The idea to use the water of the Amudarya River for irrigation of the Karakum Desert was shaped in the eighteenth century and it was partially realized during the tsarist time in Russia. But only in the 1950s the Karakum Canal, the world’s major hydraulic engineering project, was designed and constructed. After Turkmenistan became an independent state this canal was renamed Karakum River. The artificial Karakum River (“outflow” from the Amudarya by analogy with inflow) connected Amudarya, Murghab, and Tedzhen rivers into a single water system making the basis for economic development of the country. This artificial river permitted to extend the irrigated lands for growing cotton, fodder crops, vegetables, and melon crops; to create fishery farms; to water desert pastures and, accordingly, stimulate development of distant-range grazing of cattle; to develop shipping and use the waters of this river in industry and power engineering.
- Karakum Canal
- Water resources
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© 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
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Zonn, I.S. (2012). Karakum Canal: Artificial River in a Desert. In: Zonn, I., Kostianoy, A. (eds) The Turkmen Lake Altyn Asyr and Water Resources in Turkmenistan. The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, vol 28. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/698_2012_194
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