Hydrographically, the Republic of Azerbaijan belongs to the Caspian Sea basin. The water systems of Azerbaijan (rivers, lakes) were formed over a long geological timeframe and changed significantly throughout that period. This is particularly evidenced by remnants of ancient rivers found throughout the country. The country's water systems are continually changing under the influence of natural forces and human introduced industrial activities. Artificial rivers (canals) and ponds are a part of Azerbaijan's water systems.


Rivers form the principal part of the water systems of Azerbaijan. There are 8,359 rivers of various lengths within Azerbaijan. Of them 8,188 rivers are less than 25 kilometers in length. Only 24 rivers are over 100 kilometers long. Kur, Araz, Qanix (in Alazan), Qabirri (Iori), Samur, Terter, Turyan, Agstafa, Hekeri, Vilesh and others are the largest rivers that flow through the country.

The country's rivers are divided into three groups:

1) The Kur basin rivers (Qanix, Qabirri, Turyan, Agstafa, Shekir, Terter, Khachin, etc.);
2) The Araz basin rivers (Arpachay, Nakhchivan, Okhchu, Hekeri, Kondelenchay, etc.);
3) Rivers, flowing directly into the Caspian Sea (Samur, Gudyal, Velvele, Vilesh, Lenkeran, etc.).

Kur and Araz run through the Kur-Araz lowland. The rivers that directly flow into the Caspian Sea, originate mainly from the north-eastern slope of the Major Caucasus and Talysh mountains and run along the Samur-Devechi and Lenkeran lowlands.

Azerbaijan river systems are changing and evolving under the influence of various physiographic factors: climate, landscape, geological structure, soil and vegetation. The density of the river network increases, then gradually decreases later with higher altitudes. Except for the Talysh region (1.6-2.2 km/, the river system density is the highest (1-2km/sq. km) at 1,000-2,500 kilometers, while in the area of the Talysh mountains it peaks at 1.6-2.2 km/ at 500-1,000 km. The average density of the river system of Azerbaijan is 0.39 km/ The density is even lower than 0.05 km/ in the plains.

The Kur River basin area (86,000 sq. km) up to the junction with the Araz River is smaller than the Araz water basin (101,937 The river is still called Kur on the junction because the water level of the Kur is twice as high as that of the Araz River.