Afghanistan Canal Diversion Threatens Uzbekistan’s Water Security, Warns Expert

In Afghanistan the Quash Tepa Canal is under construction. It is likely to divert 20% of the water flow of the Amu Darya River which might lead to possible water shortage in Uzbekistan. Additionally it might also affect Turkmenistan’s water supply as it is further downstream. 

A climate conference held in Almaty, Kazakhstan from May 27 to May 29 which included representation from Central Asian Countries. The impact of this project taken up by the Taliban Administration was discussed in a panel discussion by Rieks Bosch. He pointed out that any possible benefits would be greatly outweighed by the project’s detrimental effects on Uzbekistan.

Impact of Uzbekistan’s Agriculture 

This water crisis will exponentially affect Uzbekistan’s agricultural sector. If this project gets actualised there can be significant water wastage which might increase water prices in the agricultural sector. The Taliban plans to divert one fifth of the Amu Darya’s water into the canal, a move that would necessitate a 50% reduction in water use by the Uzbek regions of Khorezm and Karakalpakstan. 

One of the main concerns is water prices. Water supplied by public utilities costs between $1.20 and $1.60 per cubic meter in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, but its true value is closer to $16. This canal project will certainly spike the water prices. Water conservation efforts are underway, but there is currently no working link between resource management and pricing development.

The emphasis should now be on preserving an efficient water supply in Uzbekistan. As it already has procedures in place for both profitable and efficient water use.

History of Quash Tepa Canal 

This project was ideated by the Britishers, far back in the 1950s. Later on taken up by the Russians, then Americans and now the Taliban Administration. It was officially proposed by the Afghanistan government in the year 2022. It starts from a point on the Amu Darya river in the Balkh region of northern Afghanistan.In October 2023 Afghanistan gave assurance to Uzbekistan that this project will not hamper their country’s water supply. 

However, Afghanistan is resolute that this canal project can boost its agriculture industry. On the other hand Bosch has emphasized that building a canal would be easy but building an irrigation system will prove to be 10 times more difficult. Taliban might face substantial challenges to develop an efficient irrigation scheme as it has its own complexities involved.

It is estimated that without a proper irrigation system 30%-40% of the diverted water through the canal will be wasted. An artificial reservoir built near the canal is getting eroded either due to river flow or rising groundwater levels. 

Role of Diplomacy and Negotiations

The Uzbekistan government is trying to establish communication with the Taliban administration, which is proving to be a difficult nut to crack. The Afghanistan administration is showing no intent of involving itself in any agreements with Central Asia on this matter. 

The Eurasian Development Bank’s (EDB) chairman of the board, Nikolai Podguzov, brought attention to the dire impending water shortages in Central Asia last year. The building of the canal would make this worse.

Conclusion 

Central Asia is heavily dependent on Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers for 92% of their irrigation. This region is also very vulnerable to climate change. Because of the Qosh Tepa’s subpar technology and significant water loss from leaks, it is anticipated that water flow to downstream nations like Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan would decrease.

By 2028–2029, even without the canal, it was predicted that Central Asia would experience a five–12 cubic kilometer yearly water shortfall. This will  endanger  its supply of food, drink, and electricity.

TOP 10 TRENDING ON NEWSINTERPRETATION

Unprecedented Discovery at Southern US Border Exposes Chinese Criminal Alliance with Sinaloa Cartel

In a stunning revelation, US law enforcement agencies along...

Pakistan Seeks Urgent U.S. Military Aid Amid Rising Taliban Attacks

Masood Khan, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, has...

Senator Warner Urges U.S. Intelligence to Intensify Monitoring of Chinese Technological Advancements

In a recent statement, Senator Mark Warner, Chair of...

Donald Trump’s Agenda for a Potential Second Term

Former President Donald Trump has outlined an ambitious agenda...

Hung Cao Wins Republican Nomination for Virginia’s 2024 U.S. Senate Race

Retired Navy captain and Trump-endorsed candidate Hung Cao won...

US Navy Develops Advanced AI Prototype for Detecting Underwater Threats

The statement was issued at a time when the...

U.S. DOD Faces Challenges in Delivering New Technologies

In a recent report released by the Government Accountability...

U.S. Government Recognition and Native Groups Dam Impacts in Northwest

The U.S. government now formally recognizes the deep, long-lasting...

2025 Defense Budget Request: Prioritising Readiness and Modernisation

The 2025 Defense Department budget request emphasizes maintaining operational...

After 24 Years, Putin Returns to Pyongyang to Seal Strategic Partnership with Kim

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gave Russian President...

Pakistan Seeks Urgent U.S. Military Aid Amid Rising Taliban Attacks

Masood Khan, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, has...

Donald Trump’s Agenda for a Potential Second Term

Former President Donald Trump has outlined an ambitious agenda...

Hung Cao Wins Republican Nomination for Virginia’s 2024 U.S. Senate Race

Retired Navy captain and Trump-endorsed candidate Hung Cao won...

U.S. DOD Faces Challenges in Delivering New Technologies

In a recent report released by the Government Accountability...

U.S. Government Recognition and Native Groups Dam Impacts in Northwest

The U.S. government now formally recognizes the deep, long-lasting...

Related Articles

Popular Categories

error: Content is protected !!