Introduction

The main territory of Azerbaijan is situated within arid climates and approximately 95% of the river runoff is used in the national economic production. This situation is further complicated by the fact that, after the disintegration of USSR, about 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan is occupied by Armenia. In states with a deficit of general water resources, the optimal use of fresh groundwater resources (FGWR) acquires great significance and strategic importance for economy of the new

Institute of Geology, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, H. Javid Av. 29A, Baku AZ1143, Azerbaijan e-mail: [email protected]

independent country in the current situation. These resources are generally characterized by their high quality and better protection against contamination than surface waters and they are only single source of fresh water in more parts of Azerbaijan. Also, being less dependent upon annual precipitation, they serve as important source of potable water supply. Simultaneously, natural conditions such as low annual rainfall, high potential evaporation, and complex geological structure militate against the formation of a sustainable fresh groundwater resource. Moreover, fresh groundwater resources are limited within territory of Azerbaijan. Due to the stress of water use for various activities, climate change, and other interventions in the water cycle by mankind, it is vital that the groundwater resources in Azerbaijan should be developed and managed in a sustainable and integrated manner.

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