On March 23, 2011, the embassy hosted a special English Conversation Club to commemorate World Water Day. A short BBC documentary on water scarcity was shown and a discussion followed where participants learned about the concept of "water footprints," as well as different water saving techniques used throughout the world. Participants came away with an understanding of water resource conservation and how their own efforts can help save water.
The event followed a presentation on water use in Uzbekistan to an elementary school class at the International School of Tashkent last month by Embassy Environmental Specialist, Bakhtiyor Mukhamadiev. Students were particularly interested in learning about the drying of the Aral Sea and international efforts to save it. The Aral Sea -- once the world's fourth largest inland body of water -- is drying out because during Soviet times, large-scale irrigation projects were created with total disregard for their environmental impact. The Central Asian countries are now faced with finding a solution to this problem. Any degree of success in alleviating the Aral Sea's drying will largely depend on their cooperation and coordination of national requirements for water use. Students were particularly interested in learning when the Aral Sea was supposed to dry out completely and wondered whether the international effort would have enough time to save it.