Congress Resources: Papers, posters and presentations

< Return to abstract list

Ss26 The Water-energy-food Nexus In The Middle East And Central Asia

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Mikiyasu Nakayama, Kazimierz Salewicz, Sameh El Khatib, Risa Kikuchi, Maiko Sakamoto
The University of Tokyo1, Systems Analyst2, Masdar Institute3

Keyword(s): Special Session,
AbstractINTRODUCTION This study focuses on the conflict between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan over the planned construction of the Rogun dam in the Vakhsh river basin of Tajikistan. Tajikistan is a landlocked country. Mountains cover 93% of the land area, half of which are more than 3,000 meters high. Tajikistan is abundant in water resources thanks to its geographical location. The Vakhsh river is a tributary of the Amu Darya and is shared by (from upstream to downstream) Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Planned Rogun hydropower plant will be 335m high, as the highest dam in the world, with a generating capacity of 3,600 MW. Further downstream the Vakhsh river there is Nurek dam existing since 1980s with a generating capacity of 3,000 MW. Still, Tajikistan suffers from deficit of electricity in winter, when the country in mountains is very cold. Rogun hydropower plant, to be constructed just in the upstream of the Nurek dam, is supposed to enhance the power generation of the country in winter. Uzbekistan strongly opposes to construction of the Rogun dam because it would change the runoff (discharge) pattern of the Amu Darya and affect its irrigated agriculture (Jalilov, 2010). Uzbekistan is one of the world's largest exporters of cotton, which is supported by its huge irrigation system in the Amu Darya river basin. OBJECTIVES This study tries to (a) reveal how water, energy and agricultural production are closely related in the Vakhsh river basin, and (b) suggest possible alternatives and implications of these alternatives from technical and political viewpoints. METHODOLOGY A water-energy-agriculture model has been developed for the Vakhsh river basin. This model deals with hydropower generation by the Rogun and Nurek hydropower plants and water discharge by the Rogun and Nurek dams. Several small dams and associated hydropower stations exist in the Vakhsh river basin, downstream of the Nurek dam. However, these dams are for run-of-the-river hydropower plants and their capacity is too small to change the hydrological regime of the Vakhsh river basin. The model thus addresses directly only the Nurek and Rogun dams, which may affect the runoff from the Vakhsh river basin to the Amu Darya (in which Uzbekistan has a large share). Two possible scenarios are considered in this study. Scenario 1 implies that the runoff pattern to the Amu Darya should not be changed. Scenario 2 is to revert the runoff pattern to "pre-Nurek days" as insisted by Uzbekistan. Simulations were carried out with the model to find the way how two reservoirs (Rogun and Nurek) should be controlled to maximize the power generation in winter. The data on the Vakhsh river basin, namely hydrology, power generation by the hydropower plants, water withdrawal and return flow for irrigation, released by the World Bank (2014b) are used for this study, both for calibration of the model and simulations. RESULTS As compared with the status quo (i.e. only the Nurek dam exits as a large dam in the Vakhsh river basin), power generation in winter is significantly larger with the Scenario 2, while it is marginally larger with the Scenario 1. The power deficit in Tajikistan (in case of 2009) from October to March is assumed to be 135, 362, 275, 443, 627, 419 GWh/month respectively. These deficits may be resolved by the additional power generation with the Scenario 1. The balance of power in October to March is to be +789, +381, +341, +237, +319, +654 GWh/month respectively. On the other hand, with the Scenario 2, the power balance remains negative in four months of November through February. The balance of power in October to March is to be +380, -91, -70, -216, -128, +454 GWh/month respectively. DISCUSSIONS The output of the model for the Scenario 1 suggests that the present deficit of power (electricity) in Tajikistan may be resolved with the planned construction of the Rogun hydropower station. Since the hydropower station consumes no water, irrigated farmland in Uzbekistan (and Tajikistan) may be operated as it is practiced in these days. Additional power generation by the Rogun hydropower station with the Scenario 1 is to be 15.5 TWh/year. Since the deficit of power in winter is around 2.3 TWh, Tajikistan may have approximately 13 TWh of "surplus". One idea of making good use of this surplus is to export power to the power starving countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan by constructing a long power line. The project known as CASA 1000 envisages that Tajikistan sells annually 3.75 TWh of electricity to these countries annually. Depending on the capacity of the power lines, more electricity may be sold to the foreign countries. As for the Scenario 2, the runoff pattern to the Amu Darya under this scenario is exactly what Uzbekistan demands, namely the runoff pattern of pre-Nurek era. Operating the Rogun and Nurek dams (hydropower stations) under this scenario may be the best way for Tajikistan to secure Uzbekistan's concurrence to the planned construction of the Rogun dam. The major cost associated with this scenario is that Tajikistan would still suffer from the paucity of electricity in November to February. A solution for this problem is that Tajikistan exports electricity in summer (as CASA 1000 project envisages) and imports either electricity or energy sources (natural gas or oil) from outside, e.g. from rich in natural gas Turkmenistan. 1. Fields, D., Kochnakyan, A., Stuggins, G., & Besant-Jones, J. (2013). Tajikistan's Winter Energy Crisis: Electricity Supply and Demand Alternatives. Yale University Press. 2. Jalilov, S. M. (2010). Impact of Rogun dam on downstream Uzbekistan agriculture (Doctoral dissertation, North Dakota State University). 3. Murodbek Laldjebaev (2010) The Water–Energy Puzzle in Central Asia: The Tajikistan Perspective, International Journal of Water Resources Development, 26:1, 23-36 4. Norsk Energi (2012). Energy Audit at TALCO - Aluminium Company In Tajikistan, retrieved from 5. SNC-Lavalin (2011). Central Asia - South Asia electricity transmission and trade (CASA-1000) project feasibility study update. SNC-Lavalin: Montreal; 345. 6. Swinkels, Rob. (2014). Assessment of household energy deprivation in Tajikistan : policy options for socially responsible reform in the energy sector. Washington, DC ; World Bank Group., retrieved from 7. UNDP (2011). Energy Efficiency Master Plan for Tajikistan: Energy Efficiency for Economic Development and Poverty Reduction 8. USAID (2012). Analysis of energy consumption in the multi-apartment residential stock of Dushanbe and assessment of potential for energy efficiency 9. World Bank (2014a). Techno-Economic Assessment Study for Rogun Hydroelectric Construction Project Phase II Report: Project Definition Options Volume 1: Summary, retrieved from 10. World Bank (2014b). Techno-Economic Assessment Study (TEAS), Phase II : Reservoir Operation (Annexes), retrieved from
© 2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association - - Admin