Kyrgyzstan/Kazakhstan - Formation of a Chu-Talas Rivers Commission

From WaterWiki.net

Jump to: navigation, search
edit  ·  Case StudiesWater Knowledge Fair 2006
Browse other video exhibits from Cyprus | Egypt | Jordan | Lithuania | Morocco | Romania | Somalia | Tajikistan | Crimea | Uzbekistan
Other Exhibits from:

Albania | Armenia | Belarus | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Caspian Sea Basin | Danube River Basin | Dnipro Basin | Kazakhstan (1) | Kazakhstan (2) | Kyrgyzstan/Kazakhstan | Macedonia/Prespa Lake | Montenegro/Lake Skadr | Peipsi/Chudskoe Basin | Romania (1) | Romania (2) | Turkey (1) | Turkey (2) | Turkey (3)

Other Case Studies:

Cap-Net/UNDP | Enhancing Access to Information and Public Participation in Environmental Decision-making | ‘Value Base Assessment procedure’ and the use of Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) in relation to transboundary water management | TEST - Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology in the Danube River Basin | IW:LEARN: Facilitating Knowledge Sharing Among GEF International Waters Project Portfolio and their Partners | GloBallast - Invasion of the Killer Species

Related resources:

Summaries of Forum I: Status of IWRM in Europe, CIS and the Arab States / Forum II: From the HDR 2006 to Action on the Ground / Forum III: Stakeholder Management in Water Projects | Lessons from the Virtual Knowledge Fair as KM-event (behind the scenes) |

Rivers shared

The Chu and Talas rivers represent crucial sources of water for Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The rivers are utilized for agriculture, fish farming, hydroelectric power, and domestic needs. Typically, the sharing of water resources, in particular between upstream and downstream countries, can be characterized by tension and conflict. However, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have found a mutually beneficial way to share the responsibility for maintenance and investment in the water infrastructure used by both countries. In a bilateral agreement signed in January 2000, Kazakhstan agreed to pay part of the operating and maintenance expenses for a number of Kyrgyz dams and reservoirs that supply water to both countries.

In February 2002, the Governments of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan submitted a request to the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) for assistance in establishing an intergovernmental transboundary water commission, including the development of the Commission statute and other actions aimed at the effective implementation of the bilateral agreement addressing the Chu and Talas rivers.

The Commission coordinates maintenance and use of infrastructure on the Chu and Talas rivers. These activities directly affect the population living in the regions adjacent to the two rivers. More than 1 million people in Kazakhstan and 1.2 million people in Kyrgyzstan live in this international water basin. The peoples living in the river basin are diverse in their origin, culture, and water management needs. It is crucial that they be involved in the process of water management.

Context

Development of a Joint Commision for the Chu-Talas Rivers

Focus Areas

Geographic Scope

Chu and Talas River Basins

Stakeholders

The international community has supported the Commission’s formation through its own coordinated efforts. The European Union has implemented a project on integrated water resources management in the basins of the Chu and Talas rivers, while the Asian Development Bank has provided support for setting up the Commission secretariat and renovating some infrastructure on the rivers. UNDP will assist in project information dissemination.

(UNDP'S ROLE? Please explain Juerg.staudenmann 11:23, 1 Aug 2006 (CEST))

Contacts

Zharas Takenov, UNDP Kyrgyzstan

Or contact directly:

Tulegen Sarsembekov, UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia,

Abdybai Djailobaev, Water Management Department of the Ministry of Water Management, Agriculture and Processing Industry of the Kyrgyz Republic

Alina Gabitova, OSCE Centre in Almaty

Bo Libert, UNECE

Kojhi Iwakami, UNESCAP


Contents

Background and Significance

Talas River
Talas River

Within the framework of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), Project Working Group - Energy, and with funds from the United Nations Development Account, a project on "Rational and efficient use of energy and water resources in Central Asia" is developing a regional strategy on rational use of water and energy resources. A major principle of this strategy calls for sharing maintenance, operational and rehabilitation costs of selected multipurpose water installations on transboundary watercourses.

In January 2000, the Governments of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic signed the Agreement on Utilization of the Water Facilities of Interstate Use on the Chu and Talas rivers that are shared by both countries. Under the agreement, Kazakhstan has an obligation to reimburse a part of Kyrgyzstan's expenses for operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of a number of dams and reservoirs located on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, but supplying water to Kazakhstan.

The Agreement was ratified by parliaments of both countries and came into force in February 2002. The countries have already developed preliminary arrangements for sharing costs of exploitation and maintenance of the water management infrastructure. But according to the Agreement, a permanent bilateral commission is to be established in order to operate the water facilities of interstate use and define and share the costs for their exploitation and maintenance.

A request was made by the Governments of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to UNECE and UNESCAP for assistance in establishing the commission stipulated in their Agreement, in order to ensure effective implementation of the Agreement on the Chu and Talas rivers. In contacts with the OSCE, this organization expressed its great interest towards the initiative and agreed to provide assistance for the fund raising and project implementation as a co-partner. On this basis, a project proposal was developed, funds were raised and the project is now being implemented by the project partners.

It is expected that the implementation of this project would not only contribute to an improved cooperation between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan on the Chu and Talas rivers, but would also be an example for Central Asia on improved cooperation on transboundary waters as promoted by the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) Project Working Group - Energy. The project also will contribute to the better understanding of the principles of the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes in Central Asia and the creation of an enabling environment for the accession of Central Asian countries to the Convention.

Goal and Objectives


1. Establishment of an intergovernmental commission between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan on the Chu and Talas rivers; 2. Developing procedures and preparing background documents for sharing the costs of rehabilitation, maintenance and operation of the multipurpose water installations on the two rivers that are covered by the Agreement; and 3. Developing public participation in the management of water resources in the basins of those rivers.

The Experience: Challenges and Solutions

WHAT

The project objective is to assist Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in making the Agreement on the Use of Water Facilities of Interstate Use on the Chu and Talas Rivers between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic of 21 January 2000 operational by implementing the following tasks:

· Drafting background documents for a Commission to be created as stipulated in article 5 of the above Agreement;

· Preparing background documents and developing procedures for sharing the costs of maintenance, operation and rehabilitation of the multipurpose water installations on the two rivers that are covered by the Agreement;

· Mediating for reaching consensus between the two Governments on the above documents;

· Developing and partially implementing a plan for involving public into in the management of the river basin.

WHO

Governmental Bodies, Commercial and Non-commercial organizations, Research and Educational Institutions, International organizations, projects and programs in the region of Chu-Talas Water Basin, both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan organizations are involved as key stakeholders. Project created special Electronic Database that contains information about organizations and entities: name of organization, type, mission or brief description, address, contact person, year of establishment, number of employees. The organizations are divided into such categories as governmental entities, NGOs, research institutions and business organizations. Interactive map, easy navigation and search on categories enable to quick find required information on stakeholders listed in database.

The project is linked with the activities undertaken under the auspices of the Project Working Group on Energy and Water resources in Central Asia (PWG-Energy) which was set up within the framework of the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) implemented jointly by UNECE and UNESCAP.

The project implementation will be supervised by a Steering Group with representatives of the following organisations: The Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Processing Industry of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, OSCE, UNECE and UNESCAP. This Steering Group, led by a representative of OSCE Almaty, will consider, discuss and decide on any arising issue that might be identified as an obstacle, or proposed changes in the implementation of the project. The communication within the Steering Group will take place on the Internet.

Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan will nominate a coordinating expert for each Work Package. These experts will be co-responsible for the implementation of all activities. The OSCE Office in Almaty will be over-all responsible for the implementation of the project, including the management of available funding. Logistical support in the implementation of the project will be provided by the Secretariat of the SPECA-related project “Rational and Efficient Use of Energy and Water Resources in Central Asia”.

WHERE

Talas River
Talas River

Chu-Talas watershed includes rivers Chu, Talas and Asa. The major part of the watershed - 73% - is located in desert and semi-desert zones, mountain systems of Tyan-Shan occupy 14%, steppe hill part - 13%. Chu and Talas watersheds are located within the borders of the northern part of the Tyan-Shan mountain system and the eastern outskirts of the vast Turan lowland. In its administrative subdivision the mountain part of the watersheds belongs to the Kyrgyz Republic, plane part – to Kazakhstan. It is represented by a complex system of Tyan-Shan ridges, separated by broad enclosed valleys and cavities. The watershed in the mountain part is limited by Kyrgyz, Terskey Alatau, and Jumgoltau ridges and there side casts, and by Kungey Alatau and Zailiyskiy Alatau in the east. The main land fund and the irrigated lands are located in Chu valley, smaller sites – in Talas river watershed in the territory of Kyrgyzia and Kazakhstan.

Chu river water basin occupies the total square of 62.5 ths km2, including the watershed part of 38.4 ths km2. 22 ths km2 (60%) of these belong to Kyrgyzstan. Within its borders there is almost the entire mountain area of Chu river dike formation, which is formed as a result of confluence of the two rivers – Kochkor and Juvanaryk. Chu is 1.186 km long, 336 km of that length the river is running through the territory of Kyrgyzstan, 850 km – through that of Kazakhstan.

Talas river is formed by the confluence of Karakol and Uchkosha initiating at the slopes of Kyrgyz ridge and Talas Alatau. It vanishes in Moinkum sands, having not reached lake Aydyn. The river is 661 km long, 453 of which lies within the Kazakh territory of Jambul region. The watershed square is 52.700 km. In the Kyrgyz territory the valley splits into two administrative districts. The square of irrigated land in the latter comprises around 97 ths hectares. The maximal width of the Kazakh part of the valley is 25-30 km, the least is 1-2 km. There is the Talas-Asa channel. In Talas valley there is the center of Jambul region, the city of Taraz. The square of irrigated land in the Kazakh part of the basin is 126.4 ths hectares.

WHEN

HOW

The project consists of the following four components:


Development of a statute and regulations for the Bilateral Water Commission on the Chu and Talas Rivers (workpackage 1); Allocation of costs for operation, management and rehabilitation of selected water control projects (workpackage 2); Public participation (workpackage 3); Information dissemination about the project (workpackage 4).

Workpackage 1: Development of a statute and regulations for the Bilateral Water Commission on the Chu and Talas Rivers

Within this project component, proposals on the statute of and complementary regulations for the Bilateral Commission will be drafted, negotiated and agreed upon. It is expected that a high level meeting/ceremony to inaugurate the Bilateral Commission will conclude WP1 and WP2. The following tasks are to be implemented:

1. International experts will prepare and circulate a first draft of Statute for the Bilateral Commission. (UNECE, UNESCAP)

2. During a workshop involving Kazakh and Kyrgyz experts, and international experts this draft will be discussed. (Meeting 1, SPECA-Secretariat, ECE, ESCAP)

3. A second draft will be prepared by international experts and circulated. (ECE, ESCAP, Consultants)

4. The second draft will be circulated to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan for comments. (SPECA-Secretariat)

5. The international experts will produce a third draft.

6. Negotiations will be held between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan with the objective to agree on the statute and possibly additional regulations for the Bilateral Commission. (Meeting 2, OSCE Almaty)

7. The international experts will finalise the Statute. (Consultants)

8. A high level meeting/ceremony will be held to inaugurate the Bilateral Commission. (Meeting 4, OSCE Almaty)

River Chu in Autumn
River Chu in Autumn


Workpackage 2: Allocation of costs for operation, management and rehabilitation of selected water control projects

Within this project component, procedures and background documents defining allocation of costs and benefits to be derived from operation of the water control structures covered by the agreement will be drafted, negotiated and agreed upon. The following tasks are to be implemented:

1. Terms of reference will be elaborated jointly by Kazakh and Kyrgyz authorities for development of a proposal on cooperation including reimbursement of funds used for operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of dams and reservoirs in the river basins. (ECE, ESCAP)

2. Tendering of the defined task to international experts and local consultants from both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (OSCE Almaty)

3. Drafting of report by local consultants and international experts, circulation of the report. (Consultants)

4. During a workshop the report will be discussed between Kazakh and Kyrgyz authorities, and international experts. (Meeting 2, OSCE Almaty)

5. Second draft of the report by local consultants and international experts. (Consultants)

6. Negotiations between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan with the objective to reach an agreement on cooperation and reimbursement for operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of dams and reservoirs. (Meeting 3, SPECA-Secretariat, ECE, ESCAP)

7. Presentation of the Agreement in connection with the inauguration of the Bilateral Commission. (Meeting 4, OSCE Almaty)


Workpackage 3: Public participation

The aim of this work package is to develop the supply of information to and involvement of the public and stakeholders in the management of the river basin. This will include development of information channels to the public/stakeholders as well as establishment of opportunities for a dialogue. The following tasks are to be implemented:

1. International experts will prepare and circulate a first draft of a Programme for the Commission on public participation (The Peipsi Center for Transboundary Cooperation)

2. During a workshop involving Kazakh and Kyrgyz experts, and international experts this draft will be discussed. (Meeting 2, OSCE Almaty)

3. A second draft will be prepared by international experts and circulated. (The Peipsi Center for Transboundary Cooperation)

4. During the first meeting of the Bilateral Commission, in connection with its inauguration, agreeing on the Programme on public participation will be one item on the agenda. (Meeting 4, OSCE Almaty)

5. Implementation of selected parts of the Programme. (The Peipsi Center for Transboundary Cooperation)



Workpackage 4: Information dissemination about the project

As this project is conceived not only to improve the specific situation in the Chu-Talas river basins, but also to serve as an example in the region, WP4 will has as the objective to spread information about the implementation of the project in the region. This will be achieved by establishing a web site of the project, by producing and distributing information material and by arranging a concluding sub-regional seminar. The following tasks are to be implemented:

1. A website in Russian/English will be established and updated throughout the project. Efforts will be made that this websites would continue to be the official website of the Bilateral Commission. Links to this website will be established from the websites of all participating organisations. (The Peipsi Center for Transboundary Cooperation)

2. During the inauguration of the Bilateral Commission a brochure will be presented which will highlight the experiences from the project. (The Peipsi Center for Transboundary Cooperation)

3. Concluding sub-regional seminar on the experiences of the project. (Meeting 4, OSCE Almaty)

Results and Impact

Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have found a mutually beneficial way to share the responsibility for water infrastructure used by both upstream and downstream countries. In a bilateral agreement, Kazakhstan has agreed to pay part of the operating and maintenance expenses for a number of Kyrgyz dams and reservoirs which supply water to both countries. A bilateral commission will now start work to implement the agreement, taking a huge step towards addressing a contentious issue and achieving a breakthrough in water relations in Central Asia.

Under a joint project implemented by two United Nations regional commissions – the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific – and by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Statute of the Commission has been prepared and agreed on by the concerned ministries and agencies of both countries. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan’s parts of the Commission have equal standing, and each country’s part will report to a water management agency in that country.

Applying the example of Kazakh-Kyrgyz cooperation to resource sharing in other transboundary river basins in Central Asia could lead to greater all-around capacity to meet the region’s water needs.

For more information, please visit Transboundary Chu-Talas River Project

Lessons for Replication

Main Results

The proposed project is expected to achieve the following results:


WP1 Establishment of an intergovernmental commission between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan on the Chu and Talas rivers as a mechanism for the implementation of the Agreement between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan on the Chu and Talas rivers.

WP2 Procedures for sharing the costs of operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of the water control facilities under the Agreement have been established.

WP3 Improved supply of information to and involvement of the public and stakeholders in the management of the river basin

WP4 Improved understanding of principles for management of shared water resources among decision makers and stakeholders in Central Asia.


Indicators of achievement


Indicators for WP 1 Agreed Statute of and complementary regulations for the Bilateral Commission.

Indicators for WP 2 Agreed documents defining the sharing of costs of operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of the dams and reservoirs covered in the Agreement.

Indicators for WP 3 A programme for the Commission on public participation in the river basin management. ; Implementation of parts of this programme.

Indicators for WP 4 Material available on theweb on the project implementation in Russian and English. A brochure on the project implementation available after the implementation of the project A sub-regional seminar on the project experiences.


Outlook (Conclusions and Next Steps)

Testimonies and Stakeholder Perceptions

Timeframe & Status

On-going. The first meeting of the newly formed Chu-Talas Rivers Commission was held on 26 July 2006.

References

See also

Kazakhstan - NGO Zhalgas-Counterpart - Civil Society Support Centre in Almaty

Lessons from the Lake Peipsi/Chudskoe Basin Management Program

Development and implementation of the Lake Peipsi/Chudskoe Basin Management Program

Water Knowledge Fair 2006

External Resources

Transboundary Chu-Talas River Project

The United Nations Development Programme in Kazakhstan

Institute of Water Problems and Hydropower, Kyrgyz Republic

Attachments

 Chui-Talas-brief.doc

 Concept paper on public involvement in the Talas Chu Rivers Basins.doc


1865 Rating: 2.6/5 (102 votes cast)