Managing Climate Adaptive Water Resources in the Aral Sea Basin in Uzbekistan

Video | 27 February 2020

For centuries, civilizations grew and flourished in the basin of the Amu Darya, the largest river in Central Asia.

Today, managing scarce water resources has become a critical challenge for Uzbekistan. A major factor contributing to the crisis is outdated and deteriorated irrigation and drainage systems which cost the country $1.7 billion annually from lost production. Existing irrigation infrastructure cannot provide a reliable supply of irrigation water to meet the needs of high-value crops.

To address these challenges, the Asian Development Bank is proposing a project to deliver climate adaptive solutions for water resources management. The project will modernize outdated irrigation and drainage systems within the Amu Darya basin and selected reaches of the Zarafshan irrigation system in Uzbekistan.

Transcript

Farmer Otabek Kurbonov’s  once fertile land in the Khorezm Region of Uzbekistan is parched from the lack of water. Otabek is among the 11 million people who depend on the waters of the Amu Darya, the largest river in Central Asia.

Managing scarce water resources has become a critical challenge.  Uzbekistan is highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

The Asian Development Bank is proposing a project to deliver climate adaptive solutions for water resources management.

The project would modernize outdated irrigation and drainage systems within the Amu Darya and selected reaches of the Zarafshan irrigation system.

One of the ways to reduce water use is to laser level land – just like farmer Otabek has done.

Sustainable agriculture is crucial to spur economic development, achieve food security, and the future prosperity of Uzbekistan.