WATER ISSUES OF CENTRAL ASIAN STATES : TRIGGERS OF CONFLICT

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given in the presentation has been taken form various Internet Resources like ICG reports etc

Sequence of the Paper  Introduction  Availability of Water Resources in Central Asia  Water management system  Problems in Sharing Water  Tensions Related to Water Issues  Conclusions of the Study  Way Forward  Conclusion .

vast steppes.Water and Central Asia  Water has always been man s most indispensable natural resource Central Asia is recognized for its abundant water resource. green pastures  .

Water and Central Asia .

Water and Central Asia  Central Asian countries in the Aral Sea Basin have some of the largest irrigation schemes in the world .

Aral Sea Basin .

Qaraqum Canal. and Bukhara Canal . Karshi Canal.Amu Darya 2400 km long.

canal system built in 18th century. further expanded by Soviets .Syr Darya 2212 km long.

the five countries agreed to maintain the Soviet-era quota system SovietInterstate Coordinating Water Commission (ICWC) that was set up in 1992 but failed to take into account changing political and economic relations Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) is also working on water management International Fund to Save the Aral Sea (IFAS)     .Water Management System  During Soviet-era Water and Energy management Sovietwas done directly by Moscow through a complex barter system Shortly after independence.

Water and Central Asia  Agriculture continues to be mainstay of Central Asian states economy Water use has increased rapidly since the Central Asian states became independent in 1991 and is now it is at an unsustainable level Competition for water is increasing at an alarming rate Irrigation systems have decayed so severely that half of all water never reaches crops. yet water demand continues to soar    .

Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan that are all heavy consumers of water for growing cotton.Conflicts Over Water Issues   Problems of increasing demand and declining supplies have been compounded by the failure of the region s nations to work together Annual cycle of disputes has developed between the three downstream countries Kazakhstan. and the upstream nations Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan .

Water and Central Asia .

NonNon-implemented and untimely barter agreements and payments.Central Asia Nations    Lack of coherent water management. transparency and accountability   .Areas of Tension . Failure to abide by or adapt water quotas. Uncertainty over future infrastructure plans Lack of trust.

Central Asia Nations  Control and enforcement mechanisms no longer function and the various countries now often accuse each other of exceeding quotas Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan say that the three downstream countries are all exceeding quotas Serious tensions have centred around barter agreements and payments Upstream countries trade water to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan for energy in the form of gas.Areas of Tension . coal etc Attempts by Kyrgyzstan to demand payment for water have been resisted by the downstream countries     .

Areas of Tension . but they have also prompted suggestions that the countries are willing to defend their interests by force if necessary  Uzbekistan has carried out exercises that look suspiciously like practice runs at capturing the Toktogul Reservoir (Kyrgyzstan) .Central Asia Nations  Tensions over water and energy have contributed to a generally uneasy political climate in Central Asia  Not only do they tend to provoke hostile rhetoric.

Areas of Tension .Central Asia Nations  Downstream countries are more powerful militarily and economically than upstream countries. an imbalance that has been present in most water conflicts .

Findings of the Study    No major shortage of water in the region Mismanagement and corruption are rampant Most states want greater share of water without giving due consideration to other states requirements and also without spending money for maintenance of water management system Wide gap between requirements of upper and lower riparian  .

NGOs and the media have little access to information or the decision-making decisionprocess .Conclusions of Study       Mistrust amongst all five states on water issue Inequitable water allocation creating social tension Reliable data on water resource is not available Irrigation system needs to be revamped There is considerable loss of water. these losses need to be controlled Management of water must be reformed to increase accountability and transparency as currently the public.

Water availability forecasting needs to be done.Conclusions of Study      Efficient water management requires quotas that are sustainable and are backed up by enforcement mechanisms and sanctions against violators. it requires political solution . possible drought etc A comprehensive approach is needed that addresses energy. There is a need to monitor climate change. agriculture and demographic aspects of water use Water management is not an engineering or technical issue only.

revamp water courses. repair hydal structures and control water losses Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) of Central Asia should be more potent to manage the water resources and if necessary impose fine or take other punitive measures on defaulters. A multifaceted.Way Forward   Strong institutions for management. all encompassing approach should be launched to improve water management. A system of accountability and transparency must be enforced . monitoring and distribution of water resources are necessary to address the water issues.

Way Forward     Efforts should be made to build trust among the states. however misgivings of the lower riparian be addressed . There should also be more transparency in availability of data regarding water resources Upper riparian be given oil and gas as per the barter system. Water quotas may be renegotiated to make these more sustainable More dams be constructed by lower riparian so as to conserve water during winters when upper riparian release it to meet their requirement of electricity Rogun Dam in Tajikistan should be constructed. It would require political measures besides free access to all stakeholders.

Conclusion  Trust  Transparency  Accountability .

Thank You .

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