Spatio-temporal supply–demand of surface water for agroforestry planning in saline landscape of the lower Amudarya Basin

Navneet Kumar, Asia Khamzina, Bernhard Tischbein, Patrick Knöfel, Christopher Conrad, John P.A. Lamers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Global warming is predicted to increase water scarcity in many drylands worldwide. In Central Asia, one of the most intensively irrigated dryland agricultural regions, climate change is likely to exacerbate the regional water supply–demand gaps, particularly in downstream areas. The withdrawal of degraded, highly salinized croplands from irrigated farming in favor of tree plantations that effectively utilize saline groundwater may contribute to irrigation water saving, which can generate valuable ecosystem services and provide rural income opportunities. To facilitate the spatial planning of afforestation in the lower Amudarya region, we developed a hydrological algorithm to map the spatio-temporal pattern of water supply–demand. The resulting map, based on seven-year continuous data of cropping pattern and corresponding irrigation dynamics, rainfall, and evapotranspiration at 250 m resolution, revealed the overly irrigated areas from which excess water can be redistributed to water-stressed areas. Furthermore, combining this information with spatial data on marginally productive croplands and with water requirement of tree plantations showed that 67% of these croplands are characterized by water availability sufficient for the introduction of salt-tolerant tree species. The algorithm developed is of potential use for defining the feasibility of introducing alternative (tree) crops with known growth and water use characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-61
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar


  • Afforestation
  • Aral Sea basin
  • Canal irrigation
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Land degradation
  • Water balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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