Capacity Building of Water Users for Sustainable Development in the Aral Sea Basin


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Project ID


Project Title

Capacity Building of Water Users for Sustainable Development in the Aral Sea Basin within the Aral Sea Region Development and Humanitarian Assistance Programme


Focus Areas

Geographic Scope

Aral Sea Basin

Lead Organization(s)

Project Partners



January 2000 - December 2003



Project website(s)




The programme aims to demonstrate improved and sustainable use of scarce water resources in targeted villages and rural regions most affected by the Aral Sea crisis. Its main goal is to develop, test, replicate effective, low-cost and sustainable models for participatory water management, and utilisation for effective policy review with the participation of decision-makers at local, national and regional levels. To this effect, the project will provide clear demonstrations for local villagers, farmers, NGOs, local leaders and officials, and support extended service providers, so that replication and dissemination will accelerate at the lowest possible cost beginning by the 3rd year of the project. The pilot sub-projects have been selected to address one root cause issue of the Aral Sea crisis. The sub-projects are expected to mobilise the community to resolve critical issues to their survival: access to quantity and quality of water for drinking and sustainable livelihood, employment, health, sanitation, environment and living conditions.

Expected Outcomes

Achievements: Results and Impact

Lessons for Replication

1) A combination of a strategic vision of the Program and development of concrete small scale pilots which correspond to the available resources and local capacity led to positive and visible results.

2) Establishment of a system of permanent monitoring of the pilots and communication within the Program is crucial.

3) Creation of the NGOs of water users is just the first step on the way to the establishment of the full scale WUAs. NGOs are not-for-profit organizations and couldn’t do business. It is not the problem now, when NGOs get land and water for free, but when they would like to use some profit received as the result of their activities, they will need registration as business organizations

4) Local authorities still see the pilots as not (yet) their but UNDP projects and PSCs as not yet their “tools" – RCs should become useful for local authorities in their daily activities.


See Also

Aral Sea Basin Initiative

Suitable Water Saving Strategies for Bozkol Village in the Aral Sea Basin of Kazakhstan

Aral Sea Basin Capacity Development Project

Aral Sea Basin Water Projects

IFAS - International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea

ICWC - Interstate Commission for Water Coordination

External Resources



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