To Those In­dif­fer­ent to the Fu­ture of the Aral

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - WORLD -

32 hy­dropower sta­tions are ex­pected to be re­con­structed and 42 oth­ers be built in Uzbek­istan by 2025.

Dil­shod Bazarov, mem­ber of the In­ter­na­tional Academy of Ecol­ogy and Life Safety Sciences, Doc­tor of Tech­ni­cal Sciences, Pro­fes­sor of the Hy­draulic and Hy­dro-in­for­mat­ics Depart­ment at the Tashkent In­sti­tute of Ir­ri­ga­tion and Agri­cul­tural Mech­a­niza­tion of Agri­cul­ture, be­lieves that Uzbek­istan has its own unique ap­proach to solv­ing the prob­lem of water deficit.

- Last week you par­tic­i­pated in the aca­demic sem­i­nar “How to save the Aral” as its coor­ga­nizer. What con­clu­sion did the par­tic­i­pants even­tu­ally come to with re­gard to the fu­ture of the Aral?

- Yes, we or­ga­nized the above­men­tioned event to­gether with the re­search cen­ter “Bilim Kar­voni”, with sci­en­tists, young spe­cial­ists, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and the pub­lic at­tend­ing the dis­cus­sions – in a word, all those who are in­dif­fer­ent to the fu­ture of the lake, which in the 1950s ranked fourth in size and vol­ume of water among the world’s lakes.

I would like to note that the sem­i­nar was des­ig­nated as a free com­mu­ni­ca­tion plat­form. There were no pre-writ­ten scripts, the guests par­tic­i­pat­ing rep­re­sented dif­fer­ent pro­fes­sions. Each of them asked ques­tions and ex­pressed opin­ion pre­cisely on the ba­sis of their pro­fes­sional sphere.

In my view, very in­ter­est­ing was the pre­sen­ta­tion of the as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor T.Sh.Ma­ji­dov de­voted to the past and present state of the Aral Sea, and fore­casts for the fu­ture.

Con­cern­ing the con­clu­sions on the prospects of the Aral cri­sis, I would like to note that our planet is a liv­ing or­gan­ism. A per­son can get sick within a few min­utes, and the treat­ment may take a long pe­riod of time. The same can be said about the ‘dis­eased’ part of the planet. The dry­ing out of the Aral be­gan, as I noted above, from the mid-1950s. This is an­other nat­u­ral cy­cle (dur­ing the last mil­len­nium the Aral Sea has dried for the fourth time). The dry­ing process ac­cel­er­ated the an­thro­pogenic fac­tor.

The sem­i­nar par­tic­i­pants came to the con­clu­sion that the Aral must be re­stored, but this will take some time.

- Pres­i­dent Emo­mali Rah­mon, fol­low­ing talks with Shavkat Mirziy­oyev, said that Ta­jik­istan will not leave Uzbek­istan with­out water. But water deficit is a prob­lem not only for Uzbek­istan, it is a global prob­lem and, prob­a­bly, there are coun­tries in the world where the is­sue of water sav­ing has al­ready been re­solved. What do you think, whose ex­pe­ri­ence would be use­ful for us to study?

- Yes, the is­sue of water sup­ply has a spe­cific char­ac­ter. Water al­lo­ca­tion prob­lems ex­ist be­tween the US and Mex­ico, China, In­dia and Pak­istan, Rus­sia and China, Libya and Is­rael, be­tween many coun­tries in Africa and Asia.

By pro­fes­sion I am a hy­draulic en­gi­neer, “Con­struc­tion of hy­dro­elec­tric power sta­tions and river struc­tures”, so with your per­mis­sion I can an­swer from my pro­fes­sional point of view. I think, and maybe even be­lieve in this, we have our own ap­proach and our ex­pe­ri­ence in ad­dress­ing this prob­lem. Uzbek­istan has one of the most com­pli­cated ir­ri­ga­tion and drainage sys­tems in the world. We have a very pow­er­ful sci­en­tific school with au­thor­i­ta­tive sci­en­tists, a world-class higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tion train­ing highly qual­i­fied spe­cial­ists for this branch with a highly equipped ma­te­rial and tech­ni­cal base. There is a pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity and a very har­mo­niously de­vel­op­ing youth able to suc­cess­fully solve many of to­day’s prob­lems. And most im­por­tantly, un­like many lead­ers of coun­tries, the head of our state is a per­son with in­dus­trial ex­pe­ri­ence in solv­ing the prob­lems of the water man­age­ment com­plex. I be­lieve that we, the spe­cial­ists deal­ing with water is­sues, are very lucky. We have a per­son who acts as an ex­am­ple in solv­ing water is­sues. His ex­am­ple of tol­er­ance, in­tegrity, con­sis­tency, ef­fi­ciency, abil­ity to see the dis­tant fu­ture, the abil­ity to feel the needs of or­di­nary peo­ple and put the in­ter­ests of so­ci­ety much higher than his own de­serves high re­spect. He lis­tens and hears the as­pi­ra­tions of all seg­ments of the pop­u­la­tion, is aware of the prob­lems in all sec­tors, is ready to dis­cuss them with the peo­ple in order to make fair de­ci­sions. This does not re­quire proof, since ev­ery res­i­dent is a wit­ness of pos­i­tive trans­for­ma­tions tak­ing place in our coun­try.

- Water con­ser­va­tion is the main prin­ci­ple of tran­si­tion to in­te­grated water re­sources man­age­ment and the ba­sis of ra­tio­nal water use. What do you think are the tasks in this di­rec­tion to­day in Uzbek­istan?

- Based on the ex­pe­ri­ence of hold­ing mas­ter classes at the Kazakh-Ger­man Univer­sity on the masters pro­gram “In­te­grated Water Re­sources Man­age­ment in Cen­tral Asia and Afghanistan”, I can say that in the is­sues of in­te­grated water re­sources man­age­ment, our coun­try oc­cu­pies a lead­ing place among Cen­tral Asian na­tions, al­though, prob­a­bly, even among the states of Mid­dle Asia. Just in case, let me com­ment on the dif­fer­ence be­tween the terms “Mid­dle Asia” and “Cen­tral Asia”.

Cen­tral Asia com­prises Uzbek­istan, Kaza­khstan, Turk­menistan, Kyr­gyzs­tan and Ta­jik­istan. Mid­dle Asia, in ad­di­tion to the above listed coun­tries, en­com­passes also a part of Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion, Iran, Afghanistan and a few other states of Asia. We are car­ry­ing out com­plex of works on the in­te­grated (ra­tio­nal, mu­tu­ally agreed, com­plex, con­sis­tent) man­age­ment of water re­sources. In par­tic­u­lar, im­prove­ment of the op­er­a­tional state of ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems and ed­i­fices, the start of the re­con­struc­tion and con­struc­tion of hy­dropower sta­tions of var­i­ous ca­pac­i­ties un­der the scheme 32+42.

I think it is nec­es­sary to strengthen the work on im­prov­ing the ef­fi­ciency of ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems; it is not a se­cret that the util­ity of many chan­nels in the re­gion is be­low 50%, which in­di­cates about 50% on av­er­age of water loss for fil­tra­tion, dis­charge, evap­o­ra­tion and sur­plus – a blank pass, etc.

In ad­di­tion, it is es­sen­tial to work out projects aimed at mak­ing profit by us­ing water-sav­ing tech­nolo­gies, chang­ing crops that re­quire less water for cul­ti­va­tion (by the way, which is al­ready be­ing done in Uzbek­istan).

Be­sides, con­cepts aimed at sav­ing the re­gion’s water re­sources still have to trans­form into projects. Among them is the con­cept ‘As­pects of solv­ing the prob­lem of reg­u­la­tion of the up­per course of the Amudarya River’ and “Con­cept for im­prov­ing the en­vi­ron­men­tal sit­u­a­tion in the Aral Sea area with the for­ma­tion of a sup­ply Ai­darkul”.

Sev­eral aca­demic re­ports have al­ready been made on them dur­ing in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences in Ta­jik­istan, Kaza­khstan and the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion. They are also pub­lished in sci­en­tific jour­nals of na­tional, in­ter­na­tional and re­gional lev­els. Masters dis­ser­ta­tions were writ­ten at the Ger­man-Kazakh Univer­sity and the Pe­ter the Great St. Peters­burg Polytech­nic Univer­sity, their dis­cus­sion was held dur­ing sci­en­tific ses­sions at the In­ter­na­tional Academy of Ecol­ogy and Life Safety Sciences.

The de­vel­oped con­cepts can bring con­crete ben­e­fits to in­crease the vol­ume of water trans­ported to the Aral Sea. To be sure, the con­cepts are ex­pen­sive, but, as noted by my men­tors – the great clas­sics of chan­nel hy­draulics and hy­drotech­ni­cal con­struc­tion of the Rus­sian sci­en­tific school, V.M. Ly­atcher, A.M. Pru­dovsky, A.N. Mili­teev, I.S. Rumyant­sev, D.V. Steren­licht, A.G. Mishuev, T.G. Voyn­ich-Sianozhentsky, B.M. Kizyaev and oth­ers: ‘We are not so rich as to choose cheap ways of solv­ing prob­lems’. Deeply thought out, sound de­signs and meth­ods for ad­dress­ing many is­sues of chan­nel hy­draulics and hy­draulic en­gi­neer­ing re­quire se­ri­ous ma­te­rial costs. As one of the au­thors of these con­cepts, I am sure it’s time to start im­ple­ment­ing spe­cific so­lu­tions to water man­age­ment prob­lems, not only here, but also in the re­gion as a whole.

- The amount of water de­mand for each per­son is in­di­vid­ual and can range from a min­i­mum of 10-12 liters a day up to 70-100 liters. Ex­pe­ri­ence has shown that the main cause of overuse of water is its ir­ra­tional use. How can we ad­dress this is­sue?

- Yes you are right. We have many cases of ir­ra­tional use of water re­sources. It seems that sep­a­rate episodes are not rather sig­nif­i­cant, but as a re­sult as a whole, the water dis­charge is very sig­nif­i­cant. For ex­am­ple, we cool down mel­ons and wa­ter­mel­ons by leav­ing an open water tap. The toi­let bowl with a ca­pac­ity of 9 liters is drained in one de­scent. Why not in three or six at­tempts? If we con­sider that in each apart­ment there are two or three bath­rooms, how much can sur­plus ex­pen­di­ture be ac­cu­mu­lated in one city and the re­gion as a whole? This is a colos­sal un­ear­marked ex­pen­di­ture!

There is an old para­ble: young par­ents bring a new­born baby to the sage-ed­u­ca­tor and ask him to bring it up. He asks how old he is. The ques­tion takes par­ents by sur­prise and they say that the baby is 20 days old. The sage an­swers: it means you are late with bring­ing up the child for 20 days proper!

There­fore, we must ed­u­cate the cul­ture of us­ing water in our chil­dren from birth and con­tinue to do this through­out the life of a per­son. All the more so there is scores of in­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing sci­en­tific and doc­u­men­tary films, about water prob­lems in the world, mil­i­tary con­flicts be­tween coun­tries over water. I can say that it is bet­ter to learn from other peo­ple’s mis­takes than on your own.

Meet­ing of the ed­i­to­rial col­lege of the OSCE in­ter­na­tional jour­nal and the jour­nal “In­te­grated Man­age­ment of Water Re­sources in Cen­tral Asia”

Talks on co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment be­tween The Tashkent In­sti­tute for Ir­ri­ga­tion En­gi­neers and Mech­a­niza­tion of Agri­cul­ture and the Moscow State Univer­sity of Civil En­gi­neer­ing

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