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Special Issue "The Future of Water Management in Central Asia"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ronny Berndtsson

Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Department of Water Resources Engineering, Lund University, Box 201, Lund SE-22100, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: water resources management in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Central Asia; environmental engineering; environmental impact assessment; soil and water conservation; hydrology; water resources management; watershed management; water resources engineering; integrated water resources management; flood modeling; water quality modeling; watershed hydrology; hydrological modeling; integrated lake/river basin management; storm water management; hydrologic and water resources modeling and simulation
Guest Editor
Dr. Kamshat Tussupova

Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Department of Water Resources Engineering, Lund University, Box 201, Lund SE-22100, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: water supply; water resources management; integrated water resources management; water resources systems analysis; water quality; hydrology; water resources engineering; applied fluid mechanics; contingent valuation method; environmental economics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We encourage you to submit papers for an important Special Issue of Water, focused on the future of water management in Central Asia. Central Asia represents an important strategic geopolitical region. It has often been identified as a region close to potential conflict regarding water usage. For example, sharing of the water from the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya in the Aral Sea Basin has exposed a complex picture of water needs and potential political conflict. The rapid population increase together with climate change impacts are likely to further aggravate the near-future situation for water management in the region. Papers for this Special Issue should be forward-looking in the sense that we use contemporary knowledge together with water management tools to forecast how the future of water usage might look like in the region in response to future climate changes and how this will affect socioeconomic development. Case studies that consider aspects of water management in view of climate variability are suitable; however, they must substantively contribute to a broader understanding of this topic and allow for general management aspects regarding climate change effects.

Prof. Dr. Ronny Berndtsson
Dr. Kamshat Tussupova
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Central Asia
  • water management
  • water conflict
  • hydropolitics
  • climate change
  • socioeconomic development

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Current Status and Future of Central Asia’s Fish and Fisheries: Confronting a Wicked Problem
Water 2017, 9(9), 701; doi:10.3390/w9090701
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
Central Asia’s arid lowland ecosystems are dependent on water that originates in nearby mountains and is carried by rivers to terminal lakes and freshwater seas with no outlets to the ocean. Fish traditionally thrived in these waterways, but they have become increasingly jeopardized
[...] Read more.
Central Asia’s arid lowland ecosystems are dependent on water that originates in nearby mountains and is carried by rivers to terminal lakes and freshwater seas with no outlets to the ocean. Fish traditionally thrived in these waterways, but they have become increasingly jeopardized by water impoundment and diversion for energy and crop production. Fish capture in the five new Central Asian republics consequently entered a period of long decline, a trend that was accelerated by removal of the centralized controls imposed by the former Soviet Union. Production levels have recovered during the past decade, but only in some countries. A similar trend is evident with aquaculture, which reached its lowest production levels in 2003–2008 but now is partially recovering. In both cases, progress is most evident in water-deficient Uzbekistan. Fish capture in Kazakhstan’s Ili River ecosystem, including Kapchagay Reservoir and Lake Balkhash, is now dropping precipitously. Effects on the lake’s fisheries have been magnified by the disproportionate rates of disappearance of valuable carp and pike-perch. The interrelationships between water, energy, and food underlie these threats to Central Asia’s fish and define a classic “wicked problem” that must be addressed regionally with explicit attention given to fish as important components of the ecosystem. Recent developments, although not all positive, give reason for cautious optimism that the region’s fisheries and aquaculture industries can be stabilized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Water Management in Central Asia)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Institutional Change on Irrigation Management: A Case Study from Southern Uzbekistan
Water 2017, 9(6), 419; doi:10.3390/w9060419
Received: 6 April 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 10 June 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (920 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The rapidly growing population in Uzbekistan has put massive pressure on limited water resources, resulting in frequent water shortages. Irrigation is by far the major water use. Improving irrigation water use through the institutional change of establishing water consumer associations (WCAs) has been
[...] Read more.
The rapidly growing population in Uzbekistan has put massive pressure on limited water resources, resulting in frequent water shortages. Irrigation is by far the major water use. Improving irrigation water use through the institutional change of establishing water consumer associations (WCAs) has been identified as a way to increase agricultural production and meet the food demand in the area. However, most WCAs are not fully able to organize collective action or generate sufficient funds to carry out their responsibilities. This study investigated the water-resource-related challenges faced by WCAs and local farmers in Kashkadarya Province in Uzbekistan, using semi-structured expert interviews and focus group discussions. The resulting data were analyzed using qualitative analysis software (Atlas.ti). The results indicated that outdated infrastructure, poor governance, and farmers’ non-payment of irrigation service fees hamper sustainable water management. Greater trust and communication within the WCAs would make an important contribution to effective collective action and to the long-term sustainability of local associations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Water Management in Central Asia)
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Open AccessArticle The Paradox of Water Management Projects in Central Asia: An Institutionalist Perspective
Water 2017, 9(4), 300; doi:10.3390/w9040300
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 24 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (955 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the Central Asian countries have been faced with numerous development challenges in agriculture, especially those related to water use. Well-intentioned foreign donors and development agencies have stepped in to support local farmers, research centers, and public
[...] Read more.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the Central Asian countries have been faced with numerous development challenges in agriculture, especially those related to water use. Well-intentioned foreign donors and development agencies have stepped in to support local farmers, research centers, and public authorities in devising innovative solutions. Yet, development aid projects have borne fruit only partially. Paradoxically, innovative and apparently useful technologies proposed by foreign donors have rarely and only partially succeeded in taking root in the local institutional contexts. To explain this paradox, this paper draws on the institutional approach which shows the possibility of technological innovations being encapsulated by dysfunctional institutions. Reviewing recent studies of water-related projects in Central Asia, the paper shows this encapsulation to be at the core of the development project failures pervasive both in the Soviet period and today. If the concept of encapsulation is valid, then the current development efforts can be made more effective by detecting and counteracting the structures of vested interest on the part of all the actors involved, such as foreign donors, public authorities, research centers and local farmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Water Management in Central Asia)
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Open AccessArticle Could Changing Power Relationships Lead to Better Water Sharing in Central Asia?
Water 2017, 9(2), 139; doi:10.3390/w9020139
Received: 7 December 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 20 February 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1524 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Even though Central Asia is water rich, water disputes have characterized the region after crumbling of the Soviet Union in 1991. The uneven spatial distribution and complex pattern of transboundary water sources with contrasting national water needs have created an intricate water dilemma.
[...] Read more.
Even though Central Asia is water rich, water disputes have characterized the region after crumbling of the Soviet Union in 1991. The uneven spatial distribution and complex pattern of transboundary water sources with contrasting national water needs have created an intricate water dilemma. Increasing national water needs, water claims by surrounding countries, uncertainties in renewable water volumes, and effects of climate change will put further strain on the future water use in Central Asia. We argue that the present power distribution with three downstream hegemons (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) and two upstream much poorer countries with less political influence (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) is not likely to lead forward to a greater willingness to share water. We discuss this situation with the analogue Egypt-Sudan-Ethiopia in the Nile Basin. Thus, as in the case of Ethiopia in the Nile Basin, gradually economically stronger upstream countries Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan due to hydropower development are likely to eventually re-define the hydropolitical map of Central Asia. As in the case of the Nile Basin, a more even power balance between upstream and downstream countries may lead to an improved political structure for a much-needed better collaboration on water issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Water Management in Central Asia)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Essentials of Endorheic Basins and Lakes: A Review in the Context of Current and Future Water Resource Management and Mitigation Activities in Central Asia
Water 2017, 9(10), 798; doi:10.3390/w9100798
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 13 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
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Abstract
Endorheic basins (i.e., land-locked drainage networks) and their lakes can be highly sensitive to variations in climate and adverse anthropogenic activities, such as overexploitation of water resources. In this review paper, we provide a brief overview of one major endorheic basin on each
[...] Read more.
Endorheic basins (i.e., land-locked drainage networks) and their lakes can be highly sensitive to variations in climate and adverse anthropogenic activities, such as overexploitation of water resources. In this review paper, we provide a brief overview of one major endorheic basin on each continent, plus a number of endorheic basins in Central Asia (CA), a region where a large proportion of the land area is within this type of basin. We summarize the effects of (changing) climate drivers and land surface–atmosphere feedbacks on the water balance. For the CA region, we also discuss key anthropogenic activities, related water management approaches and their complex relationship with political and policy issues. In CA a substantial increase in irrigated agriculture coupled with negative climate change impacts have disrupted the fragile water balance for many endorheic basins and their lakes. Transboundary integrated land and water management approaches must be developed to facilitate adequate climate change adaptation and possible mitigation of the adverse anthropogenic influence on endorheic basins in CA. Suitable climate adaptation, mitigation and efficient natural resource management technologies and methods are available, and are developing fast. A number of these are discussed in the paper, but these technologies alone are not sufficient to address pressing water resource issues in CA. Food–water–energy nexus analyses demonstrate that transboundary endorheic basin management requires transformational changes with involvement of all key stakeholders. Regional programs, supported by local governments and international donors, which incorporate advanced adaptation technologies, water resource research and management capacity development, are essential for successful climate change adaptation efforts in CA. However, there is a need for an accelerated uptake of such programs, with an emphasis on unification of approaches, as the pressures resulting from climate change and aggravated by human mismanagement of natural water resources leave very little time for hesitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Water Management in Central Asia)
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