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Unconventional Water Resources of Agricultural Origin and Their Re-utilization Potential for Development of Desert Land Aquaculture in the Aral Sea Basin

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Abstract

The average long-term annual volume of unconventional mineralized water resources of agricultural origin (MWRA) in Aral Sea basin (ASB), consisting of drainage (about 95 %) and wastewater from industry and municipal users (about 5 %) in 2000–2009 was around 30 km3 with 24.3 km3 generated on Uzbek territory. Only 3 % (0.7 km3) of MWRA are used for irrigation again and for fish-farming. During the last decade, a group of German and Uzbek scientists has jointly investigated the suitability of the hydrological, hydrochemical and hydrobiological regimes of MWRA and their ecological sustainability for intensive desert/arid land aquaculture (DALA) development. A SWOT analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities of re-using MWRA for DALA, and threats of vulnerability has revealed suitability (both in terms of water quantity and quality) of MWRA for the development of intensive aquaculture-agriculture systems. The latter implies better management practices including combined production of fishes and other aquatic organisms, diversification of cultured species and usage of halophytes, where the water enriched with biogenous will be used for plant growth. At least 10 km3 MWRA are generated and flowing annually into the natural depressions plus more than 15 large brackish water lakes (3–12 g salt/L) with 9,000 km2 of total water surface area fed by drainage waters. This excess of unconventional water in the region will allow production of more than 300,000 t/y fish additionally in Uzbekistan, which will generate substantial employment and income for people in rural areas.

  • Aral Sea basin
  • Mineralized waters
  • Desert/arid land aquaculture
  • SWOT analysis

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Acknowledgements

The present study was supported by grant of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU, 2006–2007) and the State Grant of the Republic of Uzbekistan FA-A6-T233 (2012–2014).

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Correspondence to B. K. Karimov .

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Karimov, B.K., Matthies, M., Kamilov, B.G. (2014). Unconventional Water Resources of Agricultural Origin and Their Re-utilization Potential for Development of Desert Land Aquaculture in the Aral Sea Basin. In: Bhaduri, A., Bogardi, J., Leentvaar, J., Marx, S. (eds) The Global Water System in the Anthropocene. Springer Water. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-07548-8_10

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