Interactive map of the best practices

on the use of water, land and energy resources,
as well as the environment of Central Asia

Increasing water availability of pastures by constructing sardobas


Title Increasing water availability of pastures by constructing sardobas
Category of tools System for enhancing water availability
Field of application
  • Use of water resources
  • Use of land resources
  • Environmental protection
Usability of practice for adaptation to climate change Moderate
Implemented by Ministry of Nature Conservation of Turkmenistan
Used by

Country: Turkmenistan

Local specifics

17,238 ha of barkhan (sand dune), takyr (dry-type playa) and solonchak (moist-type playa) sites of the Kara Kum Desert; deep ground water occurrence

Practice usage period

Start date: 01.01.2012

End date: 31.12.2016

Problem solved through this practice

Desertification and decreased productivity of desert pastures due to over-grazing around existing cattle watering sites

Tools used in the practice

Technology of building sardobas (stone-dome covered water collection and storage reservoirs) to enhance pasture water supply

Description of the practice and its results

Main actions:

  • mudflow and flood risk assessment and surveying local population regarding sardobas’ locations.


  • selection of takyrs to construct sardobas jointly with local cattle-farmers;
  • construction of sardobas jointly with local cattle-farmers;
  • cleaning takyr surfaces.


  • pastures that were not previously utilized due to absence of water sources returned to pasture rotation;
  • pastures destroyed due to over-grazing started to restore;
  • increased herd productivity due to reduced passage distances and higher fodder value of pastures.
Lessons learnt and recommendations made

Lessons learnt:

Construction of sardobas in takyr areas allows enhancing pasture water supply, thus, leading to the restoration of over-grazed pastures.


The practice requires long-term planning and an integrated response with the early-on engagement of desertification experts (designing a set of measures to protect takyrs from sand drifts), state agencies (technical assistance) and pasture users (observance of pasture rotation schemes, prevention of takyrs from contamination and pollution).

Source of practice

Traditional tools transferred from generation to generation that proved their efficiency in modern conditions

Readiness for implementation

1. Cost of implementation: Low

2. Approximate cost of investment per 1 ha: $1,000-5,000

3. O&M costs: Low

4. Expert support: Needed at implementation stage

Brief information on the project

Project title: Responding to climate change risks for dekhan farming system of Turkmenistan on national and local levels.

Project duration: 2012-2016. 

Project goal and objectives: build the adaptation capacity to respond to climate change impacts, including variability on local and national levels. 

Project beneficiaries: Bori Settlement (over 1,100 people) and Bo-Kurdak Settlement (about 4,500 people).

Project implementer: Ministry of Nature Conservation and UNDP

Funding source Government of Turkmenistan, Adaptation Facility
Information sources

Form submission date 04.04.2018
Print     Compare with other practice