Cablegate: Meteorology System Brings Israel, Palestinians,

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Meteorology System Brings Israel, Palestinians,
Jordan Together

1. Summary: An innovative Sandia Lab project in the Middle
East called Sustainable Land Use has grown into a
groundbreaking arrangement for sharing nearly real-time
meteorological data between Israel, the Palestinian
Authority and Jordan. End summary.

Meteorology System Builds on Earlier Land Use Project
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. Sandia Lab's Cooperative Monitoring Center (CMC) and its
sister organization the Cooperative Monitoring Center -
Amman brought representatives from Jordan, the Palestinian
Authority and Israel together in Amman on November 30, to
initiate and develop the Middle East Meteorological System
(MEMS). The university professors representing Israel
participated via telephone because their schedules made it
impossible for them to come to Jordan. MEMS is an online,
regional, meteorological data collection and exchange
network that extends the 1999 Sandia Lab Sustainable Land
Use project. Under the Sustainable Land Use project, there
were two weather stations installed on the West Bank and two
in Israel that transferred data to a server at Sandia in New
Mexico, from whence the data were studied and shared by all
the parties. The participants agreed on November 30 to
bring in Jordan as a new partner, to expand to a total of
eight sites, and to have CMC-Amman take on the role of
project coordinator and network manager. Thus, the MEMS
project now becomes a regional network of cooperative
monitoring and data sharing. CMC-Amman's servers in Jordan
will host the Internet-based MEMS database and website. CMC-
Amman will develop and manage the website, database and
network, conduct regional meetings and workshops on
meteorology and related disciplines such as agronomy and
ecology, coordinate projects, and seek to draw in new
regional partners. The MEMS partners plan to meet again in
the summer of 2005 at a place to be determined.

Jordan Joins MEMS, Represented by Ag Research Center
--------------------------------------------- -------

3. Jordan's National Center for Agriculture Research and
Technology Transfer (NCARTT), part of the Ministry of
Agriculture, will be the first Jordanian partner in MEMS.
NCARTT will provide its data to CMC-Amman, which will post
that data to the MEMS website. CMC-Amman will also
integrate NCARTT's system of weather stations into the MEMS
network, in the process upgrading those stations to match
the capabilities of the stations already on-line in the West
Bank and Israel.

Possible Partner: USDA Irrigation Management System
--------------------------------------------- ------

4. Ibrahim Shaqir, from USDA's Office of International
Research Programs, briefed participants on the Middle East
Regional Irrigation Management Information System (MERMIS),
a possible partner with MEMS. MERMIS is funded by the
Department of State, and developed and managed by the USDA
Agriculture Research Service's Office of International
Research Programs as part of the Middle East Peace
Initiative. MEMRIS is a cooperative regional project
bringing together participants from Israel, Jordan, the
Palestinian Authority, and the United States. MERMIS aims
at improving water management in the Middle East by
developing a regional database system for dissemination of
agro-meteorological information through installing automated
weather stations and applying irrigation scheduling
methodology in farmer's fields. Their website is

5. COMMENT: MEMS is a solid example of practical
cooperation driven by national interest, and shows that
strategic thinking and long-term engagement by U.S. partners
can contribute to the development of regional ties.


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