Since 1960, the total area of the Aral Sea decreased ninefold due to rapid development of agriculture, and the construction of numerous multi-purpose reservoirs and irrigation canals, among other factors. This radically changed the timing and water flow to the sea via the Syr Darya and Amu Darya River Basins. Climate change and its impacts in the region on dry periods and rainfall patterns add additional layers of stress and uncertainty to this situation.
Fostering cooperation at the nexus of water, energy, food and ecosystems planning among Central Asia’s five countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) is an effective approach to mitigate the threats this situation poses to the watershed’s economy and ecosystems.
Central Asian (CA) countries lose US$4.5 billion annually in three categories: agricultural losses, inefficient electricity trade, and lack of access to finance. Thus, cooperation based on well-informed decision-making can bring environmental and economic benefits to the region.
Within the framework of the USAID’s Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity, SEI researchers used integrated modelling of the Syr Darya region to understand the intricate interplay between water, food, energy, and ecosystems, and their impacts on the macroeconomy. This can support better decision-making, promoting stability, economic prosperity and the ecosystem’s well-being.
Design and development by Soapbox.