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Five countries in Central Asia are facing an unexpected water and energy crisis.
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
That's a lot of Stans, were all once administered by the Soviet Union, and were able to work
together peacefully.
But today, decades after the collapse of the USSR, these countries are withholding resources,
hurting each other, and themselves.
So, why is Central Asia dealing with a water and energy crisis?
Well, throughout the 20th century and existence of the Soviet Union, neighboring republics
were administered by Moscow to share resources.
In Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan were tasked with providing natural
gas and electricity as a result of their massive natural reserves.
In return, neighboring Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan contributed water.
This came from their plentiful reservoirs, and the Amu Darya River.
Until 1991, this system kept the entire region satiated with power and water.
But in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was no central government
to dictate who would send what to who.
For a few years all five were able to work together.
But Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan soon realized that they would be able to sell
their electricity and gas to other countries, like Afghanistan.
In 2009 and 2010, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan decided to remove themselves from the central
Asian electricity grid altogether, to sell those resources outside the region.
This forced the water countries, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, to increase their production
to power generators.
This turned into a cycle where farms in the energy countries, which depended on the downstream
flow, began to fail.
This spiral has led to significant changes for all countries involved.
With foreign buyers to compete with, and an uncooperative Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, energy
prices have skyrocketed in Central Asia.
In fact, massive riots and a revolution in Kyrgyzstan in 2010 unseated their president
and allegedly led to hundreds of deaths and reports of mass killings, gang rape and torture.
Many blame these riots partially on power failures and high energy prices during the
previous winter, which led to many people either paying outrageous prices for heating
and light.
And while all this is ongoing, the original resources are starting to dry up, complicating
the matter even further.
As a result of climate change, the flow of water from the Amu Darya river in Tajikistan
and Kyrgyzstan is expected to decrease in the next two to three decades by as much as
one third.
So while those two countries are working hard to supplement their lack of energy by building
hydroelectric dams, the most important of which being the massive Rogun Dam, it may
ultimately fall short.
As long as it is more profitable for these countries to sell outside the circle rather
than within it, these woes will likely continue to destabilize both their populations and
their governments.
One country has already fallen, what happens to the rest remains to be seen.
Central Asia is not the only place struggling with vital resources.
The region’s neighboring country China has been facing a massive water shortage for years
So what factors have led to China’s severe water crisis?
Find out more in this video.
When this launched in 2014, state media promoted it as the cure to the country's water problems,
but due to grossly outdated miscalculations of the South's water supply, which has dwindled
from climate change and drought, the project has had little effect on the crisis at large.
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Central Asia’s Post-Soviet Water War Explained

82 タグ追加 保存
BH 2016 年 12 月 18 日 に公開
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