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Local Action 1:
Testing of the practical ways to implement IWRM concept in Central Asia within the pilot projects

Framework theme:

Implementing IWRM

Cross-cutting perspectives:

Institutional development and political process, Capacity building and social learning, Application of science, technology and knowledge.

Implementing organizations:

(1) Scientific-Information Center of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination in Central Asia and (2) GWP CACENA RTAC

Regional coordinators:

Prof. Victor Dukhovny – Director SIC ICWC and Vadim Sokolov – Chairman GWP CACENA.

Description of the problem:

The real IWRM implementation could be achieved if there will be proper transition:

  • From administrative boundaries to hydrographic ones (within basin or system);
  • From sector governance to inter-sector one (inter-departmental coordination);
  • From authoritarian principle “top-down” to more democratic two-fold principle: “bottom-up” (water requirements and participation) and “top-down” (restrictions and support);
  • From administrative-command method to corporative one with water users and other stakeholders participation at all hierarchic levels;
  • From resource management to demand management;
  • From closed professional systems of water managers to open and information transparent system with water users and stakeholders involvement.

A number of the pilot projects ongoing in the region are good basis to justify practical measures in water management reforms. The following projects are taken into account: (1) “IWRM in Fergana Valley” funded by Swiss SDC and implemented by Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, (2) “Feasibility Study for IWRM in Lowlands of Amudarya and Syrdarya” funded by the USA State Department and implemented by Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, (3) “National IWRM and Water Efficiency Plan for Kazakhstan” funded by Norway, facilitated by UNDP and GWP CACENA.

Impact of implemented activity:

Based on listed pilot projects outputs including organizational, institutional, technical and other measures under condition of satisfactory funding and capacity building the real progress can be achieved in water resources management reforming over the Central Asian region:

  • achieving stable water availability; even and equitable water distribution by sub-basins along with significant reduction of unproductive losses;
  • introduction of water democratic management principles by involvement of all concerned parties;
  • partial solution of social problems connected with population equitable water supply, especially safe drinking water;
  • solution of ecologic issues connected with human activity;
  • as final goal, water and land resources productivity will increase.

Types of stakeholders involved:

National authorities (ministries and institutions) responsible for water management and different water uses, Basin organizations, NGOs including Water User Associations, Mass-media, International organizations.

Means of stakeholder involvement:

  • National authorities and Basin organizations – create team for project implementing agencies and promotion of the process;
  • NGOs - driver of the public awareness campaign
  • Global Water Partnership together with other International organizations (UNDP and others) – facilitation of the process;
  • International donors (SDC, USA, Norway, UNDP, SIDA, CIDA, Finland and others) – financial and technical support

Long-term commitment and targets:

To sustain the ongoing processes there are needed the following actions:

  • IWRM national plans development for all countries in the region. Funds allocation through GWP and UNDP from Norway allowed Kazakhstan to start this activity that will serve good example for other countries of the region. Main task of national plan is create clear understanding of IWRM implementation, its objectives, effects, stages and scope of work.
  • Give to water issues and IWRM political support.
  • Public participation at all hierarchic levels.
  • Capacity building and training activity.
  • Juridical and financial support.
  • Technical measures (managerial tools).

Originality and innovative ideas:

In the result of this action the Regional position paper “IWRM in Central Asia: Lessons and practical result” will be submitted for the wide audience. There will be detailed explanation that IWRM is a system but not a process (as it is actually presented in the existed world bibliography). Management process foresees stable framework of all participating subjects targeted to certain task fulfillment. In reality this framework (including institutions, regulations and development mechanisms, etc) faced with dynamic processes (in space and time) around water resources management. That is why we should take into account as a single substance the system of framework and process. From the very beginning this system determines stability of final goal and principles to achieve this goal, but the framework and process it-self should be adaptive to variable conditions and destabilizing factors on the way to this final goal. It should be even self-organized system due to necessity for self-perfection of the framework and process inside the system.

Costs involved:

Actually there are using funds granted by certain donors: Swiss SDC for the project in Fergana Valley, the USA State Department – for lowlands of Amudarya and Syrdarya, Norway and UNDP – for National plan in Kazakhstan. Some contributions made by GWP, CIDA, DFID and USAID.

Lessons learned:

This action has its focus on broad circle of water professionals including decision makers determining water policy and reforms in water governance and management over the Central Asia. It is also addressing to civil society representatives interested in proper reforms realization. Actors involved should realize from the beginning that their country, region and settlement already faced serious water-related problems and to understand that these issues could not be now resolved by traditional methods.