At the II Central Asian Climate Change Conference, Hallymurad Atayev, Ph.D in Chemical Sciences, Academic Secretary of the Institute of Chemistry under the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan, presented environmental projects developed in the country and invited countries located around the Amu Darya River to join efforts in reducing the discharge of collection-drainage water into the river.
One of the major problems of irrigated agriculture in the desert climate, which is practiced in Turkmenistan, is the formation of a large volume of low- and medium-saline collection-drainage water. Earlier, these waters were collected in the Sarykamysh Depression and the Karakum Desert Depressions, flooding and contaminating arable lands as well.
Today, drainage water from all the five provinces of Turkmenistan through an elaborate network of canals is brought to the Altyn Asyr manmade Lake, located in the Garashor depression of the Karakum desert at the junction of Balkan, Dashoguz and Ahal provinces where the lake is being developed.
Now Turkmenistan proposes Uzbekistan to join efforts in this area in order to reduce the discharge of collection-drainage water also, including from irrigated lands, to the Amu Darya River.
“According to the Institute of Chemistry under the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan, the discharge of water into the river reduces the salt content in the Amu Darya River by 23% [in the districts of the city of Kerki and the village of Darganata],” Dr. Atayev said. “It leads to excess drinking water requirements.”
To address this issue, it is necessary to join efforts of relevant organizations with the involvement of scientists from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, to establish information and knowledge exchange, to hold joint forums and conferences, including under the auspices of the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia (CAREC).
According to researchers of the Institute of Chemistry, the solution of the issue of discharge of collection-drainage water to the Amu Darya will prevent secondary salinization of land and, most importantly, save irrigation water consumption. For this, it is necessary to intensify the dialogue between the two countries and to ensure the access of researchers to the information portal and united and systematized data base of various international and regional specialized agencies.
Dr. Hallymurad Atayev also presented to the participants of conference sero-polymer concrete – an innovative development for the construction of irrigation canals, patented by the Institute of Chemistry. In its production, the sulfur, which is formed in large quantities during gas processing, is used, and in turn, that also has a positive effect on the environment. In addition, water and cement are not used in its production, which significantly reduces the cost of technology.
The use of sero-polimer concrete in the construction of canals will reduce water loss, penetration of wastewater into the environment and, accordingly, the level of soil salinity.
The II Central Asian Climate Change Conference has become a platform for bilateral and multilateral dialogue. International experts and representatives of national delegations hope that it will continue and its outcomes will lead to concrete results, which, in turn, will reduce the negative environmental impact and promote the implementation of the principles of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.