Bekchanov, Maksud Bahodirovich: Efficient Water Allocation and Water Conservation Policy Modeling in the Aral Sea Basin. - Bonn, 2014. - Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
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author = {{Maksud Bahodirovich Bekchanov}},
title = {Efficient Water Allocation and Water Conservation Policy Modeling in the Aral Sea Basin},
school = {Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn},
year = 2014,
month = jun,

note = {Increasing water demand in the Aral Sea basin (ASB) challenges policy makers to implement in-time and effective water management measures to mitigate both the on-going and upcoming water crisis in the region. This study examines three important options for addressing the core reasons of aggravated water (ab)use in the ASB. In the first option, sectoral transformations (e.g., economic restructuring) are considered by prioritizing economic activities with relatively high economic growth impacts and low water consumption requirements. In the second option, it is assessed to replace the current administrative water management institutions with more effective market-based water allocation institutions to encourage cooperation among regional water users for attaining optimal basinwide benefits. In the third option, technological and infrastructural improvements are evaluated following an increased efficiency of the irrigation systems and building reservoirs in the upper reaches of the rivers to regulate river flow. The economic restructuring option was analyzed by ranking all economic sectors based on their sustainable economic growth potentials using an environmentally extended input-output model. The forward and backward linkages and the total (direct and indirect) water requirements of the different economic activities were estimated and compared. The results indicated that water demand in the ASB can be reduced by decreasing the production of the water intensive sectors such as agriculture in favor of the development of less water demanding, non-agricultural sectors. Potential effects of replacing the traditional administrative water allocation system with market-based water allocation approaches were examined through an aggregated hydro-economic model. Substantial basinwide economic gains appeared feasible when the trade of water rights among all irrigation zones was allowed in each river basin (the Amu Darya or Syr Darya). Total benefits under restricted water rights trading by permitting the trade only among the regions located within each upstream, midstream, and downstream sub-basins (catchments) is lower than the total economic gains of unrestricted water rights trading but was still higher than total benefits of the option without trading. The results indicated that the availability of additional annual gains ranged $373–476 million USD depending on water availability under an inter-catchment (unrestricted) water trading system. Similarly, additional annual gains of $ 259–339 million USD were predicted under intra-catchment (restricted) water trading. Results also showed that transaction costs of more than $0.05 USD per m3 of water use rights eliminate the potential benefits of a water trading option. Technical improvements to raise the efficiency of water use and water coordination were analyzed through a disaggregated hydro-economic model. Substantial benefits can be expected from improving irrigation (conveyance and water application) efficiencies in the ASB. According to the results, total basinwide benefits can increase by 20% to 40% depending on basinwide water availability when irrigation system efficiencies are optimized across the basin. The findings also showed that construction of upstream reservoirs as intensely debated by up- and downstream countries in Central Asia does not considerably influence the irrigation water availability if these reservoirs are operated with the objective of providing optimal basinwide benefits. Yet, the risks of flooding related to natural and political calamities and reduced downstream water availability during the period of filling the reservoirs should be evaluated further for a more comprehensive assessment of the infrastructural developments. High risks of using upstream reservoirs as a tool of geopolitical influence and consequent damage on downstream irrigation and environmental systems should not be forgotten as well.},
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