Drought Occurrence and Management in Kazakhstan

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 5:30 PM
Yerkanat Iskakov, Aibek Mendigarin, Bayan Sazanova and Yerlan Zhumabayev, Kazhydromet, Astana, Kazakhstan
A direct and reliable indicator of drought can be measured by the productive moisture content (PMC) in soil, which uses the weight of the moisture in a soil profile. However the limited network of PMC measurement sites in Kazakhstan (123 for the total area of 2. 7 million km2) does not allow a spatial assessment of drought conditions across the vast majority of the country. To assess the availability of soil moisture and the likelihood of drought, we calculated spatial structure of soil moisture deficit, using the Selyaninov Hydrothermal Coefficient (HTCs). It was derived for the vegetatively active period from May to August. Figure 1 shows the average structure of soil moisture availability across Kazakhstan, and indicates that most of the country is vulnerable to drought.

In response to this vulnerability the Kazakhstan also established the following policies and technologies to mitigate the impact of drought. Those measures include: 1. Introduction of resource-saving (soil-protective and moisture preserving) No-Till technologies. 2. Structural and technological diversification of plant growing. 3. Introduction of efficient irrigation systems for southern Kazakhstan. 4. Adaptation of weather and field reports to optimize the benefits of agrotechnical activities. 5. Re-equipment of agricultural vehicles and machinery. 6. Training and professional development of specialists in agriculture. 7. Improvement of insurance system for plant growing. 8. Improvement of systems and mechanisms of state support for small and medium agricultural producers. 9. Improvement of the system of scientific and technological and innovative support for grain production.

These strategies, how they are being implemented, and the targeted goals will be presented. We will provide findings from experimental field stations, and model farms. The goals is to improve efficiency in water resources, effectively communication relevant information to farmers, policy makers and the insurance industry, as well as promote climate resilience in the advent of climate change.