Shiny happy rivers in Altai? Hydroenvironmental tension and recreational attractiveness

Chernova and other researchers from the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science and Gorno-Altaisk State University are studying the hydroclimatic conditions of the protected areas in Russian Altai.

The Russian part of Altai is a region with unique landscapes which attracts tourists from all over the world. The regional natural heritage has a high cultural and recreational value, and a number of areas are protected by the government contribute to the regional budget with tourism.

However, many factors impact recreational industry, and water-related features are one of the most important as the changes in river regimes pose risks for the population and recreational essentials such as infrastructure. Climatic conditions such as temperature and humidity, shape the water-conditions such as quality, water and ice levels. This has been increasing during recent decades. They measured the hydro-environmental tension and recreational attractiveness for each protected area in Altai, then compared the data.

The final assessment showed that the most attractive areas are Katunsky, North–South Chuysky and Djulukulsk (Image 1), however, the water conditions of these areas are not great. Most of the region, unfortunately, has a considerable level of hydro-environmental tension. Favourable water conditions has been observed only in three areas: Ukoksky, Uimonsky, and Djulukulsky.

Image 1. Recreational attractiveness of water resources of the NRA for recreational activities.

 Also, the risk of floods and other negative impacts of water can introduce new climatic and economic conditions. Scholars emphasize the importance of climate change policies as well as sustainable strategies for tourist industries for the environmental health of Russian Altai and its heritage.

Original source: Chernova, E. O., Sukhova, M. G., Zhuravleva, O. V., Karanin, A. V., & Minaev, A. I. (2019). Hydro-environmental safety as an indicator of recreational attractiveness of regions–A case of Russian part of the transboundary Altai. Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology, 19(3), 452-463

Link to the source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1642359318301319

Front photo credits to Alexey Litvinov

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