Environmental Earth Sciences

, 59:1183 | Cite as

Groundwater resources use and management in the Amu Darya River Basin (Central Asia)

  • Shavkat Rakhmatullaev
  • Frédéric HuneauEmail author
  • Jusipbek Kazbekov
  • Philippe Le Coustumer
  • Jamoljon Jumanov
  • Bouchra El Oifi
  • Mikael Motelica-Heino
  • Zbynek Hrkal
Original Article


This paper analyses groundwater resources use and management in the socio-economic context of the Amu Darya River Basin which covers a part of the following landlocked Central Asian countries: Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. These agrarian nations for sustaining their vital agricultural productions started to use groundwater during the recent drought years (1998–2001) because of its relatively good quality and quantity and as an alternative to highly mineralized surface waters. Present extent of groundwater resources use is discussed with consideration to their reserves, quality, and institutional management and transboundary aspects within the basin. After the collapse of the centralized water resources management system and infrastructure of the former Soviet Union, new underdeveloped systems are being practiced over the whole Amu Darya River Basin. The critical situation of groundwater management in Afghanistan is also discussed. This work attempts to document the management and use of groundwater in the Amu Darya Basin and present time management realities, with fragmented and weak national and regional regulation on groundwater. Special attention is given to groundwater resources in irrigated agriculture, which increased use in all countries of the basin is due to quick access to underground resources and relatively good quality and quantity.


Groundwater Aquifer Water management Amu Darya Central Asia 



The authors would like to thank the French Embassy in Tashkent for supporting the French-Uzbek cooperation in the field of water sciences. This study has also been supported by INTAS fellowship Nr. 04-83-3665 and by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs via the Eiffel fellowship program No. 530909C.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shavkat Rakhmatullaev
    • 1
    • 2
  • Frédéric Huneau
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jusipbek Kazbekov
    • 3
  • Philippe Le Coustumer
    • 2
  • Jamoljon Jumanov
    • 4
  • Bouchra El Oifi
    • 2
  • Mikael Motelica-Heino
    • 5
  • Zbynek Hrkal
    • 6
  1. 1.Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Melioration (TIIM)TashkentUzbekistan
  2. 2.GHYMAC Géosciences Hydrosciences, Faculty of Earth SciencesUniversity of Bordeaux-1TalenceFrance
  3. 3.International Water Management Institute (IWMI)TashkentUzbekistan
  4. 4.Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology (HYDROENGEO)TashkentUzbekistan
  5. 5.Institute of Earth Sciences (ISTO)University of OrléansOrléans Cedex 2France
  6. 6.Institute of Hydrogeology Engineering Geology and Applied GeophysicsCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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