Vestraten central asia unescoundpgef water meeting 022014
US Geological Survey Water Resources Science in
Support of Central Asia
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
US Focus on Water Resources in Central Asia?
Water resources are finite and
need to be used in sustainable
and resilient manner
Central Asia has significant
potential for economic
Rare Earth Production Trends
Scientific Data Enable Scientific Integrity and Credibility
and Sustainable Natural Resource Management
Reputation of Bureau
& Agency Science
Credibility and Reputation of
Individual Scientist Employees
at All Times
Codes of Conduct
Willing to Consider
New Data and Analyses
Having a Deep Understanding of
Subject Matter and Staying Current
Avoiding Real and
Potential Conflicts of
Adhering to the Scientific Method
and the Process of Science
Scientific Integrity is maintained when all of the building blocks are solid and uncompromised. A
transgression in any of elements of these building blocks could undermine the credibility of the
individual scientists involved and potentially damage the reputation of the entire bureau or agency.
Integrated Versus Traditional Approach
Graphic courtesy of
• Natural resources seldom occur in isolation
• Controversies often emerge around perceived environmental, economic,
and societal needs and values
• Interdisciplinary, integrated approaches are necessary to delineate natural
resources, characterize interactions among resources, engage stakeholder
concerns and participation, and strike a balance among competing resource
USGS & Water Resources Data, Information, and
• The mission of the U.S. Geological Survey is to collect and disseminate
reliable, impartial, and timely information that is needed to understand
the Nation's water resources.
• The USGS has a distributed water database that is locally managed
including surface water, groundwater, and water quality data compiled
from local, distributed databases into a national information system.
• The groundwater database contains records from ~ 850,000 compiled over
the past 100 years.
• Information is served via the Internet through NWISWeb, the National
Water Information System Web Interface.
• “Groundwater watch" web pages group wells and data from the well
networks, and provide basic statistics about the water-level data .
Real-time streamflows for the U.S.
indicate where flood and drought
conditions are occurring.
Real-time surface-water data for a
river indicate immediate river
fluctuations caused by reservoir
releases (as shown above) or
caused by precipitation/flood
Real-time groundwater data is used by water-management boards and
agriculturalists to determine timing and amount of irrigation withdrawal.
Potential areas for future collaboration on
water resources in the Syr-Darya Basin:
1. Build capacity in real-time monitoring services
2. Provide training on data procedures
3. Provide training on water resources
assessment techniques through practical
Integrated Regional Water-Resource Data Assessment and Dissemination
for Central Asian Countries
Review existing techniques used by water-resource scientists and managers for
integrated assessment and dissemination of groundwater and surface-water data.
Provide instruction on groundwater and surface-water data collection, archival, and
dissemination methods through web-based products to identify potential data gaps
and assess regional water-management and development scenarios.
Topics may include the following depending on the needs and skills of participants:
Application of archival and dissemination techniques using web-based products.
Analysis of surface-water flows and groundwater levels using USGS methods.
Water well inventories, assessment of data bases, assessment of aquifer properties.
Collection and analysis of chemical and isotopic data of surface and groundwater for
estimating aquifer source water contributions and age dating.
Integrated analysis of various hydrologic data through the use of individual or combined
surface water and groundwater simulation using USGS computer modeling software.
Training would occur in the U.S. and a location in Central Asia.
Participants could provide presentations about water-resource assessment issues from
their country to instill the concepts of data-sharing and trust-building among nations.
Water balance assessment for critical water
1. Analysis of chemical and isotopic tracers
for identification of recharge sources and
age of groundwater.
2. Integration of remotely-sensed,
geoportal, and surface water data through
groundwater flow modeling.
3. Assessment of water balance and
sustainability of selected aquifer (similar to
the USGS Kabul Basin study).
Water Balance Assessment of
Critical Water Supply and Aquifers,
Kabul Afghanistan Example
Example – Kabul Basin, Afghanistan
Potential Effects of Climate Change on
Water Supply , the Kabul Basin example
Mechanisms for Collaboration
In-country (US) and overseas training programs.
Technical Training Workshops
Short-Term (1-year) Scientific Exchanges
Analytical Laboratory Support
Science is more essential for our prosperity, our
security, our health, our environment, and our
quality of life than it has ever been.
At the National Academy of Sciences
April 27, 2009