Regional Research Network “Water in Central Asia” (CAWa)
Central Asia faces big water-related challenges, among them water scarcity, degrading water quality and inefficient water use. Climate change may even aggravate the situation. These challenges can be met only in a joint effort of all Central Asian states. The CAWa project intends to contribute to a sound scientific and a reliable regional data basis for the development of sustainable water management strategies in Central Asia.
Following up on the success of the CAWa Summer Schools in 2014 and 2015, this year’s Summer School will take place 6-18 June 2016. It will be hosted again by the German-Kazakh University in Almaty. For programme details please refer to the 1st Circular. Applications should be submitted to the organizers by 3 April 2016.
Launched in 2014, the series of Policy Briefs presents the main outcomes, experiences, conclusions and recommendations from the three components of the “German Water Initiative for Central Asia”. By the end of 2015, overall four Policy Briefs have been published in English and Russian, covering the topics of how earth observation technologies may contribute to informed decision making (no. 1), how to implement joint planning and management of transboundary river basins (no. 2), future scenarios for water management in the Fergana valley (no. 3), and best practices in capacity building and developing (no. 4).
On 10 December 2015, the first National WUEMoCA (“Water Use Efficiency Monitor in Central Asia”) User Forum was held in Tashkent (Uzbekistan). The meeting gathered 20 representatives from the Basin Water Organisations Amudarya and Syrdarya, Basin Irrigation System Administrations, Irrigation System Administrations, and research institutions from all over Uzbekistan. Researchers and WUEMoCA developers from Wuerzburg University and SIC ICWC presented the preliminary version of the WUEMoCA web-tool, and discussed the specific requirements by users in irrigation management organisations.
Following up on the success of the first CAWa Summer School in 2014, the 2nd Summer School "Methods and Tools for the Assessment and Monitoring of Central Asian Water and Land Resources - From field measurements to spatial analysis" took place at the German-Kazakh University in Almaty 15-27 June 2015. Overall 23 young master and PhD students as well as young specialists from government agencies and research institutions from five countries particiated in the two-week training.
In June 2015, the German TV documentary „Dry Season – Central Asia’s Battle over Water“ was presented at the Kazakh-German University in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and at the Central Asian Institute of Applied Geosciences in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan). Upon invitation of the CAWa project, the German filmmaker Arno Trümper and representatives of the German Federal Foreign Office discussed with Central Asian students, specialists and researchers past, recent and future water problems and conflicts in the region of Central Asia, and debated potential solutions.
The use of satellite imagery on seasonal snow cover may substantially improve the runoff forecasts for the vegetation period in the Naryn river basin. This is the result of a study carried out by O. Kalashnikova (CAIAG) and A. Gafurov (GFZ). On 19th March 2015, their approach was presented in detail during the methodological training „Runoff forecast for the rivers of the Naryn basin and the inflow into the Toktogul reservoir using MODIS satellite imagery” held at CAIAG in Bishkek.
During the first week of February 2015, CAWa scientists from the Remote Sensing Department of Wuerzburg University visited SIC ICWC in Tashkent and CAREC in Almaty to discuss the concept for a web-based application “Water Use Efficiency Monitor for Central Asia” (WUEMoCA). The application is the focus of CAWa work package 3 during the 3rd phase of the CAWa project in 2015-2017.
On December 2, 2014, SIC ICWC and the Centre for international Development and Environmental Research (ZEU) of Giessen University organized a training for specialists of Water User Associations and provincial water-planning authorities at the Syrdarya-Sokh Basin Irrigation System Administration in Fergana (Uzbekistan). The focus of the workshop was on the presentation of future scenarios of socio-economic development and climate change in the Fergana valley, and the discussion of adaptation options.
The third training on the operation and maintenance of the automated hydrometeorological monitoring stations installed in the frame of the CAWa project was held at CAIAG (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan), 8-12 December 2014. 17 Participants from the Hydrometerological Services of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as from CAIAG were trained in the set-up of the monitoring stations, configuration of sensors and required maintenance works.