBase database
using suitable access and GIS programs
2. Detect changes of the land resources
using RS and GIS
3
Describe in 1,000 words or less:
This study aimed at identifying the obstacles to the adoption of specific land management
practices. The team employed used different methods to collect data during the year (2014). A
well-structured questionnaire to collect information on the land treatment and management
was designed based on the discussions with the focused groups.
The team trained 5 experts working in the field for the data collection and with their
assistance, required information and data were collected on the 123 study questionnaires. To
make the information presentable and meaningful, the data were analyzed by using the
Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).
Based on the study objectives, the technical and economic constraints were identified and the
degree of knowledge of the farmers on the soil and water treatment was also determined. The
objectives of the study have been achieved through the application of descriptive statistical
analysis and distribution of Brnilloli - that is also known as the binomial probability distribution.
The study revealed that: (1) Despite the farmers have the high degrees of knowledge on the
water resources, their usage and problems; still they used some different irrigation methods.
The farmers have low level knowledge on environmental problems.
So far, coding for different variables has been accomplished and information gathered through
the administered 123 questionnaires has been statistically analyzed and copy of tasks
accomplished so far is attached to this report.
In the present study water quality index has been computed to assess the suitability of
groundwater for drinking water purposes in Kharj, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For calculating the
WQI, twelve parameters have been considered such as: pH, total dissolved solids, calcium,
magnesium, sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride, sulfate, nitrate, and boron. The results
indicate that most of studied wells are considered poor water “class (III)”. The groundwaters
are also evaluated for irrigation. The results show that the studied waters are considered saline
with no sodium hazards. The hydrochemical analysis concluded that the studied water samples
correspond mainly to magnesium – calcium/sulfate – chloride water types which are mainly
due to the geology of the study area comprising gypsum, and anhydrite. The geochemical
modeling shows that almost all water samples were undersaturated with respect to halite and
most of them are saturated with respect to anhydrite and gypsum. Consequently, the halite
minerals tend to dissolve leading to possibility for further groundwater salinity increase.
The use of deficit irrigation strategy for irrigation water management, under greenhouse
conditions in the arid environment of Saudi Arabia, resulted in 80% ETc being the best
treatment relative to crop water productivity (CWP) and final yield; however, decreasing
irrigation water to 30% ETc caused a very high CWP while decreasing the final yield. Following
successful calibration and validation, the SALTMED model proved its ability to predict soil
salinity and water content, and cucumber yield under several deficit irrigation strategies. In
this study, the SALTMED model calibration highlighted the need for dividing the soil into
several horizons; the use of four soil horizons resulted in a better soil water calibration and
correlation than the use of the whole root zone as one layer. The model proved its ability to
handle several hydrodynamic processes simultaneously through soil water and its relation with
the crop and atmosphere. More variation in soil water and salinity of the top soil layers were
observed compared with the other layers. It was also found that there is slight water content
overestimation by the model for both calibration and validation processes. On the other hand,
4
the soil salinities (EC dSm-1) were slightly underestimated. More work is needed to investigate
the Saltmed model suitability under Saudi Arabia conditions. The model’s good estimation of
soil water contents and soil salinities has practical implications. It means that the model is able
to estimate the amount of irrigation supplies required to bring soil salinity and the soil water
profile from a given soil salinity and water to a desired soil salinity and water level.
Future work,
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Complete collecting and analyzing geo-referenced soil, plant, and water samples.
Build the Eco-InfoBase database using suitable access and GIS programs
Detect changes of the land resources using RS and GIS.
Apply the saltmed model under the study-area conditions.
The linkages between ecosystem attributes and ecosystem degradation will be determined on the
basis of the results of the investigation and assessments of the different components of the
ecosystem (including the physical resources and community) that were conducted in this study.
6. Appropriate interventions and recommendations for restoring the ecosystem will be developed. Two
types of interventions will be developed: community-based interventions and issues requiring
government actions and policy changes.
Problems and difficulties
1. The numbers of water samples were too much to be collected on four different dates from 200 sites
over a period of 12 months. The 200 water samples take more than 2 months to be collected using
two separate working groups. The team works suggest collecting the 200 water samples in summer
and winter seasons that can cover the spatial and seasonal variations.
2. We suggested in the proposal that the Nagan area, suffer from waterlogging and soil salinization.
However, when visit the area and investigate this problem by digging hole to depth up to 2 m and
with help of community, we concluded that the Kharj area not suffer from water logging (see the
photos below). On the other hand, water and soil salinity are considered the main problem in Kharj.
Therefore, no need for water-table depths monitoring.
5
3. Purchasing equipment and chemicals from outside the country take longer time than the
expected.
6
3. PERSONNEL INVOLVEMENT
Provide details addressing the contributions of each person in accomplishing the project
tasks/objectives during the reporting period. Include personnel involved that are not
supported by NSTIP award.
Team
Name
Members
Investigator Prof. Abdrubalrasoul
Mosa Alomran
Co-investigator/s
Consultant/s
Student/s (specify undergraduate,
M.S. or Ph.D.)
Research Staff (e.g., Postdoctoral
Associate, Technician, Manager)
Contribution
Principle investigator (PI): leading the teamwork
CO-PI (1): Soil- and
water-resource
evaluation and
modeling.
CO-PI (2): defining
ecosystem problems in
collaboration with the
community. (Identifying
regional human activities and
practices, particularly those
that enhance ecosystem
degradation within socioeconomic and cultural
constructs).
CO-PI (3): building an Eco-InfoBase for the ecosystem
using RS/GIS technology.
Project consultant 1
Project consultant 3
(Local): Water quality
(International): a
expert and one of Kharj
modeling expert for the
stakeholder
Saltmed model.
Have been trained for
Working in project field
modeling and using ion
sampling and laboratory
chromatography apparatus analyses of plant, soil and
water samples.
Project field sampling and laboratory analyses of plant,
soil and water samples.
7
4. RESEARCH OUTPUTS
Include information in the following categories that directly relates to your NSTIPfunded project. Include details, status (e.g., accepted, published, submitted, under
preparation), and dates for each category that applies to your project.
OUTPUTS:
Patents: (List details on a separate sheet)
Patent applications
Patent registrations
Licenses
Other research commercialization activities
Publications: (List on a separate sheet, the details
of the publication, e.g., title, journal, impact factor
with source such as Thomson Reuters ISI)
Refereed publications
Non-refereed publications such as journal articles,
reviews, conference papers, books and book
chapters:
Al-Omran A., A. Sallam, A. Aly. 2014. Spatial
monitoring and assessment of Al Kharj
groundwater, Saudi Arabia (Abstract). Egyptian
Soil Science Society (ESSS) Conference, (The 11th
International Conf.) 5-7 May, 2014.
2. Al-Omran A.M., Aly A.A., A.A. Khasha. 2014.
Water Management for Cucumbers: Greenhouse
Experiment in Saudi Arabia and Modeling Study
Using SALTMED Model (Abstract). The 6th
World Congress on Conservation Agriculture
June 22 – June 25, 2014
3. Aly A.A., A.M. Al-Omran, A.A. Khasha. 2015.
Water management for cucumber: Greenhouse
experiment in Saudi Arabia and modeling study
using SALTMED model (Full Original Article).
Journal of soil and water conservation (2015)
70(1): 1-11. doi: 10.2489/jswc.70.1.1
4. Al-Omran A., A. Aly., A. Sallam, Al-Shayaa.
2015.
Hydrochemical
Characterization
of
Groundwater in Arid Environment under
Agricultural Land: a Case Study in Al-Kharj, Saudi
Arabia (Full Original Article). Journal of
Environmental Quality (submitted to Journal)
Quantity
Quantity
1.
8
4
Status
Date
Status
Date
Three
published and
one submitted
to Journal
2014
and
2015
Presentations
State the quantity and list & specify on a separate
sheet whether they were conference talks,
seminars, lectures, invited talks, etc., and whether
they were institutional, regional,
national or
international.
Quantity
Al-Omran A., A. Sallam, A. Aly. 2014. Spatial
monitoring and assessment of Al Kharj
groundwater, Saudi Arabia (Abstract). Egyptian
Soil Science Society (ESSS) Conference, (The 11th
International Conf.) 5-7 May, 2014.
2. Al-Omran A.M., Aly A.A., A.A. Khasha. 2014.
Water Management for Cucumbers: Greenhouse
Experiment in Saudi Arabia and Modeling Study
Using SALTMED Model (Abstract). The 6th
World Congress on Conservation Agriculture
June 22 – June 25, 2014
2
1.
Technical Outputs
List below any technical outputs such as CDs,
software programs, databases, algorithms, and
measurement instruments.
Quantity
Status
Date
Two
presentation
in two
conferences
2014
Status
Date
Acquired
2014
Status
Date
Acquiring; ICS 5000 (Ion Chromatography),
GIS and groundwater software, and initiating
nucleus for water quality lab.
Service to the Research Community
List any membership on national and international
science committees, advisory boards, journal
editorial boards, conference organizing
committees, etc.
Preparing bulletins of awareness to Al-Kharj
farmers
Quantity
1
9
In progress
Impact on Policy
Quantity
List any contributions to development of research or
clinical guidelines, review protocols, indicators,
membership on government advisory committees,
commissioned governmental agencies, meetings
with policy makers, etc.
Status
Date
Awards and Honors
List any major awards, indicating their scale—
regional, national, international—and honors such
as academic chairs and endowed positions.
Quantity
Status
Date
Other
List any other forms of research dissemination that
is intended for non-scientific audiences (such as
radio talks, newspaper articles, television
appearances).
Quantity
Status
Date
10
5. BROADER IMPACTS OF THE PROJECT
Include information in the following categories that directly relates to your NSTIPfunded project. Include details and dates for each category that applies to your project.
Teaching and Training
Describe courses, classes, and workshops that were developed, and your role in the
activity (for example, teacher, organizer, developer).
A training course of Saltmed model. The course is carried out by project consultant
(Prof. Ragab Ragab). In additions, to general lecture in water management
Infrastructure
If you purchased equipment, describe how it adds to the capability of the institution and
training of researchers outside the project. Indicate whether this equipment is available
elsewhere in the institution and why its purchase was necessary for this project.
The ICS 5000 (Ion Chromatography), as nucleus for water quality lab. This equipment
is not available elsewhere in the institution and its purchase was necessary for this project
due to give access for water analysis. Furthermore, it is adds to the capability of the
institution and training of researchers outside the project.
GIS and groundwater software: These software are not available elsewhere in the
institution and its purchase were necessary for this project due to give access for the
interpretation of water quality results. Furthermore, they are add to the capability of the
institution and training of researchers outside the project.
Collaborations
Describe the institution, disciplinary focus, research expertise, and nature of any new or
unforeseen partnerships that were developed during the project.
In this research project, we are using a holistic ecosystem-management approach that
employs participatory, interdisciplinary, and equitable techniques. In this regard, we
conducted—in consultation with the local community and other stakeholders—a field,
laboratory, and community diagnostic assessment of Al-Kharj agro-ecosystem resources,
particularly land and water. With the results of the ecosystem analysis, we would be
better able to develop appropriate ecosystem-management interventions,
recommendations, and policies aimed at promoting the sustainable development of the
Kharj in harmony with its delicate ecosystem.
An interdisciplinary research team of soil science, water quality and management,
molding, GIS and remote sensing, and agricultural extension and rural community
experts.
11
Funding
Describe how this research has led to additional funding or prospects for future funding
awards and contracts for project investigators, students and staff. Please list the
applications, dates, reference numbers, and amount awarded, if applicable.
Others
Describe the benefits of your research to society that are not covered by the categories
above.
The society get benefits through evaluating their soil and water quality and suggest
suitable plants can plant under each conditions. Some farmers have very low water
quality which should avoid planting moderately and sensitive crops. We are planning to
invite an expert in weeds control to give advice to farmers in how can they control weeds
in environmentally friendly ways.
12
5.
BUDGET
Category
Consultant
(International)
Consultant(Local)
First year
Amount
Amount
Awarded
Expended
20000
6930
Second year
Amount
Amount
Awarded
Expended
32000
--
16000
--
16000
--
Principal Investigator
72000
--
72000
--
Co-Investigator/s
Consultant/s
Consultant/s
Student/s (specify
undergraduate, M.S.,
Ph.D.)
Research Staff (specify
Postdoctoral Associate,
Technician, Manager)
50000
50000
50000
20000
---6350
50000
50000
50000
20000
-----
90000
30700
64000
--
Administrative Staff
Major equipment (list
items >100,000 SR
below)
Other Equipment (list
items >10,000 SR below)
8000
550000
-550000
8000
--
---
180000
35032
--
--
Materials & Supplies
80000
31669
40000
--
Travel (e.g., training,
98400
39319
93400
-conference, field trips)
Dissemination (e.g.,
9000
-29000
publications, patents,
workshops, public
outreach)
Other (specify any
>1,000 SR)
Total
1293400
700000
524400
-Please list equipment (>10,000 SR) purchased. In addition, provide brief descriptions of
travel, dissemination, and other expenditures during the reporting period. If funding
sources other than NSTIP have supported any aspect of the research program, please
13
describe the funding amount and nature of support (financial, in-kind, facilities, etc.)
Also, comment on any existing core or shared research facilities that you have used for
the project to date. If category expenditures differ from budgeted amounts by more than
10%, please comment. (max. 150 words)
7. Describe any other concerns and comments related to the interim progress of the
research project that were not covered in the sections above (max. 250 words).
Thanks
14
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