Vorbereitungsreise "Sustainable use of water and natural resources in Dzungarian river oases (SUWANDRO)"
In the arid ecosystems of Central Asia, water and other natural resources are under immense pressure exerted by a rapidly increasing human population. The planned project aims at contributing to a more resource-efficient management of river oases in that region by integrating data from novel ecological, hydrogeological, agricultural and socio-economical investigations, to be conducted at six representative desert sites in Central Asia. Following an agro-ecological gradient approach, the study sites are chosen to form a gradient in land use intensity across the Chinese-Mongolian border, including three oases each in the Chinese and Mongolian part of the Dzungarian basin. At all study sites, the project seeks to quantify the fluxes and pools of water, organic matter and nutrients and to translate them into market values by socioeconomic evaluation of all products, services and costs. All data across all scales will be organized in a Geographic Information System and integrated into an oasis-based model. This model will be used for scaling up the results from the local to a supra-regional level and for deriving management strategies that enable the population to increase the efficiency of the use of water and other natural resources and to identify the thresholds of their sustainable use.
Sustainability, Water resource management, land use, river oases
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