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Water 'banking' in Fergana valley aquifers--A solution to water allocation in the Syrdarya river basin?

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  • Karimov, A.
  • Smakhtin, V.
  • Mavlonov, A.
  • Gracheva, I.

Abstract

The Syrdarya river is an example of a transboundary basin with contradictory water use requirements between its upstream and downstream parts. Since the winter of 1992-93, the operational regime of the upstream Toktogul reservoir on the Naryn river - the main tributary of the Syrdarya - has shifted from irrigation to hydropower generation mode. This significantly increased winter flow and reduced summer flow downstream of the reservoir. Consequently, excessive winter flow is diverted to the saline depression called Arnasai, while water for summer irrigation is lacking. This study suggests to store the excessive winter flows temporarily in the upstream aquifers of the Fergana valley and to use it subsequently for irrigation in summer. It is estimated that groundwater development for irrigation could be practiced on one-third of the irrigated land of the valley, and conjunctive use of groundwater and canal water on another third; the rest will remain under canal irrigation. This strategy will lower the groundwater table and create aquifer capacity for temporal storage of excessive water--"water banking". This use of the term is only one of many concepts to which "water banking" or "groundwater banking" is applied. In this paper, the term is applied for temporary storing of river flow in subsurface aquifers. Pilot modeling studies for the Sokh aquifer - one of the 18 aquifers of the Fergana valley - supported that this strategy is a feasible solution for the upstream-downstream issues in the Syrdarya river basin. Field studies of water banking are required to determine the scale of adoption of the proposed strategy for each aquifer of the Fergana valley.

Suggested Citation

  • Karimov, A. & Smakhtin, V. & Mavlonov, A. & Gracheva, I., 2010. "Water 'banking' in Fergana valley aquifers--A solution to water allocation in the Syrdarya river basin?," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 97(10), pages 1461-1468, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:97:y:2010:i:10:p:1461-1468
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. KLAUS ABBINK & MOLLER, Lars Christian & SARAH O'HARA, 2005. "The Syr Darya River Conflict: An Experimental Case Study," Discussion Papers 2005-14, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karimov, A. & Molden, D. & Khamzina, T. & Platonov, A. & Ivanov, Yu., 2012. "A water accounting procedure to determine the water savings potential of the Fergana Valley," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 61-72.
    2. Ibrakhimov, Mirzakhayot & Awan, Usman Khalid & George, Biju & Liaqat, Umar Waqas, 2018. "Understanding surface water–groundwater interactions for managing large irrigation schemes in the multi-country Fergana valley, Central Asia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 201(C), pages 99-106.
    3. Alexandra Nikanorova & Nikolai Dronin, 2017. "Optimal Future for the Irrigation Agriculture Under Climate Change in the Fergana Valley,Central Asia," International Journal of Environmental Sciences & Natural Resources, Juniper Publishers Inc., vol. 3(2), pages 28-35, June.
    4. Karimov, Akmal & Gracheva, I. & Miryusupov, F., 2010. "Modeling the managed aquifer recharge for groundwater salinity management in the Sokh River Basin," Conference Papers h043327, International Water Management Institute.

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