1 groundwater governance in the aral sea basin


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1 groundwater governance in the aral sea basin

  1. 1. Groundwater Governance in the Aral Sea Basin of Central Asia : case study from the Pritashkent aquifer Introduction Recent growing global population increased demand for drinking water supplies and food production, which was met partially by the use of groundwater. The lack of informed management of groundwater resources in many areas has led to an overexploitation of local and regional aquifers. Other areas face shortage of water supply due to underdevelopment of available water resources. A comprehensive understanding of the resource and its characteristics are the basis for decision making and planning, and of special importance in the case of transboundary aquifers, shared between two or more countries. Transboundary aquifer management requires the cooperation between the various authorities in charge of groundwater management. UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP) initiated a global programme - Internationally Shared Aquifer Resources Management (ISARM) in order to facilitate the improved management of transboundary groundwater resources. UNESCO-IHP has also contributed to the preparation of the UN GA Resolution 63/124 on the law of transboundary aquifers, which offers guidance to States in jointly managing their transboundary aquifers. Within this context, UNESCO-IHP has initiated a close collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) aimed at advancing the assessment of transboundary aquifers globally and improving the management and governance of transboundary groundwater resources. Within the scope of the GEF Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP), UNESCO-IHP has been entrusted with the execution of the transboundary aquifers component and will carry out an indicator-based assessment of 166 transboundary aquifers in cooperation with a network of partners at national, regional and international level. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has kindly agreed to financially support the project “Groundwater governance in Transboundary aquifers” aiming indepth assessments of transboundary aquifers in Southern Africa, Central America and Central Asia. The main objectives of the project are: improve knowledge and recognition of the importance and vulnerability of transboundary groundwater resources; establish cross-border dialogue and cooperation; develop shared management tools; facilitate joint management and better groundwater governance focused on improving coordination, scientific knowledge, livelihoods, economic
  2. 2. development and environmental sustainability. The project includes the sub-regional activity on the Prethashkent aquifer, shared between the Kazakhstan and the Uzbekistan, as the case study, aiming the strengthening the scientific knowledge and the interstate cooperation. In the framework of the preparation phase of the project, it was agreed that International Water Management Institute (IWMI) will provide consultancy services on:  Collecting the relevant documentation on the Pritashkent groundwater aquifer including data regarding geological, hydrological and hydrogeological studies, current status of monitoring, legal, institutional and socio-economic aspects, and information on relevant on-going projects and initiatives;  Preparing a preliminary description of the characteristics of the transboundary aquifer and issues of concern;  Identifying major stakeholders in the countries of the transboundary aquifer in the following group: national and local governments, NGOs, academia, user associations, technical experts and other, and preparing a short description of the role of each of them is playing in the groundwater aquifer management;  Preparing the list of persons that should be met during the first SDC-UNESCO mission and making first contact with them in anticipation of the mission;  Assisting the mission during the meetings and accompanying members of the mission;  Identifying institutions which are responsible for the groundwater aquifer resources management, including monitoring and preparing on their role;  Providing a report. It was agreed that IWMI will become the regional partner in the Central Asia in the main phase of the project. As follow up of this agreement, IWMI participated in the Regional Consultation on Groundwater Resources Governance for the UNESCO Europe, North America and Central Asia Region which was organized by UNESCO IHP, in The Hague, Netherlands, from 19 to 21 March, 2013. The mission of the SDC-UNESCO to the Central Asia was postponed and the consultation meeting on Pritashkent aquifer with participation of four experts of Uzbekistan and four experts of Kazakhstan was organized by UNESCP IHP in Paris on 9-11 April, 2013.
  3. 3. This report provides summary of groundwater governance in Central Asia and current status of the Pritashkent aquifer. The report is written by Dr. Akmal Karimov, IWMI Central Asia, Dr. Jamol Djumanov, Head of department of the Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, Dr. Aslon Mavlonov, Deputy Chief of the Committee of Geology of Uzbekistan and Ms. Hilola Masharipova, PhD student of Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Melioration,. The study is supervised by Dr. Vladimir Smakhtin, Theme Leader of IWMI. Regulation of groundwater use in the state of the Aral Sea basin Within the Aral Sea basin, 339 aquifers are available with groundwater resources at 31.1 km 3 (CAWATER.info, 2013). In spite of significant renewable resources, only third part is used for different uses, among which household water use makes 42%, agricultural water use – 32%, Groundwater use in the Aral Sea basin extraction for drainage purposes 14% and industrial water use – 10% (Figure 1). Kazakhstan GWR = 1.8 km3 GWE = 0.42 km3 Other 3% HWU 10% Ind. WU 29% Kyrgyzstan GWR = 0.86 km3 GWE = 0.40 km3 DW 13% IWU 14% HWU 46% Agr. WU 76% House. WU 68% Turkmenistan GWR = 3.36 km3 GWE = 0.46 km3 AWU 33% IWU 8% Rangelands 1% O 1% Tajikistan GWR = 6.65 km3 GWE = 0.99 km3 Dewatering mines 7% Drain.W 22% House.WU 34% Agr.WU 56% IWU 9% House.WU 42% Uzbekistan GWR 18.5 km3 GWE = 5.43 km3 Agr. WU 25% Ind. WU 9% Figure 1. Groundwater use in the Fergana Valley This under-development of groundwater resources is the consequence of the legal and institutional environment, when canal water is supplied free of charge to water users. Existing legal and
  4. 4. institutional environment prioritizes groundwater use for household needs and restricts for agricultural water use. Groundwater supply plays major role in household water supply in the downstream countries, and in less extent in the upstream Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan having excessive surface water. At the same, there is significant potential for groundwater use in agriculture, facing shortage of water in many parts of the region. This potential is realized by farming communities. Thus, the rapid groundwater development for agricultural purposes indicated outside of canal commands, in the areas, with temporal or permanent water shortage. Farmers of the Fergana Valley within Uzbekistan and Tajikistan move from surface water to groundwater for irrigation of orchards, grapevines and vegetables. Preserving groundwater for future household needs allows maintaining low concentrations of dissolved solids in aquifers, at the same time, since the aquifers are full, this policy leads to salinity and waterlogging issues on the irrigated lands, high return flow and increasing salinity of the river flow in the midstream and the downstream. As consequence over 2.0 million (M) of the irrigated land have moderate or high salinity levels, the salinity of Syrdarya River and Amudarya River in the downstream exceeds 1,500 mg/l. At the same time, high inter-linkage between the surface water and the groundwater is to be accounted in groundwater development plans, which have to include the groundwater governance aspect. Figure 2 illustrates interrelations between different stakeholders in Institutions involved in groundwater typical for the groundwater administration in the Uzbekistan; the scheme isgovernance other states of the Aral in Uzbekistan Sea basin. Nature Protection Committee State Control Permits Ministry of Agriculture and Water Management HG. Dep. GW Monitor. Use issues Committee of Groundwater Geology Pump station dep: Well M. Local Authorities Payment for drinking water; Payment for electricity Reg. Stations GW monitoring Services Allocation Payment Small business, GW development of GW Reg. Centers, GW develop. Farm Unions, WUAs Figure 2. Institutions involved in groundwater governance in Uzbekistan
  5. 5. According the Water Law of Uzbekistan (The Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on “Water and Water Use”, 1993), for any groundwater extraction using pumps users have to obtain permits, called permissions for special water use. Users receive permits from the State Committees of Nature Protection. To get the permissions, groundwater resources have to be allocated, which is to be done by the regional hydrogeology departments of the Committee of Geology. The installation of a well has to be permitted, and the design of the well has to be specified by the same agency. The hydrogeology departments have responsibilities to monitor the groundwater and estimate its resources, quantity and quality. The Committee of Nature Protection has mandate for monitoring of use for both, groundwater and surface water. The Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources accounts groundwater use for agricultural purposes, and monitors depths and quality of shallow groundwater within the irrigated lands. At the same time, this agency is responsible for future planning the State investment into surface and groundwater development for agricultural purposes. Differences in groundwater regulations in the countries of the Aral Sea basin are given in Table 1.
  6. 6. Table 1. Regulation of groundwater use in Central Asia states Kazakhstan1 1 Water is the property of the Kyrgyzstan2 Tajikistan3 Turkmenistan4 Uzbekistan5 State (article 4) State (article 4) State (article 5) State (article 4) State (article 3) Basin& Territorial (article 6) Basin/State (article 5, 11) is based on the combination of basin, and administrativeterritorial governance principles (article 9) Territorial (basin) (article 102) Basin/territorial (article 111) Right/Permit based (article 24) State committee of Geology and Protection of Mineral Resources (article 34) Right/Permit based (article 34, 35) Right/Permit based (article 38, 43, 44) Permit based (article 23, 24) Right/Permit based (article 32) Local authorities by Nature protection committee (article 33) Ministry of Water Resources (article 24) Nature protection committee (article 8) 2 Water administration 3 Water use 4 Permission for groundwater use issued by 5 Water use permanent or temporary permanent & temporary (article 37) temporary (article 27, 23, 29, 34) permanent & temporary (article 39) permanent & temporary (article 28) permanent & temporary (article 31) short term, years 3 up to 15 years 3 3 3 long term, years 25 50 years 25 25 20 Payment for water use Payment for services of water withdrawal and supply, full cost, subsidies (article 49) for water supply services (article 40) Use of water resources and services (article 31) Payment is indicated (not clarified for what) (article 29) for WUA services only (article 35, 106) Use of groundwater of drinking quality for other needs Not allowed, except in some cases when there are no other sources, permission can be received (article 53) not stated Prohibited except in the case when there are no surface water source and there are sufficient underground water of drinking quality (article 56) Not allowed, except in the case when there are no surface water sources and there are sufficient underground water of drinking quality (article 42) May not be used, except in the regions where sufficient sources of surface water are not available (article 43) 6 7
  7. 7. 8 International Water agreements has priority (article 123, 95, 119) Water Code of RK has priority (article 7, 98) Water Code of RT has priority (article 3) International Water agreements has priority (article 113) International Water agreements has priority (article 119, 4, 83, 84, 91) 9 Transboundary Water courses recognized? Recognized Not recognized Not recognized recognized (article 82) recognized (article 2.1, 83, 84) 10 1 Priority has International agreements or national water Law? Is convention on transboundary water courses signed? Yes, on 11.01.1996 No No Yes, in process, not declared yet officially Yes, on 4.09. 2007 The Water Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 1993; 2The Water Code of the Kyrgyz republic, 2005; 3The Water Code of the Republic of Tajikistan. 2001; 4The Water Code of the Republic of Turkmenistan. 2004; 5The Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on “Water and Water Use”. 1993
  8. 8. Pritashkent aquifer: needs for cooperation Study area Pritashkent artesian aquifer, selected for the studies, is the transboundary aquifer located on the territory of the Uzbekistan and the Kazakhstan (Figure 3). The smaller south-eastern part of the aquifer is located in the Tashkent province of Uzbekistan, and the bigger, the north-west part in the Chymkent province of Kazakhstan. The artesian aquifer has geographic coordinates of 41.00 o42.80o northern latitude and 68.00o-69.45o eastern longitude. The study area is highly populated, especially on the Uzbek part. There are located many cities and towns, such as Tashkent, Chirchik and Yangiyul on the Uzbek part, and Saryagach, Chardara, Abay, Tobolino, Leninskoe, Fogodevka, Darbaza and Djilga on the Kazakh part. The main ethnic groups of the population are Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Tatars and Russians. Figure 3. Location of the Pritashkent aquifer
  9. 9. By geomorphology, the area is divided into three zones: mountain zone, foothills and valleys. As a transition zone between the foothill zone and the valley, Pritashkent steppes form buffer zone between the foothill zone and the valley. The mountain zone is characterized by high-billowy terrain. It consists of the southern slopes of the foothill Beltau, Kazy-Kurt and ravines of the western Tien-Shan, including mountains ridges of Karzhantau, Ugam, Chatkal, Kuramin, mountains of Magol-Tau and Angren plateau. These ridges surround the study area from the north, northeast, east and south-east. The mountains characterized by: almost parallel spread with northeastern stretches; asymmetric structures with low slopes to the north and steep to the south; reducing absolute altitudes in south-western direction from 3000-4000 meter above sea level (masl) to 800-1000 masl; represented by paleozoic magmatic rocks. The foothill areas represented by undulating plains, surrounding the mountains have the width varying from 0.5 to 5.7 km, and altitudes above 400 masl. The plains are formed by lateral cones of temporary watercourses, streaming down from the surrounding ridges. These cones gradually merge with the alluvial sediments of ancient terraces of the main watercourses. The surface of foothill plains has low slopes (up to 0.005) in the direction of flow of the rivers. The width of the river channels varies from 3-7 m to 30-40 m and sometimes makes 70 m. The valley including the lower reaches of the Angren River, Chirchik River, Keles River, Kuruk-Keles River and right bank of the Syrdarya River has altitudes at 400 masl or less. This zone has smooth relief, except river channels forming depressions of 80-100 m wide and 10-25 m deep. Highlands of Pritashkent steppe, occupying the central and north-western part of the territory have altitudes of 400-560 masl. The climate of the study area is sharp continental, dry. The average annual temperature for the period of 1950-2000 is 11.50C. The average monthly temperature in January, the coldest month is 9.9оС and in July, the hottest month is +27.8°C. Absolute maximum air temperature in summer reaches up to +42.60C (1973), and the absolute minimum temperature in January falls to -30.30 (1969). The mean annual relative humidity is 60.3%. The dry season is typical for July-August, when the value of the relative humidity drops to 36-39%. Wind direction within the study area is northeastern and speed is 2.8-3.3 m/s. The main rivers in the study area are the Chirchik, the Keles and the Kuruk-Keles. There are also the Syrdarya River and the Ahangaran River crossing the western and south-eastern parts of the study area, respectively. Each of these rivers has numerous tributaries, supplying the rivers, and off-takes
  10. 10. in the form of irrigation canals and irrigation ditches. The Syrdarya River originates in the Fergana Valley by melting snowfields and glaciers. The flow of the river is fully regulated by Toktogul, Kairakum and Chardara reservoirs located in sequential order along the river channel. Maximum average monthly flow of the river is in May and June from 1400-1800 m3/s. The salinity of the river flow has seasonal variations. Total dissolved solids vary from 900-1300 mg/l in fall and winter and lower to 500 – 700 mg/l in summer. The Keles River, originating on the southern flank of the KazyKurt Mountains, crosses the study area from east to west. Its total length is 220 km and the catchment area is 2200 km2. The main source of the river flow is precipitation and, to a lesser extent, groundwater. Method and data The description of the Pritashkent aquifer is based on archival data and technical reports collected by the local consultants from the Data Base of the Institute of the Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, Uzbekistan. The technical reports include the Assessment of the groundwater resources of the Pritashkent aquifer carried out in different years by the Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology. Description of the Pritashkent aquifer The geological structure on the territory of Uzbekistan consists of geological formations of sedimentary, magmatic and metamorphic genesis from Proterozoic to Quaternary deposits. In mountainous areas, Proterozoic and Paleozoic rocks appear on the surface, and in the vast plains and intermountain hollows they lay below Mesozoic and the Cenozoic rocks. Underground mineral water in Uzbekistan is exploited from Neogene-Quaternary, Paleocene and Cretaceous deposits. Earlier studies of the Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology show that mineral water is mainly associated with the Cretaceous-Neogene sediments, Quaternary and Palaeozoic formaitons. The Pritashkent aquifer is associated with Paleozoic floor, which is made of thick Cenozoic deposits containing mineral water. The formations are represented by sand-clay differences of Cretaceous deposits (Cenomanian layer) (Figure 4). There are 20 wells, extracting water from this aquifer operate within Tashkent city and its surrounding area.
  11. 11. Figure 4. The hydrogeological cut along the Pritashkent aquifer The mineral groundwater of the Pritashkent aquifer has no specific components, low-saline, thermal, nitrogenous, calcium hydrocarbonate-sulfate-chloride, sodium, has therapeutic properties for internal and external uses in the form of mud-baths and other procedures. The depth of the mineral groundwater ranges from 815 m (Chernyavka village, 25km north of the city of Tashkent) to 2200 m (site “Tekstilkombinat”). In average, the roof of the Cenomanian layer within Tashkent city lies at the depths of 1160 m (site Nazarbek) - 1640 m (site Lunacharsky). Mineral water of the Cenomanian layer is known as “Tashkent mineral”. At the beginning of the exploitation period of the aquifer, the water had a high excessive pressure, reaching 150 m or more above the ground (Figure 5). But with time (over 40 years) the pressurized level has dropped and in some wells now, it is below the surface of the ground (wells № 10/81 “Botany”, well №7 “Chinabad” and well №8 “Lunacharsky”) (Figure 6). These days, water from these wells is supplied to the users by pumping.
  12. 12. Figure 5. Drawdown of the water table in the Pritashkent aquifer since 1970 Groundwater head, m 60 40 20 0 -20 -40 -60 -80 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 Figure 6. Water table drawdown at the well 8 on the territory of the Uzbekistan In the southeastern part of Pritashkent aquifer, Upper Cretaceous deposits lie at a depth of 2.5 km. To the west from the Chikrchik fault water bearing deposits of Neogene spread at depths of 1050 m below the soil surface. Most part of the Pritashkent aquifer formed in the Lower Cretaceous deposits, represented by clay differences with the interlayer of sandstone, having low conductivities. These deposits were found at depths of 1330 m (site ‘Dendro’) to 2030 m (site ‘Karakamysh’). The wells at these sites have the yield varying from 2 to 20 m3/d. Mineral water is used for external
  13. 13. procedures, except for the water produced at the site Zangi-Ata, where the salinity is less than 4000 mg/l and is used as heating water in the hospitals. Sharing the water use The resources of the aquifer were estimated at 40.59 l/s. According to the agreement (Protocol N 9179 dated on 18.02.1983, State Commission for Reserves, USSR) signed during the Soviet time, Uzbekistan has right to extract 23.65 l/s and Kazakhstan 16.94 l/s. The list of water users from the Pritashkent aquifer on the Uzbek side is given in Table 2. The list of the water users is preliminary and reflects the situation with groundwater use before 1990 and after within the territory of Uzbekistan. Table 2. List of the water users from the Pritahskent aquifer on the territory of Uzbekistan (Data of the Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology) Well 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Well 1 Well 3 Well 5 Well 6 Well 7 Well 8 Well 1/78 8 Well 11 9 10 Well 7 Well 6 11 12 13 14 Well 13 Well 3 Well 7 Well 1-5 15 Well 7 16 17 18 Well 11 Well 1-76 Well 13 Water user Sanatorium Semashko Sanatorium Semashko Hospital 2 Sanatorium Semrug Sanatorium Zangiota Sanatorium Fedorovich Sanatorium of the Ministry of Railroads The Institute of vegetables Sanatorium Chinabad Sanatorium of Ministry of Health Protection Sanatorium Botanika Sanatorium Turon Sanatorium Chatkal Sanatorium Tashminvody (private) Joint venture Montella (private) Hospital 1 Company Shirin suv Company Kibrai Water allocated l/s 2.92 2.7 0.35 1.2 2.85 2.31 1.45 Head in 1983 m +195 +195 +56.8 +77.5 +135 +189.6 +193 Head in 2007 m -18.5 -6.0 +56.8 +6.0 +60.0 +9.2 +10.0 Yield of well 0.5 +87.9 +2.2 0.2 2.31 1.74 +170.5 +191.0 -6.0 0.40 2.35 2.85 1.74 »+138.0 +47 +37.2 +168 -64.7 -4.4 +8.0 +6.0 0.85 0.75 0.80 0.60 1.2 -21 0.5 0.40 2.40 +49.2 +10 +13 +49.2 +1.70 +4 0.60 0.54 0.30 l/s 0.80 0.60 0.20 0.80 1.5 0.7 4.5
  14. 14. The Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology carried special studies to estimate the water table drawdown and estimate groundwater extraction volumes. After 1990s, according to data of the Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology (data requiring verification), there is indicated the installation of private wells within the Pritashkent aquifer on the territory of Kazakshtan. Owners of the wells do not have permits for the groundwater extraction and new wells are not registered. In many cases, the water from the Pritashkent aquifer is used for heating purposes, especially green houses during cold winter seasons. This could be the main reason of water table drawdown in the Pritashkent aquifer. Conclusions The data collected during the preliminary phase of the “Groundwater governance in transboundary aquifers” project indicated water table drawdown in some parts of the Pritashkent aquifer by 100 m and more. This highlights the importance of the transboundary groundwater cooperation and collaboration between the Kazakhstan and the Uzbekistan. The implementing the main phase of the project will assist in establishing close interstate collaboration, weakened during the last years. The studies in the main phase could be focused on: (1) accounting of groundwater extractions, the efficiency of use and other factors, causing the groundwater depletions; (2) modeling the groundwater to project future of the aquifer under no-cooperation and cooperation scenarios, and (3) activities related to promoting the groundwater cooperation. Acknowledgements The authors are grateful to the Swiss Development Agency (SDC) for providing financial support for this study under the “Groundwater Governance in Transboundary Aquifers” project. The authors would like to express their thanks to Mrs. Alice Aureli, Chief Groundwater Section, IHP, UNESCO, Mr. Holger Treidel, IHP, UNESCO and Dr. Neno Kukuric, Director of the IGRAC- International Groundwater Center for kind collaboration and promoting transboundary aquifer studies in Central Asia.
  15. 15. References: CAWATER.Info. 2013. Aral Sea Basin. Groundwater: reserves and use. http://www.cawaterinfo.net/aral/groundwater_e.htm (the last accessed on 22.04.2013). The Water Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 1993. http://faolex.fao.org/docs/pdf/kaz5256E.pdf (the last accessed on 22.04.2013). The Water Code of the Kyrgyz republic, 2005. http://www.cawater-info.net/bk/water_law/pdf/ water_code_kyrgyz_en.pdf (the last accessed on 22.04.2013). The Water Code of the Republic of Tajikistan. 2001. http://www.cawater-info.net/bk/water_law/pdf /water_code_tajik_en.pdf (the last accessed on 22.04.2013). The Water Code of the Republic of Turkmenistan. 2004. http://faolex.fao.org/cgi- bin/faolex.exe?rec_id=043942&database=faolex&search_type=link&table=result&lang=eng&fo rmat_name=@ERALL (the last accessed on 22.04.2013). The Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on “Water and Water http://faolex.fao.org/docs/pdf/uzb5255E.pdf (the last accessed on 22.04.2013). Use”. 1993.