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1st Central Asian International Exhibition and Conference devoted to water and to water technologies - WaterTech Central Asia 2008

Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan, 16-18 September 2008


Participants of the International Conference on water technologies "WaterTech Central Asia 2008", which was organized by the Committee for Water Resources of the Kazakhstans Ministry of Agriculture together with the Ministry of Infrastructure of Israel, noted with great satisfaction a very fruitful process of exchange of the modern approaches and technologies between the Central Asian countries and Israel.

The world is on the threshold of the all-round water deficit due to population growth, climate change and globalization. Central Asia experiences the increasing natural and anthropogenic droughts, desertification, as well as more frequent extreme phenomena within hydrological and climatic cycles. In this situation only the strengthening of cooperation between countries towards water saving and conservation can help the region to survive. Israel is recognized fairly as a leader of water supply in the world; therefore the regional water sector has to be widely informed about Israels experience because it is very fruitful.

The large-scale use of waste water as well as of salinity water after treatment and demineralization is particularly impressive. The advanced waste treatment industry allows ensuring the majority of water supply in Israel.

One of the main policy directions for Central Asian region to survive in the situation of water resources deficit is the adoption of IWRM at all levels of water hierarchy. Experience of its implementation in Central Asia and the project "IWRM Fergana" visually confirms the possibility to reduce water withdrawals and to improve water and land use productivities at the same time.

Involvement of public in waterworks management gives new impulse not only to management and to planning by community but also to direct control, modernization and financial support of management. It is time to apply these economic principles at the international water relations level in order that any actions in the basin could be assessed in terms of both benefits and damages to environment and society.

A prerequisite for prosperous IWRM implementation is the government support both legislative and managerial. Especially it concerns the financing of water saving technologies by government, progress in the juridical and legal frameworks, and the crediting of new kinds of water agencies. More attention must be paid to exploitation of all kinds of waters both surface and groundwater. The IWRM structure must include social mobilization, establishing of extension services for farmers and WUAs, equipping of all farms with water meters, revision of water consumption rates, measures on the efficient planning and implementation.

Kazakhstan is a leader in implementation of IWRM not only in terms of technical and institutional aspects but also legal aspects. Nowadays and in the future the regional water situation requires that policy and programs on water survival be comprehensive as to both technical and institutional aspects.

On the way to regional survival the possibility to use waste drainage waters, salinity of which is 3-10 g/l, is of great importance. Such unconventional water resources in the region are measured by tens cubic kilometers. Unfortunately, until now the effective treatment technologies for such waters have not been achieved. The Israeli experience allows hoping that collaboration between scientists from Central Asia and Israel can bring solution of this problem if costs of such water use is acceptable for users.