In a report released at a news conference in Dushanbe, a representative of the Emergencies Committee under the Government of Tajikistan noted on July 23 that a new modernized monitoring and Early Warning System (EWS) at Lake Sarez in the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) will be introduced into operation in August this year. 

According to him a US$750,000 contract has been signed with Italian company CAE, which was competitively selected as a result of an open tender organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Within the framework of the Lake Sarez Risk Mitigation Project (LSRMP), CAE and its local partner are responsible for a complete replacement of the current monitoring and Early Warning System (EWS), established between 2003 and 2006, as it is approaching the end of its design life.

According to information posted on CAE’s website, the new monitoring and EWS is expected to protect 17 villages located along the Murgab River and the Bartang River and reduce the vulnerability of the population to natural disasters, including the potential outburst of Lake Sarez.

The contract scope includes the supply, installation, and commissioning of the monitoring and EWS that will enable real time and reliable monitoring of Lake Sarez right and left banks, as well as upstream and downstream rivers for data gathering, Early Warning System activation and communications with required units.

The approach to the early warning and monitoring system was based on triggering effects and the concatenation of possible triggering events for the Usoi Dam and the Lake Sarez, respectively.  The main triggering events considered were a right bank slide, an earthquake affecting the dam or causing an increase in water level in the lake, the dam overtopping by a wave due to either a significant landslide into the lake proper or a glacial lake outburst above the lake, and the internal disturbance of the dam.  Since the 2000-2006 analysis, it has been noted that a left bank slide area in the lake has been documented as a primary concern. Most of the triggering events are not mutually exclusive.

CAE is the Italian company leader in designing, creating and servicing multiple risk alerting and monitoring systems and technologies.  Research and continuous improvement of the technologies and services the company offers are reportedly its distinguishing trait, creating a system whose value is widely recognized nationally and internationally.