The project “WISPER – Water-efficient Innovative Solutions Potofolio for Enhancing Resilience” is implemented by ICU in partnership with the National research Institute of rural engineering, Water and Forests (INRGREF) of Tunisia and the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC) in the framework of the Call for Proposals “Demonstration Projects on Efficient Use of Water”.
The main objective of the project is to contribute to the promotion of efficient use of water in rural areas in Tunisia and Jordan in order to adapt and enhance resilience to water related impacts of climate change.
The specific objective of the project is to improve technical, institutional and market context that supports the adoption and scaling up of water in agricultural irrigation, in Nabeul governorate in Tunisia and in Balqa, Karak and Mafraq governorate in Jordan.
The action is prepared based on a local context analysis carried out by ICU and local partners. The main challenges identified are:
- The limited availability of water for agricultural irrigation;
- The high cost of getting irrigation water to agricultural plots
- Sea water intrusion into fresh water aquifers
- Soil fertility deterioration by inappropriate une of brackish water
to face these challenges, the WISPER project has opted for a strategy based on two pillars: technical innovation and innovation ecosystem (institutional and market context). The technical innovation pillar refers to the identification, test and showcase of portfolio of innovative solutions for the efficient use of water and use of non conventional waters, at farmers’ site or at research stations depending on maturity of innovations. The innovation ecosystem pillar refers to improved institutional and market context to facilitate the local upscale of the innovative solutions of the portfolio.
The project will thus creat a tangible impact at socio-economic and environmental level:
- Reducing water waste (increasing water saving and water reuse)
- Increasing farmer incomes (trough cost savings and/or enhanced agricultural productivity)
- Increasing the use of eco-friendly and sustainable water efficient solutions