Water resources and agriculture
Transboundary river basins of Amudarya and Syrdarya draining to Aral Sea in Central Asia witnessed widespread Land use and Land cover changes (LULCC) during 20th Century due to the political reforms of agrarian systems to enhance economic opportunities for growing population. These developments imparted drastic change in hydrological regime of these two river basin causing widespread ecosystem degradation (Shira Babow, 2012). Need to sustain competing water uses at local, national and transboundary levels such as upstream hydropower generation and downstream irrigation requirements under climate change further contentious the situation (FCG,2012). Realising the need to balance and sustain competing water uses, National governments in Central Asia and international agencies are supporting numerous mitigation and adaptation interventions to improve overall water use efficiency in basins draining to Aral Seaflowing through several states. The hydropower generation potential is upstream, where the key reservoirs regulate the river flow, while the irrigated land, requiring 80% of the river flow, is located downstream. With water in short supply the competition for water between the upstream hydropower and the downstream agriculture results in reduced water use efficiency, and overall, in reduced basin-wide water productivity. Since first best solution is complicated due to transboundary nature of the Amudarya River, second best solution is proposed aiming mitigating competition for water by improving water and energy use efficiency.