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Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia

Strategies suggested for implementation

The first recognized in the region strategic document is “The Principal Provisions of Regional Water Strategy of Aral Sea Basin” (GEF Project 1996…1997, Task Manager Prof. J. Kindler). This document was prepared by a working group that consisted of the representative of all five states on equal base, and then it was confirmed by the five governments. Based on this document, the region formulated needs for future water development. The priorities were given mostly to the practical activities towards implementation of the IWRM concept. These priorities were later developed in more details, including five principal directions.

1. Legal base of interstate collaboration, which includes the following:

To prepare, make agree and get the national governments approval for principal interstate agreements such as “Agreement on the Exchange of Information and the Establishment of the Regional Database for the Transboundary Water Resources"; "Agreement on Strengthening the Institutional Structure for the Aral Sea Basin Transboundary Water Resources Management, Protection and Development"; “Agreements on the Rules for Water Use on the Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers” (separately); "Agreement on the Ecological Sustainability of Transboundary Waters of Aral Sea Basin".

To assume the “common water use” doctrine as a basis for inter-sectoral water relations. Strengthening regional bodies of ICWC and ICSD along with enhancing their rights, authorities, and responsibilities are essential. There should be mandatory provisions to include in these organizations not only representatives of water management sector from the countries of the region, but also hydro-energy and water-delivery specialists, ecologists, and others. They should be granted by diplomatic status within the region and they should be free from requirements to follow decisions taken by the host country.

To establish well-defined regulations for operating regional organizations under various conditions and in different situations (water scarcity, floods, etc.); make these activities equitable, multinational, and transparent.

To lay down regulations for joint design, construction, and operation of multi-objective structures (for example Kambarata dam, Ragun dam, etc.), which will ensure that these complex hydro-structures will not be used in the interests of only one country or one sector.

To work out regulations for management of transboundary wastewaters returned to the main rivers.

2. Financial base and mechanisms for interstate collaboration, which includes the following:

To provide reliable financial support by the states for water management agencies, hydrometeorological services, and nature conservancy authorities in zones of flow formation and delta.

As a substitution for fuel/energy-water exchange, put into practice payments for flow regulation in reservoirs (over an annual, seasonal, or other period) with participation by all countries of the Aral Sea Basin in covering expenses for flow formation, as well as protection of the deltas.

To set well-defined limits on water withdrawal from the basins, taking into account ecologically viable volumes of water in the rivers, and allocate them among the countries in an equitable and reasonable manner. On the basis of these limits, make payments for exceeding the set levels of water withdrawal at a rate that reflects the price for water as a resource, and utilize this money for development of joint water saving activities in the basin.

To define, make agree and implement the mechanism of damage compensation as result of pollution, not-agreed actions along the river or deviation from approved order of water allocation. To make agree and implement the regulation on sharing expenses for monitoring of snow formation in upper watershed, snow melting and situation on the glaciers, as well as for operation on hydrometerological network on the transboundary waters and information exchange.

3. General capacity development for ICWC and ICSD institutions, which should consist the following key items:

To strengthen the existing information network (CAWATER info) between ICWC members and their partners form other sectors and NGOs from top to bottom within the countries, including:

  • information system on transboundary waters;
  • knowledge base;
  • analytical tools.

To expand the information network “CAWATER – foreign partners” (for example IPTRID, Grid Arendal, CapNet, INBO).

To continue support for joint regional projects, mostly addressed to the IWRM implementation in large scale.

To strengthen existing training system.

4. Capacity building for BWOs “Amydarya” and “Syrdarya” includes:

  • equip headquarter and their regional units by modern computers, telephone and communication net;
  • organize on this base dispatch service and information exchange;
  • equip all head works of BWOs with automatic control and management system (SCADA) for prevention any possible uncontrolled water withdrawal from the river.

5. Capacity building for Hydromet Services at regional and national levels:

  • rehabilitation of existed and construction of new hydrological monitoring stations on the transboundary waters with installation modern equipment;
  • rehabilitation of monitoring stations on main glaciers, which are indicative points for both rivers;
  • organizing satellite network communication between monitoring stations and national centers;
  • organizing Regional Hydromet Center which can merge forces national Hydromets and join them with end water-users (BWOs, ministry of waters, etc);
  • improve system of river forecast by using modern models of precipitation and flow formation;
  • arrange general public awareness, especially end-users in forecast and real data.