Impact of Water Availability on Land and Water Productivity: A Temporal and Spatial Analysis of the Case Study Region Khorezm, Uzbekistan

Water 2010, 2(3), 668-684

Maksud Bekchanov, Aziz Karimov, and John P. A. Lamers

“Since irrigation water is assumedly the predominant factor determining crop yield, the difference in irrigation water availability across the administrative sub-districts of the Khorezm region, Central Asia, also inflicts an unequal distribution of agricultural revenues. Considering the national aim of a fair distribution and efficient use of resources, here we analyze the relationships between irrigation water access and rural welfare from 2000 to 2007 by descriptive statistics. Analyses revealed not only the general dependency of agricultural revenue on irrigation water availability, but also occurrence of low land productivity during water scarce years and, irrespective of the annual water availability, in some tail end regions each year. Furthermore, apart from irrigation water availability, land productivity was also impacted by soil quality, cropping structure, and type of land ownership. Fair distribution of water and land resources should also take into consideration population density. It is argued that an anticipated equal and efficient water allocation necessitates improved irrigation water conveyance, distribution, and application efficiency via best water management practices. Liberalization of markets, development of a market infrastructure and improvement in yields also contribute to increased land and water productivity.”