What can California, Israel and Australia learn from each other about drought?

Dec 10, 2015

What can California, Israel and Australia learn from each other about drought?

Dec 10, 2015

Drought management experts from Israel and Australia will join U.S. scientists in California for a workshop in Modesto on Jan. 12 and 13. Growers, crop consultants, irrigation practitioners, state agency members and others are invited to participate.

The two-day event, “Proven Solutions to Drought Stress: Water Management Strategies for Perennial Crops with Limited and Impaired Water Supplies,” is designed to foster conversation on a variety of drought management aspects and strategies. The drought workshop will be held at the Modesto Centre Plaza at 1150 9th Street in Modesto.   

“California, Israel and Australia have all faced recurring drought conditions of varying severity and duration,” said James Ayars, research agricultural engineer of USDA Agricultural Research Service in Parlier, Calif., who spearheaded the event to bring together this prestigious group of scientists. “In view of more frequent and more severe recurring droughts in the years to come, it makes sense for us to pool our knowledge and plan more strategically for the future.”   

Over the past 20 years, USDA and University of California scientists have developed several new approaches to help growers adapt to using water more efficiently. Several UC Davis, UC Cooperative Extension and California Department of Water Resources scientists will discuss their research approach and findings in California.

Other speakers include Shabtai Cohn, head of Israel's Agricultural Research Organization Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences Institute, John Hornbuckle, associate professor at Deakin University in Australia, and other researchers from Israel and Australia.

This workshop is sponsored by the USDA Agricultural Research Service, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR), UC California Institute for Water Resources and the Israel Ministry of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Organization.

“We hope to share expertise gained from experiences in our respective countries and learn new approaches for growing crops with limited water and poor quality water under the prospect of increased climate variability and change,” said Daniele Zaccaria, UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in agricultural water management in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at UC Davis and one of the event organizers. “Although Australia and Israel have very different climatic and socioeconomic conditions, there may be drought management strategies and policies that work in California that they can apply, and they may have practices and policies that we can adapt to address issues in California.”

The workshop will include breakout sessions to discuss water management strategies for specific crops including grapes, almonds, pistachios, citrus and avocados.

Registration is $80 and includes lunch for both days. Dec. 18 is the deadline for early registration. After Dec. 18, registration is $120 until Jan. 1, 2016, and $150 after Jan. 1. There will be no on-site registration.

Certified crop advisers can earn continuing education units: Soil & Water Management 12.0 CEU and Crop Management 0.5 CEU.

To see the agenda and to register, please visit http://www.droughtmgt.com.

Lodging is available next to the Modesto Centre Plaza at the DoubleTree Hotel at 1150 9th Street in Modesto.