Central Asian water experts share experience: Smart Waters launched a series of webinars
On November 20 the first webinar for water specialists of Turkmenistan was held in Ashgabat. The event was held within CAREC-USAID project Smart Waters. Participants gathered together in the CAREC information and training class at the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna of Turkmenistan. The webinar was conducted by TIIAME professor Muhamedkhan Khamidov from the CAREC-TIIAME Innovations and Scientific Research Cluster.
25 water specialists from Turkmenistan have participated in the webinar: representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources Management, the “Turkmensuvylymtaslam” Design Institute, the National Institute of Deserts, Flora and Fauna, experts of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan and the Academy of Public services under the President of Turkmenistan.
The lecturer, TIIAME professor, Mukhamedkhan Khamidov highlighted the need for more efficient water management in the region due to climate change, demographic and economic pressure. Particularly, participants discussed the use of water in agriculture.
In the presentation, a professor made an overview of the current state of irrigated agriculture in the world: water sources; the formation of drainage water in the irrigation system; quality of saline drainage water. Professor spoke about the assessment of the quality of drainage waters and their preparation for use in agriculture in more details. According to professor Khamidov, collector-drainage water can serve as an additional source for irrigation without deteriorating the state of land resources and the growth of agricultural crops. Reducing the level of water salinity is the main task of the preparatory activities for the use of collector-drainage water in agricultural irrigation.
Mr Khamidov mentioned the joint project between the Bukhara branch of TIIAME and the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (2012–2015). Professor Khamidov noted that as a result of the research, a promising method for improving the quality of drainage water was proposed. The essence of the method is related to the cultivation of certain types of plants in collector-drainage waters. Experiments have shown that this method allows reducing the amount of minerals in the composition of waters by 30-35% in 21 days. The authors of the method tested the obtained water on cotton and were convinced that it does not adversely affect the plant.
At the end of the event, CAREC project coordinator in Turkmenistan Dovlet Jumakuliyev noted that CAREC information and training class began to perform one of its’ important tasks. The class promoted strengthening the dialogue and cooperation between the specialists of the countries of the region. “Means of cooperation development are webinars, as a way of online dialogue. Such dialogue became possible due to the effective interconnection of the CAREC country offices”. Mr Jumakuliyev also underlined that CAREC-USAID Smart Waters project will continue to organize webinars on effective water management.
Smart Waters project is implemented by CAREC with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development USAID during the period 2015-2020. Overall objective of the project is to enhance regional cooperation on shared water resources. Specifically, Smart Waters addresses the knowledge dis-lock in the region in water sector, builds working relations among water managers and specialists, and demonstrates the potential of the basin management approach and cooperation with the academia.