In addition, UC Davis is engaged in the USAID funded and regionally-focused Water Livelihood Initiative. Working with ICARDA and four other US Land Grant Universities, UC Davis is helping strengthen extension systems in the region. The goal of the WLI is to improve the livelihoods of rural communities in seven participating Middle East countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordon, Palestine, Syria, Yemen) where water scarcity, land degradation, and water quality deterioration are a problem. The five U.S. Universities are University of California at
Davis and at Riverside; Texas A&M; University of Florida; UIUC; and Utah State
The proposed project will develop and pilot-test proven water and land-use management strategies in one or two benchmark watersheds in each country to reverse current trends of land and water resource degradation to bring about more sustainable ecosystems.
Implementation of the project will be achieved through MS and PhD students working alongside the current generation of researchers, extensionists and politicians. The successful strategies will then be replicated at national or regional levels following a scaling-up strategy implemented through
partnerships with policy-makers.