The Navruz Project: Cooperative, Transboundary Monitoring, Data Sharing and Modeling of Water Resources in Central Asia
The Navruz Project engages scientists from nuclear physics research institutes and water science institutions in the Central Asia Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and Sandia National Laboratories. The project uses standardized methods to monitor basic water quality parameters, radionuclides, and metals in the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers. Phase I of the project was initiated in 2000 with 15 sampling points in each of the four countries with sample analysis performed for over 100 parameters. Phase II of the project began in 2003 and expanded sampling to include at least 30 points in each country in an effort to characterize “hot spots” and to identify sources. Phase III of the project began in 2006 and will integrate decision support modeling with the existing monitoring. Overall, the project addresses four main goals: to create collaboration among Central Asian scientists and countries; to help increase capabilities in Central Asian nations for sustainable water resources management; to provide a scientific basis for supporting nuclear transparency and nonproliferation in the region; and to help reduce the threat of conflict in Central Asia over water resources. Contamination of these rivers is a result of growing population, urbanization, and agricultural activities, as well as radioactive contamination from a legacy of uranium mining and related activities of the former Soviet Union. The project focuses on waterborne radionuclides and metals because of the importance of these contaminants to public health and political stability in Central Asia.
Keywordssustainable water resources management radionuclides and metals Syr Darya and Amu Darya River
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