UNESCO-IHP and IGRAC have organized a training course for a selected group of groundwater professionals from Kazakhstan. This course was held from Monday the 23th of February until Friday the 27th of February and was related to the Pretashkent Aquifer case study, which is part of the GGRETA project. IGRAC's partners UNESCO-IHE, Royal Eijkelkamp, TNO and Deltares all had a valuable contribution to the content of this training course.
Advanced Groundwater Monitoring and Analysis
The purpose of the 'Advanced Groundwater Monitoring and Analysis' training course was to train a selected group of groundwater professionals from Kazakhstan on groundwater monitoring, processing and information management required for sustainable groundwater governance.
During the first two days, this training course mainly focused on evaluation of the current status of the in-depth assessment of the Pretashkent Aquifer, introduction of the new GGRETA Information Management System (IMS) and next steps within the GGRETA project.
On Wednesday, the main topic was groundwater monitoring. After a session on 'Groundwater monitoring in The Netherlands and beyond', led by UNESCO-IHE Associate Professor Mr. Yangxiao Zhou, the group visited TNO for a demonstration of its hydrogeological data system. Finally, the group was given an introduction to Deltares groundwater activities.
Groundwater Quality Analysis was the subject dealt with on the fourth day. Mr. Jan Willem Foppen, Associate Professor of Hydrology at UNESCO-IHE, provided a full day training in which he touched on transport of mass in the subsurface, hydrochemical processes, acid-base reactions and determining chemical parameters.
On the fifth and last day of this training course, a field visit was planned to Royal Eijkelkamp. This visit started with an introduction to Eijkelkamp, given by Mr. Barry Leuverman, and a demonstration of Eijkelkamp's water quality and quantity sampling and monitoring. In the afternoon, the group visited the control room where a demonstration of care-free monitoring systems and monitoring-telemetric data transmission was given.
Overall, the training course has been considered a great success and all participants as well as the organizing institutes are confident that this training will contribute to successful completion of the Pretashkent Aquifer case study.
The GGRETA Project
The GGRETA Project, which is financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), addresses issues related to Transboundary Aquifers and responds to the pressing need of increasing the knowledge on their physical and socioeconomics characteristics. It is an integral component of the UNESCO's International Shared Aquifer Resource Management (ISARM) Initiative and the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP).
The GGRETA Project will conduct in-depth assessments of three selected case studies:
- The Esquipulas-Ocotepeque-Citalá (Trifinio) Aquifer (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras)
- The Stampriet-Kalahari/Karoo Aquifer (Namibia, Botswana, South Africa)
- The Pretashkent Aquifer (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan)
Pretashkent aquifer represents the artesian basin, the structure of which includes several aquifers and complexes separating them by aquitards. Pretashkent aquifer is located on the territory of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The smaller south-eastern part of the aquifer is located in the Tashkent province of Uzbekistan, and the bigger, the north-west part in the Chymkent province of Kazakhstan. The study area is highly populated, especially on the Uzbek part.
By geomorphology, the area is divided into three zones: mountain zone, foothills and valleys. As a transition zone between the foothill zone and the valley, Pretashkent steppes form buffer zone between the foothill zone and the valley. The climate of the study area is sharp continental, dry. The study and monitoring aimed at the sustainable joint utilization of groundwater resources is an very important factor since the Pretashkent artesian aquifer in the main source of fresh and mineral water in the region.