The Central Kura Basin (Ganjachay, Shamkirchai, Tovuzchay, Agstafachay)

Kura basin map

The Gandzha-Gazakh Economic Region is located in the western part of Azerbaijan and covers Agstafa, Dashkesen, Gadabay, Goranboy, Khanlar, Gazakh, Samukh, Shamkir, Tovuz administrative regions, cities like Gandzha and Naftalan. Economic region has suitable economic-geographical location. It is located on the north-eastern slope of the Small Caucasus mountainous massive, and has border with Armenia in south-west and with Georgia in the west and north of the region.
The Economic Region covers the area of 12,500 km2 (14.4% of the territory of the Azerbaijani Republic).
Basins of 4 selected pilot rivers (Gandzhachay, Shamkirchay, Tovuzchay and Agstafachay) to develop IRBM plans are shown in Figure 2.
The Gandzhachay River starts flowing from the northern slope of Murovdagh massive of the Small Caucasus. The water basin is bordered with the basin of the Terterchay River along Murovdagh massive, from the west with the basin of the Goshgarchay River and, from the east with the basin of the Kurekchay River. The average width of the basin is 7.6 km, and the average altitude is 1119 m. The overall drop of the river makes 2744 m, the density of the river network is 0.64 km/km2. River falls into Mingechavir reservoir over Kura River at 82 m above sea level.
The Tovuzchay River starts from the highest point of the Murghuz chain of the Small Caucasus at 1972.9 m above sea level and falls into the Akhinchay River to the west from the town of Dondar-Kushchu, 24 m above its mouth (460 m above sea level). The average altitude of the basin of Tovuzchay River is 1142 m above sea level, the overall drop is 1440 m. 30% of its basin is covered with forest (83 km2). The density of the river network is 0.93 km/km2. The valley of the river is mainly V-shaped. There are 3-4 terraces in the valley from Alibaghli to the mouth (2).
The Shamkirchay River starts from the confluence of the Sarisu and Aghdashsu Rivers (which start from the northeast of the Shahdagh massive of the Small Caucasus). The source of the Sarisu River can be viewed as the source of the Shamkirchay River. The Sarisu River starts from 3220 m above sea level in Hinaldagh. The basin area of the Shamkirchay River is 1170 km2; its length is 95 km, and it has 6 right-hand and 8 left-hand tributaries. Earlier, the Shamkirchay River fell into the Kura River at 93 m above sea level near the town of Khuluf. Now it falls into the Shamkir Reservoir (158 m above sea level). The average altitude of the basin is 1634 m; the overall drop of the river is 3127 m; the stretch of the river in highlands is 43.5%, in the meadowland – 14%; the medium share of the river is 33%. The forest area in the river basin above the town of Barsum makes 310 km2. The tugai forests near Khuluf in the mouth stretch of the river cover 6 km2.
Lake Goygol in the mouth of the Shamkirchay River is a result of glacial activities. Lake Goygol is at 2470 m above sea level. The length of the lake is 1250 m, and the maximum depth is 60 m. There is a group of several small lakes between Hinaldagh and Goygol. The flow of Goygol is regulated and feeds the Shamkirchay River during the intensive irrigation period.
The forest in the river basin covers 310 km2 around the town of Barsum.

River Basin Management Plan


Draft Management Plan Brochure
Inception Report
Pressures and Impacts report
Water bodies at risk report
Environmental objectives and Programme of Measures
Economic Analysis and prioritised measures report
Communication Strategies and Plans
Brochure Key Water Issues