Irrigation farming is the basic source of foodstuffs for the Kyrgyzstan population. Because the mountainous rivers provide water resources for irrigation, any persistent change in climate will influence discharge resulting in a threat to food safety and security of the country.
R.G. Litvak (*), E.I. Nemaltseva, and I.V. Poddubnaya
Kyrghyz Scientific & Research Institute of Irrigation, Bishkek, Kyrghyzstan e-mail: [email protected]
Sources providing water to rivers in the study area are melt-waters of snow and glaciers, demonstrating the dependence of runoff to climate warming. Even now, rivers of the glacier-and-snow type are characterized by increases in runoff and discharge along with corresponding reductions in low-hill regions. This is due to the intensity of deglaciation and reduction of snow areas. The current average rate of glacial retreat is about 6-8 m per year. The continuation of this retreat process will result in decreasing streamflow that will become appreciably notable. To mitigate these consequences, the following groups of problems are to be studied.
1. Water loss reduction and implementation of water-efficient irrigation processes. Now, water losses both in the irrigation network and on the farmlands is about 70% of the total water draw-off at the irrigation source.
2. Design and construction of additional reservoir storage to accumulate the river run-off for subsequent irrigation.
3. Use of waste and drainage water for irrigation.
4. Use of groundwater for irrigation.
5. Effective monitoring of ground and surface water resources, as well as of reclamation conditions of irrigated lands.
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