Glacial and snow melt is essential for the well being of all the states of Central Asia and provides over 90% oftheir water requirements. Unfortunately, climate change is causing rapid recession of the glaciers, which in theshort-term helps meet the Stat es ambitious water requirements, but in the long term will result in decreasedrunoff and increased evapotranspiration from higher temperatures. In addition because of the young nature ofthe mountain ranges they are unstable with the result that the reser voirs and potential reservoir sites have verylimited life expectances because of rapid siltation. It is also known, however that vast quantities of water iswasted by inefficient and poorly managed irrigation schemes. The water resources of the region are alreadyoverstretched and hence, in the foreseeable future the very existence of their agricultural economies is at stake.This project is designed to assess the level of risk associated with these different variables and to develop amanagement strategy fo r the water resources of the region. This will be achieved by firstly determining the rateof glacial retreat and the implications for future water resources and the assessment of the likely impact of globalchanges on the annual precipitation in the regio n. Rates of reservoir siltation will also be established byhydrographie survey, and the wastage and effectiveness of water use in the large irrigation massifs will beestablished from both historic data and satellite data based methods of estimating water use. The data will beanalysed in water resources models that are calibrated on existing data and then used to look at different scenarios up to 50 years into the future by combining the data gathered from the data collected and analysed inother work pac kages. The outcome will be a risk analysis identifying future risk and identifying futuresustainable management options for water in the Aral Basin.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeNoE - Network of Excellence