IWRSA Abstract


The Navruz Project; Transboundary Radioecological Monitoring and Data Sharing for Rivers of the Aral Sea Basin


Akram Djuraev1, Howard Passell2, Umar Salikhbaev3, Vladimir Solodukhin4, Ivan Vasiliev5


1Atomic Energy Agency, National Academy of Sciences, Tajikistan (akram_ju@tajik.net)

2Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M., USA (hdpasse@sandia.gov)

3Institute of Nuclear Physics, Ulugbek, Uzbekistan (salikhbaev@inp.uz)

4Institute of Nuclear Physics, Almaty, Kazakhstan (solodukhin@inp.kz)

5Institute of Physics, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (vasiliev@hotmail.kg)


The Navruz Project is an international, collaborative, transboundary data collection and data sharing project for rivers in the Aral Sea basin engaging scientists and water managers from Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and the United States. Standardized sampling and data collection methods assure that data are comparable across international borders, and data are shared among all partners and the public through a website at http://ironside.sandia.gov/Central/centralasia.html. Semi-annual data collection began in 2000 with 15 sampling locations in each of the four countries, for a total of 60 locations throughout the Amu Darya and Syr Darya basins. Field data collection includes basic water quality parameters (temperature, pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen) and field sampling includes water dissolved, water suspended, bottom sediments, aquatic vegetation, and nearby soils. Sample analysis provides data on more than 100 radionuclides and metals. Phase 2 of the project, begun in 2004, expanded sampling locations to 30 in each country, for a total of 120 locations in the basin. The project is aimed at characterizing radioecological and other water quality characteristics, patterns and trends in the rivers of the Aral Sea basin, and supporting wise management of Central Asian water resources; supporting nuclear non-proliferation in Central Asia by providing a shared, transboundary database on radionuclide fate and transport in regional rivers, which could help detect and characterize proliferation activities; and supporting international, transboundary, Central Asian scientific collaboration on shared resources, which could help reduce future conflict over those resources, and over other issues. This presention will introduce the project and provide a general overview of some results.