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Central Eurasian water crisis: Caspian, Aral, and Dead Seas

Table of Contents

Edited by Iwao Kobori and Michael H. Glantz

The United Nations University, 1998

The United Nations University is an organ of the United Nations established by the General Assembly in 1972 to be an international community of scholars engaged in research, advanced training, and the dissemination of knowledge related to the pressing global problems of human survival, development, and welfare. Its activities focus mainly on peace and conflict resolution, development in a changing world. and science and technology in relation to human welfare. The University operates through a worldwide network of research and postgraduate training centres, with its planning and coordinating headquarters in Tokyo.

The United Nations University Press, the publishing division of the UNU, publishes scholarly books and periodicals in the social sciences, humanities, and pure and applied natural sciences related to the University's research.

Note to the reader from the UNU

The key concepts of the United Nations University programme on Sustainable Resource Management are sustainable use of land and water resources, and the vulnerability of ecosystems to human-induced and natural environmental changes. The programme centres around a number of scientifically solid, field-based projects with closely interrelated objectives.

This book emanates from the research project entitled "Hydropolitics and Ecopolitical Decision-making." The project aims to identify the issues in disputes concerning trans-boundary water resources; selected alternative scenarios that could lead to the solution of complex problems related to water and environment; and recommended processes through which the concerned countries are likely to agree on mutually satisfactory solutions to the problems by sharing resources and benefits. The research project is also intended to provide a comprehensive and objective environmental management setting for the sustainable development of international water bodies. In its initial phase, the project focused on trans-boundary freshwater resources in the Middle East and Asia.

The United Nations University Press series on Water Resources Management and Policy publishes the results of the UNU and related research in response to the United Nations Agenda 21, Chapter 18 ("Protection of the Quality and Supply of Freshwater Resources: Application of Integrated Approaches to the Development, Management and Use of Water Resources").

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations University.

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ISBN 92-808-0925-3

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Central Eurasian water crisis: Caspian, Aral, and Dead seas/edited by Iwao Kobori and Michael H. Glantz.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9280809253 (pbk.)

1. Water-supply-Asia. 2. Sustainable development-Asia.
3. Water rights-Asia. I. Kobori, Iwao, 1924-. II. Glantz,

Michael H.
TD299.C66 1998
333.91'0095 - dc21 97-45286



1. Perspectives on water environment management


Part I: Introduction

2. Central Eurasian water perspectives and arid land studies

International cooperation for peaceful water management in critical areas

3. Major environmental problems in world lakes

Declining water levels
Rapid siltation
The progress of eutrophication
Contamination with man-made toxics
The collapse of aquatic ecosystems

Part II: The Aral Sea

4. Creeping environmental problems in the Aral Sea basin

Introduction to the notion of creeping environmental problems
Characteristics of CEPs
CEPs and the Aral region
Concluding comments and a call for research

5. The Aral Sea and socio-economic development

The technical system of cotton monoculture
The cotton swindle
Environmental problems and human health
The problem of pesticide pollution
The environment of the Aral Sea and international cooperation
The future of Central Asia

6. Satellite image maps of the Aral Sea and Central Asia

7. Voices from the region

A word on Aral
The role of academic research in solving the ecological problems of the Aral Sea region
Iranian strategies in Central Asia

Part III: The Caspian Sea

8. Environmental policy-making for sustainable development of the Caspian Sea area

Morphometry and the principal hydrological features
The water balance and water-level variations
The economic impacts on the Caspian states of the water-level variations
Other development issues requiring international cooperation

9. Iranian perspectives on the Caspian Sea and Central Asia

Iran's northern geopolitical interests
The issue of lake Hamun and the Hirmand River

Part IV: The Dead Sea

10. Principles for confidence-building measures in the Jordan River watershed

International water rights law
Cooperative watershed development
Technological and management alternatives for the future

11. Alternative strategies in the inter-state regional development of the Jordan Rift Valley

Canal schemes for co-generation
The Peace Drainage Canal scheme and eco-political decision-making
The Aqaba hybrid scheme
Techno-political assessment of the Peace Drainage Canal and the Med/Red-Dead Sea canal

Part V: International organizations and inland seas

12. The role of international organizations in the integrated management of international water bodies: The activities of the UNU, UNEP, and the World Bank in the Middle East

International water bodies require integrated management
The need for international efforts and a role for international organizations
The UNU: Accomplishments to promote sound management of international waters
Assistance given by UNEP and the World Bank to the Aral Sea programme
Programme for the Caspian Sea basin as an international effort


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