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Water Resources and Climate Change in Amudarya Basin


Assessments of Water Resources of Amudarya Basin and their Vulnerability to Climate Change for Development of Scenarios Water Allocations between Zones Formation and Consumption of River Flow

Tech Area / Field

  • OBS-NAT/Natural Resources and Earth Sciences/Other Basic Sciences

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Mathematics, Tajikistan, Dushanbe


  • Polish Academy of Science / Institute of Geophysics, Poland, Warsaw\nPolitecnico di Milano / Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione, Italy, Milan\n National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center, USA, New York

Project summary

Currently, solution of water and energy problems in Central Asia depends largely on the relationship of countries not only the region but also the neighboring states. The emergence and development of conflict situations dealing with these problems are related, primarily, with rapid population growth and intensification of water consumption, lack of a single water-energy market in the region and the energy deficit of the upper watershed, increasing irrigation requirements of the zone of consumption flows, the lack of law and regulations on the use of transboundary waters.

The influence of these factors are compounded by the lack of reliable scientifically sound evaluations of available water resources and their vulnerability to ongoing and projected climate change of Central Asian region. The particular significance have got the development of methods for obtaining such estimates for the Amudarya basin where more than 60% of river flow of Aral Sea basin are formed and there are more than half the glaciers in Central Asia, which accumulate hundreds of km3 of fresh water.

In view of the extreme sparsity of ground observation network in the mountainous areas of Tajikistan (the main flow of Amudarya river is formed in this territory) and its dramatic reduction over the last 15-20 years, assessment of water resources in Tajikistan based on observational data contain significant inaccuracies. In addition, existing prognostic assessment of possible changes to water resources under different scenarios of climate change in the XXI century, based on empirical relationships that are built according to existing ground-based observations and the possibility of extrapolating that to the case of climate change are very limited.

In this situation, for obtaining estimates of water resources in the Amudarya basin, given its vulnerability to climate change are very important for predicting possible scenarios of water allocation between the zone of formation and consumption of river flow. Undoubtedly, the implementation of this project should take into account the interests of the five independent states, for which Amudarya river is the source of irrigation, hydropower, agricultural prodction, water supply and natural well-being.


The proposed project has the following major objectives:

  1. To improve the accuracy of regional assessments of water resources in the Amudarya river basin using the developed technology founded on the physically based modeling water resources formation with the use of satellite data on the land-surface characteristics of the mountain and agricultural regions.
  2. To assess vulnerability of water resources in Amudarya river basin to different scenarios of the projected environmental changes (including climate and land-use changes) and represent uncertainty of the assessments.
  3. easing of intensity between the countries of Central Asia in the questions of water use by creating of mathematical model of the conflict of water distribution (between zones of formation and consumption of water resources) for finding possible scenarios of compromise solutions.


In the framework of this project the following tasks will be solved:

  • development of the modeling hydrological system for Amudarya river basin;
  • improvement of current satellite data interpretation techniques and the development of new, enhanced satellite-based snow and vegetation products;
  • development of the technology for assimilation of satellite data in the developed modeling hydrological system for Amudarya river basin;
  • analysis of the problems, contradictions, and to develop alternatives to the use of water resources in transboundry river basins of the Amudarya;
  • development of a mathematical model to adoption of compromise solutions in the partition of water between states;
  • elaboration of software tools and computer modeling to develop scenarios of water use in the basin of Amudarya.

Expected Results
  • The modeling hydrological system for Amudarya river basin, including physically based models of the hydrological cycle processes such as snow accumulation and melt, glacier dynamics in the mountain part of the basin, soil water changes and evapotranspiration within the agricultural regions of the basin, overland and subsurface inflow to river channels and reservoirs, channel flow.
  • The technology for assimilation of satellite data (changes of snow/glacier coverage, albedo and temperature of land surface, characteristics of vegetation, soil surface moisture) in the developed modeling hydrological system for Amudarya river basin.
  • The methodology of assessment of vulnerability of water resources in Amudarya river basin to different scenarios of the projected environmental changes (including climate and land-use changes).
  • Application of the developed methodology to assess possible changes of (1) renewable water resources; (2) glacier/snow coverage; (3) contribution of snow/glacier melt outflow to the basin runoff; (4) water inflow to Vakhsh Cascade of Reservoirs
  • Persons who make decisions will receive the reliable tools, which allow in operative mode to receive scenarios and variants of situation development in the water-economic complex of Amudarya basin;
  • Making decisions on flow regimes and distributions of water resources and estimations of influence of different modes on planning zones will be based on an accurate information taking into account of strategy and policy of the countries of Amudarya river basin;
  • Information on conditions and use of water resources of Amudarya river basin will be accessible for persons who make decision and the public of Central Asia countries.

The proposed fundamental research project corresponds to one of the ISTC, which aims to support projects of scientific, technical and fundamental orientation that promotes international collaboration of scientists and experts join forces to address the global challenges of the world. The desire to find compromise solutions to conflict situations related to water, by means of mathematical science is an important task that can unite the countries of the region with different levels of economic development for the benefit of the overall mutual cooperation on water resources of a transboundry basin, taking into consideration of their vulnerability to Climate Change.

In implementation of the project highly skilled specialists of Institute of Mathematics, Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan and also scientists from Institute of Politecnico Di-Milano (Italy), Institute of Geophysics Polish Academy of Sciences and NOAA USA with extensive experience in research of mathematical modeling, optimal control theory, decision theory, control of dynamic systems and systems analysis are attracted.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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