A ceremony of commissioning the first phase of construction of the Turkmen lake "Altyn Asyr", a giant artificial reservoir, took place in the Karakum desert. The ceremony was arranged in Ak Yayla track of land in Balkan province. It was attended by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
According to the head of state, the Turkmen lake is "truly priceless" not only for Turkmenistan but for the entire Central Asia region. "Upon the completion of the second and third phases of the Turkmen lake Turkmenistan will have a single drainage system. New green oasis, towns, villages, districts will emerge in the vast open space of the Karakum desert. The development of irrigated agriculture, livestock and fisheries sector will get an additional impetus," he stressed.
The president, elders and the rest of the company - members of the Government, regional governors, and ambassadors of foreign states used spades to symbolically open the flow of water. Special machinery destroyed the dam and drainage water coming from all over the country headed to a gigantic manmade bowl via the two main channels - the main collector and the Dashoguz inlet. On the bank of the reservoir Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and ceremony participants planted young trees as peculiar symbols of the beginning of renewal of the Karakum desert, the State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH) said.
The Turkmen leader also handed valuable gifts to best workers - builders and machine operators who distinguished themselves in the construction of the Turkmen lake. As a token of profound respect, on behalf of workers of the water economy of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was presented with the Akhalteke horse with the traditional silver harness.
It should be recalled that the construction of an extensive collection network in the middle of the Karakum desert started in 2000. It will collect drainage water from almost all over the country and store it in a giant natural depression called Karashor. Every year, up to 10 billion cubic meters of mineralized drainage water will be collected in Karashor. This will dramatically improve ameliorative condition of irrigated lands and make it possible to solve many problems related to salinity, waterlogging of land and drought. The total capacity of the reservoir will be 132 billion cubic meters and the water surface area will total 2 thousand square kilometers.