Central Asia – Regional and National Water Sector Review

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edit  ·  Region Central Asia
  Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan


Ferghana Valley part of Europe & CIS | EECCA


Afghanistan | Pakistan | Russia | China (Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region) | India


Aral Sea Basin | Amu Darya | Syr Darya


Zarafshan | Ferghana Valley

Key resources:

Water Sector Review | CAREWIB | ADB - Donor Project Matrix on Central Asia | Report:Water, Climate, and Development Issues in the Amudarya Basin | Report: Irrigation in Central Asia: Social, Economic and Environmental Considerations

Selected external resources:

CAREWIB | ADB - About the CA Region] |

edit  ·  ToolkitIWRM in Central Asia
Central Asia – Regional and National Water Sector Review | Promoting IWRM and Fostering Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia | Bibliography
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Publication Title

Central Asia – Regional and National Water Sector Review

Publication Type

UNDP Report


Publication Date



Publication URL


Natalia Alexeeva, UNDP Regional Centre Europe & CIS, Almaty Office



This study has been produced during the preparation of the regional UNDP-EC project Promoting IWRM and Fostering Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia; lead author was Colin Steley. © UNDP – June 2008).

The Aral Sea Basin and Irrigation – Environment Nexus

The Central Asia countries share the Aral Sea River Basin (ASB) and are locked in a hydrological inter-dependence that transcends national boundaries. The Amu Darya River, with a mean annual flow (MAF) of 79.3 BCM (km3), rises mainly in Tajikistan and Afghanistan and flows to the Aral Sea between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The Syr Darya River contributes 37.2 BCM (32%), rises mainly in Kyrgyzstan and flows to the Aral Sea between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. As ASB rainfall is generally quite low this runoff is generated mainly by snow and glacier melt in the mountainous upstream countries. However the arable land is mainly concentrated in the more populous downstream countries. Together the three upstream countries generate 87% of the total ASB streamflow whereas the three downstream countries, containing 80% of the CA population and 85% of ASB irrigated land, make 73% of total ASB surface water abstractions (UN 2004).

The population of the ASB is not readily available. However Central Asia had a population of 58 million in 2005. This indicates average water availability is greater than 2,000 m3/person/year or more than twice the threshold of water scarcity. However the drying of the Aral Sea has also been described as the world’s worst human-caused ecological disaster (UNDP 2006). This is attributed to the Soviet-era creation of a vast irrigated agricultural system mostly in the downstream riparian states (UNDP 2004). Therefore this might be described as the “Irrigation – Environment Nexus”.

The conventional wisdom appears is that the Aral Sea can be “stabilized” by improving irrigation efficiency (World Bank (IBRD) 2003a, UN 2004, UNDP 2003, 2004, 2005). However this seems to reflect the popular misconception of irrigation “efficiency”. Because upstream “losses” are often re-cycled downstream, basin-level efficiency can be quite high while system efficiencies remain quite low[1].

The view that the Aral Sea can be stabilized, by improving irrigation efficiency, seems to have originated with a study of National and Regional Water and Salt Management Plans. The interim conclusion was that, with reasonable standards of management, water resources are adequate to meet current irrigation requirements and provide an appropriate volume for environmental purposes. It was then estimated that groundwater extraction, equivalent to 23% of river diversions, provides 52% of crop water requirements (CWR) but only 14% of river diversions meet CWR.[2] This implies that: (i) surface irrigation efficiency is only 14% and (ii) conjunctive surface – groundwater use efficiency is only 37% but (iii) only 84% of the CWR is actually met. The 1999 ASB water balance, from a subsequent volume (Haskoning 2003), is re-presented below.

1999 Aral Sea Basin Water Balance (BCM = km3)
118.62 | Irrigation consumption | 78.35
| Net domestic and industrial | 10.00
| Wetlands and Aral Sea | 14.28
| Increased storage | 1.53
| Reservoir evaporation etc | 5.46
| Diverted to desert sinks | 9.00
118.62 | Consumption | 118.62
27.52 | Irrigation diversion - consumption | 22.13
10.00 | “Losses” from Amu Darya and Syr Darya | 15.40
156.14 | Diversion plus Extraction | 156.15

Source: Haskoning 2003 with separation of irrigation diversions into consumption and “losses”

The total ASB irrigated areas was reportedly 8 million hectares in 1997 (UN 2004). This implies an average annual consumption of 980 mm. This is high compared with crop water requirements of 800 mm (cotton) and 470 mm (wheat) in the Ferghana Valley (Finney 2008). However consumption of 980 mm is not implausible especially if irrigated area was under reported? Therefore the water balance indicates the only real ASB water losses are to desert sinks and reservoir evaporation. This implies basin-level irrigation efficiency is between 78% and 88% compared with only 14% to 37% suggested by the earlier interim estimates and conclusions.

There does not appear to have been a final Water and Salt study report. However, at the project preparation workshops (5 and 11 March 2008), participants confirmed the ASB is “closed”, water is limiting, and not land, and improving conventional irrigation system efficiency will not contribute significantly to saving water to “stabilize” the Aral Sea. Kyrgyz and Tajik water resource endowments and incentives for improving irrigation efficiencies are considered below.

  1. See recommended readings, on the river basin perspective, at www.winrockwater.org/reference_materials.cfm
  2. Because of generally shallow unconfined aquifers, and low rainfall, irrigation “losses” provide virtually all recharge

The Transboundary Water – Energy Nexus

In essence the transboundary Water – Energy Nexus involves a conflict of interest between summer irrigation, in downstream countries, and winter energy needs in upstream countries. This arises from their different land, water and energy resources, the upstream locations of existing regulating reservoirs and the variation in water supply and demand in wet and dry years (World Bank (IBRD) 2003a, 2004a 2004b, UN 2004, UNDP 2003, 2005).

Much of the debate has centred on operation of the Kyrgyz Toktogul Reservoir, on the Naryan River. The Naryan River has a MAF of 12.4 BCM and contributes 33% of the total Syr Darya MAF (37.2 BCM). Toktogul Reservoir has a storage capacity of 19 BCM and was designed to release 6 BCM in summer (April – September) and 3 BCM in winter (October – March). During the Soviet-era Kyrgyzstan provided irrigation releases and surplus hydropower, in summer, and received Uzbek and Kazakh fossil fuels in winter. After 1991 market reforms increased the price of coal and gas, to world prices in hard currency, and regional energy generation plants no longer operated as part of a unified system. Kyrgyzstan reacted by increasing its winter hydropower releases. Apart from the reduction in summer irrigation releases other adverse downstream impacts included increased winter flooding, caused by channel freezing, and formation of Aydarkul Lake.

To address these problems the countries entered into several agreements culminating in the 1998 Long Term Framework Agreement. This explicitly recognized that water regulation is a costly service that requires fair compensation. Estimates indicated Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan would gain $M 36 and $M 31 from operating Toktogul Reservoir for summer irrigation instead of winter energy. Incremental Kyrgyz costs would amount to only $M 35. Therefore all countries would benefit if downstream states compensated Kyrgyzstan and all three shared the $M 32 net annual benefit equitably (World Bank (IBRD) 2004a). However Kyrgyzstan must still meet winter energy demand by some means? Hydropower generation requires 6 BCM (World Bank 2004b).

The downstream countries are now investing in storage, to re-regulate winter releases, as well as to avoid flooding. Simulations have also indicated Toktogul can be operated in a substantially improved “modified irrigation mode”. This might limit winter releases to 4.5 BCM, increase summer releases to 7.0 - 7.5 BCM and increase summer electricity generation by 1,500 GWh to meet the growing demand of Russia. The revenue might be used to purchase coal from Kazakhstan and gas from Uzbekistan to run the Bishkek I thermal plant. In response the World Bank (IBRD) advocated shifting focus, from ineffective regional agreements, to new strategies involving: (i) bi-lateral agreements and (ii) national institutional and financial capacity (World Bank 2004b).

Priority National Water Sector Challenges

Kyrgyzstan (population 5.2 million) and Tajikistan (6.6 million) have both made progress but much remains to be done to improve human development and achieve their millennium development goals (MDGs). Human development indices (HDI) are 0.696, rank 116/177, and 0.673 (122) (UNDP 2007a). Living standards surveys indicate the expenditure poverty ($2.15/person/day) rate was 43% in Kyrgyzstan (2005) and 64% in Tajikistan (2003). However most poor reside in rural areas where irrigated agriculture accounts for more than a third of Kyrgyz GDP and more than a quarter of Tajik GDP. In Kyrgyzstan the equivalent rural poverty incidence was 51%. In the two populous Tajik agricultural oblasts poverty rates were 78%, in Khatlon, and 64% in Sogd in the Ferghana Valley (World Bank (IBRD)2005a, 2007). In Kyrgyzstan 77% and 59% of the population have access to improved water and sanitation and 33% of children under five are malnourished (under height for age). In Tajikistan these figures are only 59%, 51% and 42% (UNDP 2007a).

The 1995 Nukus Conference Resolution, signed by the five Central Asia countries, ratified Soviet-era water allocations reflecting the above ASB water shortages. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are reportedly entitled to 3.97% and 10.69% of the combined Amu Darya and Syr Darya flows. This is equivalent to MAFs of about 4.63 and 12.45 BCM and availabilities of 890 and 1,886 m3/person/year in 2005. This indicates Kyrgyzstan is already suffering water scarcity (< 1,000 m3/person/year) although it is not clear why the two allocations are so different? However, from 1990 to 2005, actual Kyrgyz diversions reportedly declined, from 13 to 6 BCM. This is widely attributed to deteriorating infrastructure (see below). Furthermore system-level efficiencies imply annual consumption is only 2 to 3 BCM. Therefore developed land, equipped with functional irrigation infrastructure, is presently the limiting national resource not water. This implies national water challenges are more to do with improving governance than managing absolute water scarcity (< 500 m3/person/year).

The core MDG for Tajikistan is combating hunger and poverty (UN 2005). The GOT identified five areas as having the greatest potential impact, including agricultural infrastructure and productivity, and set a target of rehabilitation of 70% of their irrigation and drainage networks (UN 2005). The recent Central Asia Human Development Report (UNDP 2005) also identified four main national water policy challenges: infrastructure maintenance, water pricing, community participation and groundwater. Similarly the National Human Development Report (UNDP 2003), on improving water management in Tajikistan, identified three main sector constraints: lack of funds, institutional weaknesses and wasteful consumption. These priorities are consistent with the GOK and GOT policies as reflected, for example, in the Kyrgyz and Tajik IWRM “Road Maps” (GWP and UNEP 2006) and the Water Sector Development Strategy in Tajikistan (MWMI 2006).

Clearly the top IWRM priority issue, in both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, is the sustainability of water infrastructure as a result of the national financial crises, brought on by the end of the Soviet-era in 1991, compounded by the Tajik Civil War. This concerns both operation and maintenance (O&M) and infrastructure improvement and to water supply and sanitation as well as irrigated agriculture.

Irrigated Agriculture

Kyrgyzstan reports 1,200,000 and 58,000 ha presently irrigated by gravity and pumped systems respectively. It also claims another 2,500,000 ha of land suitable for new irrigation development. Tajikistan reports an irrigated area of 740,000 ha of which about 280,000 is served by pumped systems. About a third of the latter are reverse “cascade” systems involving up to seven pumping stations, in series, and total lifts of up to 300 m. Differences between “irrigable” areas, equipped with Soviet-era infrastructure, and present actual irrigated areas are unclear. However the decline in Kyrgyz diversions, from 13 to 6 BCM, (see above) is commonly attributed to deteriorating infrastructure. Tajikistan reports a similar decline, from 10 to 8.5 BCM, and that 50% of its pumping stations and 65% of drainage systems are “worn out”. Based on a 1990 asset inventory Tajikistan also estimates that $ 746 million (or $ 1,000 ha-1) is required to “restore” irrigation systems.

A study of irrigation in Central Asia found rehabilitation is pro-poor. Between one and two thirds of Tajik irrigation systems are presently economically viable, at world market prices, and viability would improve if farmers switched to more productive crops ($ ha-1 or $ m-3) and/or used inputs more efficiently. Kyrgyz rehabilitation costs are also substantially less than the net present value (NPV) of irrigated incomes. The study also concluded that economic reform and subsidized restoration, even of non-viable irrigation systems, might be cheaper than direct transfers to replace incomes lost due to deteriorating infrastructure. As well as normal economic, social and environmental selection criteria, good water governance and management institutions are important considerations in prioritizing improvement of irrigation and drainage systems (World Bank (IBRD)2003b).

Tajik stakeholders expressed concern that improvement of pumped irrigation systems tends to be less economically viable than for gravity systems. However reverse “cascade” system costs will increase with each lift. Therefore lower lifts will be more economically viable than higher ones.

The Kyrgyz Irrigation Rehabilitation Strategy and Action Plan (Mott MacDonald 2000) considered both the rehabilitation and sustainability of irrigation and drainage systems. However it neither assessed investment priorities nor estimated capital or recurrent costs. Furthermore participatory performance assessments (PPAs), to diagnose infrastructure, management and agricultural constraints and formulate improvements to alleviate them, have now generally superseded simple inventories and rehabilitation of infrastructure. Updated Kyrgyz and Tajik irrigation investment plans should also reflect more recent project implementation experience.[1]

System operation and maintenance (O&M), to ensure the adequate delivery of irrigation water and drainage as well as the sustainability of infrastructure on which they depend, is an important intermediate management objective. Tajik capital and recurrent irrigation infrastructure costs have also been estimated at $ 492 and 238 million (UN 2005). At 12% pa the annual O&M cost is equivalent to a NPV of $ 1,867 million over 25 years. This emphasizes the importance of recurrent O&M, as costs are four times initial capital rehabilitation costs!

Tajik lift irrigation covers one third of the irrigated area and receives two thirds of budgeted O&M resources (World Bank 2005b). This implies pumped O&M costs are four times gravity costs. Most costs are for: (i) maintenance of surface systems and (ii) operation of pumped systems. Therefore, while water is not limiting in the upper ASB (see above), improved water use efficiency will reduce the substantial cost of operating pumped irrigation systems.[2] The efficiency of pumped irrigation is much more important to Tajikistan, which reports 280,000 ha (38% of its total irrigated area), compared with only 58,000 ha (5%) reported in Kyrgyzstan.

Both countries are now forming water user associations (WUAs), introducing irrigation service fees, for O&M cost recovery, and transferring responsibility for O&M of secondary irrigation canals to new WUAs. In Kyrgyzstan some 300 WUAs have been established in 40% of irrigated areas. The mixed results are attributed to a variety of causes including minimal improvements of system infrastructure (UNDP 2005). Furthermore international experience consistently indicates sharing of O&M responsibilities and costs is insufficient to sustain viable WUAs. Sustainable WUAs also require transfer of commensurate authority, and benefits, as well as effective WUA participation in system governance, management and/or infrastructure improvements. However current projects generally include only separate WUA and infrastructure rehabilitation components.

System performance, to optimize the net value of agricultural production or productivity ($ ha-1 and/or $ m-3), is the ultimate management objective. By improving management Kyrgyzstan might save an estimated $ 81 million (4.3% of GDP) and [TTajikistan $ 170 million (10.6%) annually. The reported causes of present losses include “inadequate water availability” and poor agronomic practices (UNDP 2005). However there are no recent PPAs and the upper ASB is not short of water (see above). Therefore “inadequate water availability” is likely to refer to water distribution inequities that are ubiquitous in gravity irrigation systems? Conjunctive use of surface (upstream) and groundwater (downstream) is often cost effective in rectifying such inequities.

The literature frequently advocates irrigation demand management and water pricing. This involves charging for actual water use, as well as delivery services (O&M), to improve irrigation water use efficiency and inter-sectoral allocation. However, even where water is limiting, such economic instruments have not proven very effective in practice (Perry 1997, World Bank 2004c, CAWMA 2007). Rather than generic solutions a flexible PPA process is required to identify specific system and/or on-farm management constraints and formulate practical measures to alleviate them and realize the optimum agricultural production potential.

In Tajikistan cotton is the main irrigated crop, the cotton sector is the largest employer of the rural workforce and more than 70% of the population, engaged in the sector, is poor. From 1990 to 2003 cotton yields reduced by 32% from 2.8 to 1.9 T ha-1. Therefore recommended interventions include increased productivity. However the yield decline is attributed to current market distortions not water-related factors. Therefore the most important reform measures are to resolve the cotton debt and completely liberalize the sector (UN 2005). The Sustainable Cotton Sub-sector Project will support these priority reforms (ADB 2006a). Without reform the profitability of cotton and non-cotton (mainly wheat) farms have been estimated at $ 161 and 323 ha-1. With reform estimated gross margins increase to $ 322 and 647 ha-1 respectively (UN 2005). While cotton sector reform may benefit poor landless agricultural labourers, this analysis indicates individual Tajik farmers will be better-off growing wheat, instead of cotton, with or without cotton sector reform.

Wheat is the most important Kyrgyz crop. A recent international study considered the potential for increasing agricultural water productivity (CAWMA 2007).[3] In the Ferghana Valley present wheat yields and water requirements are 2.8 T ha-1 and 470 mm (Finney 2008). However effective rainfall is minimal and potential evapotranspiration (ETc) must be about 500 mm. Therefore water productivity is 0.56 kg m-3 and farmer’s present wheat yields are only about 30% of their potential. However, below 40% to 50% of potential, agronomic practices, such as soil fertility, limit water productivity and yields. Above this level yield gains are nearly proportional to increases in crop evapotranspiration. Improved agricultural management, to increase present yields/productivity by up to 50%, is a prerequisite of improved irrigation and on-farm water management to meet crop water requirements and increase present yields/productivity by about 200% more.

These promising results are consistent with interim recommendations, of the Water and Salt study, as well as anecdotal evidence that suggests farmers generally over-irrigate, but too infrequently, resulting in excess water “losses” followed by soil moisture deficits before irrigations. However the extrapolated potential wheat yield should be treated with caution (Figure 7.2, CAWMA 2007). The results are also inconsistent with the above ASB water balance. This indicates an average annual consumption of 980 mm (Haskoning 2003) compared with cotton and wheat water requirements of 800 mm and 470 mm (Finney 2008). Finally these remarkably low wheat yields are only consistent with exceptionally high soil moisture deficits (FAO 1979). With these caveats the results are still sufficiently promising to warrant high priority IWRM activities in both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

  1. The completed Kyrgyz On-Farm Irrigation Project (WB) is currently being evaluated. Active irrigation projects include the Kyrgyz Water Management Improvement Project and Second On-Farm Irrigation Project (both WB) and the Tajik Ferghana Valley Water Resources Management Project (WB) and Irrigation Rehabilitation Project (ADB)
  2. A 50% efficiency improvement would achieve a significant reduction, in pumped O&M costs, of up to 25%
  3. IWMI has also studied agricultural water productivity in the Syr Darya River Basin (Murray-Rust 2003)

The Environment

The Central Asian states of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are independent secular multinational countries located in the core of the Eurasia continent within the Tyan-Shan and Pamiro-Alay high mountain range.

The region is presently threatened by land degradation, water scarcity and pollution, deforestation and desertification and belongs among the most environmentally vulnerable ecosystems in the world. Conditioned by mountain relief, atmospheric activity and precipitation, the relationship between the mountains and the plains provides the most important link for the moisture exchange mechanism over the arid territory of Central Asia.

The mountains therefore play a significant role in the distribution of water resources. Precipitation stored in glaciers and frozen soil can be stored for many decades and forms basic reserve for river flow in extremely arid years. Mountain flow is one of the main sources of renewable clear water resources in the region – more than 90 percent of the water resources are concentrated in the mountains that are on the territories of two countries – Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (the region’s two main rivers – Syr Darya and Amu Darya originate in these two countries). The mountains are at the same time threatened by increasingly occurring landslides, avalanches, glacial surges, mud flows and floods all of which threaten not only highland populations. Directly or indirectly, these activities impact the densely populated and biologically valuable areas.

Environmental pressures are mainly caused by poor agricultural practices (e.g. intensive or inappropriate use of arable land, soil degradation due to extensive irrigation, and lack of application of ameliorative measures), illegal deforestation, horticulture (e.g. extensive cattle pasturing and overgrazing), ineffective management of water resources and energy resources. These problems are exacerbated by the fact that due to economic decline after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the entire region witnesses a growing tendency to maximise short-term economic gains in sectors such as agriculture, forestry, energy and mining.

Water management strategies or similar documents in the field of integrated water resource planning process can provide a suitable platform for addressing many of the above issues.

However detailed baseline studies produced in both project countries within e.g. National Capacity Self-Assessments for implementation of Rio Conventions (NCSAs) point out many weaknesses in the integration of environmental commitments into mainstream development plans generally and water resource management specifically. Common priorities for implementation of the defined by the NSCA in Tajikistan include integration of global environmental commitments in planning of the rational use of lands, inter-agency and inter-institutional coordination and public participation. Also, Kyrgyzstan’s NCSA (2005) states that it would be reasonable to analyze national and agency development programmes with regard to the risks and threats on the change in the environment’s condition, limited natural resources and the necessity for their rational management.

Key environmental issues

The following environmental issues were identified in the national documents prepared in both countries for the implementation of Global Environmental Conventions (Kyrgyzstan 2004 , 2005 and Tajikistan 2005 ) as relevant to the water management. They can provide the preliminary scope for further investigation within the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) activities of the project.


The sustainable water management shall aim to the balance between the various needs – need of high quality drinking water, need of water for agriculture and industry, need of water for energy, and natural need of water for the environmental to ensure the natural ecological processes. Thus it is related to almost all human activities.

In Kyrgyzstan, the danger of water pollution resulting from impact of surface run-off, sewerage system run-off and unregulated storage of industrial, domestic and livestock waste is considered high . Serious situation with ground water contamination by nitrates is in the region of Orto-Alysh water intake, which provides 60% of drinking water for the capital of the republic. Increased nitrate concentration is observed at the depth of 150 m. The cause of this contamination is location of farms and cattle breeding, development of irrigated agriculture, poor sanitary of settlements, lack of water supply system and canalisation. The most serious risk presents industrial pollution of water resources .

Tajikistan is in the main zone of flow formation of the Aral Sea basin. The majority of environmental problems appear with respect to water resource use. Improper water management leads to natural calamities such as salinisation, pollution, mud flows and floods. The collector and drainage waters enriched with salts and agricultural wastes (waste waters) returning to river basins deteriorate the quality in water sources, lead to the deterioration of the ecological condition of water, soil and life conditions of the population.


The land and especially its use for agriculture purposes has close link to the water management – water consumption (irrigation) and water pollution (through the soil pollution).

In Kyrgyzstan agricultural lands occupy more than a half of the country. Rainfalls are insufficient during vegetation periods, so agricultural land cultivation is considerably dependent on irrigation. Agricultural crops are prone to water erosion if irrigated excessively and unsystematically. Irrigation of areas with underground water close to surface under the condition of arid climate leads to secondary salination of land. Low-lying areas are exposed to swamping and flooding of inhabited areas. Water and wind erosion affect more than 60 percent of arable lands in the country. More than 80 percent of arable lands in the country are highly salinated.

In Tajikistan extensive usage of pesticides and chemicals in agriculture became the main reason of both toxic and chemical pollution of soils and inland waters within the area 30 thousand hectares in the south and north of the country. Irrigated farming, which uses more than 70% of all consumable fresh-water, has catastrophic influence on the state of the Aral Sea. Simultaneously, drainage and used irrigation water has negatively altered water quality and caused eutrophication in some watercourses. Land irrigation without consideration of soil properties and drainage network outputs led to erosion processes on the main irrigation areas (Beshkent, Yavan, Obikiik and Dangarin valleys).


Availability of water is one of the crucial conditions for biodiversity – so the overuse of water for human activities can cause significant adverse effects to the biodiversity. There can be also direct impacts related to the habitat degradation (e.g. hydropower sector). Biodiversity including aquatic biodiversity is addressed within the process of implementation of UN Convention on Biodiversity both in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Kyrgyzstan has a high concentration of animal and plant species. About 2 percent of the world flora and more than 3 percent of the world fauna can be found here (these figures are quite high considering that Kyrgyzstan occupies only 0.03 percent of the earth's surface). Most plant and animal species refer to endemics and cannot be found elsewhere. A sustainable trend of biodiversity reduction has been observed , which is conditioned by deteriorated flora and fauna habitats. The reasons are intensive agricultural cultivation of land and water resources.

In Tajikistan, there are more than 25 types of ecosystems, including water reservoirs and anthropogenic ecosystems. The most productive and diverse ecosystems are mountain forests, alpine meadows and tugai. These ecosystems are subject to disturbing, degradation and modification. It is important to note that tugai ecosystems are mainly saved in the southern Tajikistan at present, while before 20th century they were distributed along all distance of Amudaria and Sirdaria rivers. Many elements of biological diversity are threatened and immediate conservation measures are required. As a result of land development, for the last 70-80 years, the area of tugai ecosystems was reduced by more than 3-4 times, reduction of juniper and broad-leaved forests is also observed. Non-regulated cattle grazing leads to the changes in vegetation cover as well as decrease of pasture productivity and reduction of wild areas.

Climate change

Changes of the climate can cause changes in the distribution of water resources – quantity as well as quality – and so possibilities of its utilization for various activities. The character of river flow will alter that negatively affects local ecology and vulnerable sectors of economy such as irrigation, water supply and hydropower engineering in Central Asian region.

According to data from Kyrgyzstan, the number of mudflows, floods and water loggings increased in 2002 as compared to 1993 5 times. Experts refer attribute this to global climate change and increase in rainfalls.

Tajikistan's glaciers in the 20th century lost more than 20 km3 of ice. Small glaciers that comprise 80% of all glaciers and occupy 15% of total ice cover melt intensively. In the period from 1969 to 1986, Skogatch glacier, which is located in Obihingou basin, lost 8% of the total mass. Many glaciers in Zeravshan basin also retreat. Projected climate change in global and regional scales will have beneficial and adverse effects on both environmental and socio-economic systems, but the larger the changes and the rate of change in climate, the more the adverse effects predominate. Trends for climate warming lead to stable intensive reduction of glacier surfaces. According to forecast, by 2025 the territories of glaciers will be reduced by 30-40% resulting in water volume diminish by 25-35% . In this regard, adaptation to climate change is of highest importance .

Health risks

Water pollution and low quality of drinking water is one of the key issues related to the human health. The quality of the major part of water sources does not meet the requirements of sanitary and environmental norms in Tajikistan. (see Central Asia Regional Environmental Action Plan for Water Pollution

Several water-born diseases have been reported in the region . In Tajikistan they include typhoid, paratyphoid, leptospirosis, bacterial dysentery . The National Environmental and Health Action Plan of Kyrgyzstan stipulate the reduction of the waterborne microbial diseases among the priority actions . It identifies several reasons for this status – the rural population is often forced to use water from open reservoirs and irrigation canals. The water from these sources does not meet the acting State Standard with respect to biological and chemical parameters. The hot climate, especially in the south of the country, makes for the increase in microbiological contamination of water in the open reservoirs.

Another serious problem related to the public health presents natural disasters (see bellow).

Natural disasters

In Kyrgyzstan the following natural disasters are widespread in the country: earthquakes, landslides, mudflows, floods, lakes with a potential to overflow, stone falls, landslips, water loggings, and avalanches. Especially issues related to the water management – landslides and floods – are extremely prevalent and frequent. They come first on the list of most dangerous natural disasters in Kyrgyzstan because of the general damage caused by them. Landslides are particularly typical for the south of the Republic (Osh and Jalalabad) . There is a danger of landslides and floods in more than 3,900 river basins. In more than 10 river basins avalanches occur. More than 200 of 2,000 high-mountain lakes have a potential to overflow, and the number of such lakes continues to grow .

Due to its geographical position Tajikistan is very much prone to disasters caused by water. Steep mountain slopes and instable topsoil are conducive of slides, there are 50 000 of them every year. One of the consequences of heavy rainfall is high floodwaters and mudflows, which are observed frequently in the foothills and mountainous areas of Tajikistan at the altitudes of up to 2,000 m. In high-altitude areas, floods can result from a break-through in temporary (glacial) lakes. Some 85% of Tajikistan’s area is threatened with mudflows and 32% of the area is situated in the high mudflow risk zone .

Raising awareness on environmental issues

Since water management does cover various human activities and sectors, the public awareness on the environment is a key to ensure the integration of the relevant environmental issues as a condition for achieving the successful results. Number of action has been taken to strengthen the public involvement in the field of sustainable development and environmental protection . Raising environmental awareness and building capacity belongs to the environmental priorities in Tajikistan.

Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS)

Water service considerations are quantity, access (proximity), quality and reliability. Households with at least 20 lcd of clean water, available within 1 km, are presently classified as having an “improved” service level. However the simple distinction between “improved” and “un-improved” water is largely illusionary to water-insecure rural households. Poor rural people often use different sources seasonally and for drinking and their personal and domestic hygiene (UNDP 2006). Sanitation service level distinctions suffer similar uncertainty.

The MICS’ report present uses of “improved” drinking water sources and sanitation are 88.2% and 96.3% (Kyrgyz) and 69.5% and 93.7% (Tajik). The Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) defines “improved” water sources to include communal standpipes or wells as well as individual yard taps or house connections. It reports Kyrgyz and Tajik water/sanitation coverages are 77/59% and 59/51% (WHO and UNICEF 2006). However the individual water coverages are only 45% and 34%. This illustrates how coverage is related to service level. Therefore there are also important issues concerning appropriate WSS service levels and coverage estimates.

The JMP also notes significant disparities in access to water and sanitation. The Kyrgyz and Tajik urban/rural coverages are 98/66% and 92/48% (improved water), 75/51% and 70/45% (improved sanitation) and 79/27% and 79/20% (individual water). Thus urban areas enjoy much better coverage than much poorer rural areas. Kyrgyzstan has better existing coverage, has received more support than Tajikistan and will continue to do so. Consultants recently helped prepare a draft Kyrgyz Long Term Strategy for the RWSS Sector (Carl Bro and Atkins 2007).

The LTS found: (i) there is no policy governing service delivery, in response to community demand, and (ii) a key priority is to focus more directly on RWSS health impacts. The LTS is neither a policy document nor an implementation plan. However the EU Water Initiative will now support a National Policy Dialogue (NPD) for preparation, development and implementation of a RWSS Financing Strategy (Cowi 2007, OECD 2008). Therefore Kyrgyz stakeholders identified the sustainability of existing WB/DFID and ADB systems and community based organizations (CBOs) as the main need and opportunity for UNDP to add value to existing programs.

Tajik stakeholders identified their RWSS priorities as: (i) investment planning, to optimize health impacts and other benefits, and (ii) development of practical management instruments, project rules and participatory processes to introduce and implement the proven pro-poor demand driven approach to sustainable RWSS (WSP undated, DFID 1998, WSP 2003, IBRD 2006a, ADB 2006b).See also Financing Rural WSS in Tajikistan/water-policy context

Considerable epidemiological evidence is available on the health impacts of different WSS interventions and service levels (Esrey 1996, Pruss 2002, WHO 2003, 2007, WB (IBRD]] 2004d, 2006b). Unfortunately the results are yet to be mainstreamed possibly because they are variable and context-specific? However general results and trends are quite consistent for both diarrhoea and other water-related diseases. First water quality, at source, has little discernable impact on health. This is apparently due to contamination between the sources and point-of-consumption. Thus attention has now turned to simple low-cost household boiling, chlorination and UV radiation treatments. Second water quantity is important and consumption of at least 50 lcd is required, for personal and domestic hygiene, to maximize health impacts (WHO 2003).

International research has consistently verified the consumption (c) – access (a) relationship shown opposite (DFID 1998). For a > 30 min, c < 15 lcd, for 5 < a < 30 min, c = 15 lcd, for a < 3 min, c > 50 lcd. This indicates people will only consume 50 lcd if yard taps or house connections are provided even if communal water points have the capacity to deliver 50 lcd. This implies two water supply service levels: (i) minimum (MSL) with communal water points & consumption = 15 lcd and (ii) optimum (OSL), individual connections and actual consumption > 50 lcd.

Finally the health impacts of water supply (quantity) and sanitation are not additive. Rather than complements, these interventions may be alternatives to each other. These generic trends, with significant implications for effective demand-driven WSS programs, should be verified nationally.


The above table illustrates a method of verifying the national health impacts of WSS interventions and service levels. Unfortunately it doesn’t distinguish between diarrhoea and other water-related diseases. However the tentative national and above generic water quality and quantity results are consistent. Individual connections explain 56% of the variation in disease (significance 3%) but neither water quality nor communal connections are associated with disease. However the analysis tends to contradict the third generic result as infectious disease is not associated with sanitation coverage (disaggregate sanitation service levels)? The practical significance of water quantity differences is also unclear as infectious disease incidences are about 40, 210 and 1,630 cases per 100,000 people for the individual, communal and unimproved service levels?

Two supply-side estimates of national WSS capital and recurrent costs are available (UN 2005, Carl Bro and Atkins 2007). Based on WB (IBRD)/DFID and ADB experience present Kyrgyz rural water supply unit costs are nearly $ 50 per person exclusive of individual connections. Sanitation costs are based on providing one school WSS block ($ 2,300) and two ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines ($ 200 each) for each village (average 320 households per village). Demand is unreported but households generally prefer private latrines to communal ones. They may also prefer pour-flush to VIP latrines? Therefore present Kyrgyz sanitation service levels may explain the apparent lack of association between infectious disease and coverage reported above?

The Tajik MDG Needs Assessment estimates urban water rehabilitation costs were $ 480.9 million to serve 97% of the total 2000 urban population of about 1.41 million. Thus imputed unit costs were $ 352 per person. Based on a hypothetical “average” piped sub-project, for a settlement of 3,000 residents (or 500 households), estimated unit costs were $ 17 and 25 per person (only 47% extra) for communal and individual water supply systems. The assumed technology mix included individual connections (55%) and public stand posts (39%).

There are normally pronounced economies of scale in the provision of piped water supply systems. Unit costs often increase exponentially with decreasing population served. Therefore unit costs are usually much higher in small isolated rural villages than urban towns and cities. Thus the difference in average village sizes (500 vs 320 households) may explain all the difference between estimated Tajik and Kyrgyz unit costs ($ 17 vs 50 per person)? However, because there are also many more small villages, the average unit cost is much higher than the unit cost of serving the average village. Therefore reliable supply-side cost estimates need data on the relationships between: (i) water supply system costs, (ii) village populations and (iii) the number of villages.

Because of economies of scale it costs more to provide the same water service level to the poorer rural areas. Thus Tajik urban – rural inequities are even greater than the proposed unit investment cost ratio of nearly 17! Rural service level and coverage inequities (see above) would be reduced if the rural OSL was adopted, where feasible, and rural investment was increased relative to urban.

There are two main complimentary demand-side approaches to RWSS investment planning. Representative surveys of willingness-to-pay (WTP), for different interventions and service levels, are often used to estimate the economic benefits and determine national financial and subsidy policy. However these are demanding and do not appear to have been conducted in either Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan. While WTP surveys remain important it is questionable whether WTP fully reflects WSS health benefits? This is evidenced by the need for ongoing hygiene education to promote informed choices of WSS technology and associated behavioural change.

Two recent international studies considered the effectiveness of the different WSS interventions and service levels (WHO 2004, World Bank (IBRD) 2006b). The results of the later study are summarized at www.dcp2.org. Not surprisingly low cost hygiene education was the most health effective intervention. However personal and domestic hygiene depends on the availability of adequate water quantity (see above). WSS infrastructure interventions were ranked: (i) communal water supply ($ 94 per DALYs averted), (ii) individual water supply (223) and sanitation (270). However reported reductions in the incidence of diarrhoea are 17%, 63% and 36%. The evidence quoted above also indicates individual water systems and improved sanitation only cost about 50% more and half as much as communal water systems. This indicates the reverse health impact - spending on (i) sanitation and (ii) individual water is 4.2 and 2.5 times more effective than communal water?

The earlier study found timesavings are much larger than health benefits. Halving the proportions of people with improved (communal) piped water and sanitation was estimated to cost $ 1.78 and 9.52 billion annually and achieve economic benefit-cost ratios (BCR) of 8 and less than 6. Separate individual water connections were not considered but the imputed BCR is at least 25. This indicates WSS infrastructure rankings are: (i) individual water (BCR > 25), communal water (8) and sanitation (BCR < 6). Not surprisingly low-cost household water treatment and safe storage were also found to be highly cost-effective. The variable results indicate these important studies warrant more detailed consideration, national verification and open debate.

Small-scale Hydropower

In Tajikistan rural electricity is usually only available for a few hours per day during winter. However the prolonged, extremely cold, winter of 2007 – 2008 led to even more severe hardships than usual. In view of the hardship and impasse over the transboundary water – energy nexus development of small rural hydropower is now a high priority. This is reflected in the Governments Small Hydropower Construction Program 2007 – 2020 (GOT Decree N449 2006) and Small Scale Hydropower Development Strategy (MIE and UNDP 2007).

The ADB pre-preparation document noted MIE unit costs were $ 600 – 800 kW-1, for Russian equipment, and less for Pakistani and China's equipment. However NGO costs were even lower (ADB 2004a). Sub-project preparation documents are not readily available but the first group of 17 high priority small hydropower sub-projects, including two each financed by ADB and UNDP, has now been implemented to supply an estimated 9,562 kW to 8,584 households at a cost of $ 11.8 million ($ 1,234 kW-1). The second priority group, of 25 sub-projects (estimated cost $ 20.7 million @ $ 920 kW-1), is awaiting finance. However the actual unit costs, and economic viability, of previous implementation is yet to be assessed. Furthermore it is not clear whether management arrangements involve local government utilities, community based organizations or both?

Adaptation of IWRM Principles

The 1992 Dublin IWRM ecological principles are: independent sectoral management is not appropriate, river basins are the natural management unit, land and water need to be managed jointly and the environment needs much greater attention. The institutional principles are: all key stakeholders should participate, including the state, private sector and civil society, women need to be included and actions should be taken at the lowest appropriate level (subsidiarity). The instrument principles are that water is a scarce resource and greater use needs to be made of incentives and economic principles in improving its allocation and protecting its quality.

IWRM is sometimes confused with the “resource management” scope of the World Bank’s Water Resources Sector Strategy (World Bank (IBRD) 2004c). However the WB Strategy accepts IWRM can be conceptualized as a “comb”, in which the water-using sectors are the “teeth” and the resource itself is the “handle” (GWP 2000). The WB Strategy was also based on, and complements, the previous WB Policy that remains current and reflects the broader new definition of IWRM. Inter-sectoral integration is also, arguably, the main purpose of IWRM (GWP 2000). Indeed “resource management” is not an end in itself but a means of improving “service delivery”. IWRM specifically includes “service delivery”, as well as “resource management”, and IWRM Strategies include water efficiency to improve both inter and intra-sectoral management (GWP 2004).

A basic insight of the recent World Water Development Report 2 - Water a Shared Responsibility (WWDR2 - UN 2006), which is yet to garner enough attention, is that the global insufficiency of water (particularly for water supply and sanitation (WSS) is primarily driven by inefficient service delivery rather than water shortages. This implies the degree of water shortage influences the optimum balance between resource and operational management. Increasing inter-sectoral competition requires increases in resource management, and similar decreases in operational management, and visa versa. Therefore operational management and service delivery are likely to be relatively more important as neither Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan suffers from absolute scarcity.

Integration doesn’t mean traditional intra-sectoral decision-making is abandoned (UN 2006, GWP undated). Integration also involves dialectic between horizontal (across sectors) and vertical integration (across scales) and subsidiarity or decentralization of management to the lowest appropriate national, river basin or local level (World Bank 2004c). The degree of water shortage also influences the optimum balance of horizontal and vertical integration. Increasing sectoral competition and scarcity need proportional increases in inter-sectoral management, and decreases in intra-sectoral management and subsidiarity, and visa versa. Therefore vertical integration and subsidiarity are likely to be relatively more important in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

IWRM requires principled pragmatism, and doing a few important things well, so water quality (too dirty) and/or quantity (too much/too little) are actually improved. This requires participatory IWRM processes that facilitate informed inclusive decision-making and transparent identification, formulation and assessment to prioritize and select issues and options to address them. The WWDR2, and HDR 2006 - Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis (UNDP, 2006) found the global water crises is less about managing absolute scarcity than improving governance. The institutional enabling environment, organizations and management instruments are important. However they are not ends in themselves, but means of solving priority IWRM challenges (GWP 2004), assessment should identify specific performance constraints and governance and institutional “re-form” should follow IWRM “function” based on priority needs.

Countries that have successfully reformed governance often started by addressing priority water challenges, associated with specific development goals, rather than with major institutional reforms (WaterWiki 2008). The Aral Sea Program, first phase investment component, also produced more tangible benefits (successful pilots that have been scaled-up) than conceptual work that generated less local ownership (World Bank 2003a).

Capacity Building is the process by which individuals, organizations and societies develop abilities (individually and collectively) to perform functions, solve problems and set and achieve objectives (UNDP 2006). This is the purview of governance and management and capacity building should be an integral part of IWRM not a separate component. Substantial experience consistently indicates practical on-the-job participatory process training (learning-by-doing IWRM) is more effective than formal, didactic training (in IWRM subject matter).

Practical IRBM and Location of Pilot Projects

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan both prepared Road Maps for developing and implementing IWRM Strategies. OECD will now support Kyrgyz and, possibly, Tajik National IWRM Policy Dialogues (NPDs) to develop and implement priority institutional reforms. Establishment of National Water Councils are the first priorities. Strengthening Kyrgyz state supervision (regulation) and revision of the Tajik Water Code were their second priorities. Complementary vertical integration, subsidiarity and decentralization are also significant institutional challenges and remain to be addressed.

River basin organizations (RBOs) are usually organized in three levels: (i) a governing Board or Council, (ii) management Office or Secretariat, and (iii) representative stakeholders. Therefore a recent institutional evaluation, of Kazakh IWRM Strategy implementation, focused on the structural limitations of Basin Councils (Strikeleva 2007). The evaluation found the BCs don’t have full-time Secretariats, and dedicated staff, although these are necessary to perform even basic integrated river basin management (IRBM) functions. Councillors also need “training”. However these are often symptoms, rather than causes, of more fundamental constraints. Therefore the next two paragraphs review IRBM functions and factors influencing the need and demand for RBOs.

A recent River Basin Management study, for the World Commission of Dams (WCD), proposed separation of the regulatory, resource management and operator/service provider IWRM functions (Millington 2000). In view of the study title and ecological principle, that river basins are the natural management unit, this implies these functions correspond to the national, river basin and local levels. The key IRBM functions are: (i) water balance assessment, (ii) policies and strategies, (iii) legislation supporting regulatory standards, (iv) planning and allocation, (v) surface and ground-water quantity and quality, (vi) inter-agency and community-driven coordination, (vii) capacity building and (viii) public awareness and participation. There is debate over the exact mandates – for example policy (river basin/resource) and licensing (national/regulation) - however planning is an integral part of the management cycle and separate “IWRM planning” is preferably avoided.

Recent research indicates that collaborative river-basin governance relationships, building on existing organizations, customary practices and administrative structures, is often more effective than creating new river basin organizations (RBOs - CAWMA 2007). Another recent River Basin Management study, confirmed water scarcity is an important variable that affects the process as well as the performance of decentralized RBOs. Increasing water scarcity, the number and severity of water resource problems and the number of organized user groups are all positively associated with initiation of reforms and performance of decentralized [[River Basin Organisations|RBOs. However not all IWRM decisions and activities need to be organized at the basin scale. The lowest appropriate level may be a sub-basin or local government (World Bank (IBRD) undated). This finding is supported by studies of local governance for IWRM and WSS (Moench 2003, WSP 2003).

The previous discussion clearly indicates the need to improve the performance of gravity (Kyrgyzstan) and pumped (Tajikistan) irrigation systems growing wheat. As irrigation is the main water-consuming sector these activities should ideally be located in “river basins”. The proposed transboundary strategy would work best if national IWRM activities were located in the shared Ferghana Valley (FV). However it may be more difficult to add value to the many donor-supported projects already located in the FV? While the FV is in the Syr Darya River Basin, it is not a coherent sub-basin and the Amu Darya is the main Tajik “river basin”. Furthermore Chui Oblast, with 234,000 ha (35%) is the main Kyrgyz grain growing area not the FV. In Tajikistan there is more pumped irrigation in Sogd Oblast (55%), in the FV, than Khatlon Oblast (33%) in the Amu Darya Basin. However poverty is higher in Khatlon (78%) compared with Sogd (64%).

Therefore pilot irrigation activities should be located on the basis of multiple considerations, including river sub-basins as well as present system management capacity, need and/or stakeholder demand revealed by the IWRM process. Small hydropower pilots are likely to be located in isolated upstream catchments. However RWSS pilots might be located in the same service areas, or sub-basins, as the irrigation pilots. This would allow exploration of reported irrigation – RWSS interactions and cooperative management arrangements.

Present Institutional Situations

No organization is presently mandated, for either national or river basin-level IWRM, in either Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan. The Kazakh Ministry, of Agriculture, Water Resources and Processing Industries, (MAWR) has Departments of Water Resources (irrigated agriculture) and Rural Water Supply. However sanitation is under the Ministry of Health’s Department of Sanitation and Epidemiology. The State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry (AEPF) reports directly to the Office of Government. These Departments and AEPF are all reportedly represented at national, oblast and rayon government levels. The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade is responsible for social development and poverty alleviation at the national-level.

The Tajik Ministry, of Water Resources and Irrigation, (MWRI) is responsible for both irrigated agriculture and rural water supply and sanitation. The Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection was recently reorganized, and renamed the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), while the new Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) was established under the Government. The Ministry of Energy and Industry is responsible for small hydropower. Operation and maintenance associations (OMAs) represent MWRI at oblast (Oblvodhoze) and rayon (Raivodhoz) levels. OMAs are fully responsible for both irrigation rehabilitation and management but share RWSS responsibilities with State Unitary Enterprises (Hodjagii Manzili Kommunali).

Kyrgyz stakeholders are generally satisfied that their present Water Code (GOK 2005) provides an adequate legal basis, to initiate IWRM and IRBM, but Tajik national stakeholders now propose amending their earlier Water Code (GOT 2001). However the perceived deficiencies relate to the lack of adequate legal bases and rights to own irrigation facilities, introduce IRBM and apply economic demand management instruments (Pulatov 2008). Therefore it may be prudent to defer amendment of the Water Code until all stakeholders have more practical IWRM and IRBM experience and familiarity with the constraints, conflicts and trade-offs involved, for example, between economic and social benefits, equity and sustainability of vital ecosystems.


ADB (2006a) RRP for the Tajikistan Sustainable Cotton Sub-sector Project;

ADB (2006b) Serving the Rural Poor: A Review of Civil Society-Led Initiatives in RWSS;

ADB (2004a) Development of Community Based Micro-Hydropower Supply in Remote Rural Areas;

ADB (2004b) Kyrgyz Study on Pricing Systems and Cost-Recovery Mechanisms for Irrigation;

Albinson & Perry (2002) Fundamentals of Smallholder Irrigation – The Structured System Concept IWMI

Balakrishnan & Lobo (2004) Towards User Report Cards on Irrigation Services – PAC Bangalore, India;

Bird (2006) Rights, Risks and Responsibilities – a governance tool, IAIAC Governance Paper # 237;

Carl Bro and Atkins (2007) Long Term Strategy for the RWSS Sector in the Kyrgyz Republic:

CAWMA (2007) Water for Food Water for Life – The Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture;

Cornish (2005) Performance Benchmarking in the Irrigation and Drainage Sector – HR Wallingford

Cornish (1998) Improved Irrigation System Planning and Management: Aids to Maintenance Incorporating Guidelines for Monitoring System Condition – HR Wallingford

Cornish and Skutsch (1997) A Procedure for Planning Irrigation Scheme Rehabilitation – HR Wallingford

Cowi (2007) A Note on Developing Financing Strategies in Water Supply and Sanitation;

DFID (2003) Promoting Organizational Development: A Source Book of Tools and Techniques;

DFID (1998) Guidance Manual on Water Supply and Sanitation Programmes;

Esrey (1996) Water, Waste and Wellbeing: A Multicountry Study – American Journal of Epidemiology;

FAO (2007) Modernizing Irrigation Management – the MASSCOTE approach – FAO I&D Paper No 63

FAO (2003) Legislation on water users’ associations – A comparative analysis – Legislative Study 79;

FAO (1999) Transfer of irrigation management services – Guidelines - FAO I&D Paper No 58;

FAO (1996) Guidelines for Planning Irrigation & Drainage Investment Projects Investment Centre TP 11;

FAO (1979) Yield Response to Water – FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper No 33;

Finney, C. (2008) Personal Communication quoting Mott MacDonald (2005) WMIP preparation study;

Fewtrell and Colford (2004) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Interventions and Diarrhoea – A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, World Bank Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Board;

Frederiksen (2007) Water Resources Management: Stewardship and Services;

Frederiksen (1992) Water Resource Institutions: Some Principles and Practices, WB Tech Paper 191;

Frederiksen & Vissia (1998) Considerations in Formulating the Transfer of Services in the Water Sector;

GOK (2005) The Law of the Kyrgyz Republic - Water Code;

GOT (2001) Law of the Republic of Tajikistan – Water Code;

GPOBA (2006) Regulation of WSS services: getting better services to poor people, www.gpoba.org;

[[GWP] & UNEP (2006) Speedup of IWRM Objectives – 2005 Implementation in Central Asia – Annex C: Road Maps for developing and implementing Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan IWRM Strategies;

GWP (2004) Catalyzing Change: A handbook for developing IWRM and water efficiency strategies;

GWP (2000) Integrated Water Resources Management – TAC Background Paper No. 4;

GWP (undated) Meeting the WSSD Targets on IWRM and WE strategies: A how-to guide;

Haskoning (2003) for GEF and IFAS Water and Environmental Management Project Study on National and Regional Water and Salt Management Plans - Draft Regional Policy, Strategy and Action Program;

Hooper (2006) Key Performance Indicators of River Basin Organizations, www.iwr.usace.army.mil;

Hydrosult (2008) Support for Monitoring Policy Reforms and Improving Farm and Water Management;

IWMI and SICWC (2002) Institutional Situation Analysis of Water Management in the Ferghana Valley:

Kholmatov (2008) Technical Situation Analysis for preparation of a UNDP Project for Fostering Transboundary Dialogue, in Central Asia, by Developing and Implementing National IWRM Strategies;

Malano & Burton (2001) Guidelines for benchmarking performance in the irrigation and drainage sector

McNeil (2004) Assessing capacity for Community–based Development: A Pilot Study in Tajikistan, WBI;

Millington (2000) River Basin Management: Its Role in Major Water Infrastructure Projects, Thematic Review V.3 prepared as an input to the World Commission on Dams www.dams.org

Moench et al (2003) The Fluid Mosaic: Water Governance in the Context of Variability, Uncertainty and Change – A Synthesis Paper – Institute of Development Studies

Molden et al (1998) Indicators for Comparing Performance of Irrigated Agricultural Systems – IWMI

Mott MacDonald (2000) Kyrgyz National Irrigation Rehabilitation Strategy and Action Plan:

MWMI, UNDP and IFAS (2006) Water Sector Development Strategy in Tajikistan;

NSC and UNICEF (2006) Kyrgyzstan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey – National Statistics Committee;

OECD (2008) Terms of Reference – Financing U and R Water Supply and Sanitation in Kyrgyzstan;

Oxfam (1997) Capacity-Building: An Approach to People-Centered Development;

Perry et al (1997) Water as an Economic Good: A Solution, or a Problem? IIMI Research Report 14;

Pruss et al (2002) Estimating the Burden of Disease from Water, Sanitation & Hygiene at a Global Level;

Pulatov (2008) Institutional Situation Analysis for preparation of a UNDP Project for Fostering Transboundary Dialogue, in Central Asia, by Developing and Implementing National IWRM Strategies;

Schaffer & Ashkenas (2005) Rapid Results: How 100-day projects build capacity for large-scale change;

SCS and UNICEF (2005) Tajikistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey – State Committee on Statistics;

Skutsch (1998) Maintaining the Value of Irrigation and Drainage Projects – HR Wallingford

Sohail and Cavill (2007) Partnering to Combat Corruption in Infrastructure Services – A Toolkit – WEDC;

Strikeleva (2007) Project Evaluation – Kazakh IWRM Strategies: Establishment of Basin Councils;

Tarnutzer (2007) External Review Report - Integrated Water Resources Management Ferghana Valley Project Phase III: May 2005 to April 2008 for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation;

UN-Water (forthcoming) Status Report on IWRM/Water Efficiency Plans for CSD 16;

UN (2006) World Water Development Report 2 – Water a shared responsibility;

UN (2005) Investing in Sustainable Development: Tajikistan MDG Needs Assessment;

UN (2004) Strengthening Cooperation for Rational and Efficient Use of Water & Energy in Central Asia;

UNDP (2008) Performance & Capacity of River Basin Organizations – Cross-case comparison of RBOs

UNDP (2007a) HDR – Fighting climate change – Human solidarity in a divided world;

UNDP (2007b) Water Governance Strategy – a follow-up to HDR 2006: Beyond Scarcity;

UNDP (2007c) Capacity Development Practice Note;

UNDP (2006) HDR – Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis;

UNDP (2005) Central Asia HDR, Chapter 4 - Natural resource lifeline: water, energy & the environment;

UNDP (2004) Strategy and Project Activities to Support Improved Regional Water Management in CA;

UNDP (2003) National HDR – Tapping the Potential: Improving WR management in Tajikistan;

UNEP (2007) Dams and Development: Relevant Practices for Improved Decision Making;

WHO (2007) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Quantifying the health impact at national and local levels in countries with incomplete WSS coverage, Environmental Burden of Disease Series, No. 15:

WHO (2006a) Preventing Disease Through Healthy Environments: Towards an estimate of the environmental burden of disease;

WHO (2004) Evaluation of Costs & Benefits of Water & Sanitation Improvements at the Global Level;

WHO (2003) Domestic Water Quantity, Service Level and Health, WHO/SDE/WSH/03.02;

WHO and UNICEF JMP (2006) Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Targets: The Urban and Rural Challenge of the Decade;

World Bank ([[IBRD)) (2007a) Kyrgyz Republic Poverty Assessment, Vol 1: Growth, Employment and Poverty;

World Bank (IBRD) (2007b) Emerging Public – Private Partnerships in Irrigation Development & Management;

World Bank (IBRD) (2006a) RWSS and Hygiene: A Review of 25 Years of World Bank Lending (1978 – 2003);

World Bank (2006b) Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries (2nd ed), Jamison et al;

World Bank (2006c) Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors, Lopez et al;

World Bank (2005a) Republic of Tajikistan Poverty Assessment Update;

World Bank (2005b) PAD for the Ferghana Valley Water Resources Management Project;

World Bank (2004a) Water - Energy Nexus in Central Asia – Improving cooperation in Syr Darya Basin;

World Bank (2004b) A Revised Approach to World Bank and Development Partners’ Involvement in the Area of Water – Energy Cooperation in Central Asia;

World Bank (2004c) Water Resources Sector Strategy: Strategic Directions for Engagement;

World Bank (2003a) Water Resources in Asia and Central Asia: Volume 1: Issues and Strategic Directions and Volume 2: Country Water Notes and Selected Transboundary Basins;

World Bank (2003b) Irrigation in Central Asia: Social, Economic and Environmental Considerations;

World Bank (undated) Institutional and Policy Analysis of River Basin Decentralization: The Principle of Managing Water Resources at the Lowest Appropriate Level–When and Why Does It (Not) Work?

WSP (undated) Making Rural Water Supply Sustainable: Report on the Impact of Project Rules;

WSP (2003) In Pursuit of Good Governance: Experiments from South Asia’s Water & Sanitation Sector;

WWF (2001) Elements of Good Practice in Integrated River Basin Management – A practical resource for implementing the EU Water Framework Directive;

Yakubov (2006) The 2006 Follow-up Survey of 3 Pilot WUAs in the Ferghana Valley – IWMI & SICWC;

Original paper (UNDP June 2008):

See also

  1. A comprehensive study on glacial melting in Central Asia
  2. ADB - Donor Project Matrix on Central Asia
  3. Adapting to Climate Change in Europe and Central Asia - World Bank Report June 2009
  4. Amu Darya Assessment of Environment and Security Linkages and Impact
  5. Amu Darya Water Quality Assessment and Management
  6. An Action Plan for Improving Weather and Climate Service Delivery in High-Risk, Low Income Countries
  7. Aral Sea Basin Capacity Development Project
  8. Bishkek and Osh Urban Infrastructure Project
  9. Bukhara & Samarquand Water Supply Project
  10. CA Water Strategy - McCauley 2004
  12. Canal Automation in Ferghana Valley
  13. Capacity Building of Water Users for Sustainable Development in the Aral Sea Basin
  14. Capacity for Water Cooperation Project
  15. Central Asia HDR 2005 - Chapter 4: Water, Energy and the Environment
  16. Central Asia Regional Environmental Action Plan for Water Pollution
  17. Central Asia Regional Risk Assessment
  18. Central Asian Gateway
  19. Community Agriculture & Watershed Management GEF Project
  20. Community Agriculture & Watershed Management Project
  21. Compliance and Performance in International Waters - Central Asia
  22. Cross Border Impacts of Vahksh River Basin Development
  23. Dam safety in Central Asia: capacity building and sub-regional cooperation
  24. Developing Sustainable Hydro Technology in Kyrgyzstan
  25. Development of Ili-Balkhash Basin Integrated Management Plan
  26. Drainage, Irrigation & Wetlands Improvement Project - Phase 1
  27. Dushanbe Water Supply Project
  28. East-Caspian Assessment of Environment and Security Linkages and Impact
  29. Enhancing regional exchange of water resource information (CAREWIB phase II)
  30. Establishing a dialogue involving all key stakeholders to improve implementation and sustainability of rural drinking water projects in Tajikistan
  31. Ferghana Valley Water Resource Management
  32. Ferghana Valley Water Resources Management Phase-I
  33. Ferghana Valley Water Resources Management Project
  34. First Assessment of Transboundary Rivers, Lakes and Groundwaters in the UNECE Region
  35. GWP-CACENA 2009 Regional Review on WSS
  36. GWP/publications
  37. Harmonization and Approximation of Water Standards and Norms in Central Asia
  38. Hydro-hegemony in the Amu Darya Basin
  40. IWRM and transboundary dialogue in Central Asia
  41. IWRM in Central Asia
  42. Image:Leaflet Promoting IWRM in CA.pdf
  43. Improved Management of Water Resources in Central Asia II
  44. Integrated Water Resources Management Ferghana Valley
  45. International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea Action Report (2002-2008)
  46. Irrigation and Poverty in Central Asia: A Field Assessment
  47. Irrigation in Central Asia: Social, Economic and Environmental Considerations
  48. Karakol Water Supply Project
  49. Kazakhstan Country Profile for Johannesburg Summit 2002
  50. Kazakhstan MDG Report 2002
  51. Kazakhstan National HDR 2004
  52. Kazakhstan National IWRM and Water Efficiency Plan Concept Note
  53. Kazakhstan Water Sector Study TA (P090048)
  54. Kyrgyzstan Action Program to 2010
  55. Kyrgyzstan Country Profile for Johannesburg Summit 2002
  56. Kyrgyzstan Millennium Development Goals Progress Report
  57. Lessons on Cooperation Building to Manage Water Conflicts in the Aral Sea Basin
  58. Local multi-sectoral efforts for the CAI Water Dialogue
  59. MSGP Projects in Iran
  60. Microbiological safety of drinking water
  61. Municipal Infrastructure Development Project
  62. National IWRM and Water Efficiency Plan for Kazakhstan
  63. National IWRM and Water Efficiency Planning in the Central Asian Region
  64. National Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Efficiency Plan for Uzbekistan
  65. Nura River Clean-Up Project
  67. Politics of Water in Post-Soviet Central Asia
  68. Promoting Cooperation to Adapt to Climate Change in the Chu-Talas Transboundary Basin
  69. Promoting IWRM and Fostering Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia
  70. RBEC Background Paper for G12 on Regional Seas Programmes
  71. Regional Cooperation for Human Development and Security
  72. Regional Environment Programme
  73. Regional Rural Water Supply Project (SDC)
  74. Roadmap of the Kyrgyz National Policy Dialogue (NPD) on IWRM
  75. Rural Enterprise Support Project II
  76. Rural Water Supply & Sanitation 2
  77. SIC ICWC/publications
  78. Second Irrigation and Drainage Improvement Project
  79. Second On-farm Irrigation Project
  80. Setting up a Project Formulation and Coordination Support group for sustainable transboundary management of radioactive waste in Central Asia
  81. Shifting to hydrological boundaries – The politics of implementation in the lower Amu Darya Basin
  82. Small Towns Infrastructure & Capacity Building Project
  83. Speedup of the Integrated Water Resources Management Objectives-2005 Implementation in Central Asia
  84. St. Petersburg Statement on the Aral Sea
  85. Syr Darya Control and Northern Aral Sea Project - Phase I
  86. Syr Darya Control and Northern Aral Sea Project - Phase II
  87. Syr Darya Water Supply Project
  88. Tajikistan Millennium Development Goals Report 2003
  89. Tajikistan WSS Strategy
  90. The Swiss Support to Hydro-meteorological Services in the Aral Sea basin Project
  91. Transboundary Waters Management Experience in Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (TWME-ECCA)
  92. UNDP 2003: Water-related legal and institutional structures in Central Asia
  93. UNEP Support Programm for CA Countries on Johannesburg Plan and IWRM Plan by 2005
  94. Ust Kamenogorsk-Environmental Remediation Project
  95. Utilities Reform Study
  96. Uzbekistan Bukhara and Samarkand Sewerage Project
  97. Uzbekistan WSS Strategy
  98. Variability and Predictability of Central Asia River Flows - Antecedent Winter Precipitation and Large-Scale Teleconnections
  99. Water Conflict and Cooperation in Central Asia
  100. Water Conflict and Cooperation/Aral Sea Basin
  101. Water Energy Nexus in Central Asia
  102. Water Flume Metres for Water User Associations
  103. Water Governance in Central Asia
  104. Water Management Improvement Project (WMIP), Kyrgyzstan
  105. Water Productivity Improvement at Plot Level
  106. Water Resources Management Project, Uzbekistan
  107. Water Resources in Europe and Central Asia
  108. Water Sector Investment Planning Study
  109. Water Unites Central Asian Programme
  110. Water-Energy Nexus in Central Asia
  111. Water/Energy Dialogue
  112. World Bank Report - Millennium Development Goals: Progress and Prospects in Europe and Central Asia

External Resources


 Kyrygz Infectious Disease Incidence.xls  UNDP CA Water sector review June 08.doc

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