2nd Droughtmap-ASB Workshop – 3-5 May 2023, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

The second workshop on the online tool for drought monitoring in the irrigation systems of the Aral Sea basin brought together experts from the national hydrometeorological services of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as scientists and developers from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and the Scientific Centre of the Intergovernmental Authority for Water Distribution in Central Asia (SIC-ICWC). The workshop was supported by GIZ, who assisted with administrative implementation and logistics.

The main objective of the workshop was to provide participants with in-depth knowledge of the technical aspects, scientific background, validation results, practical applications, and features of the new Droughtmap-ASB tool, which can be accessed at https://droughtmap.geo.uni-halle.de/droughtmap.

The participants showed tremendous interest, particularly in the automated drought bulletin service. For instance, the Kazakh hydrometeorological service has already utilized Droughtmap-ASB and, after comparing its data, issued a drought warning for two rayons in Kyzyl-Orda in 2023. Overall, the representatives of the hydromet services provided positive feedback and proposed integrating regional and globally available climate data and drought monitoring standards into the tool to enhance its versatility for their daily tasks.

The workshop served as a valuable platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration, enabling the participants to gain deeper insights into the functionalities and potential of Droughtmap-ASB. The discussions and suggestions put forth during the workshop will contribute to the continued development and improvement of the tool, ensuring its effectiveness in supporting drought monitoring and management in the Aral Sea basin.