Kazakhstan Directs One Billion Cubic Meters of Floodwater to Caspian Sea

ASTANA – The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation diverted nearly one billion cubic meters of floodwater to the Caspian Sea along the Zhaiyk River, the ministry’s spokesperson Moldir Abdualiyeva said at a May 2 briefing in the Central Communications Service (CCS), reported the CCS’s press office.

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Four channels capable of handling up to 12 million cubic meters of water per day are used in the Atyrau Region. Cleaning and reinforcement measures were undertaken to ensure their effectiveness. For example, an additional 14.5-kilometer-long canal has been constructed along the Sokolok Canal, through which water is also sent to the Caspian Sea.

“Today, one of the ministry’s primary tasks is diverting floodwaters to lakes and rivers,” Abdualiyeva stated.

Managing floodwaters

Specialists also continue to send water to Lake Balkhash, which has been replenished with approximately 2.5 billion cubic meters of water from the Kapshagai reservoir.

The ministry successfully transferred 30 million cubic meters of water from Russia to Kamys-Samar Lakes in the West Kazakhstan Region. These lakes had not received water flow for the past 20 years.

Additionally, work has begun to replenish natural lakes and reservoirs in western Kazakhstan, which have experienced drying out in recent years.

At the same time, the Telikol lake system in the Kyzylorda Region is being actively refilled. This achievement is attributed to the unprecedented volume of floodwater discharged from the Kengir reservoir in the Ulytau Region.

The water collected in reservoirs is directed for agricultural and industrial use. For example, reservoirs in the Akmola and North Kazakhstan Regions are at full capacity. In the Karagandy Region, three large reservoirs are filled to an average of 98.6%. In the Aktobe Region, the average filling of two large reservoirs stands at 97%. In the Kostanai Region, the average filling of two large reservoirs is 92%. The four large reservoirs in the West Kazakhstan Region are filled to an average of 88%. The average filling of two large reservoirs in the East Kazakhstan Region is 82.4%. However, the Shulbinsk reservoir in the Abai Region has a capacity of 39.8%.

 Evacuation and response measures

In the meantime, 5,961 people remain in evacuation centers, while 48,611 have returned to their homes. Water has been diverted and pumped from 8,189 residential buildings and 2,977 courtyard areas. Over 13.9 million cubic meters of meltwater have been pumped out, along with the placement of more than 7.7 million bags and 1.5 million tons of inert material.

However, in the last 24 hours, the water level in the Zhaiyk River has surged from 12 to 38 centimeters. Shore protection works have been finalized, and the river’s water level is monitored every hour. The situation is under the control of rescuers from the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

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