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CHANGES OF HYDROLOGY OF THE ARAL SEA BASIN IN ХХ CENTURY

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Nikolai E.Gorelkin


Keyword(s): Water resources, water availability
AbstractCHANGES OF HYDROLOGY OF THE ARAL SEA BASIN IN ХХ CENTURY Lyudmila N. Borovikova, Nikolai E.Gorelkin “Swiss Support to Hydrometeorological Services in the Aral Sea Basin” Project Uzbekistan, Tashkent 100052, 72, Makhsumov st., tel/fax +99871 1206376 e-mail borovikova@rch-uzb.org Theme 1, Regional session, oral Introduction. The role of the water resources in supporting the varying world in stable conditions grows constantly. Population growth, climate change, realization of the important water resources projects strengthen the competition for the water use and change the natural hydrological regime of the territories. These changes give the ground to new challenges to the present and future generations. The goal of the study is to assess changes of hydrological regime of the Aral Sea basin which have taken place in XX century and their impact on the social-and-economical conditions of the region. The Aral Sea basin (next after the Caspian one) is the biggest area of the land-locked flow of the continent of Eurasia. It consolidates the basins of the two biggest rivers in Central Asia – Amudarya and Syrdarya where the population is more than 35 mln. people. The instrumental observations of conditions of atmosphere and water resources in the Aral Sea basin started at the end of XIX century. For the whole period since that time (one century and a half) a monitoring system was created as well as the base of data which are under the authorized ownership of hydrometeorological services of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Part of the territory of the Aral Sea basin is in Afghanistan. These data bases are put into the basis of the proposed work. Under the influence of the global and regional changes of climatic system and impact of anthropogenic factors in the Aral Sea basin substantial changes in the water balance, in the water resources conditions and water objects regime have taken place in the past and occur currently. The main of these changes are: the reduction of sizes of the mountain glaciation, intensification of the effect of the storm precipitation, of catastrophic floods, of the mudflows, mountain lakes outbreaks and snow avalanching. At the same time the damage caused by frequent droughts and low water was increased considerably. Inflow to the delta of Amudarya reduced from 50 km3 up to 10 km3 a year. System of water consumption and water resources use changed radically. The biggest water-resources systems are created and being used. Total withdrawal from the rivers is sometimes higher than their water resources and this fact confirms the reuse of water resources. New issues of the interstate water sharing emerged. The Aral Sea crisis serves as the index of changes which took place in XX century – when one generation was the witness of the complete loss of economical value of the lake which was the fourth lake on the planet by its size. Separate part of the report is devoted to the contemporary state of the Aral Sea, to its water, hydrochemical regime and its water balance. The forecast assessments are presented for the future conditions of the Aral Sea. Conclusion. The revealed new conditions of hydrological regime are the component of the development of the integrated management of the water-and-land resources of the biggest arid region of the planet.
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