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Transforming the challenge into opportunity: recycling the sediment to promote the transboundary cooperation and WEF security through innovative solutions
A transboundary demonstration project between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan
Ruslovoe: a vital reservoir threatened by sedimentation
In addition to high investment needs for infrastructure upgrades, THC has been experiencing intense sedimentation of its key run-of-river Ruslovoe reservoir on the Amudarya River. Ruslovoe’s capacity decreased considerably during the period of THC operation, while sedimentation has already reached 70%, causing economic losses to roughly USD 76 mln in 2021. The reservoir is expected to be fully silted by 2040 as per the business-as-usual scenario, harnessing the WEF security for over 5 million residents in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Ruslovoe reservoir also serves the entry point for the Amudarya’s water released to the THC’s downstream reservoirs Kaparas, Sultansanjar, and Koshbulak, which supply water for irrigation and drinking purposes. As such, Ruslovoe plays a crucial role in water supply, and its sedimentation-induced diminishing capacity means a lower water allocation to a wide spectrum of customers, as well as inefficient use of massive and capex-intensive THC facilities.
Moreover, bioanalysis confirmed the recycling potential of the reservoir’ sediments, out of which commercial products such as microfertilizers, biohumus and raw brick for construction can be produced, since optimal technical and investment opportunities are provided. Hence, the governments of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have been joining efforts to implement cost-effective solutions to tackle the sedimentation at Ruslovoe reservoir.
The Nexus Regional Dialogue in the Central Asian Region
Tuyamuyun Hydroelectric Complex project and the combat to sedimentation: technical considerations
The project will tackle the growing sedimentation at Ruslovoe reservoir by executing the following tasks: To conduct social and economic assessment of the WEF dependence on the Ruslovoe reservoir from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan; to estimate the current sedimentation volume, forecast the sedimentation growth during the next 50 years and estimate the losses from the sedimentation in monetary terms; to conduct climate vulnerability and risk assessment of THC and supported territories; to develop technical recommendations on cost-effective sedimentation cleaning supported by profit and loss analysis; to determine the sediment’s recycling potential by conducting chemical analysis and lab experiments on producing the pilot products out of the sediment; to develop the investment proposal on cleaning and recycling the sediment.
All tasks have been successfully finalized and the project team, along with the government officials from Uzbekistan, are presenting the investment proposal to the potential public and private investors, in order to attract investments to the sediment cleaning and recycling, thereby contributing to ensuring WEF security in the region.