in those regions? The answers to these questions depend on scientific advances in agronomy, water science and economics.
In considering the means of strengthening science based decision making the agenda was divided in to segments. One segment included general presentations on Science and Decision-Making, including the unique role of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Science and Technology of Senegal. Another segment included presentations on science and water management and yet another examined specific water management issues in Tunisia. There was an extensive discussion of innovations in agricultural water management. One innovation which has significant potential for the region is the use of regulated deficit irrigation regimes on permanent crops which allow growers to produce high quality yields with very limited water supplies. In all of these presentations and in the related discussions participants recognized that there is much existing science waiting to be applied and utilized in the management of agricultural water. In addition, significant new scientific innovations are likely to be available to help growers everywhere utilize water in a highly productive and highly efficient fashion.
Many participants also recognized that the generation and availability of science alone is not sufficient for good agricultural water management. The science must be transferred to policy makers, water managers and water users. The workshop considered the questions of what constitutes good scientific advice from both the perspective of the scientist and the policy maker. Agricultural water users and managers provided perspectives on what constitutes good scientific advice. Water users also reported on how they had used science in their own endeavors. Finally, there were a number of presentations and discussions on how to link science with action. The structure of the program, the presentations, and the resulting discussions illustrated that while good science and the development of good science will be crucially important in resolving the water problems of Tunisia and its neighbors, communications of that science to a broad array of users, including policy makers, managers and growers will be at least as important.
The workshop was enriched by participants from many of the countries of North Africa and the Middle East. All participants engaged in the workshop discussions, bringing examples from their own situations to bear on the deliberations. It is the hope of the workshop sponsors and organizers that the presentations and deliberations of this workshop on strengthening science based decision making in agricultural water management will help in fashioning solutions to the significant water problems of North Africa and the Middle East.