Advanced

An oasis without water : a hydro-social investigation into how agricultural water use and management influences water scarcity in the Ferghana Valley, Central Asia

Watson, Oliver LU (2017) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20171
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Water scarcity can have severe implications for society; endangering human health and food security whilst also exacerbating social conflict around the world. These issues are exemplified in the case of the Ferghana Valley in Central Asia, where much of the valley suffers from water scarcity and conflicts despite having adequate water sources. This scarcity is primarily due to how water is used, managed and distributed rather than a lack of supply. Accounting for up to 90% of water withdrawals, agriculture has a key role in altering the flow and availability of water in the region. This thesis used a mixed method approach to better understand how agricultural water use and management may influence water scarcity on the regional and local... (More)
Water scarcity can have severe implications for society; endangering human health and food security whilst also exacerbating social conflict around the world. These issues are exemplified in the case of the Ferghana Valley in Central Asia, where much of the valley suffers from water scarcity and conflicts despite having adequate water sources. This scarcity is primarily due to how water is used, managed and distributed rather than a lack of supply. Accounting for up to 90% of water withdrawals, agriculture has a key role in altering the flow and availability of water in the region. This thesis used a mixed method approach to better understand how agricultural water use and management may influence water scarcity on the regional and local scale in the valley. The approach utilised hydrological methodology to measure crop water consumption (CWC) and demand (CWD) for the whole valley in 2016 and social methodology to investigate water management challenges and stakeholder perceptions of water scarcity in water user associations (WUAs). The results were integrated and compared to assess spatial differences in scarcity within WUAs. The results revealed that agriculture consumes and demands a significant amount of water, accounting for 81% of water withdrawn for the valley in 2016. The integration of the results suggest that water scarcity varies spatially within and between different WUAs in the valley. Furthermore, several shared and unique challenges were discovered for management in the WUAs. Three main management challenges were discovered: distributional, technological and support based challenges. This thesis concludes that agriculture has an important role in driving the flow and altering the availability of water. Moreover, management within WUAs may have a significant impact on different dimensions of water scarcity through water use inefficiency, distributional inequity and by reinforcing temporal vulnerability to scarcity. Based on these results a number of intervention points and applications of the research are highlighted. Future research can expand and build on this research to enhance understandings of water scarcity and advance potential solutions. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Watson, Oliver LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
water scarcity, Ferghana Valley, water user associations, remote sensing, mixed methods, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2017:031
funder
GIZ
language
English
additional info
Completed with support from the World Agro-Forestry Centre, Central Asia (ICRAF) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
id
8916049
date added to LUP
2017-06-19 17:34:24
date last changed
2017-06-19 17:34:24
@misc{8916049,
  abstract     = {Water scarcity can have severe implications for society; endangering human health and food security whilst also exacerbating social conflict around the world. These issues are exemplified in the case of the Ferghana Valley in Central Asia, where much of the valley suffers from water scarcity and conflicts despite having adequate water sources. This scarcity is primarily due to how water is used, managed and distributed rather than a lack of supply. Accounting for up to 90% of water withdrawals, agriculture has a key role in altering the flow and availability of water in the region. This thesis used a mixed method approach to better understand how agricultural water use and management may influence water scarcity on the regional and local scale in the valley. The approach utilised hydrological methodology to measure crop water consumption (CWC) and demand (CWD) for the whole valley in 2016 and social methodology to investigate water management challenges and stakeholder perceptions of water scarcity in water user associations (WUAs). The results were integrated and compared to assess spatial differences in scarcity within WUAs. The results revealed that agriculture consumes and demands a significant amount of water, accounting for 81% of water withdrawn for the valley in 2016. The integration of the results suggest that water scarcity varies spatially within and between different WUAs in the valley. Furthermore, several shared and unique challenges were discovered for management in the WUAs. Three main management challenges were discovered: distributional, technological and support based challenges. This thesis concludes that agriculture has an important role in driving the flow and altering the availability of water. Moreover, management within WUAs may have a significant impact on different dimensions of water scarcity through water use inefficiency, distributional inequity and by reinforcing temporal vulnerability to scarcity. Based on these results a number of intervention points and applications of the research are highlighted. Future research can expand and build on this research to enhance understandings of water scarcity and advance potential solutions.},
  author       = {Watson, Oliver},
  keyword      = {water scarcity,Ferghana Valley,water user associations,remote sensing,mixed methods,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {An oasis without water : a hydro-social investigation into how agricultural water use and management influences water scarcity in the Ferghana Valley, Central Asia},
  year         = {2017},
}