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No. 5 (109) March 2006


Seminars on the “Basic organizational, legal and financial-economic measures for sustainable operation of Water User Association. Water use in Water Use Association” were held within the framework of the WUA Activity under the IWRM-Fergana Project from 27 February to 6 March, along the Khojibakirgan and South Fergana Canals where new Water User Associations (WUAs) had been established.

Seminars were held:

  • from 27 to 28 February: in Proletarsk town, Sogd province, attended by 39 local representatives from WUAs and water management organizations (WMOs)
  • from 1 to 2 March: in the TC (Training Center) in Fergana city, attended by 69 local representatives from WUAs and WMOs
  • from 3 to 4 March: in the TC in Andijan city, attended by 50 local representatives from WUAs and WMOs
  • from 5 to 6 March: in the TC in Osh city, attended by 32 local representatives from WUAs and WMOs, TC lecturers.

Leader of the WUA Activity under the “IWRM-Fergana” Project M.A. Pinkhasov, Ph.D., delivered a lecture “Planning and implementation of measures in establishment and functioning of a WUA”. In his lecture, he explained why and on what principle a WUA is established.

As the lecturer noted, a WUA is usually set up with the help of an initiative group whose task is: to identify territorial dimensions of WUA; carry out social mobilization among water users; prepare constitutive documents for WUA being set up; prepare an inventory of irrigation assets transferred to WUA; submit an model organizational structure for WUA; prepare a general (constituent) meeting of WUA members.

Upon establishment of a WUA, a business plan, a water use plan that takes into account water requirements of each water user, a plan of repair and renewal operation for irrigation and collector-drainage network of WUA are drawn up, and monitoring of WUA operation and water accounting is organized with the help of both WMOs and water users.

The important conditions for sustainable functioning of WUA include: determination of rates and criteria for entrance fees of WUA members and co-founders; availability of a legal framework for establishment and functioning of WUA; prevalence of revenues over expenditures in the WUA budget or their equality; availability of WUA production basis; participation of professional specialists in hydraulic engineering, land reclamation, economists in WUA operation; installment of water-accounting facilities at on-farm network for each WUA member water user; organization of a sustainable efficient operation between WMO and WUA; fairly established tariff, approved by general meeting of WUA members; availability of optimum organizational structure of WUA; availability of incentives for WUA personnel for achieving water supply indicators, equitably allocating water among water users, providing a favorable reclamation background, improving crop productivity; external assistance (from the ministries of agriculture and water resources and their organizations, local administration) to attract local resources, providing with normative-methodical documents, funds and hardware, training WUA personnel and water users.

For identifying “reserves” in WUA operation, the lecturer suggested to use system of technical and economic indicators for WUA operation proposed by SIC ICWC in the Guidelines for IWRM at WUA level”.

Project consultant on hydrometry R.R. Masumov, Ph.D., gave a lecture “Issues of water accounting in integrated water resources management”.

The lecturer told the audience about the available visual aids, technical documents for water accounting and diverse water-measuring facilities, and proposed specific recommendations for installing various types of water-measuring facilities, for conducting water accounting at both WUA canals and water intake points of water users.

M.A. Pinkhasov delivered a lecture “Financial-economic aspects of WUA operation”.

The lecturer told the listeners about formation of WUA budget, essence of and procedure for drawing up a WUA business plan. The lecturer dwelled on the system of WUA technical and economic indicators proposed by him, which would enable to reveal available “reserves” in operation of analyzed WUA.

Assistant for WUA Activity A.A. Alimjanov gave a lecture on “Water allocation in WUA”. He noted that as a result of the conducted reforms in Uzbekistan, unprofitable and ineffective large farms (collective and state farms) were disbanded, and a great number of new water users with small irrigated plots emerged.

The disbandment of collective and state farms led to breakup of their irrigation and drainage services, the function of which is now fulfilled by water user associations (WUA). At present, water allocation on large farms and WUAs being established is based on figures in water use plan drawn up 15-20 years ago or drawn up at secondary canal level.

The current water allocation based on above-mentioned principles is ineffective, because the crop pattern has changed, and it is impossible to define to whom, when and for what needs it is necessary to supply water according to water use plan drawn up at secondary canal level.

Under new conditions, WUA should make up water use plan with account of water requirements of each water user regardless of location and size of his irrigated field.

In the context of small farms, DC water allocation to each farm with small average ten-day discharges in accordance with water use plan seems ineffective (1 l/sec per ha, 3 l/sec per 5 ha).

Under new conditions, water use plan has lost its water allocating function, keeping necessary water amount only.

For improving the efficiency of water allocation among small economic entities, it is necessary to transit from ten-day water allocation to daily water allocation.

The lecturer dwelled on a mechanism for transferring from ten-day water allocation to daily water allocation and on drawing up daily timetables for water supply to water users. This principle considers interests of all the parties: water users, WUA and WMO, ensuring transparency and openness of water allocation process.

Later, the lecturer dwelled on advantages of the introduction of the method for water allocation based on water user requests.

M.A. Pinkhasov gave a lecture “Methods for settling water disputes”.

In his presentation, he dwelled on the nature of and causes for water conflicts and disputes. In particular, he noted that conflicts and disputes between water users within WUA, between WUA and water users, between WUA and WMO can be caused by: non-observance of terms under a contract between water users and WUA for water delivery in regard to dates and amounts and providing other kinds of services, including land reclamation services rendered by WUA; non-observance of terms under a contract between WMO and WUA; violation of established order for water receipt by WUA member (unauthorized water withdrawal, unauthorized increase of water diversion points, adjustment of hydraulic structures, installment of temporary check dams and pumping plants on canals, boring of water wells, etc.); deterioration of reclamation condition of lands induced by inactivity or insufficient measures related to operation of reclamation projects; infringement of WUA Statutes and so on.

Disputes and conflicts between WUA and its members, between WUA and WMO can be considered, according to the acting regulatory legal acts, in Arbitration Board of WUA, in Arbitration Board of Canal Water Committee, in courts of elders (organized at local administrations) and in WUA Regulating Agency at the ministry of agriculture and water resources (for the time being, this agency has been set up in the Kyrgyz Republic only).

Further, the lecturer dwelled on proactive measures for preventing water conflicts and disputes.

A.A. Alimjanov delivered a lecture “Involvement of water users in water use and water allocation planning in WUA”, in which he noted that the reforms being conducted in agricultural sector in Central Asian countries led to an increase in the number of water users with small irrigated plots that causes problems in organizing water use and servicing water users.

To solve the mentioned problems, it is necessary in organizing water use in WUA to transit from ten-day water use to daily water use and involve water users themselves in water use an water allocation planning in WUA.

The lecturer noted that while involving water users in water use and water allocation planning, it is necessary to take into account the relations between water users and WUA, i.e. concluded contracts for water delivery to water users directly from WUA or through the leader of a water user group.


On the initiative of the Ministry of Water Resources of Turkmenistan, joint check measurements of water discharges and withdrawals at the Amudarya river below the Tuyamuyun hydroscheme were made from 27 February to 1 March 2006. To make joint check measurements, four working groups consisting of representatives from BWO “ Amudarya”, Ministry of Water Resources of Turkmenistan, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan and Uzbek Hydromet Service were established.

The conducted check measurements showed that:

  • in general, measured water discharges over intakes comply with report data of BWO “Amudarya”; no breach of water discipline was identified in checking;
  • the measured discharges at gauging stations (GSs) below the Tuyamuyun hydroscheme, except for the Kipchak gauging station, comply with data of the Uzbek Hydromet Service;
  • non-productive water losses on site Tuyamuyun GS – Samanbai GS amounted by 1 March 2006 to 31%, including 19.2% on site Tuyamuyun GS – Kipchak GS and 18.2% on site Kipchak GS – Samanbai GS.

The results of the work done are presented in the concluding minutes.

At the same time, it is necessary to draw attention to that discharges over Khan-Yab canal are fixed on the basis of report data, in view of the lack of a capability to make check measurement. Due to strong silting of a supplying part of Jumabai-Saka canal, under the present water elevations in river channel, water withdrawal over it is impossible. BWO “Amudarya” repeatedly called the attention of the management of “Dashoguzsuvkhozhalygy” to that. For improving water withdrawal conditions for Jumabai-Saka canal system, the workgroups recommended to urgently carry out necessary cleanup work on a supplying channel of the canal. The same work should permanently be carried out on supply canals such as Klychniyazbai and Khan-Yab.

In conclusion, it is necessary to note that conducting joint verification inspections of water withdrawal and discharge in river is not a new work, it exists in BWO activities long ago and, of course, has positive moments: firstly, it takes away tension in regard to trust; secondly, it improves water use discipline and enables to opportunely eliminate identified drawbacks in water resources regulation. It is necessary that such work be carried out regularly, not only on river reach below the Tuyamuyun hydroscheme, but also all along the Amudarya river.

S. Kuchkarov
Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources
Republic of Uzbekistan