The Caspian Sea has long meant many things to many people, but one Azeri scientist is now claiming that the brackish body of water could serve as an irrigation source for his country's farmers. In fact, says the scientist, the Caspian's salty water is the "most fitting in the world" for irrigation. From a recent article in the News.Az website:
The scientific and production unit “Azerbaijan hydrotechnics and melioration” has developed recommendations to fight land degradation though nontraditional irrigation with sea water based on 30 years of studies.
According to the unit’s lab chief Seyfulla Amirov, for its chemical composition, water from the Caspian Sea is the most fitting in the world for irrigation of dry lands, subjected to moderate and severe degradation.
'During the studies we held at an experimental area in Absheron, we used salty water taken from the Caspian Sea to irrigate watermelons and decorative plants. The results of this study exceeded all expectations. We got a very good crop and trees grow wonderfully well.
As a result of the studies we came to a conclusion that by irrigation with salty water taken from the Caspian Sea we can raise productivity of dry lands, subjected to moderate desertion in the Absheron peninsula. Thus, it will be possible to raise the area covered with green plantation in the Absheron peninsula. Thus, we will be able to create more favorable conditions for development of tourism in Baku and its suburbs', Amirov said.
It's not clear how Mr. Amirov's claims square with those made in another article on the News.Az website, which reports that some 30 percent of Azeri farmland is in danger of becoming unusable because of too much salt in the soil, the result of improper irrigation techniques. Article here.