Symposium of Near East and North Africa Regional Network for Evapotranspiration

February 03, 2023
Published by
ICARDA Communication Team
Global Goals
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
symposium of NENA ET NET
Group photo at the Symposium of NENA Regional Network for Evapotranspiration

This work is part of the FAO-funded NENA Regional Network of Evapotranspiration Project led by ICARDA and FAO’s Regional Office for Near East and North Africa (RNE) in collaboration with national partners from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia.    


December 2022, Rabat, Morocco - ICARDA in partnership with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), held a regional hybrid symposium to bring together the Near East and North Africa (NENA) Evapotranspiration Network of experts and researchers in the important research field of evapotranspiration.  

Evapotranspiration (ET) is how much water moves from the earth’s surface to the atmosphere through direct evaporation from the ground or through the transpiration of plants. Its measurement can be highly advantageous to farmers who, armed with better knowledge, can identify the optimum crop to plant, where, what time of the year, and how much water may be required.  

At the symposium, attendees from the world over presented and discussed the practical challenges encountered in evapotranspiration measurement. The most recent innovations and solutions adopted in ET measurement and remote sensing methods were discussed, and how to deploy them for better water resources management. 

Over 45 presenters from 10 NENA regional countries and Europe gathered to share lessons learned, research results and key findings, potential applications, and recommendations for improved ET measurement. Postgraduate students from the NENA region and South Mediterranean European countries also presented their research findings. 

At the two-day event, a series of presentations relevant to ET measurement was made, including specific sessions on satellite remote sensing and modeling for estimating evapotranspiration and using evapotranspiration for agriculture-related applications. Recordings and presentations are open access for interested parties. 



Symposium NENA ET NET blog image 2


"The evapotranspiration measurement regional network is a milestone achievement for the NENA region. To date, there are virtually no coordinated measurements or initiatives to validate estimated evapotranspiration in the region systematically. " – Vinay Nangia (ICARDA), NENA Regional Evapotranspiration Network Project Lead 



Participants represented stakeholders and project implementing partners such as NARC (Jordan), INRGREF (Tunisia), ICID, University of Cordoba, IHE Delft, UM6P (Morocco), CIHEAM-Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, and the Tunisian National Institute of Field Crops Research. 


Symposium NENA ET NET blog image 3


"This first-ever Regional Symposium on Evapotranspiration has demonstrated the range and volume of important work being carried out and the subsequent need for knowledge sharing. Every researcher is testing and exploring methods and has something to offer. The workshop is a stocktaking of knowledge, and a very good start for connecting researchers." – Domitille Vallee, FAO regional office, based in Cairo. 


The regional ET network is key to the water-scarce NENA region, which is highly vulnerable to climate change. It is vital to validate and calibrate existing estimates based on remote sensing and modeling. 


Symposium NENA ET NET blog image 4

"Our collaboration with ICARDA dates back more than thirty years on water efficiency and productivity, and drylands agriculture. ICARDA accurately targets the challenges of agriculture in North Africa and works to preserve its future food security, through innovations for adaptation to drought and the valorization of research results in this field." – Nasr Zouhair, INRGREF, Tunisia. 




During the two-day discussion, the following recommendations and key messages were raised considering the strengths and limitations of the ET NENA network: 

  • Building a common understanding of ET estimation needs continuous long-term ET measurements and adding more locations under different agroecological conditions. 

  • Smart irrigation management applications should be developed from the measured ET data to apply irrigation amounts complying with crop water requirements throughout the crop cycle and to advise farmers and extensionists on precision irrigation. 

  • Comparative datasets and brief reports should be introduced to decision-makers on the water productivity following irrigation scheduling based on available ET methods across the network sites in comparison with the generalized regime applied by farmers in each country.   

  • More efforts should be made for knowledge sharing beyond the project implementing partners by making data accessible, by organizing dissemination events such as webinars, conferences, or symposiums, and by establishing a community of practice (COP) on evapotranspiration research in MENA region. Please sign up for the COP ( 

  • Science-policy dialogues are recommended on the regional and national levels to bridge the gap between science and policy aspects of information coming out of project results. 

The symposium is part of the NENA Regional Network of Evapotranspiration Project, established by ICARDA and supported by FAO in partnership with six countries - Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia - with an aim to expand to more countries in the region. 

This project aligns with the CGIAR’s mission to transform food, water, and land systems and contributes to FAO global goals two and three: the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, forest, fisheries, and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations. It also works towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal six which aims to increase water use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from it.


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Session 1: Field Measurements of Evapotranspiration 

Intercomparison between NENA-ETNet Sites (Watch recording) 

Ajit Govind, ICARDA  

Cordova-ET System for ET Estimation (Watch Recording) 

Jose Berni, University of Cordoba, Spain (UCO)  

Citrus Crop Classification with Google Earth Engine and potential spatialization of the Actual Evapotranspiration Obtained from Flux Tower Eddy Covariance: Case Study of Cap Bon, Tunisia (Watch recording) 

Amal Chakhar, Institute of Regional Development, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain 

ET and Crop Water requirements in Southern Italy by means of FAO CropWat (Wath recording) 

Marco Arcieri, ICID 

Wheat Evapotranspiration and Crop Coefficient Under Different Production systems for Improving Water Productivity in Arid Regions (Watch recording) 

Rania Gamal, ICARDA 

Session 2: Satellite Remote Sensing and Modeling for Estimation of Evapotranspiration 

Satellite-based actual Evapotranspiration over Large-Scale and Complex Irrigation Scheme in Sudan (Watch recording) 

Islam Al Zayed, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Cologne University, Germany  

Assessing of different SVAT models driven by remote sensing data for Evapotranspiration estimates in a traditional irrigated area in Tensift Al 

Bouchra Ait Hassaine, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Morocco  

Performance Evaluation of Remote Sensing-based Evapotranspiration Estimation with a Network of Field Measurement in the Near East and North Africa (Watch recording) 

Abeyou Worqlul, ICARDA 

Using High-resolution Soil Moisture Data for Better Constraining Thermal-based Energy Balance Model (TSEB-SM) over Wheat Field (Watch recording) 

Bouchra Ait Hassaine, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Morocco  

Crop coefficient and evapotranspiration estimation  from synthetic aperture radar data: A case study of  irrigated wheat in Morocco 

Nadia Quaadi, Center for the Study of the BIOsphere from Space CESBIO  

Assessment of Remote Sensing-based Evapotranspiration Products  over Tensift Al-Haouz region, Morocco (Watch recording) 

Yassine Manyari, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Morocco 

Session 3: Use of Evapotranspiration for Agriculture Related Applications 

Water Accounting in El Fayoum Case Study, Egypt (Watch recording) 

Emad Mahmoud, Planning Sector, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt 

An Isotope-enabled Model for Evaluating Groundwater Recharge (Watch Recording) 

Taha Attou, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Morocco 

Analysis of Irrigation System Performance Based on an Integrated Approach with Sentinel-2 Satellite Images (Watch recording) 

Meriem Er-Rami, Department of Land & Water Resources Management, CIHEAM-Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Italy  

Session 4: NENA ETNet - Common Regional Understanding of Evapotranspiration Measurements within NENA ETNet Countries 

Egypt's Site Status (Watch recording) 

Alaa Mosaad, Manal Tantawy, ARC- Soils, Water, Environment Research Institute (SWERI)  

Jordan's Site Status 

Naem Mazahrih, Ahmad Alalwan, National Agricultural Research Center (NARC)  

Lebanon's Site Status (Watch recording) 

Ihab Jomaa, Nisrine Younes, Lebanese Agriculture Research Institute (LARI)  

Morocco's Site Status 

Anas Mansouri, ICARDA 

Tunisia's Site Status (Watch recording) 

Rim Zeitouna, Nasr Zouhair, National Institute of Field Crops (INGC)