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Central Asia's Water Resources: Country Comparison

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Chapter - 3

Population of Central Asia: - Central Asia is the land of many languages, ethnic groups, religions, and tribes. In 2000, an estimated 55.9 million people lived in Central Asia. Today there are about 65.7 million (ICG, 2014). The below table show the population of Central Asia from 1992 to 2013

Total population of Central Asia (1000 inhab)

Country

1992

1997

2002

2007

2012

2013

Kazakhstan

16070

15086

14623

15396

16271

16441

Kyrgyzstan

4476

4739

5003

5134

5474

5548

Tajikistan

5523

5937

6404

7111

8009

8208

Turkmenistan

3882

4336

4600

4858

5173

5240

Uzbekistan

21534

23790

25334

26669

28541

28934

Source: FAO

The table shows the population of central Asian countries from 1992 to 2013. According to this table in 1992 the population of Kazakhstan is 16070, which start decreasing from that year. In 1997, the population of Kazakhstan decreased to 15086 and in 2002 it decreased to the level of 146623. This trends show that after independence from former Soviet Union, the population of Kazakhstan start declining; this is due to the migration of Russian and other Soviet Union member’s countries ethnic people from Kazakhstan. This factor is and push factor for growing population. But after the year 2002, it start growing, in 2007, it became 15396, 16271 in 2012 and 16441 in 2013. Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world[1], its density of population is very low and lowest among Central Asian republics. Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country, but, the population of Kyrgyzstan grows at a fast rate. In 1992, the population of Kyrgyzstan is 4476, in 2007 it crossed the 5 million mark and in 2012 it became over 5.5 million and grows day by day. This put number of impact on the development of the country, availability of natural resources, water recourses and it became difficult for government to providing basic amenities to the people. Tajikistan is the smallest country from all five republics of central Asia. It is also one of the poorest republics in the world. Tajikistan caught in civil war just after the independence, in this civil war in five years over 50,000 killed and over 10% population of the country runaway to neighboring countries.[2] But beside all of this the population of Tajikistan is grow at a very rapid rate. In 1992, the population of Tajikistan is 5523 which became 6204 in 2002 and crossed 7 million marks in 2007 and 8 million mark in 2012. In 2013, the population of Tajikistan became 8208 and the population in Tajikistan grows very fast in all central Asian republics. Turkmenistan is a very low density country; due to most of the area of the country is desert. So, population in Turkmenistan is very low. In 1992, the population of Turkmenistan is 3882, which became 4600 in 2002 and crossed 5 million marks in 2012. In 2013, it became 5240.

Total Renewal water resource per capita (actual) (m3/inhab/yr)

Country

1992

1997

2002

2007

2012

2014

Kazakhstan

6689

7126

7351

6982

6607

6539

Kyrgyzstan

5277

4984

4721

4601

4315

4257

Tajikistan

3967

3690

3421

3081

2736

2669

Turkmenistan

6381

5713

5385

5099

4788

4727

Uzbekistan

2269

2054

1929

1832

1712

1689

Source: FAO

The above table shows that total water resources per capita (actual) in all central Asian countries decreasing year by year. In Kazakhstan per capita water resources that was 7351 m3 in 2002, decreased to 6607 m3 in 2012 and 6539 m3 in 2014. In Kyrgyzstan the renewal water resources per capita are decreased from 5277 m3 in 1992 to 4721 m3 in 2002, 4315 m3 in 2012 and 4257 m3 in the year of 2014.In Tajikistan, also the trends of declining of water per capita. In 1992 the per capita renewal water recourses availability was 3967 m3 that was declining to 2669 m3 in 2014. In the Turkmenistan the same trend of decreasing renewal water per capita continues. In 1992, the availability of renewal water resources per capita is 6381 m3 that was decline to 4727 m3 in 2014. When we talk about Uzbekistan the situation is worst. Over half of population of whole central Asian region is lived in Uzbekistan and also increased rapidly. So, the situation becomes critical day by day. The availability of per capita renewal water resources, that was 2269 m3 in 1992 declined to 1832 m3 in 2007 and 1689 m3 in 2014.

Water withdrawal by sectors: -The water withdrawals means withdrawn of the gross quantity of water by different sectors annually for given proposes (FAO, 2012). There are three sectors of water withdrawal these sectors are: agriculture, municipalities, and industry. In the agriculture sector included irrigation, aquaculture, watering and livestock cleaning, the municipalities sector included use of water in houses, villages, towns and cities by population for their domestic proposes. The industrial sector includes the water used in thermal plants for cooling, for dying in leather industry etc. the data related to water withdrawal is taken from the national statics of the countries for most countries, but there is uncertainty in methods that are used for obtaining data (FAO, 2005).

Water withdrawal by sectors in Kazakhstan

Year

Agriculture (%)

Industry (%)

Municipal (%)

1995

81.41

1.73

16.86

2002

75.13

4.21

20.66

2007

67.71

4.11

28.18

2010

66.23

4.15

29.63

Source: FAO

The above table shows that the withdrawal by sector in Kazakhstan changed rapidly from agriculture sector to other sector like industrial and municipal. In 1995, agriculture sector withdrawal over 80% of the country. But in 2002, the situation is changed, the share of water withdrawal by agriculture sector decline from 81% to 75% and the share of industrial sector increased from 1.73% to 4.21%. The share of Municipal sector also changed from 16.86 to 20.66 in 2002. In 2007, the share of agriculture again decline, but industrial sector’s share remains shame as 2002. The big change comes in share of municipal sector, which’s share is increased very rapidly after 2002. Its share is increased from 20.66% in 2002 to 28.18% in 2007 and 29.63% in 2010. These trends will continue in country because of high growth in urbanization and industrial sector.

Water withdrawal by sectors (in Percentage) in Kyrgyzstan

Year

Agriculture

Industry

Municipal

Total

1994

94.11

2.86

2.98

100

2000

93.75

3.07

3.17

100

2006

93.01

4.19

2.79

100

Source: FAO

When we see the table of water withdrawal by sector in Kyrgyzstan then we find out that there is very little changes in water withdrawal by sector. The share of agriculture is biggest from all the sectors in 1994, that was over 94% in 1994 and only 1% declined in its share in 2006. The other two sector’s share is almost 3% each 1994 that remained 3% also in 2006.

Water withdrawal by sectors (in Percentage) in Tajikistan

Year

Agriculture

Industry

Municipal

Total

1994

92.33

4.21

3.47

100

2000

91.64

4.68

3.54

100

2006

90.86

3.67

5.63

100

Source: FAO

The water withdrawal in Tajikistan is similar with Kyrgyzstan. Agriculture is the main sector, withdrawal over 90% water of the country. There are many reasons for this because agriculture is the main sector of the economy of the country and biggest employment provider to the people, and industrial sector is not developed in the country because of mineral recourses and energy recourses and due to the increase in population and urbanization the share of municipal sector is increased very at a very slow rate.

Water withdrawal by sectors (in Percentage) in Turkmenistan

Year

Agriculture

Industry

Municipal

Total

1994

97.94

0.58

1.46

100

2000

96.51

1.08

3.00

100

2004

94.31

2.39

2.70

100

Source: FAO

In Turkmenistan agriculture is the main stay of the employment of the people and also the biggest water withdrawal sector. Its share in 1994 is over 97% in total water withdrawal by the all the sectors of the country, that changed very slowly from other sector like industrial sector and municipal sector. The share of industrial sector was almost half percent in 1994, that increased 1.08% in 2000 and almost two and half percent in 2004 and increased year by year but at a very slow rate. The share of municipal sector increased but at a very slow rate.

Water withdrawal by sectors (in Percentage) in Uzbekistan

Year

Agriculture

Industry

Municipal

Total

1994

93.66

1.9

4.44

100

2001

90.43

3.87

5.69

100

2005

90.00

2.67

7.32

100

Source: FAO

In Uzbekistan the agriculture sector remains the biggest water consumer from the Soviet time. It is also one of the biggest cotton producers in the world and cotton crop is the biggest water consumer of the country. Agriculture is the main stay of the people of the country. In 1994, agriculture sector withdrawal over 93% of the total water withdrawal by the country. The industrial sector withdrawal almost 2% and municipal sector 4% of water in the year 1994. In 2001, the agriculture sector withdrawal 90% , industrial sector almost 4% and municipal sector withdrawal almost five and half percent of water. In these years, the share of agriculture is decline and the share of others sector increased. In 2005, the share of agriculture sector remains same but the share of industrial sector declined almost 1%. On the other hand the share of municipal sector increased from five and half to over 7%. This is due to the increase in population and urbanization.

Total Renewal water resource per capita (actual) (m3/inhab/yr)

Country

1992

1997

2002

2007

2012

2014

Kazakhstan

6689

7126

7351

6982

6607

6539

Kyrgyzstan

5277

4984

4721

4601

4315

4257

Tajikistan

3967

3690

3421

3081

2736

2669

Turkmenistan

6381

5713

5385

5099

4788

4727

Uzbekistan

2269

2054

1929

1832

1712

1689

Source: FAO

The above table shows that total water resources per capita (actual) in all central Asian countries decreasing year by year. In Kazakhstan per capita water resources that was 7351 m3 in 2002, decreased to 6607 m3 in 2012 and 6539 m3 in 2014. In Kyrgyzstan the renewal water resources per capita are decreased from 5277m3 in 1992 to 4721m3 in 2002, 4315 m3 in 2012 and 4257 in the year of 2014.In Tajikistan, also the trends of declining of water per capita. In 1992 the per capita renewal water recourses availability was 3967m3 that was declining to 2669 m3 in 2014. In the Turkmenistan the same trend of decreasing renewal water per capita continues. In 1992, the availability of renewal water resources per capita is 6381m3 that was decline to 4727 m3 in 2014. When we talk about Uzbekistan the situation is worst. Over half of population of whole central Asian region is lived in Uzbekistan and also increased rapidly. So, the situation becomes critical day by day. The availability of per capita renewal water resources, that was 2269 m3 in 1992 declined to 1832 m3 in 2007 and 1689 m3 in 2014.

Dams in Central Asia

Country

Capacity in km3

% of the region

Kazakhstan

95.5

54

Kyrgyzstan

23.5

13

Tajikistan

29.5

17

Turkmenistan

6.2

3

Uzbekistan

22.2

13

Central Asia

176.8

100

Source: FAO

The water system in central Asia region is mange by large numbers of canals, dams and reservoirs etc. there is large trap of canals, which was made in the times of Former Soviet Union all over central Asia, many dams like world’s tallest dam Nurek dam etc and many big reservoir like Andijan, Toktogul, Tyuyamunym and Kairakkum etc are in central Asia to manage water resources of the region (UNECE, 2007).

The International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD), classified the dams into two categories according to their height, the first category include the dams with the height of 15 meters or above, second category include the dams of between the height of 5 to 15 meters and the storage capacity is more than 3 million m3,[3]. There are over 1200 dams in central Asia region and 110 dams are large dams from these dams. Many of them have inter-state significance because many of them located on the Transboundary rivers like Amu Darya River, Syr Darya River etc. (UNECE, 2007). The total capacity of dams in central Asian countries is 176.8 km3. From which, 95.5 km3 only in Kazakhstan, that is 54% of the total dam’s capacity of the region. Kyrgyzstan accounts 13% dams of the region with the capacity of 23.5 km3. Kambarta and Toktogul are major dams in Kyrgyzstan. There are 17% dams’ of central Asia is in Tajikistan, with the capability of 29.5 km3. Nurek Dam with the height of 300 meters, is world’s tallest dam is located in Tajikistan on Vakhsh River.[4]. Sangtuda-1 and 2 are also very important dams in Tajikistan and country also proposed a dam named Rogan dam on Naryn River, which become world’s highest dam after the completion of construction[5]. Uzbekistan with the capacity of 22.2 km3 is account 13% of the total dams of the region and with the capacity of 6.2 km3 Turkmenistan accounts only 3% dams of the region


[1] http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/countries_by_area.htm

[2] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-16201032

[3] https://www.adaptation-fund.org/sites/default/files/ilovepdf.com-7.pdf

[4] http://www.briskinfo.com/extreme/tallest-dam-in-world-nurek-dam.html

[5] http://www.briskinfo.com/extreme/tallest-dam-in-world-nurek-dam.html


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