Since 1974, the problem of water resources in the Aral Sea basin has been under intense discussion in the former Soviet Union. The special commission created by the decision of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR carefully studied this question and the issue of water resources conservation. It concluded that the most feasible means of alleviating the water deficit in the interests of ecological and social economic prosperity was, firstly, by improving water management within the region, and, secondly, by supplementing the regional water balance with 25 km3 of water imported from several extra-basin sources (Ob’, Irtysh, and the Volga). Operating under these concepts, planning and management agencies were orientated toward further development of irrigated agriculture as one of the main trends of regional development which would be accompanied by a reduction in the size of the Aral Sea and necessitate implementation of measures to protect the coastal areas of the Aral Sea.
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- The problem of water resources management in Central Asia with regard to the Aral Sea situation
V. A. Dukhovnyy
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg