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Assessment of human activities impact in Zeravshan River Basin

Zeravshan River basin is the origin place of the ancient agricultural and urban civilization of Central Asia. It is transboundary river originating in Tajikistan mountains and flowing to the Uzbekistan. The climate is sharply continental, mostly arid and semi-arid in downstream, main water source is glacier-snow melt. Zeravshan river basin has no significant tributaries and water is mostly used for irrigation. Previously it was a part of the Aral Sea basin, however due to intensive irrigation use, nowadays it disappears in the Kyzyl kum desert sands. The Soviet development plan for the basin was focused on increasing yield production through extensive irrigation (Saiko and Zonn 2000). This plan caused irreversible damage in terms of water quality and ecosystem degradation and biodiversity. The water diversion for irrigation is almost equal to the total water flow of the river. Nowadays downstream oases are irrigated from the Amu Darya River supplied by Amu-Bukhara canal. This phenomenon is result of poor watershed management, water consumption increase for irrigation and misuse for leaching of the salt affected lands. Among Central Asian rivers Zeravshan River basin is one of the most profoundly affected by mismanagement of the water resources. Considering Central Asian is landlocked it is greatly vulnerable to the climate variability with scarcity of water, drought and temperature extremes above global average, study on remediation strategies and adaptation measures are important factor for the agriculture and economic growth in the region. This study is focused on the results of the water monitoring analyses and adaptation measures.

Khujanazarov T, Tanaka K, Toderich K
Publication type: 
Conference Proceedings
Publication Source: 
Asia Pacific Association of Hydrology and Water Resources Conference

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