Spring Floodwaters Elevate Caspian Sea Levels

ASTANA – In April and May, the abundant flow of floodwaters along the Zhaiyk River replenished the northeastern part of the Caspian Sea by 119 centimeters, the Water Resources and Irrigation Ministry’s press service reported on July 1.

Photo credit: Kazakh Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation. Click to see the map in full size.

This replenishment was facilitated by additional canals constructed by the ministry in collaboration with local executive bodies. During the floods, approximately 7.4 billion cubic meters of water flowed into the Caspian Sea via the Zhaiyk River. 

The Atyrau Region branch of the Kazvodkhoz national water operator used these additional canals to direct the floodwaters into the sea, contributing an additional 350 million cubic meters of water.

Specialists from Kazvodkhoz cleaned, strengthened, and performed other maintenance work on these canals. For example, a new canal 14.5 kilometers long was dug along the Sokolok Canal, which also directed water into the Caspian Sea.

According to Vice Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Nurlan Aldamzharov, floodwater was not only collected in reservoirs; 12.4 billion cubic meters of water was directed to reservoirs, estuaries, and water meadows.

“Since the beginning of the floods, 3.3 billion cubic meters of water have been sent to Lake Balkhash. Additionally, the active filling of the Northern Aral Sea continues, with more than 1.1 billion cubic meters of water arriving since the start of the year,” he said.

Severe floods in Kazakhstan this spring left thousands of families without homes and livestock. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has mandated the government to provide all necessary assistance to the affected citizens. Compensation efforts are ongoing.

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