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Department of Irrigation and AgroMeteorology (DIAM) woks on improving irrigation water management for sustainable agriculture in Lebanon, where farmers consumes over 70% of the countries' fresh water.

DIAM carries out research projects and trials on crop water requirements. Vegetables, cereals, legumes, fruit trees and ornamentals are among the frequently researched crops. Crop water requirements are based on soil moisture measurements, weighting lysimeter, drainage lysimeters, and measured reference evapotranspiration (ETo).

DIAM works on introducing new irrigation techniques of non-conventional forms. Water Use Efficiency and Water Productivity are among the priority department-research-axes. DIAM is introducing among Lebanese farmers the concept of more crop per drop. Among other DIAM multidisciplinary research programs are (i) increasing the environmental awareness due to water scarcity and heightened long perspectives views for a sustainable irrigated agriculture (ii) describing the current problems deriving from water management in semi-arid ecosystems and propose solutions for their corrections and (iii) providing sound irrigation information to water managers and users. DIAM also works on introducing new techniques of water harvesting and on improving water quality.

Together with other LARI’s stations, DIAM is responsible on maintaining large network of sixty weather stations overall the Lebanese territory. In 2014, weather stations of DIAM cover almost every microclimatic zone of Lebanon. DIAM gathers, collects, stores climatic data and checks on its accuracy. 

AgroMeteorology is an integral part of the DIAM’s duties. Weather forecast in direct relation to agriculture, early warning system for pests and diseases (in collaboration with other LARI's departments), drought events, irrigation advices reach the Lebanese farmers and society of all levels through Short Message Service (SMS) on their mobiles. Nevertheless, LARI has a mobile application that DIAM fills the largest part of it. DIAM is also responsible to maintain the mobile application of LARI.



  • Head of the Department: Dr. Ihab JOMAA (Ph.D in Remote Sensing/GIS and Irrigation)
  • Research Assistant: Sleiman Skaf, Randa Massaad, Alissar El Mousawi, Fatima Hmade and Rana Lahoud
  • Telecom Eng. Nisrine Hajj
  • Technical Assistant: Ali Essaid                                   

Contact person: Dr. Ihab JOMAA, Head of the Department, tel: 9618900037 9618900037(47) ext: 146 E-mail:   


1. Improving Water Management for Sustainable Mountain Agriculture: Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco

IFAD-funded, led by ICARDA, implemented by: LARI and GP-Lebanon, NCARE-Jordan, INRA-Morocco. 2011-2014

2. Middle East Water and Livelihoods Initiatives (WLI)

USAID-funded, Led by ICARDA, implemented by LARI-Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Egypt. 2010-current.

3. Irrigation Water Management in Central and Northern Bekaa, Lebanon

SDC-Swiss-Funded, led by Graduate Institute of Geneva, implemented by LARI-Lebanon. 2013-2015


4. Mapping agricultural communities vulnerable to the impact of climate change and enhancing their livelihood in selected countries of MENA and SSA Regions (CODRA)


Funded by IFAD and led by ICBA, Dubai, 2015-2017


5. The Effects of Water Deficit On Crop Growth, Yield, Fruit Quality And Water Use Efficiency Of Zucchini Squash (Cucurbita Pepo L.) In A Mediterranean Climate 



The first objective of the current research was to determine daily and seasonal evapotranspiration of zucchini using a weighing lysimeter. The second objective was to study the effects of deficit irrigation on growth, yield, quality, electrolyte leakage, chlorophyll content, radiation and water use efficiencies of this crop. A third objective can be derived from the measurement of crop coefficients (Kc) based on lysimetric data, and to provide an outline for zucchini squash irrigation under the semi-arid conditions of the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. 

Starting Date                          2010

Ending Date                             2010

Participating Organizations

Lebanese University, Faculty of Agronomy.


6. Bean (Vicia Faba L) Improvement For Water Use Efficiency Through Morpho-Physiological Studies




This study aimed to investigate the effect of rainfed and supplemental irrigation treatments on   agronomical, physiological responses, and water use efficiency of several faba bean lines in a Mediterranean environment. 

Starting Date                        2009

Ending Date                          2012

Participating Organizations

ICARDA-Aleppo, LebaneseUniversity, Faculty of Agronomy.



7.       Evaluation of Drought Tolerance In Faba Bean (Vicia Faba L) Lines In Macroclimatic Zones In Lebanon: Kferden And Terbol




This study aimed to evaluate the drought tolerance of 20 lines of faba bean cultivated in two microclimate zones in Lebanon: Terbol-semi-arid region (central of Bekaa) and Kferdan arid region (north of the Bekaa)

Starting Date                        2009

Ending Date                          2010

Participating Organizations

ICARDA-Aleppo, LebaneseUniversity, Faculty of Agronomy



8.       Improvement in Grey Water Quality for Agricultural Reuse and Community-Based Interventions Leading to Safe And Productive Use of Grey Water for Crop Productions Systems. 




A- Increase in public awareness regarding safe and productive use of greywater;                 

B-Availability of reliable and sustainable irrigation water source;

C- Increase in household income through better garden    production, reduced     water charges and decreased septic pool pumping costs;

D-Reduction in environmental and health risks.

Starting Date                        2009

Ending Date                          2011

Participating Organizations

International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).



9.       Establishing a New Automated Agro-Weather Network of 44 Synoptic Stations in The Foreseen of Early Warning System for Disease And Pest.




A- Pest and Disease Forecast Service

B-Managing, downloading, collecting and archiving all climatic data at Tal Amara mother station

C- 10 Days weather Forecast for Tal Amara, Fanar, Abdeh and Tyr stations

Starting Date                        1997

Ending Date                          -----

Participating Organizations

European Union


During the period 1998-2000 the Department participated to the following projects:

1) "Desertification in the Mediterranean Drylands: Development of a Monitoring System Based on Plant Ecophysiology" (1998-2000), European Commission, INCO-DC, University of Trieste (Italy), CIHEAM-MAICH, Greece;

2) Euro-Mediterranean Network on "Collective Irrigation Systems CIS_Net" (1998-2000), Regional Action Program of the European Commission, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (Italy), the National Water Resources Center in Egypt

Other Activities

During the period 2002-2004, the following collaborative projects are planned:

1) “Influence of climate and agronomical techniques on the essential oils produced by Mediterranean officinal plants” (2002-2004), European Commission, 5th framework, Med-Project of Italian National Council for Research (CNR);

2) “Rural Development Project of Upper Bakaa Valley, Baalbeck El Hermel Region” (2003-2006), with Cooperazione Italiana of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

3) Specific targeted research or innovation EU-Project on “Management Improvements of WUE and NUE of Mediterranean Strategic Crops (Wheat and Barley), acronym WatNitMed.

Steps ahead for future collaboration

1) Kyoto Protocol of the “United Nations Convention on Climate Change” (UNCCC);

2) United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)


Jomaa I., Younes M., Harfouche E., Skaf S., Massaad R., Hajj Sleimen R., Mounzer O. 2013. Effect of Two Different Irrigation Techniques and The Application Of The Partial Root Zone Drying Technique on Potato Crop. 1st CIGR Inter-Regional Conference on Land and Water Challenges-Bari, 10-14 September, ITALY.

Darwish T., Jomaa I., Atallah T., Skaf S., Massaad R. 2013. Response of Two Wheat Varieties to Potassium Application under Different Rates of Supplemental Irrigation. IPNC 2013, XVII International Plant Nutrition Colloquium, Plant Nutrition for Nutrient and Food Security. 19-22 August, Istanbul, Turkey.

Jomaa I., Skaf S., Massaad R., Elhaj N. 2011. Variabilité climatique au Liban. Actes de Coloque; Environnement et Gestion Durable de Ecosystemes Naturels au Moyen-Orient. 18-20 avril, 2011, AUF, Beirut.

Snyder R.L., Song Z., Jomaa I., Moratiel R., Swelam A., Shapland T. 2011. Evaporation Response to Climate Change. Proc. XXVIII, IHC – IS on Water Use in a Changing World. Eds J.E. Fernandez and M.I. Ferreira. Acta Hort 922, ISHS 2011.

Darwish T., Atallah T., Francis R., Saab C., Jomaa I., Shaaban A., Sakka H., Zdruli P. 2011. Observations on soil and groundwater contamination with nitrate: A case study from Lebanon-East Mediterranean. Agriculture Water Management, 99, 74 – 84.

Jomaa I., Auda Y. 2010. Contribution of Topographically Explicit Descriptors of Landscape Measures for Application in the Vector Data Environment. Journal of Geographic Information System, 2, 170-175.

Hajar, L., François, L., Khater, C., Jomaa, I., Déqué, M., Cheddadi, R. 2010. Cedrus libani (A. Rich) distribution in Lebanon: past, present and future. Comptes Rendus Biologies, 333, 622 – 630.

Darwish, T., Jomaa, I., and Abou Daher, M. 2010. Assessment and mapping of available potassium in Lebanese soils. International symposium on: “Soil Management and Potash Fertilizer Uses in WANA Region”.  Antalia, Turkey 22-25 November, P. 34.

Darwish, T., Khater, C., Jomaa, I., Stehouwer, R. 2010. Environmental impact of quarries on natural resources in Lebanon. Land degradation and development. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.1011

T. Darwish, R. Stehouwer, C. Khater, I. Jomaa, D. Miller. 2010. Rehabilitation of Deserted Quarries in Lebanon to initial Land Cover or Alternative Land Uses. In: Land Degradation and Desertification: Assessment, Mitigation and Remediation (Zdruli, Pagliai, Kapur and Faz Cano (Eds). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidel­berg New York *ISBN-13:* 978-9048186563.

Jomaa I., Auda Y., Hamze M., Abi Saleh B., Safi S. 2009. Analysis of Eastern Mediterranean oak forests over the period 1965-2003 using landscape indices on a patch basis. Landscape Research, 34 (1), 105 – 124.

Jomaa I., 2008. Analyse diachronique de la fragmentation des forêt du Liban. Thèse doctorat, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse III.

Jomaa I., Auda Y., Abi Saleh B., Hamze M., Safi S. 2008. Landscape spatial dynamics over 38 years under natural and anthropogenic pressures in Mount Lebanon. Landscape and Urban Planning, 87, 67-75.

Darwish, M.T, Stehouwer, R., Miller, D., Jomaa, I. Shaban, A. Khater, C. & Hamzé, M. 2008. Reclamation of abandoned quarries and assessment of alternative land cover use in Lebanon, East Mediterranean. Joint 25th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation and 10th Meeting of the International Affiliation of Land Reclamationists (IALR). Richmond, Virginia 14-19 June 2008.

Darwish T. M., Atallah T., Jomaa I., Itani L., Francis R. 2008. Environmental Risks of Nitrates Buildup in the Soil-Groundwater System in Central Bekaa Area. Abstract in: The 15th Science Meeting, Science in the 21st Century, 14 November, 2008. The Lebanese Association for the Advancement of Science (LAAS).

Darwish T.M., Stehouwer R., Miller D., Sloan J., Jomaa I., Shaban A., Khater C., Hamze H. Assessment of Abandoned Quarries for Revegetation and Water Harvesting in Lebanon, East Mediterranean. 2008. National Meeting of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation, Richmond VA, New Opportunities to Apply Our Science, June 14-19, 2008. R.I. Barnhisel (Ed). Published by ASMR, 3134 Montavesta Rd., Lexington, KY 40502.

Jomaa I., Auda Y., Khater C. 2007. Contribution to the characteriszation of forest fragmentation on the Eastern flank of Mount Lebanon over 33 years. Lebanese Science Journal, 8 (2), 59-74.

Darwish T., Jomaa I., Awad M., Aboudaher M., and Msann J. 2005. Inventory and management of Lebanese soils integrating the soil geographical database of Euro-Mediterranean countries. Lebanese Science Journal 6 (2), 57-70.

Darwish, T., Muller, W., Hobler, W. and Jomaa, I. 2004. Approach to assess soil contamination II: Evaluation of heavy metal contamination of main arable LebaneseLands. 8th International Meeting on Soils with Mediterranean Type of Climate. 9-11 February. Marrakech (Morocco). Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II. Association Marocaine des Sciences du Sol. Ecole nationale d'Agriculture de Meknès. Morocco Watershed Protection and Mangement. USAID. Institut Mondial du Phosphate. ImprimElite, salé (Maroc). 131-133.

Darwish, T., Jomaa, I., Khawlie, M., Muller, H.W., and Moller, A. 2004. Heavy metals content and bioavailability in central Bekaa, Lebanon. Workshop “safe Use of Groundwater and Soil Resources for Sustainable Development in the Arab Region”. Damascus, Syria: March, 1-3.

Darwich, M., Khawlie, M., Faour, G., Masri, T., Haddad, T., Awad, M., Bou Kheir, R., Sha'aban, A., Jomaa, I, Abdallah, C., 2003. Dynamic factors of land degradation in Lebanon. Workshop on ecosystem-based assessment of soil degradation to favilitate land users' and land owners' prompt actions ECOLAND, Adana, Turkey, 2-7/6/2003.

Jomaa, I., Bou Kheir, R. 2003. Multitemporal unsupervised classification and NDVI to monitor land cover change in Lebanon. Options Méditerranéenes série B, n° 46 : 43 49.

Gitas, I.Z., Mitri, G. H., Babosa, P. M., Jomaa, I., Papageorgiou, C. and Turk, T. 2003. Land cover change detection using NOAA AVHRR images taken from 1989 to 2002 for the eastern part of the Mediterranean region as a tool to support decision-making. Options Méditerranéenes série B, n° 46 : 51 – 55.

Darwish T., Jomaa I., Shaban A. and Khawlie M. 2003. Pressure on groundwater and soil quality in central Bekaa, Lebanon: the need for monitoring, protection and regulations. Technical, Legal and Institutonal Aspects for the protection of Groundwater and Soil Resources”. ACSAD, BGR and MAEWR workshop. Tunisia 6-9, October 2003.

Darwish, T., Khawlie, M., Jomaa, I., Awad, M., Abou Daher, M., and Zdruli, P. 2002. Asurvey to Upgrade Information for Soil Mapping and Management in Lebanon. Options Méditerranéenes série A n.50. 7th International Meeting on Soils with Mediterranean type of Climate.

Khawlie, M., Hansmann, B., Darwish, T., Haddad, T., Jomaa, I., Bou Kheir, R., 2002. Enhancing the role of remote sensing for encountering desertification in Lebanon. Remote Sensing for Developing Countries-2nd Workshop EARSeL–Bonn, 18-20 September 2002.

Salleo, S., Hamzé, M., Jomaa, I., Pitt, F., Nardini, A., 2002. Difference drought resistance of two Mediterranean oaks growing in the Bekaa Valley (Lebanon). Plant Biosystem, 136 (1), 91-100.

Darwish T., Zdruli P., Khawlie M., Jomaa I., Aboudaher M., Bou kheir R., Awad, M.,. 2001. Upgrading soil information and mapping for soil management in Lebanon. 7th International Meeting of Soils with Mediterranean Type of Climate. Valenzano, Bari-Italy, 23-28 September 2001. Book of extended abstracts: 100-102.

Darwish, T., Jomaa, I., 2001. Inventory and management of soil resources using the soil geographical database at 1:1million scale-Lebanon. 7th Intentional Meeting of Soils with Mediterranean Type of Climate, IAM-Bari, Italy, 23-28 September 2001.

Darwish, T.M., Khawlie, M., Masri, T., Faour, G., Awad, M., Jomaa, I., 2000. Producing the soil map of Lebanon and the SOil-TERrain database (SOTER at 1:50 000). The 14th Science Meeting organized by C.N.R.S.L. (Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research) and LAAS (Lebanese Association for the Advancement of Science), 23-25 November 2000.

Darwish, T.M., Khawlie, M., Jomaa, I., 2000e. Evaluation of pollution levels in soil in the Central Bekaa Valley. Soil and water vulnerability to pollution-project in Bekaa plain, Zahlé area. Workshop on "Soil and Groundwater Vulnerability to Contamination", Beirut, Lebanon.

Darwish, T.M., Jomaa, I., 2000d. Vulnerability of soil resources to heavy metals contamination in Central Bekaa-Lebanon.  The 14th Science Meeting organized by C.N.R.S.L. (Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research) and LAAS (Lebanese Association for the Advancement of Science), 23-25 November 2000.

Darwish, T.M., Jomaa, I., 2000c. Fifty years of urban expansion of Tripoli: Degradational impact on land. Workshop on GIS Role in Urban Management and Planning, GIS 2000.

Darwish, T.M., Jomaa, I., 2000b. Modeling of the heavy metals from soil to groundwater. Workshop on "Soil and Groundwater Vulnerability to Contamination", Beirut, Lebanon.

Darwish, T.M., Jomaa, I., 2000a. Concepts of mapping of groundwater vulnerability to pollution in the project area. Soil and water vulnerability to pollution-project in Bekaa plain, Zahle area. Workshop on "Soil and Groundwater Vulnerability to Contamination", Beirut, Lebanon.

Darwish, T.M., Khawlie, M., Jomaa, I., 1999. Nature and extend of pollution of land resources in Central Beqa’a, Lebanon. ICS-UNIDO, Workshop on Remediation Technologies: applicability and economic viability in Northern Africa and the Middle East, Environmental Hazard Mitigation Center, Cairo University, 24-28 October 1999.

Jomaa, I., 1993. Irrigation project: water from the dam to the farmer, Bari, Italy. Unpublished B.S. Thesis.

Jomaa, I., 1994. Nitrogen-Fertigation: Maize response to ammonium nitrate fertilizers. Unpublished M.S. Thesis.


F. Karam, O. Mounzer, F. Sarkis, and R. Lahoud. 2002. Yield and Nitrogen Recovery of Lettuce Under Different Irrigation Regimes. Journal of Applied Horticulture. 13: 285-295.

F. Karam, J. Breidy, C. Stephan, and Joe Rouphael. 2003. Evapotranspiration, Yield and Water Use Efficiency of Drip Irrigated Corn in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. Agricultural Water Management, 63: 125-137.

F. Karam. 2004. Automated climatic database for a sustainable productivity and management of agricultural systems in Lebanon. World Meteorological Organization. WMP, Report series, 42: 179- 183.

F. Karam and O. Mounzer. 2004. Water demand and irrigation development. Steps towards securing future requirements. In: A. Leone and A. Basile (Eds.), Managing Water Demand in Agriculture through Pricing. Research Issues and Lessons Learned. 125-135.

F. Karam, R. Masaad, T. Sfeir, O. Mounzer and Y. Rouphael Evapotranspiration and seed yield of field grown soybean under deficit irrigation conditions. Agricultural Water Management. In press.

F. Karam, R. Lahoud, R. Masaad, C. Stephan, Y. Rouphael, and G. Colla. Yield and tuber quality of potassium treated potato under optimum irrigation conditions. In press in Acta Horticulturae.

F. Karam, R. Lahoud, C. Darido, F. Dirani, Y. Rouphael and G. Colla. Potassium recovery of potato under optimum irrigation conditions. In press in Acta Horticulturae.

F. Karam, R. Lahoud, R. Masaad, C. Stephan, Y. Rouphael, G. Colla. 2009. Yield And Tuber Quality Of Potassium Treated Potato Under Optimum Irrigation Conditions, ISHS, 1-1.


F. Karam, R. Masaad, R. Bachour, C. Rhayem and Y. Rouphael. 2009. Water and Radiation Use Efficiencies in Drip-irrigated Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.):Response to Full and Deficit Irrigation Regimes, Europ.J.Hort.Sci, 74: 1-7.


F. Karam, R. Lahoud, R. Masaad, R. Kabalan, J. Breidi, C. Chalita, Y. Rouphael. 2007. Evapotranspiration, Seed Yield And Water Use Efficiency Of Drip Irrigated Sunflower Under Full And Deficit Irrigation Conditions, ELSEVIER, 90: 213-223.


F. Karam, R. Lahoud, R. Masaad, A. Daccache, O. Mounzer, Y. Rouphael. 2006. Water Use And Lint Yield Response Of Drip Irrigated Cotton To The Length Of Irrigation Season, ELSEVIER,  85: 287-295.


E. Choueiri, R. Massad and F. Jreijiri. 2005. First Report Of A 16srii Group Phytoplasma Associated With Shoot Proliferation Of A Cactus (Opuntia Monacantha) in Lebanon. APS net, 89:1129.


F. Karam, R. Masaad, T. Sfeir, O. Mounzer, Y. Rouphael. 2005. Evapotranspiration And Seed Yield Of Field Grown Soybean Under Deficit Irrigation Conditions, ELSEVIER, 75: 226-244.


E. Choueiri, S. El-Zammar, F. Jreijiri, D. Mnayer, R. Massaad, A. T. Saad, L. Hanna and C. Varveri. 2004. Phytosanitary Status Of Potato In The Bekaa Valley In Lebanon, OEPP/EPPO, Bulletin 34, 117-121.


F. Karam, J. Breidy, C. Stephan, J. Rouphael. 2003. Evapotranspiration, Yield And Water Use Efficiency Of Drip Irrigated Corn In The Bekaa Valley Of Lebanon, ELSEVIER, 1851: 1-13.


F. Karam, Rafic Lahoud, S. Skaff, S. H. Hassan. 2002. Stress Hydrique Et Fertilisation Azotée : Effets Sur La Production De La Betterave A Sucre Au Liban, SECHERESSE, 13:113-9.


F. Karam, S. Skaf, S. Hajj Hassan and R. Lahoud. 2001. Influence du Stress Hydrique et du niveau de la Fertilisation Azotée sur la croissance, le Rendement et la Qualité Technologique de la Betterave à Sucre, MAGON, 1:45-54.


A. Charanek, S. Hajj Hassan And S. Skaf . 2001. تأثير نسب مختلفة من الأزوت، الفوسفور  والبوتاس على إنتاجية ونوعية البطاطا . MAGON, 1:17-33.




International Conference on "Photosynthesis in a Changing World" (PHOTOCHANGE), Chania, Crete, 27 May - 3 June, 2003. European Union, CNR-Rome, NAGREF-Chania, CSIRO-Australia.

>International conference on ‘Improvement of potato tuber quality: size uniformity, nutritional value and processing attributes’. European Association for Potato Research. International Society of Horticultural Science. Viterbo, Italy, 14-16 June 2004


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