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GIS for Sustainable Water Development in Central Asia

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Victor Dukhovny, Vadim Ilych Sokolov, Yelena Roshenko

Keyword(s): GIS, sustainable development, wetlands, environment
AbstractFor GIS establishment, SIC uses topographic maps, thematic maps, images, and field observations. Establishment of the regional GIS and Database was supported by EU TACIS Program under WARMAP Project (Water Resources Management and Agricultural Production in Central Asia). At present, SIC implements the project of Central Asian Regional Water Information Base (CAREWIB) together with UNECE/SPECA and UNEP/GRID. The cartographic database is linked with CAREWIB DB through uniform coding of spatial and database entities. List of basic cartographic information (digital cartography): • Administrative information on Central Asia; • Water infrastructure in Central Asia – Rivers, Canals, Collectors and escapes, Water intakes, Reservoirs; • Observation network- Gauging stations, Weather stations, Hydroschemes; • Industrial objects - Hydro power plants, Heat power plants. Besides, our Center deals with problem of desertification in the Aral Sea basin. In particular, for assessment of ecosystem degradation in the zone of environmental disaster, we created the cartographic base for the Aral Sea and its coastal zone, Prearalie (Aral Sea - bathymetric map of the Aral Sea with contour line cut of 1 meter, actual data on the status of the Aral Sea for different years, water infrastructure in Uzbek and Kazakh parts of Prearalie). Under GEF Project’s component "Wetland restoration in Sudochie lake", engineering design was undertaken to restore wetlands with controllable water and salt regime, as well as social and environmental monitoring was conducted. The objective was to achieve environmentally-sustainable conditions in lake Sudochie. At present, Sudochie wetland functions and mitigates negative consequences caused by the Aral Sea disaster. Within another project of NATO SFP # 974357 SIC assessed, using GIS tools, current hydrological, environmental, and hydrogeological conditions in South Prearalie. The project developed a set of engineering and institutional measures to restore the environmental regime in Amudarya delta and south part of the exposed seabed of the Aral through establishment of wetland system with controllable water-salt regime. Characteristics of nature degradation in Prearalie due to drying up of the Aral Sea were identified under the project INTAS/RFBR -1733 “Assessment of socio-economic consequences from environmental disaster – drying up of the Aral Sea”. Future of the sea itself was analyzed in the project INTAS-Aral– 01-0511 “Restoration of ecosystem and bioproductivity in the Aral Sea under water shortage conditions” (REBASOWS), the objective of which was to model various alternatives of sea functioning. In those projects, the comprehensive land cover change analysis was made: • Dynamics of change in soil cover in the Amudarya and Syrdarya deltas. Estimation was based on soil maps for 1960. • Dynamics of change in landscapes in the Amudarya and Syrdarya deltas. Changes in natural systems were assessed through field observations and image processing (classification) results. • Dynamics of change in wetlands, lakes, and reservoirs in the Amudarya and Syrdarya deltas, assessed by Landsat images. • Siltation processes in Mezhdurechie reservoir (Amudarya river delta) were assessed using bathymetric maps, geodetic survey; satellite images were used to estimate water surface areas for various period of time. Within the framework of the projects such as NATO SFP # 974357 and GTZ “Stabilization and use of the exposed seabed of the Aral Sea in Central Asia” we classified the exposed seabed according to degree of environmental hazard for natural systems that are wetlands and for population. As a result of monitoring, risk map on the exposed seabed was produced (risks were estimated in terms of stability of existing wetlands and expediency of phyto-reclamation.
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