Canal lining and afforestation to prevent raised groundwater tables and field salinization in Khorezm, Uzbekistan

Affiliation(s)PIProject periodFunded by
DHS Lutz, Alexandra 01/13/2011 - 01/12/2013 U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation

Project Description

Groundwater salinization, raised water tables, and the resulting lowered crop yields are the results of irrigation mismanagement in many parts of the world, including the agricultural region of Khorezm in northwest Uzbekistan. The objective of this project is to compare the effectiveness and costs of two methods for remediating these groundwater issues at the local and regional levels to ensure crop yields. Afforestation of a biodrainage and plastic lining of a canal were selected as methods due to their advantages of appropriateness for the soil type and climate, low cost, in-country availability of supplies, and low maintenance needs. This project is anticipated to result in lower groundwater levels and salinity on the local scale, and numerical models will be developed to evaluate the effect on the regional scale. Additionally, this project will result in a better understanding of seepage and irrigation management needs in the region, provide training and experience in monitoring groundwater properties, and provide the end-user with a predictive model to evaluate long-term trends in groundwater levels and quality.