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Open AccessArticle

Hydrological Model for Sustainable Development in the Aral Sea Region

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Kotelnikov Institute of Radioengineering and Electronics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vvedensky Sq. 1, Fryazino, 141190 Moscow Region, Russia
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Adjunct Professor, Department of Global Health Management and Policy, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
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Research Scientist, Department of Public Health Sciences, Xavier University of Louisiana, LA 70125, USA
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Senior Consultant, MSF Global Solutions, LLC, New Orleans, LA 70113, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Hydrology 2019, 6(4), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6040091
Received: 3 June 2019 / Revised: 26 September 2019 / Accepted: 30 September 2019 / Published: 22 October 2019
Possible scenarios of the Aral Sea crisis solution are discussed, and a new scenario is proposed. Previous scenarios have provided for the transfer of water from Siberian Rivers to Central Asia and the restriction of unsustainable expansion of irrigation in this region. The scenario proposed in this paper is partly based on the use of Caspian water evaporators located on the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea. Engineering realization of this scenario needs only the construction of the drainage system for the runoff of Caspian waters to the natural evaporators, between which Kara-Bogaz-Gol is the functioning evaporator. This paper shows that realization of this scenario allows the rescue of the Aral Sea and normalization of the water balance in Central Asia. Under this, as the simulation modeling results show, there exist different versions of the scenario depending on the area of evaporators and restrictions for the runoff of Amu Darya and Syr Darya waters to the irrigation systems. Calculation results show that the Aral Sea could be restored within 90–240 years depending on the scenario versions. With only Kara-Bogaz-Gol as the evaporator, the Aral Sea cannot be restored within a century. Additionally, if the anthropogenic runoff of river waters was decreased by 10 percent, the Aral Sea would be restored over about 90 years. Possible versions of the recovery scenario are discussed and assessed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aral Sea; evaporator; irrigation; scenario; water cycle; hydrological sustainability Aral Sea; evaporator; irrigation; scenario; water cycle; hydrological sustainability
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Krapivin, V.F.; Mkrtchyan, F.A.; Rochon, G.L. Hydrological Model for Sustainable Development in the Aral Sea Region. Hydrology 2019, 6, 91.

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