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Because of water shortage in Lebap farmers plan to re-use drainage water for the irrigation of fields

Correspondents of “Chronicles of Turkmenistan” report that there is a shortage of irrigation water for cotton and carrot fields in Lebap velayat.

Because of the shortage of irrigation water agriculturists from the agricultural associations of Lebap velayat recommend land tenants not to carry out the third cultivation of the cotton inter-row spacing.

The cultivation is the loosening of the upper soil level to ensure access of air to plant roots. Weeds are simultaneously cut and pest larvae are exterminated.

However, under the conditions of artificial irrigation, the inter-space rowing results in the loss of moisture which has accumulated in the soil, which is critical under the deficit of irrigation water.

On the other hand, the hot climate and shortage of water leads to the formation of a crust, which reduces the crop yield.

There is little water in some canals but nearby fields can be irrigated only with the help of pumps. However, according to land tenants, it takes three to four days to irrigate one hectare of land. Daily operations of a pump with 2 to 3 hour breaks cost 500 manats ($143 using the official rate or $25 at the “black market” rate).

As in the previous dry years people intend to re-use high salinity drainage water which has already been used for the irrigation of fields by pumping it to irrigation canals.

State-run media outlets have already reported the problems with irrigation of fields in Dashoguz velayat. At the working session held on 30 May President Serdar Berdymukahmmedov expressed discontent with the performance of the velayat khyakim Nazarmyrat Nazarmyradov. A few days before the meeting the head of state inspected the state of irrigation systems on the field of Lebap velayat from a helicopter and issued a severe reprimand to Chairperson of the State Water Management Committee Guyzgeldi Baydzhanov for problems in the water management system.

At that time the state information agency TDH reported that the water supply networks of the velayat were being improved. For instance, the preparations are underway to build a large water reservoir in the valley between Shasenem and Turkmen rivers. The region has been negatively affected by a shortage of irrigation water for three consecutive years.