Seventy-five percent of water released from the large Toktogul Reservoir in the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic was released during the growing (or irrigation) season, which lasts from April to September. This optimised the value of the water for the downstream republics Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. In turn, Soviet authorities ordered the energy-rich, water -poor downstream republics to send coal and gas to upstream Kyrgyzstan for its heating needs. This exchange effectively took place without any market mechanisms and without taking into consideration the borders of the Central Asian Soviet Socialist Republics.
Photo by Alfred Diebold © looking down from Nurek dam in Tajikistan
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