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Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia

Main challenges facing by the region regarding water issues

An analysis of the water management situation in the region has revealed existence of the following general destabilizing factors:

  • Demographic growth and permanent large share of rural population;
  • Lack of consideration of environmental demand in current basin water use and conservation master-plans;
  • Different national priorities concerning joint use and exchange of water and power;
  • Construction of the new water infrastructure exerting transboundary impacts without coordination with other riparian countries;
  • Uncertainties related to global climate warming;
  • Lack of conflict resolution mechanisms and procedures to recover economic losses due to breaching the agreements on water sharing;
  • Insufficient information interchange among riparian countries, first of all, exchange of hydro-meteorological data to ensure the more accurate forecast of water availability and to improve transboundary water management;
  • Lack of policies and programs of the regional economic integration, and insufficient co-operation to improve the irrigated farming productivity on the basis of the model that enables optimizing the differentiation of labor in the region; and
  • Vagueness at the regional level such as the prospects of water use by Afghanistan etc.

Also, there are specific negative factors at the national level and it is extremely useful to pay attention to the following internal (national) water challenges:

  • Water scarcity and pollution at the sub-basin and local levels;
  • Poor access of the big part of population to the safe drinking water;
  • Low water and land productivity or low output of an irrigated hectare;
  • Insufficient developing of the national legislative regulations;
  • High-accumulated depreciation of assets owned by water organizations;
  • An insufficient material and technical basis of water management organizations;
  • Inability of water users to pay for water delivery services;
  • Institutional issues (organizational and governing shortcomings);
  • The poor cross-sectoral integration (between main water users);
  • Shortcomings of the personnel policy in the water sector;
  • Return flow (waste water) management issues;
  • Absence of proper regulations for transboundary groundwater use.