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Sands have to make room for water
Turkmen lake in the Center of Karakum: from plans to reality

As it is known, more than 80% of territories of Turkmenistan, all its central part, are occupied with Kara Kum - one of the greatest deserts of the world. Almost entire population is concentrated on perimeter of the state, "nestling" to water sources. Of course, sheep and camels are grazed in desert but the desert would hardly be called “wet nurse”.

Actually, the most part of territory of the state is not used for agricultural needs. In fact, from time of independence the desert had changed a little. Big areas of virgin lands are developed. Fields, gardens, vineyards wedges deep into the sands. The desert has been magnificently blossoming, when waves of deep Uzboy has been passing through it. Its channel still share the desert into two parts, and till now a chain of not drying lakes passes along the desert. Probably, historic memory, having incorporated with understanding of necessity to restore desert to life, also became the basic pulse of revival of the idea of Turkmen lake’s creation.

Earlier Turkmenistan.ru reported in details about the project, the main ideologist of which is the president Saparmurat Niyazov. The basic idea of the plan is to collect all drainage waters of the state into one uniform collector and to direct this powerful stream to natural hollow Karashore in the heart of desert. There were much critics regarding the project, basically, from abroad. However criticism can not help the dying territories. Therefore, Turkmenistan does not doubt of expediency of the construction, and more and more supporters stand for the project.

Meanwhile, the plan becomes a reality, the course of its implementation is speeding up. According to the ministry of a water management of Turkmenistan, for the last year 330 kilometers of drainage channels were laid instead of planned 300. About third part is being flown directly to the main Turkmen collector, which should become new Karakum Uzboy. This year works have become more active, for 160 dredges and 120 bulldozers of Komatsu and Case companies and other engineering working in the Central Kara Kum today. Construction goes simultaneously on the territory of all country, including Akhalsky, Mariysk. Lebaps and Dashoguzsk regions. The widest front of works is developed on central directions. To the beginning of July department of the Ministry of Water Resources have equipped 65 kilometers of the main Turkmen collector, extended for 48 kilometers Dashouguzsk lead-in, and main Giaursk collector for 27 kilometers. Overall 320 kilometers of water-stores, from which 150 kilometers - on the main Turkmen collector and 116 - on Dashoguz lead-in will be laid in 2002. The water mirror of the future Turkmen lake will make 3,5 thousand square kilometers, its capacity will exceed 130 cubic meters of water.

Annually man-made lake will accept 10 cubic meters of water and, by calculations of experts, first part of this water will inflow into the lake by the end of 2004. The Turkmen lake will radically change the state of irrigated areas of all country, will create a strong basis for a significant gain of crops of cotton, grain, vegetables and fruit, other agricultural crops. There are also forecasts, that thanks to the lake a sharp continental climate of desert will be softened. So lets welcome Kara Kum and wish success to the project.

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By Muhammed Shalliyev

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