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News: December 2010


Source: CARNet, 17.12.2010

Currently, due to various factors the process of water sector modernization in Kyrgyzstan has slowed down. In the meantime, the consequences of climate change and aggravating water deficit worldwide urge the authorities to further upgrade management schemes for one of the most valuable natural resources in the country - water. One way to achieve a more rational and careful use of water is a large-scale adoption of integrated management principles. These issues were discussed during the national workshop “Implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Kyrgyzstan” which was held on December 16, 2010 in Bishkek. It was organized within the framework of the EU/UNDP project “Promoting IWRM and Fostering Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia” with support of the EU, UNDP, and State Committee of Water Resources and Irrigation of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Integrated management rationale implies such methods of water allocation and distribution which consider interests of all groups of water users at different levels of hierarchy and take into account requirements of environmental security and hydrogeographic indicators. In addition, conditions for stable water supply are directly linked both to public and environmental needs and all stakeholders can participate in decision-making processes.

Kyrgyzstan has already taken action to accommodate this approach. In January 2005, Kyrgyz Water Code was adopted which is based on IWRM principles. However, the Water Code is a framework document and it does not specify mechanisms and procedures for practical applications. It is necessary therefore that an additional package of bylaw legal regulations is developed. Also, the country has launched evaluation programs to analyze financial and investment policy in the context of IWRM, in particular, opportunities for continuous funding of irrigation sector.

The participants of the event, i.e. management of the Water and Melioration State Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic, its regional institutions, NGOs, representatives of EU, UNDP, Helvetas, highly appreciated the open and fruitful discussions between representatives of state authorities, nongovernmental organizations, and international organizations which took place during the workshop. It is expected that in 2011 similar workshops on transboundary water use, international water law, and other relevant problems of water resources management will be organized in the framework of the project.

The project “Promoting IWRM and Fostering Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia” was launched in 2009 and will run until 2012. Its main objectives are to facilitate the implementation of the IWRM in the region and support regional dialogue on water related matters. The main financial partner of the project is the European Union contributing 1.5 mln. Euro.