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Water Conservation Practices in the Syr Darya Basin of Central Asia: Water Productivity Impacts and Alternatives

  • Abdullaev, I.
  • Kazbekov, J.
  • Molden, D.
  • Summary
Increased shortage and intersectoral competition for water throughout the world places a high pressure on the irrigated agriculture, bringing a need to grow more food with less water. It is believed that by 2025,70 percent of the world’s population will live in areas with physical or economic water scarcity and nowhere is this more evident than in Central Asia, specifically in the Syr Darya River basin. The tremendous irrigation development of the 1960’s and 1970’s has led to decline of the environmental flows. The disappearance of the Aral Sea and the degradation of the surrounding natural ecosystems and irrigated lands can be listed as the direct results of unbalanced water resource management in the past. The ‘more-crop-per-drop’ approach which is meant to increase water productivity are seen as way out of the current water crisis in the region. Many farmers within the region have been adapting and developing practices to increase on-farm productivity of water. The purpose of this paper is to document these cases and understand whether they are sustainable. The most successful strategies have emerged essentially through the endogenous incentives generated by the system itself rather than as a result of rewards.
  • Journal:
    International Water and Irrigation(2)
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