Kazakhstan is taking all necessary measures to organize sustainable water supply in the Aral-Syrdarya basin. The choice of the optimal water strategy in the transboundary basin of the Syr Darya should be linked to the adoption of interstate agreements and mechanisms for the integrated management of water resources in the transboundary basin of the Aral Sea.
“For a fair regulation of water allocation in Central Asia, it is important to implement the initiatives of Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, voiced at the summit of the heads of the founding states of IFAS (August 24, 2018 in the city of Turkmenbashi) on improving the organizational structure and legal framework of IFAS, automation of management systems, distribution, accounting and monitoring of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, ”says Natalya Chemaeva, representative of the Lake Baikal environmental fund.
During the “round table” on the topic: “Problems of distribution of water resources of the Syrdarya river in Central Asia”, held on the platform for discussions on water resources WaterCafè-Central Asia (Delft, Netherlands), options for resolving water supply issues in the region were discussed.
It should be noted that the creation of this group on Facebook is an initiative of the youth of Central Asia – those who work, study, create and act so that our future is not clouded by problems related to water. In general, the platform has become a continuation of the initiative of representatives of the non-governmental organization “World Youth Parliament for Water” (WYPW) to resolve water problems in the region as soon as possible.
The new WaterCafé platform aims to support a group of young water workers from Central Asia and Afghanistan in obtaining and exchanging information on water policy in the region.
First of all, it should be noted that the Action Plan towards sustainable provision of Kazakhstan with water resources was set by the First President – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev in the Strategy “Kazakhstan-2050”.
The leader of the nation very clearly outlined the main stages of practical action: by 2040 to solve the issues of irrigation of lands in agriculture, and by 2050 – to close the problems of water supply in all spheres of life.
New technologies will more than double the productivity of water use.
Currently, in the transboundary Aral-Syrdarya basin, Kazakhstan is considering the possibility of implementing a fundamentally new scheme of independent cascade regulation of river flow in the Kazakh part of the basin.
The new scheme presupposes an independent solution by Kazakhstan of two interrelated problems: ensuring socio-economic and environmental security exposed to floods in winter, and sustainable water supply to the population and agriculture during critical periods of low water.
A fundamental solution to these problems in the context of a change in the design irrigation regime of the Naryn-Syrdarya cascade of reservoirs can be a deep regulation of the river flow within the Kazakh part of the basin by creating additional regulating tanks. The creation of seasonal regulating tanks can ensure the transition of the Shardara reservoir to a more efficient long-term regulation of river flow.
The need for sustainable water supply to the natural and economic system of the Aral-Syrdarya basin was emphasized by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
“The Central Asian states continue to adhere to strategies to minimize dependence on their neighbors. And even a significant improvement in the political atmosphere in the region cannot yet affect the development of the situation. The upstream countries are aimed at achieving energy self-sufficiency, and the downstream countries are aimed at creating “balancing” reservoirs in order to reduce dependence on the discharge regime of dams upstream,” says Zarina Ruzmatova, lead project manager of the international organization “Natural Water Retention Measures”, which aims to build capacity for better water resources management.
According to the said organization, Kazakhstan annually experiences a shortage of water in the Aral basin during the growing season. One-time interstate agreements on additional water discharges do not solve this problem, but only postpone it to the next year, since the worked hydraulic structures in the upper reaches of the Syr Darya river basin will accumulate water in the non-growing season 2021-2022, ensuring its releases at the minimum threshold and in the next year, there will be another shortage of water.
The participants of the “round table” expressed their gratitude to the WaterCafè administration and supported the idea of organizing such events on a regular basis to exchange expert opinions and bring to the public and political circles the problematic aspects of the water industry in the Central Asian region.
In general, it is gratifying to observe that the youth of the countries of the region are concerned about such global problems and offer their own options for solving difficult issues. /// Avesta.Tj, 20 August 2021