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Assessing Capabilities of Sol and Water Resources in Drylands: The Role of Informative Retrieval and Dissemination Technologies

Conference: 20-23 October 2002
Workshop: 24-25 October 2002

Conference Themes:

  • Collecting and Organizing Soil & Water Data in Dryland Regions: Techniques & Strategies
  • Electronic Access to Soil and Water Data: Demonstrations of Interactivity & Usability
  • Information Gateways, Portals, and Learning Tools: Demonstrating the Future

The IALC wishes to gratefully acknowledge the support of the USDA Forest Service and the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) for this conference and workshop.

The documents are in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) for ease in downloading as well as viewing in their original format.

Note: The papers from this conference will be published in the Arid Lands Newsletter, Issue 52 (Winter 2003).


The International Arid Lands Consortium's (IALC) 9 Member Institutions include:

  • The University of Arizona
  • Desert Research Institute - Nevada
  • Higher Council for Science and Technology - Jordan
  • The University of Illinois
  • Jewish National Fund
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation - Egypt
  • New Mexico State University
  • South Dakota State University
  • Texas A&M University-Kingsville.


Donald A. Hegwood
(paper: html version)


The focus of the IALC conference was the importance, role, and capabilities of soil and water resources in the planning and management of dryland regions, and electronic access to soil and water data: demonstrations of interactivity and usability

The focus of the international workshop was the use of electronic resources available through World Wide Websites, interactive decision-making tools, new internet technologies, and other electronic means to assist in the planning and management of soil and water resources for developmental activities.

Problem Statement

One-half of the world's countries have portions or all of their land in dryland environments, including hyper-arid, arid, and semiarid zones. These lands and their sub-humid margins account for 45 million km2, or approximately one-third of the Earth's surface. It is here where land and environmental degradation is occurring at an alarming rate and threatening the livelihood of nearly 900 million people, or one-fifth of the human population in the world. During the last half of the 20th Century, these sensitive areas have come under increasing pressure from accelerating human impacts and adverse climatic change. Severe conditions such as drought, famine, land and resource degradation, and economic disruption are well-documented. To alleviate these conditions requires long-term solutions based on a sound research base, holistic planning, practical and cost-efficient managerial methods, and a clear understanding of the inherent capabilities of the base soil and water resources needed to support people's interventions and developmental activities. If these people are to thrive in the world's drylands, they especially need to be cognizant of the scarcity and security issues related to their water and soil resources. To achieve this end, they also need ready-access to a universally available pool of the most current knowledge and information regarding these resources so that appropriate policies can be formulated and emerging developmental technologies applied where appropriate. It is to this purpose that the conference and workshop will be focused.

Dryland Environments
Peter F. Ffolliott, Jeffrey O. Dawson, James T. Fisher, Itshack Moshe, Tim E. Fulbright, 
Abdullah Al Musa; Carter Johnson & Paul Verburg
(paper: html version published in the Arid Lands Newsletter, pdf version)

Collecting and Organizing Soil & Water Data

  • Planning and Managing Soil and Water Resources in Drylands: Role of Watershed Management Kenneth N. Brooks & M'hammed Tayaa
    (paper: html version published in the Arid Lands Newsletter, pdf version)
  • Spatial Variability in Arid Soils: Sampling and Characterization Issues Dale W. Johnson, R.B. Susfalk, W.W. Miller, J.M. Murphy, D.E. Todd, Jr., P.Verburg & R.F. Walker
    (paper: html version published in the Arid Lands Newsletter, pdf version)
  • Collection and Organization of Source Data Cathy E. McGuire
    (paper: html version published in the Arid Lands Newsletter, pdf version)
  • Assessing the Capabilities of Soil and Water Resources Daniel G. Neary, Leonard F. DeBano & Malchus B. Baker, Jr. (deceased)
    (paper: html version published in the Arid Lands Newsletter, pdf version)
  • Producing, Conserving, and Sustaining Soil and Water Resources: The Role of Watershed Management Peter F. Ffolliott & Kenneth N. Brooks
    (paper: html version published in the Arid Lands Newsletter, pdf version)

Electronic Access to Soil and Water Information

  • Information Access Challenges and Opportunities Roy Tennant
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • An Interactive Virtual Museum Soil Museum: A Pilot Project of the International Soil Reference and Information Centre (ISRIC) with Focus on Arid Soils Otto Spaargaren, Jan Erik Wien, Onno Roosenschoon & Willem-Jan Jansen
    (paper: html version published in the Arid Lands Newsletter, pdf version)
  • EarthTrends: The Environmental Information Portal of the World Resources Institute Daniel B. Tunstall
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • Soils, Land and Desertification Information Sharing: Issues and Opportunities for a Cooperative Undertaking Eugene A. Fosnight & Ashbindu Singh
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • An Overview of SAHRA: Its Role in Making Water Information Accessible Soroosh Sorooshian
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • Structuring Internet-based Water Resources Information: Supporting Research Synergies and Informing Policy Makers Gary C. Woodward
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • Learning from Communities - Integrating Local Knowledge into Bank-Supported Projects Reinhard Woytek
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • Portals & Web Services Timothy Lynch 
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • Interactional Digital Libraries: Uses & Users Anita Coleman
    (paper: html version published in the Arid Lands Newsletter, pdf version)
  • Building a Global Arid Lands Information System: A Collaborative Approach Barbara Hutchinson
    (paper: html version published in the Arid Lands Newsletter, pdf version)

Case Studies

Slide Shows

  • Water Crisis In Israel Gideon Witkon
  • Badia Vision Sharifa Zein bint Nasser
  • Rehabilitating Degraded Areas of the Negev Itshack Moshe 
    (abstract: pdf version)

Poster Papers

  • Aquaculture Development Potential in Arizona, a GIS-based Approach Dennis McIntosh, Tammy K. Baldwin & Kevin Fitzsimmons
    (paper: pdf version)
  • The Arizona Electronic Atlas: A Dynamic Resource for Soil, Water and Environmental Data Christine Kollen & Jeanne Pfander
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • Assessing the Impacts of Prescribed Burning on Soil and Water Resources of Oak Savannas in the Southwestern United States Gerald J. Gottfried, Daniel G. Neary & Ronald J. Bemis
    (paper: pdf version)
  • A Baseline to Determine the Potential Distribution and Invasiveness of Buffel Grass in Arid Regions of Mexico: Distributed Databases of Specimens, Observations, and Digital Cartography Laura Arriaga, Alejandro E. Castellanos & Diego Valdez
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • Characterization and Proposition of Silvicultural Treatments for a Plantation of Tamarugo (Prosopis Tamarugo) in the Atacama Desert, Chile Pablo Garcia & Antonio Vita
    (paper: pdf version)
  • Current Status of Monitoring Runoff, Precipitation, and Soil Moisture at the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed Mariano Hernandez
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • Edu-Venture Trail: A Demonstration of Arid Land Techniques Lee J. Clark & E. Randall Norton
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • Ethnopedological Surveys: An Example from The Senegal River Valley J.A. Tabor
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • Geographical Distribution of Drylands in Asia with Regard to Its Water Resources Ali Valikhojeini Ali
    (paper: pdf version)
  • Logging of Burned Pines and Rill Erosion in Mediterranean Drylands Angeles Garcia Mayor, Susana Bautista & Teresa Gimeno
    (paper: pdf version)
  • Overview of Activities: AGRHYMET Regional Centre André Nonguierma, Djaby Bakari, Sankung B. Sagnia & Issoufou Ali
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • The Process of Creating the Sonoran Desert Website Christina Kennedy
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • Prospects for Water Harvesting in Northern Senegal Ahmed Fall
    (abstract: html versionpdf version)
  • Quantifying the Integration of Olive Production & Inland Shrimp Farming Chad King, Dennis McIntosh, Erin Ryder, Kevin Fitzsimmons & Craig Collins
    (abstract: html version)
  • Range Management Databases on the Web: Two Examples George Ruyle, Barbara Hutchinson, Michael Haseltine, & Steve Barker
  • Rangeview – A New Web Based Tool for Providing Remote Sensing Products and Data to Natural Resource Managers in the Western States Stuart E. Marsh, Barron J. Orr, Barbara Hutchinson, Anne Thwaits, Larry Howery, George Ruyle, Paul Krausman & Andrea Heydlauff
  • Santa Rita Experimental Range: Accomplishments and Contributions Over One-hundred Years Mitchel P. McClaran & Peter F. Ffolliott
  • Southwest Watershed Research Center  USDA Agricultural Research Service 
  • A Spatial Decision Support System for Rangeland Watershed Management Ryan C. Miller, D. Phillip Guertin & Philip Heilman
  • WALTER: A Model for Wildfire Alternatives Barron J. Orr
  • Water Use by Rootstocks of Emory Oak Coppice D. Catlow Shipek, Leonard F. DeBano, Gerald J. Gottfried & Peter F. Ffolliott
  • Web-based Monitoring and Data Acquisition in Controlled Environment Agriculture C.Y. Choi, E. Fitz-Rodriguez & S.O’Shaughnessy
  • Web Access to Watershed Management Data and Information Malchus B. Baker, Jr. (deceased), Michael Haseltine, Carla Casler, Barron J. Orr, Yuko Yamaguchi & Yu Yang
    (published in the Arid Lands Newsletter)