Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Mar. 26
By Huseyn Hasanov – Trend:
Specialists of the State Water Management Committee of Turkmenistan are planning to extend the course of the Karakum Canal by 200 kilometers and direct the water of the Amudarya river to the desert regions of the south-western parts of the Balkan Region, Trend reports referring to the Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper.
The article says that the canal, built in Soviet times and having the Amu Darya river as its source, crosses the southeastern parts of the Karakum desert, the Murgab oasis, the interfluve of the Murgab and Tejen rivers, and reaches the foothills of the Kopetdag mountain.
The canal is expected to flood the Misriyan plain. Two reservoirs are being built on the Karakum river (the modern name of the canal): in the vicinity of the city of Bereket with a capacity of 18 million cubic meters, and the city of Danatinsky with a capacity of up to 45 million cubic meters of drinking, industrial and agricultural water. The water reserves in the largest reservoirs on the man-made river – namely, Garashsyzlyk and Howuzhan - will increase to 3.8 million and 1.5 million cubic meters of water, respectively. Currently, the total water storage accumulated in the 4 reservoirs of the country stands at about 2.7 billion cubic meters.
Every year, the Karakum Canal receives about 15 billion cubic meters of moisture from the Amudarya, while simultaneously receiving 60-65 million cubic meters of sand and silt, some of which settles in reservoirs and the river bed. Therefore, work is underway (with the help of earthmoving equipment) to build dams, expand and deepen the river in sandy soil.
"The scientifically based rational use of this huge water potential will allow growing rich crops in the context of the state program of import substitution and export orientation," as noted by Neutral Turkmenistan.