This report presents the results of the GIWA assessment of the Aral Sea, a land-locked sea in Central Asia. Practically all renewable water resources in the region are being used, predominantly for irrigation, and the regional economy is developing under conditions of increasing freshwater shortages. Freshwater shortage, and more specifically the issue of modification of stream flow was assessed to be of the highest priority. The past and present status and future prospects are discussed, and the transboundary issues are traced back to their root causes. The use of outmoded and inefficient irrigation technology, the continued economic difficulties and weak legislation for water use are major root causes in this region. Policy options have been recommended to mitigate environmental and socio-economic impacts and to secure the region's future prosperity.--Publisher's description.
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affected Very small agreements agricultural Almaty Amudarya Amudarya and Syrdarya Amudarya Basin Amudarya River annual aquatic resources Aral Sea Basin Aral Sea region Bishkek Causal chain analysis Central Asia climate changes community modification contaminants countries criteria decreased desertification Dushanbe ecological ecosystems environment environmental and socio-economic fish fisheries GIWA glaciers Global change groundwater Habitat Habitat and community Health impacts ICWC impacts Raw score implementation increased industrial International Waters Assessment interstate irrigated irrigated areas irrigated farming issues Karakalpakstan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Kyzylorda marine mineralisation N/a N/a Weight N/a Weight average permafrost policy options pollution population Priaralye priority problems productivity Raw score Score reduction result root causes run-off formation Russian salinisation salinity score Score Weight sector socio-economic impacts soils Soviet species sustainable development Syrdarya Syrdarya Basin Table Tajikistan Tashkent Tien Shan tonnes transboundary water resources Turkmenistan Uzbekistan water management water quality water reservoirs water resources Weight average score