Assessing the impact of groundwater policies on groundwater dynamics in Fergana, Uzbekistan

Project in collaboration with the consulting company Hydrosolutions.


Regional groundwater model, impact assessment


Groundwater has gained recognition as a valuable water resource in recent years, but groundwater use for irrigation has led to a dramatic drawdown of groundwater levels in regions suffering from a shortage of surface water for irrigation. Furthermore, population growth and climate change are increasing pressure on groundwater resources. This Master thesis will assess the impact of groundwater use in the transboundary Fergana Valley in the catchment of the river Syr Darya, an important agricultural and cultural area in Central Asia. The student will be able to build on previous water balancing performed in the Sokh Aquifer (Fergana Valley) and on remote sensing technology to estimate net groundwater recharge. This project will contribute to the development of an operational water balancing methodology requested by the Ministry of Geology of Uzbekistan and financially supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Skills you will learn

• Numerical groundwater modeling using Modflow in a real-world case study
• Data processing using Python
• Estimation of groundwater recharge using remote sensing data
• Performance of a policy impact assessment
• Applied research in a development setting


To update and refine an existing water balance of the Sokh aquifer and the corresponding numerical groundwater model of the Sokh aquifer in the Fergana Valley and evaluate the impact of water policy changes and water management projects.

Project start



Hydrosolutions office, Venusstrasse 29, 8050 Zurich

Project type

This project can be adapted for Master Thesis or Master Project.

Contact details

Dr. Beatrice Marti: (main supervisor)
Dr. Joaquin Jimenez-Martinez (academic supervisor)