Water shortage threatening Azerbaijan

By Nigar Orujova

Azerbaijan, the country washed on the East by the Caspian Sea has limited water resources, ranking the last among the South Caucasus region for per area and per capita amount of water.

Life in the Caucasus region mainly depends on usage, distribution and protection of water.

The amount of water per unit area and per capita in Azerbaijan is less than its neighboring Georgia in 7.7 and 8.3 times, and in Armenia in 2.2 and 1.7 times, Head of the Geography Institute of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciencies Ramiz Mammadov said at the international conference on "Global and regional geopolitical problems in the context of international cooperation and security".

Water is the driving force of the nature and the most precious treasure on the Earth. No creature could live without this bracer, and only people living in the torrid region could worthily appreciate it.

Access to clean drinking water is one of the fundamental human rights, however, according to the United Nations, today about 884 million people do not have access to safe drinking water.

The World Health Organization reports that over 70 percent of the human diseases are connected with drinking poor quality water.

On the other hand, he noted that it is necessary to evaluate the water resources of the country with a population of 9.5 million, develop a program and conduct serious research.

People use 23 out of 26 cubic kilometers of the shared water resources of the major rivers of the Caucasus Kura together with the influx of Araz, he added. The recent decline of the water level in the Kura, 52 percent of which runs via Azerbaijan, is a great concern.

In Azerbaijan, there are over 61 reservoirs with the total volume of 1 billion cubic meters today. One of them, Sarsang reservoir, located in Agdere region, is under Armenian occupation for more than 20 years.

Moreover, as a result of Armenian military aggression, a lot of reservoirs, water tanks, ponds, rivers, lakes and springs, which are of great importance for agriculture of Azerbaijan, are under Armenian control now.

The ecologists believes that the country possesses enough water reservoirs to ensure its water security

"In my opinion, there are enough of them [water reservoirs],” Head of Azerbaijan Green Movement Farida Huseynova said earlier.

This summer became a real survival test for many agricultural farms in Azerbaijan because of the strong drought, heat and rainless weather. The drought has destroyed crops fields in Shaki, Shamakhi and Gobustan, and affected productivity of the farms in other southern regions of the country.

Huseynova said there is no need to create reservoirs in the arid territories that are used for growing plants that do not require irrigation.

She also said drinkable water should not be used for technical purposes.

“The process water should be used solely for technical purposes. For these purposes, some countries purified sewage water, and in our case we can use desalinated water from the Caspian Sea,” she noted.

However, this is not the way out, as if all the five Caspian states start to desalinate its water, the sea will soon disappear.

Residents of the capital city that grow up by the second, come across water of the uncharacteristic color and taste. This problem is serious especially in the summer time, but also acute around the year.

Today, experts predict that some international conflicts over water resources will start in the near future.

On the background of about 40 intergovernmental conflicts over freshwater in the world in the last 50 years, we should not only change our attitude to the water usage, but also stay prepared to fight for the water resources.