Consultancy - Agricultural Irrigation Automation Researcher

Status
Open
Posting Date
4 February 2022
Closing Date
open until filled
Location
Kazakhstan
Report To
Program Leader - SNRM
Vacancy Type
Consultancy
Job Number
NA
Duration of the assignment
One Year

The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture(ICBA) is an international, non-profit agricultural research center established in 1999 through the visionary leadership of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), and the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). ICBA is a unique applied agricultural research center in the world that is focused on marginal areas where an estimated 1.7 billion people live. It identifies, tests and introduces resource-efficient, climate-smart crops and technologies that are best suited to different regions affected by salinity, water scarcity and drought. Through its work, ICBA helps to improve food security and livelihoods for some of the poorest rural communities around the world. ICBA is an equal opportunity employer and appoints qualified staff regardless of race, creed, color, age, gender, religion or national origin. We demonstrate our commitment to each member of our team through a competitive benefits package designed to assist our employees to cover their needs and the needs of their immediate family members.

Job Summary

Rehabilitation of river canal systems and installation of new hydraulic posts and irrigation automation is one of the key priorities under the five-years plan (2021-2025) of the Kazakhstan Government. Under this plan, “Kazvodkhoz” started a project during the year 2022 to modernize and digitalize the irrigation network of RGP “Kazvodkhoz” for two regions Almaty and Turkistan. The project aims to ensure control over water consumption by farmers in the Almaty and Turkestan regions and will include reconstruction of hydraulic posts of five canals and installation of automated water accounting systems in these two regions. The implementing companies will construct and install complete flow rate and water level sensors with converter and telemetry system in addition to all related equipments and site preparation in 35 construction sites. It is anticipated that the new system will improve the efficiency of obtaining reliable data on water consumption and reducing the error in irrigation water. ICBA intends to hire a field researcher to work on the development of a canal water management plan and a reliable water delivery schedule to the farms. This involves developing improved / modern methods for assessing canal supply and farm water consumption and assessing opportunities for water supply efficiency in these two regions. The field researcher will also support the activities related to the hydraulic posts and irrigation automation. The field researcher will work jointly with the “Kazvodkhoz” and ICBA teams.

Job Responsibilities
  • Collect farm-gate delivery and on-farm water consumptive use data from the field.
  • Use the collected data to adjust farm-irrigation schedules based on canal delivery capacity
  • Support ICBA’s team in developing a canal water management plan and a reliable water delivery schedule to the farms.
  •  Estimate crop actual water use through analysis of remote sensing datasets and calculate the evapotranspiration of water from the collective fields.
  • Support ICBA’s team on optimizing the irrigation system, analysis of on-farm water use efficiency and the efficiency of the feedback system from the canals.
  • Develop a forecast irrigation water demand tool
  • Prepare technical reports as specified by the project documents
  • Prepare research papers to submit to peer-reviewed journals
  • Additional activities to support ICBA’s mission
Qualifications and Experience

Essential

  • Master of Science or Doctoral degree in hydraulics / irrigation automation and remote sensing
  • At least 5 years’ working knowledge in canal water allocation and remote sensing
  • Excellent skills in irrigation automation and remote sensing
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Rusian

Desirable

  • Working knowledge of database management
  • Additional language skills
  • Supervisory experience
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