The World Bank-GEF funds will provide the necessary hardware, software, field validation, and consultants to implement remote sensing and WISP based techniques for agricultural and water resource management and problem solving. The countries eligible for the World Bank – GEF funds include Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. The World Bank funds will be distributed directly to the participating countries through grants that will be directed based upon the technical needs (see Table 3). It is feasible that some of the GEF hired consultants by each country may be trained in the U.S. in support of MENA water data platform implementation process. This training can be accomplished at NASA team member facilities under NASA direction.
The USAID role is to support NASA by reimbursement for essential management, technical activities and oversight because the World Bank cannot engage NASA directly for its participation. Without this reimbursement, NASA would be unable to implement NASA models, data products, software, and training of on site technical experts to insure self-sufficiency in operating the remote sensing and the WISP and LDAS systems. The participation of USAID in this initiative is very crucial and will also help facilitate connecting the NASA tools with decision making and policy makers USAID will also financially support continued activities in the development of the MENA LDAS at ICBA. The activity at ICBA is covered under a separate SOW between NASA and USAID.
NASA will provide essential management and technical support for the implementation of the NASA models, data products, software, and training of on site technical experts to insure self-sufficiency in operating the MENA NASA water data platforms. NASA will also help ICBA to implement, optimize and extend the LDAS and WISPs to other MENA institutions. This will further involve establishing ICBA-MENA coordination at the interface level to leverage ICBA experiences with the LDAS implementation process. NASA will benchmark and validate the water data platform models both at ICBA and MENA using NASA furnished sample simulations to help quantify improvements in water information for use by policy makers.