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on the use of water, land and energy resources,
as well as the environment of Central Asia

Establishment of the Right-Bank Main Canal Water User Union (RMC-WUU)


Title Establishment of the Right-Bank Main Canal Water User Union (RMC-WUU)
Category of tools Public participation principle
Field of application

Use of water resources

Usability of practice for adaptation to climate change Moderate
Implemented by Scientific and Information Center (SIC) of Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Used by

Country: Kyrgyzstan

Province: Osh Region

District: Kara-Suu District

Practice also applied in the following localities

The Right-Bank Main Canal (RMC): allotted area – 10,000 ha, number of water users – 11 WUAs

Local specifics

Akbura River Basin

Practice usage period

Start date: 01.01.2007

End date: 31.12.2017

Problem solved through this practice

Low level of coordination among WUAs – as a rule, each WUA liaises independently with its water management organization (WMO).

Tools used in the practice

Methods of integration and social mobilization

Description of the practice and its results

The RMC-WUU is an association of legal entities in the form of Union – a voluntary independent non-profit public organization uniting legal entities (i.e. WUAs) based on common interests with the aim of coordinating actions and protecting shared interests and rights.  RMC-WUU operates in accordance with the Charter approved at the general meeting of water user representatives, has its own stamp and bank account.


The creation of RMC-WUU began with the establishment of the Initiative Group (IG).  The IG consisted of active water specialists, representatives of water users and other stakeholders who saw the need to transit to IWRM.  Further on, the IG carried out social mobilization, drafted necessary documents (the Union’s Charter, etc.), organized the general meeting of water users that approved the Charter and established the Union’s Council (Board).  After that, RMC-WUU underwent legal registration and officially launched its work.


  • RMC-WUU established, legally registered and has been operating until present time;
  • RMC-WUU contributed to the following:
    - enhanced stability and uniformity of water supply to WUAs via state WMO;
    - better collection of irrigation service fees paid by WUAs to state WMO.
  • Representing the interests of water users as a member of the RMC Water Committee, RMC-WUU also contributed to decreasing conflicts between WUAs and WMO.
Lessons learnt and recommendations made

Lessons learnt:

The effectiveness of RMC-WUU depends on internal and external conditions: capacities (financial, institutional, etc.) of its members (i.e. WUAs) and the level of democracy and market development in a given country.  In turn, the growth of capacities of RMC-WUU members depends on RMC-WUU performance.


Currently, WUAs capacities are rather poor which is reflected in RMC-WUA own underperformance.  Considering that WUA represent the weakest link in water hierarchy and the role of water users in addressing national food, water and environmental security needs, the government should find opportunities to support (first of all, financially) WUAs/RMC-WUU during transition period (until they become self-sufficient).

Source of practice

Foreign tools (transfer of foreign experience)

Brief information on the project

Project title: Integrated Water Resources Management in the Fergana Valley (IWRM-Fergana).

Project duration: Jan 01, 2001-Dec 31, 2012 (12 years).

Project goal and objectives: overall project goal was “to contribute to safer living, environmental sustainability and wide social harmony, to support rural restructuring in Central Asian countries by enhancing water resources management based on the example of the Ferghana Valley”.

Project beneficiaries: WUAs, farmers in project sites.

Project implementer: IWMI, SIC of the ICWC, Project Steering Committee (PSC) consisting of 3 representatives of the Ministries of Rural and Water Management (MRWM) of project target countries, 3 heads of Regional Water Administrations hosting project target sites.

Funding source Grant from the Swiss Government via SDC
Information sources

Guidelines on IWRM streamlining, Volume 1 (Institutional Aspects), Tashkent 2011.

Form submission date 02.04.2018
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