TAJIKISTAN: Fish endangered in Syr Darya river due to low water level

Source: Fergana News Agency, 23 June, 2008

translated from it's original @ http://www.ferghana.ru/news.php?id=9470

According to the newspaper "Asia-Plus", low water level in the Syr Darya River has led to the fish not being able to produce offspring, including in some parts of the Kayrokum reservoir in northern Tajikistan. According to the chief specialist at Sogd regional Environmental Protection administration  - Gafurdzhon Karimov, "because of the low water level in the river, the fundamental niches of fish were destroyed, in other words the fish didn't have a suitable place to lay eggs, because their habitual locations for egg-deposition were dry in this season.  Approximately 50% of fish have been unable to lay eggs due to this fact. The damage from this hardship is impossible to calculate, but generally speaking, if a fish produces about 10 thousand eggs per season, 3-4 thousands of those would have survived," - said the specialist.

Image: The Kayrakum water reservoir (GoogleEarth), in some parts the fish is unable to lay eggs due to low level of water

In addition, he said, that changing the hydrological regime in Kayrakkum reservoir causes the damage of fish eggs in its upper part (where catfish has postponed its offspring production), because the salinity of the reservoir has increased. "In addition to a this, the agricultural drainage from cotton fields (chemical fertilizers) impose additional stress on the fish - said G. Karimov. Moreover, large and small livestock is feeding along the banks of the reservoir. As already reported by Fergana.ru, this year's low water levels threatens several regions of Central Asia. Many reservoirs in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, from which the stocks drink water in hot summer months, as well as are used for irrigation purposes, are now virtually empty. The Syr Darya outflow, according to official hydrological data, is now almost ten times less than in past years.

Kyrgyzstan Hydropower facilities reported shortages of water in Toktogulskom Reservoir. The accumulated amount of water for the entire "growing" season this year is projected to be more about 7 billion cubic meters - against 10.5 billion of April 1 last year. With the acute shortage of irrigation water, farmers are facing a lot of challenges (especially Jizzak region of Uzbekistan). In some areas, farmers received only half of (water) what is needed to irrigate their lands, herein, causing significant loss of crop.