Rivers and Lakes

Karakalpakstan water resources are mainly represented by large and small lakes and rivers, including the famous Amudarya River and the Aral Sea.

Amudarya is the most water-bearing river in Central Asia. It is formed in the mountainous areas of Hindu Kush and Pamir. The riverhead of Amudarya – the Vakhdjir River – has its source in the Vrevskiy glacier on the north slope of the Hindu Kush at a height of about 4,900 metres above sea level. The Amudarya River takes on its own name after the confluence of the Piandj and Vakhsh rivers. The overall length from the source of the Piandjr River to the Aral Sea is 2,574 kilometres and from confluence with the Vakhsh River, 1,415 kilometres.

The Amudarya Basin is divided into three main parts: upper stream (above the Kelif gauging station, which serves as a border between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan); middle reach (between Kelif gauging stations and Tuyamuyun) and lower reaches (below Tuyamuyun). The territory of Karakalpakstan is crossed by the lower reaches of Amudarya River. The former length was 460 kilometres. Currently Amudarya has no direct access to the Aral Sea, because since 1977 its riverbed has been blocked by dams.

The largest lakes of Karakalpakstan include the Aral Sea and a Sudoche lake group with an adjoining Khodjakul-Karadjar lake group, as well as a number of artificially created reservoirs.

The main lakes and artificial ponds such as the Mezhdurechensk Reservoir, Makpalkol Lake, Maypost-Domalak system, as well as the Muynak, Ribachiy, and Zhiltirbas bays are located in the central part of the Amudarya Delta and its right bank. All Karakalpakstan water reservoirs are used for fishery. All lakes are fed by Amudarya waters or recurrent drainage from irrigated fields.