Waterworks Safety

Knowledge Base

Water infrastructure in Central Asia consists of hundreds of reservoirs, dams, irrigation systems and pumping stations, a lot of channels and tens of multi-purpose waterworks facilities. There is the world's highest rockfill dam - Nurek with height of 300 meters on the Vakhsh River in Tajikistan, and there is also one of the longest canals in the world - the Karakum-River stretching over 1,100 kilometers, which delivers to Turkmenistan about half the water received from transboundary Amudarya river used in the country.

Large dams in Central Asia play essential role in the water infrastructure. According to the classification of the International Commission on Large Dams (MKPBP) they include a dam height of 15 meters and above, and also the dam of 5 to 15 meters, forming a reservoir of at least 3 million cubic meters storage. 110 dams are classified as large among more than 1,200 ones in the region. Many of these dams are located in the transboundary river basins, such as the Amu Darya, Syr Darya, Ili, Irtysh, and have inter-state status.

Hydraulic facilities (HF) are needed for multipurpose water resources use, including drinking, industrial and agricultural water supply, irrigation and hydropower, fisheries and navigation, recreation and environmental sustainability. Central Asian hydraulic facilities, associated with development of infrastructure, bring the multilateral benefits and promote regional development.

Security of facilities should be maintained by strict adherence to rules and mode of operation, by timely preventive and overall repair, as well as by staff training. According the emergency cases in recent years in the region, control on safety of facilities and funding of operational activities are insufficient. There is evidence of decreased operational reliability of hydraulic structures, delayed assessment of their state and lack of the action plans to ensure their safety. Preventive measures to prevent accidents and emergencies on the water management structures don't get the proper development.

This knowledge base deals with the safe and reliable operation of hydraulic structures, as well as mutually beneficial cooperation in this field relevant for the countries of Central Asia.

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