19.10.2011 - UNESCO Office in Tashkent

Scientists has discussed the role of underground waters

Scientists has discussed the role of underground waters

The role of underground water became a subject of discussion on the seminar, which was held in October 13 in Tashkent.Deputies of Legislative chamber, scholars of different specialized scientific institutions of Uzbekistan took part in the work of the seminar.The seminar “Scientific and educational perspectives for the Underground Water Study in Uzbekistan has been conducted by Ecological movement in cooperation with UNESCO Tashkent office in Uzbekistan.

Text: Luiza Mahmudova, National Information Agency “Turkiston Press”. The photo by author
 
The role of underground water became a subject of discussion on the seminar, which was held in October 13 in Tashkent.

Deputies of Legislative chamber, scholars of different specialized scientific institutions of Uzbekistan took part in the work of the seminar.

The seminar “Scientific and educational perspectives for the Underground Water Study in Uzbekistan has been conducted by Ecological movement in cooperation with UNESCO Tashkent office in Uzbekistan.

“Today we have a great need for further development of methods of underground water resources management”, the executive chairman of Central Council of Ecological movement noted.  It is related to the fact that underground water is a valuable natural resource that is mainly used for daily living needs.

Currently because the human’s impact on natural ecosystems, especially related  with water contamination and land degradation, the groundwater research and education  is becoming very important  in establishing our effort for providing necessary actions  for sustainable use of water resources, especially in those regions where the lack of water recourses.

The specialists declare the importance of underground water for supporting of ecosystems. In arid regions underground water can be the only source on fresh water.

The head of UNESCO representative in Tashkent, Mr Jorge Ivan Espinal noted that, according to research works of UNESCO, groundwater makes up about twenty percent of the world's fresh water supply, which is about 0.61% of the entire world's water, including oceans and permanent ice.

“Global groundwater storage is roughly equal to the total amount of freshwater stored in the snow and ice pack, including the north and south poles. This makes it an important resource which can act as a natural storage that can buffer against shortages of surface water, as in during times of drought.  Groundwater can be a long-term strategic 'reservoir' of the natural water cycle, as opposed to short-term water reservoirs like the atmosphere and fresh surface water” – Jorge Espinal noted.- Groundwater is also ecologically important and UNESCO always mention about it. However, the importance of groundwater to ecosystems is often overlooked, even by freshwater biologists and ecologists. Groundwater sustains rivers, wetlands and lakes, as well as varies ecosystems within karst or alluvial aquifers”.

in Uzbekistan, also  the groundwater becomes an essential part of the water resources and are often used for the needs of the population, industry and land irrigation. Nevertheless, Intensive agriculture development can contribute to the deterioration of groundwater quality.
One of the negative examples we can see in the Aral Sea region, where water moves through the landscape and collects soluble salts  In irrigation districts, poor drainage of soils and surface aquifers result in water tables coming to the surface in low-lying areas creating major land degradation problems and  soil salinity.  

Jorge Espinal mentioned that the government of Uzbekistan are making the great efforts to gain the proper water resource management. The country develops an efficient legal base in this trend. He called for strengthening of partnership between governmental and nongovernmental organizations with the aim of sustainable underground management and the development of education and research works in this field.

In Uzbekistan there are nearly 100 underground fields, 77 of which are fresh underground water. It was mentioned in a speech of Aslon Mavlonov, representative of hydro geological department. Forecast resources of underground water in Uzbekistan, with degree of salinity 5 gram per liter represent some 64 millions of cubic meters a year. 30% of them are fresh underground water. Fresh underground water is a assured and secure source of drinking water supply not only in Uzbekistan but all around the world. Therefore the government attaches particular importance to analysis and research of underground water in Uzbekistan.

The use of underground water in Uzbekistan is progressively increasing, say specialists. New processing complexes and human settlements are being built. One of the main tasks of hydro geological service at present is to identify sources of technical and drinking water supply.

Uzbekistan possesses efficient legislative base in this field. Number of legislative and regulatory level statements, resolutions of Cabinet of Ministers has been adopted; they mostly dedicated to making 19 areas of formation of fresh underground water fields a status of protected natural territories. These are the largest fields of fresh underground water, connected with water supply of big cities in the country. About 60% represent the number of all total resources of fresh underground water or fresh underground water reserves for these 19 fields.

Among the countries of Central Asia Uzbekistan became the first country, where zones of filed formations of fresh underground water were given the status of protected areas. It means, that, on these territories it is forbidden to build polluting technological works. But, as it was mentioned  during seminar, the very serious work is yet to be done in this course-the work which can make the current situation be in accordance to international standards.




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