The EastAgri region is not water scarce in aggregate, but there is high variation between and within countries.
The industrial sector accounts for 44% of water use in the region, followed by agriculture and municipal use. In many countries, however, agriculture accounts for a much more significant proportion: in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of water withdrawal.
There are strong discrepancies between the sectors and as a consequence many improvements in different segments can be done in order to improve the exploitation of a natural resource as precious as water: notable efficiency can in fact be achieved in those sectors that account for the largest shares of water consumption.
The water exploitation index measures the mean total extraction of fresh water over internal renewable water resources. This relationship describes how the total water abstraction adds “pressure” on water resources, thus it helps identify those countries that have high withdrawal rates compared to their water resources and which are therefore prone to water stress.
Among the EastAgri countries, in 2012, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan exceed the critical level of water exploitation of 40%. The last two in particular exploit an amount of water that is larger than water availability in the country and their index values are therefore above 100%. As a whole, EastAgri countries consume around 20% of their available water resources.
Total water withdrawal of selected EastAgri countries in 2000, 2006 and 2012, expressed as % of freshwater withdrawal over total internal renewable water resourcesElaboration based on Aquastat, 2015