The first stage of construction of the Altyn Asyr Turkmen Lake in Ak Yayla settlement was completed last year. Today, construction of this large-scale facility continues, and it will certainly hit the headlines of the newspapers as the drainage system under construction in the desert is truly grandiose.
Addressing the ceremony of putting the Turkmen Lake Altyn Asyr into operation on July 15, 2009 President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that this unique hydro engineering facility constructed in the center of the largest deserts in the world, the Karakum Desert was to dramatically change the look of the ancient Turkmen land. “This facility is critical for our country and the Central Asian region as well”, the Turkmen Leader said.
By implementing this large-scale project Turkmenistan demonstrates an integrated, innovative approach to addressing the problem of utilization of drainage water as an inevitable effect of irrigated cropping. The Turkmen Lake is to reduce the level of underground waters in irrigated areas, recover thousands of hectares of flood lands and pastures and improve the environmental situation in the oasis territories. This will reduce irrigation water losses and the level of groundwater and allow raising the level of crop yield by saving water resources.
The Turkmen Lake and the network of manifolds turn drainage water into a valuable resource and open up the vast opportunities to develop virgin lands in the center of the Karakum Desert along manifolds where there are wide areas of sandy lands that can be irrigated with low-mineralized waters.
The Turkmen Lake project will allow using new water reservoirs and manifolds for developing fish industry in the region. Irrigation of vast areas of desert land and expansion of pastures where flocks will have enough food and water will offer an additional impetus to develop cattle breeding in this region.
The research centers develop the special technologies for recycling and utilizing drainage water. At present Turkmen scientists work on very promising biological methods.
The new hydro engineering facility is of particular significance for the fauna of Turkmenistan, in particular migratory birds. The Turkmen Lake benefits the habitats and natural meadowlands of birds in the area of the network of manifolds in the Central and Eastern Karakum.
Irrigation of the central part of the Karakum Desert has a positive impact on the population of rare hoofed animals, many of which are inscribed on the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan. A growth of the populations of animals inhabiting the banks of water reservoirs vividly illustrates the positive environmental impact of the Turkmen Lake project as one of the large-scale nature-conservation project.
The Turkmen Lake is an innovative project that proves that our country makes considerable contribution to solving the global problems on preservation of water resources all around the world.
Efficient use of water resources and uninterrupted supply of safe drinking water to local population are the priorities of the policy of the Turkmen state as the key factors in improving the quality and standards of life of the Turkmen people and the social and economic progress of the country. These issues are under strict control of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The national practices of efficient use of water resources arouse keen interest of the international community the more so because the Turkmen leader emphasizes that our country stands ready to use these practices for achieving environmental security in the region. That this constructive approach is welcomed and supported by the world community was vividly evidenced by the International Scientific Conference on the Significance of the Altyn Asyr Turkmen Lake for improving the environmental situation in the region, which took place in the Avaza national tourism zone this spring. The outcomes of the scientific forum included the practical recommendations on the use of Turkmenistan’s positive experience in other countries of the world and expansion of regional and global cooperation to prevent water resources deficit.
Turkmenistan has launched the large-scale reforms aimed at developing the agro-industry sector, protecting the environment, achieving effective water resource management and creating the favorable conditions of living for people. Construction of the Altyn Asyr Turkmen Lake is one of the brightest projects aimed at improving the environmental situation and developing agriculture. The implementation of this unprecedented nature conservation and water resources management project that is of vital importance for the national economy is the great success of Turkmen science that substantially contributes to the progress of the country.
A year later it can be said with confidence that as a landmark event of XXI century construction of the Turkmen Lake is critical for the prosperity of the country and protection of the environment of the region.