The family of basin models, to which ASBmm can be attached as well, has its history. Among available models on water and energy resources management in the Aral Sea basin, besides ASBmm models, the following ones may be noted: (i) models developed under the project EPIC / USAID (Den McKinny and others); (ii) models developed under the project of Water Resources and Environment Management, Sub-component A1 (GEF); (iii) models of UNDP and WARMAP (improvement of EPIC models). Most optimization models in this family are based on the GAMS - the General Algebraic Modeling System - system.

The first Aral Sea Basin Management Model (ASB-MM) was created within the framework of the UNDP Project “Capacity building in the Aral Sea basin” for the development of methodology to assess sustainability of land and water use in the Aral Sea basin - ASB-MM. The model included: (i) socio-economic model developed by SIC ICWC on the basis of the Globesight model (M.Misarovitch), (ii) hydrological model developed by SIC ICWC, and (iii) Interface (Resource Analysis, The Netherlands).

The hydrological model of ASB-MM is an optimization model for transboundary river flow management by reservoirs and HEPS. The model was developed on the basis of GAMS student version. This caused that simplified hydrological scheme with limited number of structures and objects was used without linkage with planning zones. The model consists of three blocks: Syrdarya basin; Amudarya basin; and the Aral Sea. It is linked to the socio-economic model through aggregated indicators (by state) – river water diversions required and corrected according to basin limits, return flow, and irrigation water productivity. The simulation step is a season (growing, non-growing), while the simulation period is 20 years broken down into five-year sub-periods.

ASBmm version 2011

ASBmm version 2010 is an integrated water resources management model for the Aral Sea basin, which is a software package integrating a number of goal-oriented models that realize the interconnected algorithms of water allocation in time and space, of flow regulation by reservoir hydrosystems and HEPS, and of basin development scenario assessment by economic sector. The model has the control routine, the user Interface, and the comprehensive dataware. Optimization problems are solved using GAMS technology. The simulation step is one month, the simulation period is 25 years (since 2010 till 2035).

ASBmm development

Further development and improvement of ASBmm is planned in a way of creating a professional product, which would allow the user to operate a set of criteria (target functions) needed for optimization numerical experiments in order to contribute to right choice of water-management decisions. We expect that this initiative will allow creating a scientific-practical Internet-platform for dialogue, first of all, among researchers studying alternative management and development scenarios and those who make complex decisions on the basis of trade-offs and consensus.

The next version of ASBmm will be supplemented by aquatic ecosystem models: (i) model of the Aral Sea, including northern part (Kazakhstan) and Large Aral consisting of western and eastern parts; (ii) model of Prearalie, including the Syrdarya river delta and the Amudarya river; (iii) model of Arnasai. The package of aquatic ecosystem models is a software product for computation of water and salt balances of the Aral Sea (northern, eastern and western parts), wetlands of North and South Prearalie and Arnasay ecosystem; for estimation of water demands and productivity of the ecosystem.

New versions of ASBmm will follow common principles and will have a flexible structure – as a follow-up from “Population” to “Expert”, with addition of new tasks, improved modules, and new capabilities for operation and interpretation of modeling results.

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