ORDINARY 44th MEETING OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR WATER COORDINATION
The ordinary 44th meeting of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination in Central Asia (ICWC) took place on 30-31 March 2006 in Ashkhabad under the chairmanship of the Ministry of Water Resources of Turkmenistan Ò.À. Altiyev.
The following issues were put on the agenda:
- Progress in the implementation of water withdrawal limits in non-vegetation period 2005/2006 and confirmation of water withdrawals for vegetation period 2006 (BWO “Amudarya” and BWO “Syrdarya” responsible).
- Development of the RETA Program “Improvement of Shared Water Resources Management in Central Asia” and detailed work scope and plan.
- “Comparative analysis of data on measurement and control devices by August 2005 in Central Asia, the CIS and other countries” and “Proposals for work program of the CMC in the field of metrological provision for water-related activities of metrological services in Central Asian countries” (CMC ICWC responsible).
- Consideration of “Provision on the ICWC” (SIC ICWC responsible).
- Venue and agenda of the 45th ICWC meeting.
- Results of participation of ICWC representatives in the 49th ICID Congress in Beijing.
- Annual Scientific-Practical Conference in Almaty city.
The ICWC members took into account the work done by BWO “Syrdarya” and BWO “Amudarya” for implementing water withdrawal limits and ensuring the adopted operation mode of reservoir cascades on the Syrdarya and Amudarya rivers in the non-vegetation period 2005/2006. Good monitoring and regulation of Chardara reservoir operation mode as well as ensuring of accident-free winter flood bypass were noted.
The participants of the meeting approved limits on water withdrawals from the Syrdarya and Amudarya rivers in vegetation period 2006 and amounts of water supply to the Aral Sea; recommended operation mode of the Naryn-Syrdarya reservoir cascade for approval with energy organizations in the basin. In April-May 2006, it will be necessary to introduce clarity into the operation mode.
The ICWC members will exercise permanent control over the implementation of the concluded inter-governmental agreements on integrated water and power resources use in the Naryn-Syrdarya reservoir cascade in â 2006.
The participants approved the program of measures and progress of the national working groups and regional group under the ADB RETA 6163 Project. New membership for the regional working group was confirmed, which includes representatives from SIC ICWC, BWO “Amudarya”, BWO “Syrdarya”, EC IFAS, “Energy” Center and CMC ICWC as an observer.
It was noted that it is necessary to intensify the coordination inside the national inter-agency groups with a view to taking into account the interests of all the sectors of economy and environment and achieving a balance between them.
The ICWC members agreed on the revised draft Agreement on Formation and Functioning of National, Basin and Regional Databases on Integrated Water Resources Use and Protection in the Aral Sea Basin” to be sent to the EC IFAS and Governments of Central Asian countries for consideration. Common approaches put in the draft Agreement on Water and Power Resources Use in the Syrdarya River Basin were taken into account.
The participants will prepare suggestions on delivery and purchase of water-gauging devices for water management organizations in Central Asian states.
The participants of the meeting agreed on the submitted draft of the new Provision on ICWC revised with account of remarks and suggestions, which will be sent to the IFAS Board for approval.
The ICWC members decided to intensify work of NCIDs with the ICID Central Office. The Chairmen of the Kazakh, Tajik and Turkmen NCIDs shoul take measures for paying annual membership fees of national organizations to the ICID. The Chairmen of the NCIDs should appoint their representatives for ICID working groups on water conservation, technical activities, farmer involvement, and for groups of researchers for the youth forum and so on.
In view of participation of ICWC representatives in the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico City on 17-22 March 2006, it was decided not to hold an Annual Central Asian International Scientific-Practical Conference in Almaty city in 2006.
Beginning from 2007, Central Asian International Scientific-Practical Conference in Almaty city will be held once every two year together with Central Asian International Exhibition “Water” on the base of the “Atakent-Expo” Center.
Taking into account that in 2007 the ICWC will celebrate its 15th anniversary, it was decided to hold in April 2007 an ICWC jubilee meeting, a Central Asian International Scientific-Practical Conference “Water Cooperation for Sustainable Development in Central Asia”, and the 7th Central Asian International Water Exhibition dedicated to the ICWC’s 15th anniversary.
The SIC ICWC together with BWO “Amudarya”, BWO “Syrdarya” and CMC ICWC was charged to develop a program for preparation of jubilee events up to the next ICWC meeting.
It should be noted that the ICWC members for the Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan made a suggestion to include the issue on rotation of ICWC executive bodies in the agenda, while the ICWC member for Uzbekistan opposed consideration of his issue at this ICWC meeting.
Taking into account the existing controversies, it was decided to include this issue in the agenda of the next meeting and charge the ICWC Secretariat to prepare suggestions on principles and order of rotation of ICWC executive bodies.
The 45th ICWC meeting will be held in July 2006 in Kyrgyzstan.
ROUNDTABLE ON IMPROVEMENT OF SHARED WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN CENTRAL ASIA
A Roundtable on Improvement of Shared Water Resources Management in Central Asia took place on 30 March to 2 April 2006 in Ashkhabad city.
Leaders and representatives of the national working groups (NWGs) and all representatives of the regional working group (RWG) (except for “Energy” Center) took part in the roundtable to discuss the regional water policy under the ADB RETA 6163 "Improvement of Shared Water Resources Management in Central Asia”.
The Tajik Government confirmed a NWG consisting of 9 members under the leadership of Deputy Minister of Land Reclamation and Water Resources of Tajikistan I. Eshmirzoyev. The Tajik NWG presented a country report on analysis of the efficiency of the agreements in force from the perspective of Tajik interests. Thus, all the NWGs presented their reports, but did not certify their approval by all the NWG members in protocols. The RWG members were charged to generalize their reports.
The NWGs of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan presented reports on inventory of activities carried out by each country for interstate cooperation. The report of the Kazakh NWG can be taken as a prototype, adding a scope of activities being done in water sector as a contribution of the countries to the IFAS.
The report of the Kyrgyz Republic on inventory included all costs incurred by the Water department for southern provinces. It was suggested to exclude operational costs for maintenance of the main and inter-farm network of irrigation systems from them.
Amendments were introduced into the draft Agreement on Formation and Functioning of National, Basin and Regional Databases on Integrated Water Resources Use and Protection in the Aral Sea Basin”, based on remarks of the Tajik NWG. There were no other remarks. At the ICWC meting, it was decided to send this draft to the EC IFAS for agreeing with the Governments of the founder states.
The draft Agreement on Water and Power Resources Use in the Syrdarya River Basin was discussed wit account of remarks from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The parties did not reach a consensus under some articles of the draft Agreement. It is expected to hold in Tashkent in April-May 2006 a meeting of representatives from the NWGs of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to link water and energy balances, in which two representatives from each country (representatives of water and energy sectors) will take part.
BWO “Amudarya” prepared a report on problems in the Amudarya river basin, to which the Turkmen NWG made remarks. The NWGs of the Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will prepare their remarks, and the RWG will generalize them by 1 May 2006.
The version presented by the Tajik NWG was taken as a basis for the first version of the draft Agreement on Water and Power Resources Use in the Amudarya River Basin. The text revised based on the results of discussions will be sent to NWG and RWG members up to 10 April 2006.
In accordance with the discussion at the ICWC meeting, it was decided to exclude the term ‘transboundary’ concerning waters, rivers, basins, water resources, bodies, sources from all the draft Agreements, replacing it by term ‘interstate’.
The prepared glossary text should be taken into account. To complete its preparation, it is necessary to ask the NWGs of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to submit their remarks to the revised version up to 1 May 2006. The agreed version will be used as a reference knowledge base. The preparation of terms for specific draft interstate agreements will be carried out in a working order. The developed terminology to the Agreement on Water and Power Resources Use in the Syrdarya River Basin was transmitted to all the NWGs. The NWGs wil submit their remarks and suggestions by 15 May 2006.
Based on the decision of the ICWC, the CMC ICWC should be included in the RWG membership as an observer.