Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 73, Issue 2, pp 731–741 | Cite as

Water consumption of agriculture and natural ecosystems at the Amu Darya in Lebap Province, Turkmenistan

  • Niels Thevs
  • Kurban Ovezmuradov
  • Leila Vaziri Zanjani
  • Stefan Zerbe
Thematic Issue

Abstract

The Amu Darya River is the major water source for Turkmenistan contributing 88 % to the total amount of surface water available to the country. Lebap Province harbours oases and natural riparian vegetation along the Amu Darya River. In the oases, cotton, wheat, and corn as well as fruit and vegetables are grown under irrigation. While cotton was strongly promoted during Soviet Union times, the wheat area was enlarged after independency of Turkmenistan, in order to secure food self-sufficiency. In the literature, a very high crop water requirement has been reported for cotton in Turkmenistan. In this paper, the objective is to investigate the consumptive water use, i.e. actual evapotranspiration, of the major crops cotton, wheat, and corn, the household plots, and the natural vegetation within Lebap Province of Turkmenistan. Actual evapotranspiration (ETa) was mapped from Landsat satellite images for the vegetation seasons 2009 and 2010. Additionally, reference ET (ETo) and crop ET (ETc) were calculated. ETa for riparian (Tugai) forests and Tamarix shrubs was 907–1,043 and 239–259 mm, respectively. ETa for the mapped crops cotton, wheat, rice, and gardens was 485–658, 156–350, 685–935, and 416–615 mm, respectively. ETo was 929 and 979 mm in 2009 and 2010, respectively. ETc for cotton and rice was 896 mm in 2009 and 925 mm in 2010 and 1,085 mm in 2009 and 1,198 mm in 2010, respectively. The low ETa values are explained partly by under-estimation through the method applied, partly by low yields of the crops. There is a big gap between the amount of water taken up from the Amu Darya and the water really consumed by the irrigated crops. This low water use efficiency might be due to water losses from channels and high amounts of water needed for soil preparation, i.e. leaching of salts.

Keywords

Irrigation Cotton Riparian forest Aral Sea Basin Central Asia Remote sensing 

References

  1. Allen RG, Pereira LS, Raes D, Smith M (1998) Crop evapotranspiration––guidelines for computing crop water requirements. FAO Irrigation and drainage paper 56. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen RG, Tasumi M, Morse A, Trezza R (2005) A Landsat-based energy balance and evapotranspiration model in Western US water rights regulation and planning. Irrig Drain Syst 19:251–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bakhtiyarov RI (2006) Utilization of the water resources of the Amu-Darya Basin for development of the productive forces of Central Asian republics. Power Tech Eng 7:1159–1164Google Scholar
  4. Bastiaanssen WGM (1995) Regionalization of surface flux densities and moisture indicators in composite terrain. Ph.D. Thesis, Wageningen University, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  5. Bastiaanssen WGM, Ahmad M, Yuan CM (2002) Satellite surveillance of evaporative depletion across the Indus Basin. Water Resour Res 38:1273–1282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bastiaanssen WGM, Noordman EJM, Pelgrum H, Davids G, Thoreson BP, Allen RG (2005) SEBAL model with remotely sensed data to improve water resources management under actual field conditions. J Irrig Drain Eng 131:85–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chapagain AK, Hoekstra AY, Savenje HHG, Gautam R (2006) The water footprint of cotton consumption: an assessment of the impact of worldwide consumption of cotton products on the water resources in the cotton producing countries. Ecol Econ 60:186–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen Y, Li W, Xu C, Ye Z, Chen Y (2014) Desert riparian vegetation and groundwater in the lower reaches of the Tarim River Basin. Environ Earth Sci. doi:10.1007/s12665-013-3002-y
  9. Cleverly JR, Dahm CN, Thibault JR, Gilroy DJ, Allred Coonrod JE (2002) Seasonal estimates of actual evapo-transpiration from Tamarix ramosissima stands using three-dimensional eddy covariance. J Arid Environ 52:181–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. D’Urso G (2010) Current status and perspectives for the estimation of crop water requirements from earth observation. Ital J Agron 5:107–120Google Scholar
  11. FAO (2013) Irrigation in Central Asia in figures. FAO water report 39. FAO, Rome. http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3289e/i3289e.pdf. Accessed 25 June 2013
  12. FAOSTAT (2013) http://faostat3.fao.org/home/index.html#HOME. Accessed 30 June 2013
  13. Feike T, Mamitimin Y, Li L, Abdusalih N, Doluschitz R (2014) Development of agricultural land and water use and its driving forces in the Aksu-Tarim Basin, P.R. China. Environ Earth Sci. doi:10.1007/s12665-014-3108-x
  14. Fiorentino C, Ventrella D, Giglio L, Di Giacomo E, Lopez R (2010) Land use cover mapping of water melon and cereals in Southern Italy. Ital J Agron 5:185–192Google Scholar
  15. Glantz MH (1999) Creeping environmental problems and sustainable development of the Aral Sea Basin. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gowda PH, Chavez JL, Colaizzi PD, Evett SR, Howell TA, Tolk JA (2007) Remote sensing based energy balance algorithms for mapping ET: current status and future challenges. Am Soc Agric Biol Eng 50:1639–1644Google Scholar
  17. Gowda PH, Chavez JL, Colaizzi PD, Evett SR, Howell TA, Tolk JA (2008) ET mapping for agricultural water management: present status and challenges. Irrig Sci 26:223–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gries D, Zeng F, Foetzki A, Arndt SK, Bruelheide H, Thomas FM, Zhang XM, Runge M (2003) Growth and water relation of Tamarix ramosissima and Populus euphratica on Taklamakan desert dunes in relation to depth to a permanent water table. Plant Cell Environ 26:725–736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Groll M, Opp C, Kulmatov R, Ikramova M, Normatov I (2014) Water quality, potential conflicts and solutions––an upstream-downstream analysis of the transnational Zarafshan River (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan). Environ Earth Sci. doi:10.1007/s12665-013-2988-5
  20. Hou P, Beeton RJS, Carter RW, Dong XG, Li X (2007) Response to environmental flows in the lower Tarim River, Xinjiang, China: ground water. J Environ Manag 83:371–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kalma JD, McVicar TR, McCabe MF (2008) Estimating land surface evaporation: a review of methods using remotely sensed surface temperature data. Surv Geophys 29:421–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Khamzina A, Sommer R, Lamers JPA, Vlek PLGH (2009) Transpiration and early growth of tree plantations established on degraded cropland over shallow saline groundwater table in northwest Uzbekistan. Agric For Meteorol 149:1865–1874CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kim V (2012) Water footprint for cotton in Turkmenistan. Master thesis, University of GreifswaldGoogle Scholar
  24. Lioubimtseva E (2014) A multi-scale assessment of human vulnerability to climate change in the Aral Sea Basin. Environ Earth Sci. doi:10.1007/s12665-014-3104-1
  25. Malek E, Bingham GE (1993) Comparison of the Bowen ratio-energy balance and the water balance methods for the measurement of evapotranspiration. J Hydrol 146:209–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Minderlein S, Menzel L (2013) Evapotranspiration and energy balance dynamics of a semi arid mountainous steppe and shrubland site in northern Mongolia. Environ Earth SciGoogle Scholar
  27. Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan (2002) Biodiver-sity strategy and action plan for Turkmenistan. Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan, AshgabadGoogle Scholar
  28. Nechaeva NT, Nikolaev WN (1962) pojasnitelnnyj tekst k karte pastbish ravninnoj Turkmenii. Turkmenskij Nauchno-Issledovatelskij Institut Zhivotnovodstva I veterinarii, AshgabatGoogle Scholar
  29. O’Hara SL (1997) Irrigation and land degradation: implications for agriculture in Turkmenistan, Central Asia. J Arid Environ 37:165–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ogar NP (2003) Vegetation of river valleys. In: Rachkovskaya EI, Volkova EA, Khramtsov VN (eds) Botanical geography of Kazakhstan and Middle Asia (Desert region). Komarov Botanical Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, pp 313–339Google Scholar
  31. Ovezberdyyeva A (2009) Sustainable water management in Turkmenistan: challenges and solutions. Master thesis, University of GreifswaldGoogle Scholar
  32. Palmer MA, Reidy Liermann CA, Nilsson C, Flörke M, Alcamo J, Lake PS, Bond N (2008) Climate change and the world’s river basins: anticipating management options. Front Ecol Environ 6:81–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rakhmatullaev S, Huneau F, Kazbekov J, Le Coustumer P, Jumanov J, El Oifi B, Motelica-Heino M, Hrkal Z (2010) Groundwater resources use and management in the Amu Darya River Basin (Central Asia). Environ Earth Sci 59:1183–1193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rakhmatullaev S, Huneau F, Celle-Jeanton H, Le Coustumer P, Motelica-Heino H, Bakiev M (2013) Water reservoirs, irrigation and sedimentation in Central Asia: a first-cut assessment for Uzbekistan. Environ Earth Sci 68:985–998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rapajov M (2002) National environmental action plan. Ministry of Nature Protection, AshgabatGoogle Scholar
  36. Reddy JM, Muhammedjanov S, Jumaboev K, Eshmuratov D (2012) Analysis of cotton water productivity in Fergana Valley of Central Asia. Agric Sci 3:822–834Google Scholar
  37. Roerink GJ, Su B, Menenti M (2000) S-SEBI A simple remote sensing algorithm to estimate the surface energy balance. Phys Chem Earth (B) 25:147–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sammis TW (1981) Yield of alfalfa and cotton as influenced by irrigation. Agron J 73:323–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Senay GB, Budde M, Verdin JP, Melesse AM (2007) A coupled remote sensing and simplified surface energy balance approach to estimate actual evapotranspiration from irrigated fields. Sensors 7:979–1000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sobrino JA, Gómez M, Jiménez-Muñoz JC, Olioso A, Chehbouni G (2005) A simple algorithm to estimate evapotranspiration from DAIS data: application to the DAISEX campaigns original research article. J Hydrol 315:117–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sobrino JA, Gómez M, Jiménez-Muñoz JC, Olioso A (2007) Application of a simple algorithm to estimate daily evapotranspiration from NOAA–AVHRR images for the Iberian Peninsula. Remote Sens Environ 110:139–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Stanchin I, Lerman Z (2003) Agrarian reforms in Turkmenistan. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Center for Agriculture Economic Research, the Department of Agricultural Economic and Management, JerusalemGoogle Scholar
  43. Stanchin I, Lerman Z (2005) Water in Turkmenistan. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Center for Agriculture Economic Research, the Department of Agricultural Economic and Management, JerusalemGoogle Scholar
  44. Su Z (2002) The surface energy balance system (SEBS) for estimation of turbulent heat fluxes. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 6:85–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Thevs N, Zerbe S, Peper J, Succow M (2008) Vegetation and vegetation dynamics in the Tarim River floodplain of continental-arid Xinjiang, NW China. Phytocoenologia 38:65–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Thevs N, Buras A, Zerbe S, Kühnel E, Abdusalih N, Ovezberdyyeva A (2012) Structure and wood biomass of near-natural floodplain forests along the Central Asian rivers Tarim and Amu Darya. Forestry 81:193–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Thevs N, Rouzi A, Kubal C, Abdusalih N (2013) Water consumption of agriculture and natural ecosystems along the Tarim River, China. Geo-Öko 34:50–76Google Scholar
  48. Thomas FM, Foetzki A, Arndt SK, Bruelheide H, Gries D, Zeng FJ, Zhang XM, Runge M (2006) Water use by perennial plants in the transition zone between river oasis and desert in NW China. Basic Appl Ecol 7:253–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tischbein B, Awan UK, Abdullaev I, Bobojonov I, Conrad C, Jabborov H, Forkutsa I, Inrakhimov M, Poluasheva G (2012) Water management in Khorezm: current situation and options for improvement (hydrological perspective). In: Martius C, Rudenko I, Lamers JPA, Vlek PLG (eds) Cotton water salts and soums. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 69–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Treshkin SY (2001) The Tugai forests of floodplain of the Amudarya River: ecology, dynamics and their conservation. In: Breckle SW, Veste M, Wucherer W (eds) Sustainable land use in deserts. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 95–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Xinjiang Statistics Bureau (2012) Xinjiang Statistical Yearbook of 2011. China Statistics Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  52. Zheleznyh V, Risbekov YU (1987) Analysis of experimental investigations on lizimeters comparatively with data on cotton field. http://www.cawater-info.net/bk/water_land_resources_use/english/iptrid/uz_34.pdf. Accessed 28 Aug 2013

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niels Thevs
    • 1
  • Kurban Ovezmuradov
    • 2
  • Leila Vaziri Zanjani
    • 1
  • Stefan Zerbe
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Botany and Landscape EcologyUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.Turkmen Water Research and Development InstituteAshgabatTurkmenistan
  3. 3.Faculty of Science and TechnologyFree University of Bozen-BolzanoBozen/BolzanoItaly

Personalised recommendations