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Local Action 2:
Multi stakeholder dialogue on ways for future water resources development
in Central Asia

Framework theme:

Water for Growth and Development

Cross-cutting perspectives:

New models for financing local water initiatives, 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,
(2) Committee of Water Resources of Kazakhstan,
(3) Department of water Resources of Kyrgyz Republic,
(4) Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Resources of Tajikistan,
(5) Ministry of Water Resources of Turkmenistan,
(6) Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan.

Regional and National coordinators:

Prof. Victor Dukhovny Director SIC ICWC
Mr. Anatoly Ryabtsev Chairman of the Committee of Water Resources of Kazakhstan
Mr. Janishbek Bekbolotov - Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Kyrgyz Republic
Mr. Abdukhokhir Nazirov Minister of Land Reclamation and Water Resources of Tajikistan
Mr. Tekebay Altiyev Minister of Water Resources of Turkmenistan
Mr. Shavkat Hamrayev Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan

Description of the problem:

Actual state of economy of Central Asian countries in general and water sector in particular is complicated and determined by collapse of the previous command management system, change of water use structure and character, market relations among supplies and consumers as well as globalization processes. Also, there are increase of water users number, low financial basis for water institutions, monitoring system, development and management in water sector. Meantime, there are a number of destabilizing factors impacted to water related and social-economic situation:

  • high rate of population growth (2,5 3,2 % per annum) with trend of rural population stability;
  • low national income per capita;
  • growing water deficit due to growing needs and poor demand management;
  • significant environmental damage due to lack of attention to requirement for ecosystems (deltas, Aral sea, etc.).

In conditions of independence all these destabilizing factors were aggravated by financial weakness both of water organizations and water users. The UN ESCAP since 2000 implemented project Capacity building in natural resources strategic planning and management in Asia and Pacific, within framework of which since August 2002 SIC ICWC with involvement of the national water authorities has organized activity Water resources strategic planning and management in Central Asia (SPM). SPM system has a goal to realize IWRM principles to achieve water sector sustainable functioning, solve priority issues of social-economic development.

Impact of implemented activity:

The initiative in SPM methods application to IWRM strategy development is very important for decision makers understanding and long-term experience use for survival strategy development under growing water scarcity. It is supposed that participation of technical experts from five ministries of agriculture and water management will contribute to preparation of materials on certain organizational, technical and legal measures and legislative initiative, public campaigns promoting fund rising.

Types of stakeholders involved:

National authorities (ministries and institutions) responsible for socio-economic development and water management and use, NGOs, Mass-media, Interstate and International organizations.

Means of stakeholder involvement:

SIC ICWC leaded regional professional working group which using models prepared different scenarios for consideration. National authorities - organized wide discussion of the suggested scenarios. NGOs guaranteed consideration of all parties and stakeholders interests. Interstate and International organizations facilitated process.

Long-term commitment and targets:

The important outcomes would be reached in the result of action: scenarios of future development for each country and the region as a whole with proper orientation to the stable water availability, even and equitable distribution of water resources over sub-basins under significant reduction of unproductive losses; introducing principles of democratic water resources governance through all concerned parties involvement; solution of social issues connected with equitable water distribution particularly drinking water; solution of ecologic issues connected with economic activity; and finally, water and land resources productivity increase.

Originality and innovative ideas:

Planning objectives in water, land, labor and other resources management is ensuring of the sustainable multipurpose use in future as compound part of social-economic process development. Also, tools in the form of especially developed models and databases are very important for planning and analyses processes. In order to demonstrate, what could be expected in case of specific options dictated by political will, scenarios were suggested for analyses. Scenarios are convenient for comparison of various what if options. By means of them, it is possible to predict the most probable results of the nearest and long-term future, if powerful decision-makers make their choices. Scenarios analyses based on careful professional supervision and conclusions return back to decision-makers who can make solutions on national and regional water, salt and hydropower management for future. As there are many uncertainties, there is no sense to establish many scenarios, if a little difference exists between them. Adopting actual situation as starting point (with account for potential climate changes) there would be proposed to the states for analysis three scenarios: (1) optimistic, (2) business-as-usual, and (3) neutral.

Costs involved:

As a starting point there were used funds granted from the UN ESCAP. Actually the action supporting by the National governments.

Lessons learned:

Though IWRM principles gain popularity among specialists, water users and stakeholders participating in some regional pilot project, the SPM technology still is difficult job for them. Moreover, authors of the national SPM reports assessing IWRM situation and national plans for IWRM development could not give strict recommendations for pilot projects in their countries. It is necessary to apply for further SPM exercises tested outputs form different pilot projects and strategic solutions should be adapted to appropriate zonal and specific complexes of water development.