The second-longest river in Uzbekistan and in Central Asia is the Syr Darya. With the length of 2,212 and river basin of 219 thousand sq.km it flows through Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The river rises in the Fergana Valley, at the confluence of the rivers of Kyrgyz Naryan and Darya. Before the extensive irrigation projects of the Soviet era, the river flowed into the Aral Sea. Now the river flows only into the Small Aral.
There are several reservoirs and hydropower stations on the river. In 1969, one of the reservoirs could not withstand the volume during the flood. Later the water was diverted to Arnasay lowland and Lake Aydarkul was formed on that place. Today, it is the second-largest lake in the territory of Uzbekistan.
The river is mentioned with different names in various ancient records. The current name comes from the 18th century, where “darya” means “sea” from Persian. So it is translated as the “the Sea of Syr”. Historically it was known as Jaxartes (coming from Ancient Greek), which is also the earliest name of the river. It carried the name Yaksart or Yakhsha Arta that meant “true pearl”.