IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT IN CENTRAL ASIAN REPUBLICS

G. M. Mir

Abstract


Abstract:The demise of the former Soviet Union (FSU) led to disintegration of watershedsresulting in water disputes particularly between water-surplus and water-deficit subregions,followed by arbitrations, treaties and some water-sharing agreements. Higherwater mismanagement mainly by semi-desert steppy lower riparians, their fast growingwater needs for dense population and huge thirsty irrigable land and the „locationalbenefits‟, they claim for hydrocarbon resources, on one side, and the mountainousrepublics becoming conscious about the water resources – all is heading towards acomplicated situation. Moreover, the three water-deficit republics have recorded thelowest irrigation efficiencies, much below the world average. Such unhealthy trends aremostly responsible for creating an environmental catastrophe in Greater Central Asia inwhich Aral Sea presents the worst scene. This dynamics has made irrigation managementcrucial and detrimental for the sustained crop production. In order to minimize the waterloss from source to field, a critical issue in irrigation management, the respectivegovernments, some international organizations, and NGOs have started to improveirrigation efficiency through the application of irrigation technology and the relatedmeasures. These initiatives have been successfully rewarded. However, the states beinghighly interdependent and single planning unit, their sustenance and development jointlylies in managing the resources, significantly water, which requires high degree ofregional cooperation.

Keywords:Irrigation Efficiency, Irrigation and Drainage, Operation and Maintenance, IrrigationManagement Transfer, Irrigation Subsystems, Riparian Rights, Locational Benefit,Participatory Irrigation Management, Water Sharing Agreements, Upstream-downstreamDynamics, Anaeorobiosis, Regional Cooperation, Threshold Limit, Food Security.


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