Cotton, Water, Salts and Soums: Economic and Ecological Restructuring in Khorezm, Uzbekistan

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This book summarizes a long-term research project addressing land and water use in the irrigated areas of the Aral Sea basin. In an interdisciplinary approach, natural and human sciences are combined to elucidate the challenges of economic transition that affect the use of land, water and biological resources, ecological sustainability, economic efficiency and the livelihoods of the local population. The research focuses on Khorezm, a region in Uzbekistan, located on the Amudarya river, in the heart of Central Asia. A series of chapters describes the biophysical environment and the aspects of society and institutions that shape land and water use. The book discusses options and tools to improve land and water management, and to reform the economic system management, based on agronomic, hydrological, economic and social studies and modeling. The insights are not only important for Uzbekistan, but for all countries in transitions and irrigated dryland areas elsewhere.