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LINE "NORTHERN ARAL SEA - ARNASAI - TOKTOGUL" (CENTRAL ASIA): A PROBLEM OF FLOOD MANAGEMENT BOTH WATER ECOSYSTEMS' PRESERVATION AND INTERNATIONAL WATER LAW

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Yusup Rysbekov (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)


Keyword(s): Sub-theme 12: Transboundary river basins and shared aquifers,
AbstractNow Aral Sea consists two parts Western Aral Sea and Northern Aral Sea (third part of the Aral Sea - East Aral Sea has dried up in till 2014 ). Northern Aral Sea (RFzakhstan) has real chances of survival, Sea area makes about 3500 km2, and water volume - about 30 km3/ Arnasai Lake System (Uzbekistan) was formed as consequence of extremely multi-water 1969, when 22 km3 of water (from the Syrdarya River) was dumped in the Arnasai natural depression. Arnasai Lake System has area more than 3700 km2, water volume - 42 km3. Toktogul Reservoir (Kyrgyzstan) was constructed in 1975 and has the volume of 19.5 km3. Reservoir was intende for the irrigation-power purposes, and it should save water in the winter period. In Soviet period (till 1992) in winter water the releases from Toktogul Reservoir made 30-40 %, in summer - 60-70 %, and an opposite proportion was observed within independence. Since 1992 the basic water volume from Toktogul Reservoir is dumped in the autumn-winter period. Per separate years, water releases from Reservoir make 700-750 m3/s in winter period, and inflow to the Shardara reservoir (Kazakhstan) make about 1500-1600 m3/s. It created extreme flood situations for Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. In these conditions the Arnasai Lake System was used as the natural receiver of superfluous waters for the purposes of the flood control. In winter period water surpluses from Shardara Reservoir (Kazakhstan) were dumped in Arnasai Lake System for exception of catastrophic consequences for Kazakhstan. In 1998 Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have signed the Agreement, to which Tajikistan has joined in 1999. Agreement 1998 has played positive role for the winter floods' control, but the time has shown that it is imperfect. Now the Draft Agreement "On the Use of Water and Energy Resources of the Syrdarya River Basin" is prepared, in which is written (in the part concerning winter high waters): "8.9. In non-growing season per multi-water years and at threat of occurrence of an extreme situation on Shardara reservoir owing to high inflows to it or in case of other necessity the dumps of water from Shardara reservoir in the Arnasai depressions are carried out". Taking into account that: a) earlier (1993-2005) Kazakhstan had difficulties in the winter-spring period with the passing on Syrdarya River 400 m3/s, now it can pass up to 1000-1200 m3/s. It means that: a) extreme situation reflected in the Draft Agreement can not happen; b) Arnasai depression took place till 1969, now it is present the Arnasai Lake Ecosystem (ALES), c) ALES has the requirements to water and there are no other sources of fresh water's reception, and area of ALES and its water volume more, than 's water volume and area (Kazakhstan). In the Draft Agreement the water share of Northern Aral Sea is determined; d) some other circumstances, - it is possible to conclude confidently that in the Draft Agreement the requirements for the ALES and Northern Aral Sea should be written equally. In this case tasks of floods' control and preservation of water ecosystems in the Syrdarya River Basin will be settled in the international-legal relation correctly.
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