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Water Problems of Central Asia.Part 2

Water problems of Central Asia.Part 1

Expertise of Rogun HEP

Presently the information has appeared that at the Rogun HEP two firms are conducting the expertise.

Maksat Imashev reports in his article from 06.08. 2011 “Debates on Ragun are brought up to the Europarlament” (http://www.centrasia.ru/newsA.php?st=1312618800) that the World Bank has granted 15 million dollars for conducting an expertise and the applicant for this is Tajikistan. Here, it is necessary to remember that the basic sponsor of the investigations of the Sarez Lake problem has been also the World Bank. There are no qualified specialists in Tajikistan for performing complicated Sarez investigations. The Swiss firm “Shtuki”, which has taken part in these works, also has no such specialists. On behalf of the firm the works were supervised by Patris Droz – a building engineer by profession. The final result of 6-year work was the complete failure of the World Bank Project. The money was spent, but not for performing the investigations. The observation network of the Tajik Ministry of Emergency Situations was built at the Usoi Dam for the money funded by the Government of Japan. The researchers (P.Droz, A.Ishchuk, N.Ishchuk, S.Negmatullaev) could not competently check into the data of the preceded investigations. For studying the basic reason of the Sarez hazard – the Right-Bank Landslide – they, instead of carrying out any investigations at the dangerous slope, gathered in Geneva at the Conference, where decided by voting that there is no Right-Bank Landslide and, thus, there is no any hazard. At the Technical Meeting on Sarez in 2009 A.Ishchuk reported, referring to the given Protocol, to the participants that absence of the Right-Bank Landslide is approved unambiguously without any investigations. But it is necessary to say that already earlier in 1999, when the OBSE Mission came to Sarez for a week (seven days including the travel time) and took a decision that there is no Right-Bank Landslide and in case if it will suddenly appear, no any financing of the project will be provided. Much time ago at the first International Conference on Sarez I have made a report about the technique to lower the Sarez Lake level for increasing its safety by means of intensifying filtration. This idea was mentioned for the first time in my report in 1977. In 2009 at the Conference on Sarez in the town Nurek I had again a report on the similar topic and heard only a single remark: this is too cheap, but we need money for trip expenses and building of an electrical plant. The variant of electrical plant, proposed at the Conference (prior to performance of the investigations), does not bear any critisism. Electricity is, of course, needed in this region, and there is the possibility to build a hydro-electrical plant on the river Gudara, where as a dam the broken-through dam on the ancient slide lake can be used. A good earth-road runs to this dam. The capacity of the two built phases of HEP is twice higher and the cost is twice lower than the variant proposed by P.Droz and A.Ishchuk. But they argue so, that the more expensive is the more better. It should be noted here that the grants of the World Bank and the countries of the European Union for any project in Tajikistan are given only to Tajik organizations. Russian organizations are categorically inhibited to participate in tenders and competitions. Every time, after a Tajik organization is found, which, as supposed, has won in the competition (having neither equipment nor specialists), the winners begin to search in Russia for a group of people who will agree to fulfill the work for 10-15 % from the granted sum. So, the workers are found who do the work, but its quality corresponds to the promised payment.

I think that the results of the Rogun HEP expertise paid by the money of the World Bank will be the same like while the investigations of Lake Sarez and other objects when the customers are Tajik specialists. I.e. without serious investigations the old project will be acknowledged suitable for implementation. Moreover, as I have already mentioned above, in Tajikistan there are no qualified specialists; the Tashkent Organization “Hydroproject” has specialists who have earlier carried out there bad-quality investigations and they are again champing to continue them.

Recently the information appeared that the World Bank does not recommend to Tajikistan to begin building the Ragun HEP (Zarina Ergasheva, 16.08.2011). At the same time on the official website of the World Bank (WB) www.worldbank.org there is appeared a press-release of the WB specialist team which made a 10-day visit to Tajikistan with the aim of checking the progress of estimating investigations within the proposed project on the Rogun HEP. Not stopping on all the details of the press-release and the journalist’s information, I would like to note only one detail – additional investigations will be carried out by the Client (Barki Tajik) by the direction and under control of the consultant on Feasibility Study (Coyne et Beltier/Coordinating Center on Environment/Inter-Parliamentary Assembly). I.e. the additional investigations will be carried out in a small amount by the Client which has no own Research Survey and specialists in engineering geophysics, meaning that the principal approach to the investigations did not change and all the geological problems, which I described above, remained the same, i.e. unstudied. By the way, specialists in engineering geophysics in the WB team were also absent.

How hazardous are Sarez and Rogun for Uzbekistan

Comparing the hazard of Sarez and Rogun, one should outline that the multi-year average annual discharge of Pianj (1000 m³/sec) is twice higher against the Vahsh River discharge (500 m³/sec). While the Rogun water storage reservoir will be filling with water during 10 years and for this 10% of the average annual volume of the Vahsh water will be spent, then the total water discharge at HP Kirki will be decreased by 2.5%. The area of the lower course of Amu Darya will get 1950 m³/sec, i.e.only by 50 m³/sec lower than usually, which won’t bring a large harm to the agriculture. Rogun HEP is located in the dangerous zone, but this is a hand-made hydro-technical construction, which must be constantly observed. At the dam an emergency release must be created. If the filled dam will be built qualitatively, then the probability of a damaged to it from a 9-Magnitude seismic tremor will be excluded. More probably that such a tremor will cause shearing deformations in water-bearing tunnels and basic underground constructions. Rock piles and complete blockage of the both building tunnels at Rogun HEP happened due to the reason that the geological structure in the area of basic constructions was predisposed to appearance of shearing deformations. With a seismic action the tunnels will stop penetrate water and, hence, the level of the dam storage will quickly rise and reach a catastrophic release. In future everything will depend on the proportion of water amount inflowing into the storage and discharge of the penetrated water by catastrophic release. If the water inflow will be higher than the discharge, the water level will constantly rise and after reaching the level of the dam a ruptured hole will appear in it, which will gradually deepen. The maximum discharge of water through the hole will reach 30000-40000 m³/sec, and in the area of the hydro-post Kerki it will decrease by a half. The dam will be destructing for a few months. The emergency situation can become more complicated due to a possible creep of a landslide from the right-hand side of the downstream joining to the dam or the next portion of the mudflow Obi-Shur. Another variant of the accident – washing-out of the salt layer underlying the dam. The old project of Rogun HEP envisaged a rather complicated salt-proof scheme. Now a more simple variant of salt protection is proposed. In case if the salt protection will turn out to be insufficiently effective, water will begin penetrating under the dam. The discharge of penetrating flow and the cross-section of the washed-out hole will constantly increase, which with time can lead to subsidence of the dam and water-bearing tunnels. Ultimately the hydro-electrical plant will be destructed, will bring to Tajikistan a tremendous material damage. But it will be occurring rather slowly and there will be no catastrophic flood. Destruction of the Nurek HEP, which long needs a capital repair, will occur by the same scenario.

A flood within Uzbekistan, which will happen in connection with the Rogun HEP destruction, will be incommensurably lower than the Sarez catastrophic floods. The matter is that large landslides at the shores of the Ragun water storage reservoir were not discovered. In the area of the upper courses of the Ragun HEP there is a series of landslides Passimurkho. But the volume of them is small and in case of their collapse the formed wave will be directed rather towards the upper courses of the storage reservoir than to the dam. With collapse of the Right-Bank Landslide at Lake Sarez the volume of single water flow over the lowered part of the dam will be equal to 0.1 km³. On River Bartang a mudflow will appear, which will cause appearance of a mud heap, resulting in formation of a temporary lake on River Pianj. I.e. the Sarez floods will be characterized by more intensive impulses of a breaking-through wave as compared with the flood at Ragun HEP. But even if the entire Vahsh cascade of HEP will be gradually destructed, the maximum discharge of the breaking-through wave in the area of Kerki Hydro-Post will be considerably lower than with the Sarez impulsive floods. If at the discharge of 9000 m³/sec (according to the measurements at HP Kerki) River Amu Darya has changed its channel, then what will happen if the water discharge at this hydro-post will increase by 25000-120000 m³/sec? By the degree of a hazard for Uzbekistan (Turkmenia and Afghanistan) the most hazardous are the Sarez floods and especially a breakthrough of water wave from the temporary lake on River Pianj, which has been formed by a collapsed mud dump in the area of joining the rivers Pianj and Amu Darya.

River Syr-Daya Basin

The hydrotechnical specialists do not see serious technical problems with the exploited Tohtogul and building Karambatin HEPs. The problem is another one. Kirghizia is supposing that all its hydro-electrical plants will operate in an energetic mode. On the territory of Uzbekistan there is no space where accumulating water reservoirs could be constructed. Therefore Uzbekistan requires to stop constructing the Karambatin HEP.

Mean-sized HEPs

Many politicians recommend to Tajikistan to refuse from constructing large hydro-electrical plants and to build HEPs of mean sizes. They say, this is the way more quicker and more cheaper to solve electrical power problems in Tajikistan. In Ekaterinburg there is Institute RosNIVH which investigates the safety of mean-sized HEPs with earth dams. By data of this Institute, the degree of safety of such HEPs is considerably lower than of large ones. The reasons for a larger hazard from mean-sized HEPs are apparent and as follows:

- low quality of investigations; if the investigations for the unique Rogun HEP were carried out not in complete volume and with low quality, then what to say about investigations for mean-sized HEPs;

- more lower quality of building works than at large HEPs;
- low qualification of operating personnel.

The typical example of a mean-sized HEP is Baipazin HEP (600 MWt) in Tajikistan. In 1968 on River Vahsh an explosion-aided earth-filling water-lifting dam was built in order that the water from Vahsh would reach the entrance into the hydro-tunnel Vahsh-Yavan Valley. The investigations were carried out so, as if they would be performed for a meliorative water storage reservoir. Some time later the dam height was increased and then the Baipasin HEP was built. The Project was prepared by the same organization “Tashkent Hydro-Project” which did not carry out any investigations that were needed for building the HEP. Downward from the Baipazin HEP a landslide of the same name is located. In 1992 and 2003 the motions of this landslide blocked the River Vahsh, having caused a threat to flood the apparatus room at the Baipazin HEP. Such motions would not have been dangerous for the dam of meliorative water storage, but for the HEP they created a serious danger, and it was very difficult to make holes through both slide dams and release water from the formed lakes. If in case of a strong earthquake the Baipazin landslide in total amount will fall down, the HEP will be ruined, and after water breaks through the dam, a catastrophic flood will appear.

The Chervak HEP on the river Chirchik in Uzbekistan has approximately the same capacity like the Baipazin plant in Tajikistan. In the upper courses of the river Chirchik basin there are breakthrough-hazardous dammed lakes. The Tashkent hydrologists have complained to me during private meetings that the Government does not give money for studying of these lakes. In the mean time, in case of breakthrough of such lakes and quick increase in its rock-slide, the earth dam will be broken through, having caused a catastrophic flood moving along the densely populated region of Uzbekistan up to the place where the river Chirchik inflows into Syr-Darya. Perhaps, just in this place a temporary mud-slide dam will be formed. The similar catastrophe has happened in 1962 on the territory of Kazakhstan in the town of Sasyk. There occurred the breakthrough of the slide dam of a high-mountainous lake. Water from this lake overfilled the downward-located lake Sasyk, the breakthrough of which destroyed the town Sasyk with death of a large amount of people. The same catastrophe may happen also at the Chervak water storage reservoir and destruct Tashkent and other populated settlements in the river valleys of Chirchik and Syr-Darya.

The conclusion: The mean-sized and mean-capacity hydro-electrical plants are also hazardous as well, if investigations, designing and building are carried out with bad quality.

Mini-electrical plants

In mountainous conditions and with a large steepness of channels of small rivers it is not difficult to construct a pool, to conduct, via a canal, water from the basic channel, then to lay down a tube from the pool downward along the river valley to a small hydro-generator, and, thus, a mini-HEP is ready. The tube diameter can be of any size, but the larger is the diameter, more powerful is the electrical plant. Difference in the heights between the pool and hydro-generator can vary within a wide range from the first meters to tens and even hundreds of meters. And all this can be done quickly and with minimal expenses. In summer such a mini-HEP will operate excellently. But the winter comes: the water discharge in the river at first decreases, then the river is frozen and no water is left in it. And this happens in the coldest winter time when light and heat are as necessary, as never before. Therefore in mountainous and especially high-mountainous regions the building of mini-HEPs is quite unjustified. Beneath, in the valleys where water does not freeze in winter, there are places where such HEPs will provide electrical power the year around, but such places are very few and, thus, to speak about reasonability of building of mini-HEPs over the major territory of such a high-mountainous country as Tajikistan means to loose time.

Presently Tajikistan has already wind and solar electrical plants. They are able to provide lighting of one house, but only not an industrial enterprise. They are expensive and require constant control over their proper operation. Therefore, the use of them is limited.

Nuclear electrical power plants

If Tajikistan and Kirgizia would refuse to develop hydro-power engineering, then with not having oil and gas on their territories they cannot choose anything other but begin building of nuclear electrical power plants (NEP). In this case, Russia, in order to develop its own nuclear power engineering, will allot credits and build 2-3 NEPs. Where, from the point of view of Tajikistan, to build them is more safer? – In the north-western part of Tajikistan in the valley of Syr-Darya, beneath the Kara Kum HEP, in the south-western part of Tajikistan in the valley of Amu-Darya, behind the Tyuntau Ridge at the very western boundary with Uzbekistan. Besides, the seismicity in these areas is lower and in case of an accident the contaminated water will flow to neighbors. But if Tajikistan will declare such initiatives, then Uzbekistan will protest by tenfold louder than at building of the Rogun HEP, and it will be right. And still one will have to take electrical power somewhere.

Heat electrical power plants

Reserves of gas and oil are not large in Tajikistan and also there are no conditions for building and in general no building of heat electrical power plants. At the same time in Uzbekistan and Turkmenia reserves of gas and oil exist, but they are not infinite and are intensively developed for export. In 50-60 years the both countries will suffer from a deficit of electrical power and will regret that Kirgizia and Tajikistan use their power resources not completely.

Water use

I am not a specialist in the given sphere, therefore I want to refer to the article of the hydrological engineer Chyngyz Uzakbaev “Central Asia. Water Use via Cooperation” – http://www.centrasia.ru/newsA.php?st=1312437240

I agree entirely with the author in such items as:

- about 100% of population in the region are engaged in the “fossil” inefficient irrigated agriculture which consumes the largest part of water resources;

- in the developed countries (USA, China, Israel, etc.) with high engineering equipping of this sphere only 4 to 20% of population produce the major part of agricultural products;

- By the present time the scientific-technical progress, which would correspond to XXI century, has not yet come to the agricultural industry of Central Asia, whereas introduction of new technologies of irrigation and keeping of agriculture, production of up-to-date equipment for these purposes would make it possible to increase the amount of agricultural products by several times and decrease consumption of water and electrical power;

- in the Central-Asian region it is necessary to improve the development and production of water- and power-sparing equipment, which will provide not only an economic effect, but also new job vacancies;

– introduction of obligatory payment for water (what is costless is not economized);
- creation of a mutual market of the Central-Asian countries for realization of products connected with water and power production;

- waters of Central Asia possess a great energetic potential (900 billion kWt/hour/year). This potential is located mainly in Tajikistan and Kirgizia which are, of course, unable to develop it singly. With account of this, the countries, located in the area of the river lower courses, possessing financing possibilities, must know that refusal from such a treasure – ecologically pure and renewable power – is, at least, a crime before the future generations.

Transboundary contradictions

The Aral Sea is dying. The causers of its death are the melorators of Uzbekistan and Turkmenia. Even not long ago the Aral Sea was the fourth sea in the world by its size and was famous by the richest natural resources; the zone of the near-Aral territory was considered to be a prosperous and biologically rich natural medium. The unique closeness and natural variety of the Aral area left nobody to be indifferent. The word “Aral” is translated from Turkish as “island”. Perhaps, people considered the Aral as a saving island of the life and wealth among the desert hot sands of the Kara Kum and Kyzyl Kum. Journalist Roman Streshnev (The paper “Red Star”, 12.09.2001) writes the following about the current state of the Aral region: “The main reason of the Aral catastrophe lies in the conscious extraction of water from the rivers inflowing into it for irrigation of cotton plantations. The Aral Sea, located in the center of the Central-Asian deserts at a height of 53 m over the ocean level, has fulfilled the functions of a gigantic evaporator, from the surface of which 60 km³ of water were entering to the atmosphere. Presently from the dried surface of the Aral water area annually over 100 thousand t of salt and fine-dispersed dust with admixtures of different chemicals and toxins are being distributed, like from a volcano’s crater, over the territory, exerting a harmful influence upon all the alive. The basic forces and funds, that are provided by the countries and international humanitarian organizations, are spent to maintain the living level of population and the infrastructure of the region. Recovery of the sea is actually forgotten. It should be outlined that today the world capital takes care rather of the natural resources of the region, than of the fate of the Aral Sea itself. The predicted reserves of gas amounts here to 100 billion cubic meters, of oil – 1-1.5 billion t. In the Aral Sea basin the Japanese Corporation JNOC and British- Dutch Company Shell are being already carried out works on search for oil and gas. Involvement of world investments is seen as a saving of the region, while many local officers are aware of a great profit for themselves. However, this will hardly solve the problem of Aral Sea. Most likely, development of mineral deposits will only more deteriorate the environmental situation in the region”. Of course, Roman Streshnev is right. During the past 10 years the environmental situation in the region became considerably worse. And now already nobody mentions the necessity to save the major part of Aral belonging to Uzbekistan.

In 1992 there was a civil war in Tajikistan and, thus, all the field works of the Southern Geophysical Expedition were stopped. In search of a job I have called to Chief Hydrogeologist of “Turkmengeologia” Organization with a suggestion to carry out contract-aided hydrogeophysical works with the aim of compiling maps of mineralization and hydroisohypses of groundwater, determination of rock filtration properties and position of aquicludes. Chief Hydrogeologist accepted my suggestion with admiration and said: “The matters with hydrogeophysical works are very bad, especially in the Tashauz Region. Go there and look whether you like to work there, and I will call immediately to the Head of the Near-Aral Hydrogeological Trust and ask him to send you by fax an invitation to come initially as a consultant”.

So, I am in Tashauz, talk with the hydrogeologists. I ask questions and listen to the explanations. The first question I put to the hydrogeologists is why the mineralization of water in Amu-Darya exceeds 2 g/l, but not 0.4 g/l like within Tajikistan. They show me on the map the valleys of Amu-Darya and I see: a water-discharging collector with drainage waters, beneath – a water intake of irrigating canal, then again a collector and again beneath – a water intake. As irrigation is performed not by pure water, the topsoil is being gradually salted. But all this is observed along the right-hand bank. On the left-hand bank the water discharge from collectors are directed to the Sarakamysh Depression, and the Sarakamysh Lake becomes equal by area already to the 1/8 part of the Aral Sea. I was struck by seeing that lenses of fresh waters suitable for drinking water supply of small populated areas were floating in the salt water. They should be found and one should precisely calculate the position of a borehole filter and allowable pumping yield in order to prevent pumping of salt water. But this task can be solved by means of geophysical investigations. The maps of groundwater mineralization and hydroisohypses were compiled by my colleagues using the borehole data, i.e. the network of sparse boreholes. They did not construct maps and cross-sections of filtration properties. No modeling of the filtration process was not fulfilled, though this seemed to be necessary in projecting meliorative constructions. At the same “progressive” methodical level there were performed the investigations and designing of meliorative works in Uzbekistan. The result of this is the swamping of entire regions of agricultural lands, whereas somewhere the situation is contrary – the catastrophic lack of water. Since the time of my travel to Tashauz, about one hundred of accumulating water storage reservoirs have been constructed in Uzbekistan, in which the water is spent for evaporation and increase in its mineralization. Thus, the huge difficulties are created for our future generations and in order to keep the irrigated agriculture at the modern level on the territory of Uzbekistan, they would have to invest large funds in the reconstruction of the created meliorative system.

On the territory of Turkmenia since 2000 under construction is the artificial lake “Altyn Asyr” or “Golden Century”. The natural gigantic depression Karashor (Black salting), which will serve as a bowl of a new lake, is being filled with discharging collection-drainage waters from all the regions of Turkmenistan. The essence of the idea to create a lake which would collect drainage waters (the waters which represent a mixture of chemicals and pesticides) in gigantic amounts (capacity of the bowl of the new lake is 132 billion cubic meters), is to reduce the content of harmful substances in the water and to reuse low-mineralized water for agricultural and industrial purposes. The authorities of Turkmenia consider that completion of the construction of the second and third phases of the lake will lead to creation of an unified collection-drainage network of all the agricultural lands in the country, to appearance of new arable lands, networks of lakes and fishery farms over tremendous spaces of Kara Kum.

Professor V.A.Dukhovny in his article “To the Problem of Turkmenian Lake. A new Salt Bomb “CentrAsia” estimates the creation of “a lake of the golden century” as follows:

- The main aim and task of this unique collector — to collect and, if possible, to trap and remove large amounts of collection-drainage waters, which were earlier spreading in plenty and limitlessly over deserted and salted lands in the end parts of uncompleted drainage collectors, from the areas of used irrigated lands and pasturelands –. were raised already in 1960s of the past century. At that time a suggestion appeared to create a Trans-Caspian collector which would collect all the drainage waters from all the irrigated land massifs and to direct them to the Caspian Sea. Frankly speaking, I like this idea more than the creation of a Lake of Desert.

- The today’s project enables collecting and removing drainage waters.

- The experience of operation of all the closed reservoirs, filled with mineralized collection-drainage waters, shows that their mineralization constantly increases and they gradually loose their initial bioproductivity. For example, Aral. After the year of 1960 it got, mainly, water from the collectors and river water with a mineralization of over 2 g/l. The evaporation, which in the present-day conditions exceeds the precipitation amounts and water inflow by an order of magnitude, was constantly increasing mineralization, which reached today 100 g/l and higher.

- The same situation is expected also with Karashor, namely with “Lake of XXI Century”, if no flowage will be created in it.

From me personally I want to add that even in the high-mountainous Lake Sarez, which is recharged by ultra-fresh water, the mineralization remains such only in the upper flowage part of the lake, whereas in the lower stagnant zone it constantly increases.

For different reasons the meliorators in the area of the river lower courses, using during many years maximum amounts of water from the trans-boundary rivers, have brought a great damage to the entire Central Asia. And they did not agree upon their actions with the countries located in the area of the river upper courses. Therefore, Uzbekistan and Turkmenia have no moral rights to demand from Kirgizia and Tajikistan not to build hydro-electrical plants or to force them to exploit these plants in melorative mode, but to settle this problem on the basis of mutually beneficial agreements is possible and necessary. Uzbekistan and Turkmenia do have oil and gas reserves, but these reserves are not unlimited and intensiely extracted for export. In 50-60 years the both countries will suffer a deficit of electrical power and will be bitterly pity that Kirghizia and Tajikistan use their energy resources not entirely. In Uzbekistan during the past 50 years about 50% of agricultural lands are occupied by water storage-reservoirs, cesspools, useless salted lands, canals, drains and settlements. If this tendency does not change, then in next 50 years and in combination with depletion of energy resources, no lands usable for agricultural production will remain in this country . The present-day historical hypotheses that the Aral Sea not once dried because of unlimited water discharge for irrigation and then when people, lived in the Amu-Darya valley, died or moved to other places, recoverd after a long time again, seem to be true. The only difference is that at that time no any chemicals were used for production of agricultural cultures. Thus, the maximum use of hydro-energy resources of Kirghizia and Tajikistan is a promising opportunity for the countries located in the area of Amu-Darya lower reachesa to survive in the next century.


1. The present-day state of Lake Sarez represents a threat for the countries of Central Asia. The Sarez catastrophe will result in destruction of the highway Dushanbe-Khorog (in the area where it runs along the shore of River Pianj). All the bridges across River Pianj and Amu-Darya will be either ruined or become useless due to displacement of the river channel. There will be destructed the hydromeliorative constructions in Uzbekistan and Turkmenia, including also the Kara Kum Canal and populated settlements on its shores. Railway communication between three Republics will be interrupted. It is reasonable to start recovery works only after the third flood, i.e. not earlier than in a year after beginning of the catastrophe.

2. The simplest and cheapest technique to mitigate the hazard degree of Lake Sarez is to lower the water level in the lake by means of intensifying the water filtration through the dam by 40-50 m. The cost of the project is 30-35 million USA dollars.

3.On the website www.sarez-lake.ru there is described a project of bringing Lake Sarez into guaranteed safe state and building a system of Pamir HEPs, for which the following is envisaged: initial lowering of Lake Sarez level and building of a preventive dike and dam; liquidation of all the landslides and weakened areas with the use of the author’s method of transforming large landslides into coarse-fragmental debris; building of four electrical power plants and Pamir energetic ring. The total capacity of four Pamir HEPs in summer is 400 MWt, in winter – 1300 MWt (Presently the total capacity of two Pamir HEPs is 21 MWt and it is planned to increase it by 14 MWt, i.e. totally 35 MWt). The capacity of the proposed energetic system is sufficient for lighting and heating of all the populated settlements, supply of all the enterprises of GBAO (?) with electrical power and delivery of a part of power for export. The total cost of the project is 7 billion USA dollars. The cost of investigations is 700 million USA dollars.

4. The building of Gudarin HEP and supply of the River Bartang valley with electricity made it possible to intensify the geologic-prospecting works in this region, where, according to the geophysical data, there are prospects for discovery of ore mineral deposits. Development of ore mineral components can in future compensate all the expenses spent for implementation of the project of bringing Lake Sarez into guaranteed safe state and building a system of Pamir HEPs.

5. Preparation of the project on building of Rogun HEP requires to carry out engineering investigations and only after them to start preparation of the Feasibility Study and final project. Expenses for additional investigations, liquidation of local accidents, the probability of which is very high, will considerably increase the cost of Rogun HEP construction. The largest HEP in the world is built in China and is called “Three Canyons”. Its capacity is fivefold higher than the calculated capacity of Rogun HEP – 18000 MWt. The HEP dam is concrete-made. The cost of the Chinese HEP is 25 billion USA dollars. So, the cost of Rogun HEP, if its dam would be concrete, – 5 billion USA dollars. But as the dam of Rogun HEP is made earth, its total cost will be more expensive – 7 billion USA dollars. Errors of the planners and unqualified engineering-geological investigations can increase this figure. It is not excluded that after carrying out up-to-date investigations the building of Rogun HEP may be refused and one will have to search on River Vahsh for other hydro-posts and schemes for a large HEP.

6. The hydro-energetic resources of Tajikistan and Kirgizia are a gift of the Nature and it should be used maximally. Everybody knows that expenses for investigations and town planning in high-mountainous conditions and in conditions of increased seismicity sharply increase, but nevertheless this is the single way of safe building. One should remember the proverb: the niggard pays twice and very niggard – thrice.

7. The use of water for any purposes should be paid. The countries located in the river lower courses should pay for water use in summer time to Kirgizia and Tajikistan and this payment should compensate all the losses from the HEP operation in meliorative mode. Water is a raw resource and it should be paid in size depending on its amount, quality and delivery in proper time.

8. For recovery of Aral Sea it is necessary to work out the following scheme of such a project: – in the northern part of Caspian Sea, where the water mineralization is lower due to an influence of River Volga – to construct on the shore a high-powered pumping station which would be able to raise 1000 m³/sec to a height of about 100 m; – for providing this station with electrical power to construct a nuclear power plant nearby the station; – to lay a hydro-tunnel from the pumping station under the plateau Ustyurt, and when its exit portal will reach the height of 70-80 m, – to make a canal towards Aral Sea. The sea will be gradually filled with sea water to its initial level and bury the high-mineralized water. At the same time one should build a Trans-Caspian collector – a longstanding dream of meliorators, existing since 1960s. When Aral Sea will achieve the projected level – the excessive water should be directed to the same collector and, as a result, the biological resources of Aral will be recovered and the ecological catastrophe will be liquidated. The oil and gas companies will drill boreholes from overpasses like it is done on the Caspian Sea. Further: to consider Amu-Darya beneath the hydro-post Kerki as a regional drain and to direct it also to the Trans-Caspian collector. Implementation of the proposed project of the Aral Sea recovery can turn the scale in the favor of building the canal between Azov Sea and Caspian Sea as a competition with the project of building the second Volga-Don Canal. In this case the Trans-Caspian collector will become a ship canal connecting Caspian Sea with Aral Sea and River Amu-Darya. Thus, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan will become sea countries.

9. – To perform detailed hydrogeophysical investigations on all the irrigated land massifs of Uzbekistan and Turkmenia aimed at studying mineralization and filtration properties in plane and cross-section for modeling of optimal position of passable and irrigating canals with hydro-isolation and drains, which would guarantee washing out soils. – To envisage in areas with shallow groundwater, having a high mineralization, installation of water-tight layers in the form of geomembranes or polyethylene films which will also favor washing out soils.

10. The countries of Central Asia should conclude an agreement or treaty according to which all the HEPs should be built in the area of river upper courses, but by request of the countries located in the river lower courses they should operate in meliorative mode. Within the same agreement the countries of the river lower courses should liquidate all the small water storage reservoirs and build a new unified system of irrigating and draining canals and pass gradually to introduction of water-sparing technologies for keeping agriculture and real decrease of expenses for water.

11. For controlling the quality of HEPs construction, state of water storage reservoirs and lakes it is necessary to create in Central Asia an organization of a type like IAEA with extraordinary authorities.

12. To obligate all the countries of Central Asia to prepare Declarations on Safety for all the HTS and in case of accidents at them to compensate to the neighboring countries their losses.

13. To create a unified energetic system and common market of the countries of Central Asia for realization of products related to water and energy production.

14. For performing qualitative engineering-geological investigations is reasonable to create in Tajikistan an engineering-geological center equipped with up-to-date facilities and especially geophysical apparatus. For providing the operation of the center modernly it will be necessary to invite specialists from Russia and other countries for work on the contract and competition bases.

15.The countries located in the river lower courses should understand that if they won’t pay for water or won’t invest money into HEP construction, the economy in the countries located in the river upper courses may completely fall off, causing a constant conflict with Uzbekistan and Turkmenia. Namely deficiency of money compensation for delivered water forces them in any way to accelerate building of HEP, not thinking about quality of investigations and construction works.

16. The water will bring a benefit to all the countries of Central Asia only in case of their constant and honest cooperation.


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15. L.P.Papyrin “Para-Sarez Chemist, Professor D.Ikrami. The second series” : http://sarez-lake.ru/professor-himik-2/. This paper was published also by “AsiaCentr” under the title «Nobody will sign the Declaration of Rogun HEP Safety»: http://www.centrasia.ru/news2.php?st=1328387100