Environment-friendly solutions in the water consumption enhance the agricultural economy

Environment-friendly solutions in the water consumption enhance the agricultural economy

In April 2018, the Khivaabad-Kaahka gravity water pipeline was commissioned on the Layinsuv river, which feeds the household and agricultural sector of Kaahka town. The innovative project, which provided a green solution to the problem of rational and efficient water use, was implemented in Turkmenistan jointly with UNDP and the Global Environment Facility.

About half of the total annual flow of the river, or about 250 l/s, was intended to meet the drinking needs of 36,000 residents of Kaahka and nearby villages.

Part of the water was used for household needs, and in autumn and spring the remaining amount of water was directed for irrigation purposes by tenants-land users.

However, a couple of years ago, about 50% of the volume of water taken from the river, literally disappeared due to filtration into the earth bed, falling to reach consumers. Water losses estimated at almost a quarter of the annual flow of the river.

And the constructed water conduit driven by the natural flow of water under the influence of gravitational forces, already brought the first positive changes in life of local population.

Due to the saved water has expanded the area of fruit orchards and vegetable plantations. Residents were able to grow fruits and vegetables in the gardens, and surplus vitamin products sold in the market.

– This year is very good for us. We have planted tomatoes, pumpkin, apples, peaches and pomegranates. I received some yield and it was enough for my family. I was also able to share the fruits, tomatoes and pumpkin with my neighbors and sold some in the market, says Annagozel, housewife from Khivaabad.

The farmers of Khivaabad also note the growth in the yield of wheat and cotton. After the launch of the water pipeline, two dozen tenant farms increased the area of cotton crops to 70 hectares, while it is planned to collect up to 3 tonnes of cotton per ha.

The rich crops of wheat can be expected as well.

– Our average harvest amounted to 20-25 centners of wheat per ha. This year, we expect 30-35 centners per ha of wheat, says leader of the farmers’ group Oraz.

Another positive effect achieved by the gravity pipeline is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions due to the shutdown of electric pumps, previously used to pump water from underground sources. In addition, the maintenance costs of water wells and electricity expenditures are minimized.

Overall, a simple and environmentally friendly water distribution model such as the Khivaabad-Kaahka water conduit contributes to the achievement of the six sustainable development goals, including No. 3 (good health and well-being), No. 6 (clean water and sanitation), No. 7 (affordable and clean energy), No. 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), No. 10 (reduced inequality), No. 11 (sustainable cities and communities), No. 12 (responsible consumption and production), No. 13 (climate action).

Based on the materials of the UN in Turkmenistan