Session II: Satellite data and digitalization for optimizing water distribution in the Aral Sea

February 23, 2022

In many facets and at all scales, irrigation water management in Central Asia and Afghanistan requires substantial improvements to ensure food security, health, economic development, and protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The digitalization of the agricultural system and in particular the use of satellite data may provide and support solutions for related challenges. In this context, the focus of this session is water distribution in the Aral Sea Basin.

Even though there are many scientific findings and tools on how to support water distribution in the Aral Sea Basin theoretically as well as practically through digitization, there are many obstacles on the way to implementing these innovations. We aim to address these barriers and identify which regulatory implementation steps and policies can lead to increased use of science-based innovation. The scientific example will be the Water Use Efficiency Monitor for Central Asia (WUEMoCA) that provides indicators from satellite and meteorological data based on which strategic decisions on land resources and water allocation to irrigation systems can occur. After a scientific introduction to the topic, the draft of a policy brief prepared by the session team will be presented and discussed with the participants. All participants are invited to actively comment on the presentation. These contributions should allow the session team to optimize the policy brief which will be published after the conference via the GIZ.

The session is open for all interested partners, actual and potential developers and users of scientific knowledge. In particular we invite the entire land and water management sector, national and international authorities managing the distribution of irrigation water, hydrometeorological services, UNDP and UNCCD contact points of the countries.

WEDNESDAY, February 23 
16:30-18:00 (GMT+6, Almaty, Kazakhstan)
Link to Zoom: 
Meeting ID: 915 6189 0786


Prof. Dr. Christopher Conrad,

Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany


Maira Kussainova,

Kazakh-German University, Kazakhstan


Alexandr Nikolayenko,

GIZ program “Green Central Asia: Regional Initiative on Climate and Security in Central Asia and Afghanistan”


Dr. Muhammad Usman,

University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany


Dinara Ziganshina,

Scientific-Information Center of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia, Uzbekistan

Session partners:

Main speakers

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Christopher Conrad

University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

Speaker: Anna Inozemtseva

USAID Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity, Kazakhstan

Speaker: Mirobit Mirdadayev

Kazakh Research Institute of Water Management, Kazakhstan

Speaker: Shamsiddin Qurbonov

Information Analytical and Resource Center, Ministry of Water Resources, Uzbekistan

Dr. Shavkat Kenjabaev

SIC-ICWC, Uzbekistan

Professor Dr. Christopher Conrad leads the Department of Geoecology at the Institute of Geosciences and Geography of the Martin Luther University of Halle (MLU), Germany. His research addresses geoecological and management questions of agrarian land use systems with a regional focus on Central Asia. Both, his PhD and habilitation thesis addressed sustainable land and water use in irrigation systems of the Aral Sea Basin. Key methods are remote sensing and geoinformation sciences. Before joining MLU, he worked as Junior Professor for Geographical Remote Sensing of the University of Wuerzburg, Germany. Numerous publications and project activities underline his experience in Central Asia. For instance, Prof. Conrad was involved in the initiative “Water in Central Asia” (2009-2019) of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and also partners the successor Initiative “Green Central Asia”. His department also operates “CASIB – Central Asian Sustainable Innovation Bureau”, the Client-II office of the German Ministry of Research and Education in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Ms. Anna Inozemtseva is IWRM Lead in the USAID Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity, implementing by Tetra Tech ARD Inc. She is working on institutional strengthening of the basin organizations and promotes instruments and tools for long-term scientific based planning. In cooperation with Stockholm Environment Institute, USAID Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity is facilitating the Robust Decision Support process in the region, using WEAP and LEAP models for Syr Darya and Amu Darya basins, and Anna is leading the process. She has a Master degree in Integrated Water Resources Management. She started her professional career in the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) in 2008 and has 14 years of experience in IWRM promotion in Central Asia. She has a strong expertise in introduction of basin planning on local level in Central Asia and Afghanistan, facilitating regional dialogues over shared water resources and promotion of water diplomacy at all levels of water management.

Dr. Mirdadayev graduated from Taraz State University, specializing in Automobiles and the automotive industry (1993-1998), completed his PhD in the direction 06.01.02 - Melioration, reclamation and land protection (2010). At the moment, he is the scientific supervisor and responsible executor of 12 scientific studies and 9 economic contract topics on the design of water supply and irrigation systems, was a national consultant on water management under the national extension program on agriculture (2011-2012), a member of the interstate working group, researcher of the project for the reconstruction of the joint Kazakh-Chinese water intake facility on the Sumba River (2014-2015), head of the expert group for assessing the state of the facility “Machine water supply from the Chardara reservoir to irrigated lands of the Maktaaral district of South Kazakhstan region (2016), expert in the development of educational programs in the specialties “Construction and operation of treatment facilities for water supply and sanitation systems” and “Hydrotechnical Reclamation” (2018-2019), National Water Expert for the Asian Development Bank’s Flood Management / Agricultural Productivity Program (2018-2019), Program Manager for the Development of Training Materials c and conduct training on water management and irrigation and drainage systems (2018-2021).

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