Uzbekistan > Impacts by Sector > Water
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Over the past century, substantial growth in population, industrial and agricultural activities, and living standards have exacerbated water stress in many parts of the world, especially in semi-arid and arid regions. Climate change, however, will regionally exacerbate or offset the effects of population pressure for the next decades. It is projected to reduce renewable surface water and groundwater resources significantly in most dry subtropical regions. In contrast, water resources are projected to increase at high latitudes. Proportional changes are typically one to three times greater for runoff than for precipitation. Furthermore, Climate change is projected to reduce raw water quality, posing risks to drinking water quality even with conventional treatment.
Some of the most direct impacts that climate change might have on the water sector in Uzbekistan are listed below:
Heat increases the demand for water. Meanwhile evaporation also increases resulting in greater losses of exposed surface water. Glacial melt contribute to discharge, but reduces the overall water stock. The quality of water decreases, and the incidence of pests increases.
In general, an increased precipitation means that more water is potentially available for use.
An increase in more extreme precipitation events means a higher risk of floods. Multipurpose reservoirs will need to keep normal operation levels lower to account for the increase in flood risks. Lower Normal Operation levels mean that less water is available for downstream use when needed. Furthermore, it leads to increase of turbidity and sedimentation, less infiltration to the aquifer and increased load of parasites into reservoir and wells.
Drought events increase water demand as well as evaporation and ultimately lead to a reduction in the overall water balance.
The water sector in Uzbekistan is project to have more stress as result of the increased drought periods, water stress and drought risk in the eastern provinces. These factors will also influence the drinking water availability, and will be coupled with increased water demand for most sectors. Heavier precipitation rates will increase the need for increased buffer capacity. However, higher levels of evaporation will reduce the effective capacity of water reservoirs.