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Biblioteca Water resources as a source of conflicts in Central Asia

Water resources as a source of conflicts in Central Asia

Water resources as a source of conflicts in Central Asia

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Date of publication
Diciembre 2002
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ISBN / Resource ID

This paper analyses the problem of water resource sharing in Central Asia. The authors consider this problem to be especially important, since they believe that the struggle for control over water resources will be one of the main causes of internal and international conflicts in the 21st century.[The full text of this paper is in Russian language only.]The authors note that in each of the Central Asian republics, the amount of water consumption rises, while the amount of water reserves decreases. The reasons for this are believed to be as follows:very large scale cotton agriculture in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan established in the Soviet periodlittle attention paid to the renewal of water resources (which led to the near disappearance of the Aral sea)massive and inefficient irrigationAccording to the authors, the distribution of water resources in the region is characterized as follows:Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are the countries with the greatest per capita water reservesTajikistan has the greatest number of lakes in the Amudarya basina large number of rivers originate in mountains on Tajikistan’s territory, then flow into neighboring statesboth Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have a very large potential for the development of hydroelectric power production, but are dependent on natural gas supplied by neighboring UzbekistanThe paper identifies the following regional tensions over the use of water resources:the greatest level of tensions was caused by the increase in Uzbekistan's gas export prices that led to greater energy consumption in Kyrgyzstan, an increase in the production of electricity at the Toktogul power plant, and a smaller volume of the Naryn river reaching Uzbekistanthe desire of Uzbekistan to become the regional center of political power led it to pressure Tajikistan, increasing the price of gas exported to Tajikistan; the latter country retaliated with a number of canal projects that cut Uzbekistan’s water supply certain tensions also exist between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on usage of the Amudarya riverThe authors conclude that the prevention of conflicts requires a common policy effort by all Central Asian states.

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

A. Kholiki
N. Rakhimov

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