The Khorezm province of Uzbekistan, located in the Aral Sea Basin, suffers from severe environmental and human health problems due to decades of unsustainable land and water management. Agriculture is the dominant land use in Khorezm, and agricultural runoff water has impacted many small lakes. In this water-scarce region, these lakes may provide a water source for irrigation or fish production. Samples have been collected from 13 of these lakes since 2006 to assess water quality, the aquatic food web, and possible limits to aquatic production. Lake salinity varied from 1 to >10 g/L both between and within lakes. Although hydrophobic contaminants concentrations were low (82-241 pg toxic equivalents/mL in June 2006, October 2006, and June 2007), aquatic species diversity and relative density were low in most lakes. Ongoing work is focused on 4 lakes with pelagic food webs to estimate fish production and assess anthropogenic impacts on the food web. Lake sediment cores are also being examined for organic contaminants, and hydrology is being assessed with stable isotopes. ?? 2009 ASCE.
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Investigating aquatic ecosystems of small lakes in Khorezm, Uzbekistan
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World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009: Great Rivers