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Dialogue on Water and Climate
As it is known, global climatic change is expected to impact on sustainable perspective development of the Aral Sea basin.
This impact is mainly directed to the volume of available water resources in the region.
Total water resources of the Aral Sea basin are 130-135 km3. Nearly 10 km3 of them are lost. Water intake accounts for about 90 % of general available water resources. After the average temperature has risen by 1 °C over the last 35 years and the volume of glaciers has reduced by 22 % for the same time, it is predicted by various scenarios that by 2020 water resources scarcity would have been rise as a result of evaporation increase and water resources decrease by from 6 to 20 km3 every year (or by 5-15 % of total volume).
The estimates of the Aral Sea basin climate change impact significantly differ depending on methods, approaches and so on. Most of them are aimed to determine available water resources reduction.
In this situation it is important to show the means of demand shortening that can lead to reduction of pressure on water resources in the basin. Since agriculture is the biggest water consumer (about 85 %), it is important to evaluate irrigation demands for water taking into account temperature regime, arid climate, cropping structure, management at farm level and others to determine the means of water demands shortening.
Such assessment has two main aspects:
Tactical aspect at farm level the issues of water saving, cropping structure change and others are considered;
Strategic aspect at national and oblast level it is intended for issues of interstate cooperation, rational water use and allocation determination, including food basket regulation.
The thematic scope and the main problems of the dialog are as follow: