Dam information was obtained from three primary sources:
1) U.N. Economic Commission for Europe. Dam Safety in Central Asia: Capacity- building and Regional Cooperation. Water Series. No. 5. 2007. *Found after an exhaustive web search.
2) A State Department spreadsheet titled “Grand Draft 01 (July 2008)” *obtained via email communication
3) Google maps and web searches including various Wikipedia pages.
The primary sources for dam attribute data were from the U.N. document and the spreadsheet obtained from the State Department. Primary sources of coordinate information for dams were from the spreadsheet and extensive google map and web searches. Dams that did not fall within the Amu Darya or Syr Darya basins were not included. Summaries of dam data obtained can be found in Tables 1 & 2.
Large Dams are defined by the International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) as 15 meters or higher or with water storage of 3 million m3 or more. At least thirty large dams are located within the Amu Darya and Syr Darya river basins that span the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Of those, 16 of the large dams hydropower capabilities. Two of these, the Rogun, and Sangtuda 2, are currently under construction in Tajikistan. A number of smaller hydropower plants were located in the Chirchick river and associated canals that feed into the Syr Darya.
The overwhelmingly majority of hydropower generated in the Syr Darya basin is from a series of dams and associated reservoirs on Naryn River in Kyrgyzstan (Map 1) with total installed capacity of generating nearly 3,000 MW. The largest of these reservoirs is the Toktogul reservoir which provides seasonal runoff control for the basin with a storage capacity of 19.5 km3; created by a 215-metre-high concrete dam that can generate up to 1200 MW of power. The other large reservoir is the Kairakkum which provides seasonal runoff control for the Middle Syr Darya basin with a storage capacity of 4.1 km3
In the Amu Darya basin, the majority of hydropower generated is on the Vakhsh River in Tajikistan. The Nurek Dam on the Vakhsh River is the largest in all of Central Asia, and currently the world’s tallest with at the height of 300 meters and has the ability to generate 3,000 MW. The ongoing construction of the Rogun dam on the Vakhsh River will be the world’s tallest dam at 335 meters upon completion with an installed capacity to generate 3,600MW.