The day before, a working meeting was held in Kalmykia on the problems of water scarcity, issues of reclamation and watering of arid territories and the current state of the republic’s irrigation systems.
Snowless winter, lack of rain, spring frosts plus prolonged summer heat not only had a detrimental effect on the water balance in the soil and irrigation systems of Kalmykia, but did not even leave any chances for the survival of any vegetation on the pastures. In these conditions, the only hope for the agrarians of the republic remained irrigated areas and estuaries, which produce roughage for the agricultural sector of the region. However, the current critical situation with the supply of water to the irrigation systems of the republic causes concern about the fate of the rice harvest and the procurement of fodder for livestock. In order to prevent a decrease in the number of livestock and minimize losses in agriculture in general, the republic’s leadership turned to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation with a request for assistance and allocation of funds from the federal budget to reduce the risks from the consequences of drought.
The topic of water shortage, both for drinking and for irrigation of sown and estuary areas, became the main one at an expanded meeting co-chaired by the Acting Director of the Department of Land Reclamation of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia Nikolai Seregin and Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan Sanal Adyayev. The discussion of the problem was attended by specialists from the Ministry of Agriculture of the republic, a number of federal water supply enterprises, heads of districts and other economic entities, as well as scientists.
In particular, the issues of increasing the volume of water supply within the framework of the state assignment to the Sarpinsky irrigation and watering system, including for rice checks, and the useful capacity of the Chograi reservoir and the throughput of the Chernozemelsky main canal, which feeds the irrigation and watering system of the same name, were raised.
Nikolay Seregin, summing up the results of the meeting, promised his assistance in resolving a number of issues raised, and also directed the heads of economic entities to prepare calculations and financial justifications for supplying water to the republic. These figures will be required for state support of the region affected by the drought, and will form the basis of state assignments for next year, Seregin noted.