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Impact of climate change on glaciers and water resources in Uzbekistan

  • 13 September, 2018
  • Wageningen University, Environmental Systems Analysis
  • prof. dr LG Hein

Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country with a large agricultural sector which depends heavily upon water from the mountains in Tashkent Province (in particular the Ugam-Chatkal National Park) and other mountains at the border of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. These water resources are closely linked to the glaciers on these mountains, which capture precipitation in the winter season and release the water during the growing season. However, unsustainable management practices, in particular overgrazing, and climate change threaten the glaciers and the upper parts of the watersheds that regulate the water flows to the overall basin of the Chirchik river, one of two main river systems in the country.
This project aims to assess how the management of the upper watersheds of the Chirchik river can be improved in order to safeguard water supply for human consumption and irrigation in the Tashkent Province. In particular, the project will: (i) analyse past changes of glaciers and subsequent impacts on water supply; (ii) forecast changes in water supply as a function of IPCC SRES scenarios; (iii) analyse how forest conservation can compensate for some of the loss of water storage capacity of the glaciers in the future; and (iv) propose specific policy and management interventions to safeguard water supply in the basin.


Adil Yakubov

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