THE 51st ICWC MEETING
The 51 st meeting of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia (ICWC) was held on 17-18 September, 2008, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Mr. Ryabtsev A.D., the chairman of committee on water resources of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, took the chair of meeting.
The following items were entered to the agenda of meeting:
- Regarding vegetation period and additional measures after its completion (BWO “Amudarya” and BWO “Syrdarya” are responsible for implementation).
- Regarding work progress in implementation of SCADA systems in interstate water sources.
- Regarding development of national information systems and their interlinking with operations of national hydrometeorological services.
- Revision and approval of draft “Provisions on ICWC”, “Provision about rotation of ICWC's executive bodies and their directors" and "Agreement on institutional strengthening for management, protection, and development of water resources of interstate sources in the Aral Sea basin".
- Regarding agenda and venue of the next 52nd ICWC meeting.
The ICWC members took into account the information of BWO "Amudarya" and BWO "Syrdarya" on the operations mode of the reservoirs cascade during the past non-vegetation period. At the meeting the water withdrawal limits in the Amudarya River and the planned operation modes of the reservoirs cascade for the non-vegetation period 2008-2009 and also the water withdrawal limits in the Syrdarya River and the planned operation modes of the Naryn-Syrdarinsky reservoirs cascade for the non-vegetation period 2008-2009 were approved.
The meeting participants consider that further implementation of SCADA systems is reasonable on the following interstate water sources:
- at the interstate basin level – system of automation, centralization of control and monitoring of water resources management on the water bodies within BWO “Syrdarya” which are situated at the river stations along the river section from the Uchkurgon HPS to the Farkhadsky HPS (Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), and of two facilities on the interstate Big Fergana canal;
- at the interstate small rivers level - the water resources management monitoring systems for the Khodjabakirgan river (Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan).
The project proposal on developing and implementing the SCADA systems on the interstate water bodies to finance the prime costs of the project development, delivery and setup of equipment and software of the implementing systems will be submitted to the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC).
The water management organizations of the Central Asian countries after the project approval will conduct preliminary works on the specified bodies at their own expenses and will give the needed assistance on organizing and implementing the automation project.
The project will ensure the equal access to information for all water management bodies.
Participants approved the work “Development of the national information systems” on the CAREWIB project and recognized the further work continuation on the project activity is reasonable. The activity of the national contact point of Tajikistan concerning elaboration of the National information system (NIS) development policy was especially marked out.
The need is marked to pay attention of the ICWC members to preparation and adoption of the National information systems development policy, elimination of obstacles to involve organizations outside the water sector of the states for creation of NIS, in the first place jointly with the national hydrometeorological services, and with financial maintenance, including the donors involvement.
Finally the ICWC members have expressed gratitude to the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC) for their active support.
The meeting participants have approved:
“Statute of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia”
"Provision about rotation of ICWC's executive bodies and their directors".
They also have agreed the draft "Agreement on institutional strengthening for management, protection, and development of water resources of interstate sources in the Aral Sea basin" which is given to the state governments for consideration.
The next ICWC meeting will be held on December, 2008, in Turkmenistan.
The ICWC Secretariat have been entrusted to prepare analysis of decisions implementing by the ICWC executive bodies and to submit it on the next ICWC meeting.
CONSIDERING THE ADB REGIONAL TECHNICAL SUPPORT PROJECT “IMPROVING THE WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT IN CENTRAL ASIA”
The ICWC members have discussed the ADB regional technical support project “Improving the water resources management in Central Asia” on 17 September 2008.
Mr. Abdukayumov R. have informed the meeting participants that the Asian Development Bank had approved grant of $ 998,000 for implementing the regional project "Improving the water resources management in Central Asia" on 12 September 2008. The project participants are the Islamic State Afghanistan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan. The project is addressed to provide the sustainable economic development of countries in Central Asia and Afghanistan by means of expanding the regional cooperation in the sphere of the transboundary water resources management.
Mr. Abdukayumov R. said that to start the implementation of the project measures it is needed to obtain the written confirmations about participation in this project from all countries. Regarding this on 9 September 2008 the ADB sent the official letters from the participant-countries to the Bank Manager. Mr. Abdukayumov R. have informed that copies of those letters will be sent to the water management departments of all countries in order to speed up the agreement process among countries. The ICWC members expressed the strong encouragement to participating of countries in the project implementing and assured that the official confirmations concerning it on behalf of all states will be submitted to ADB to the beginning of October 2008.
Participants discussed the uniform structure of the national work groups for implementing measures within the project. Taking into account the problems number needed to discuss in the framework of project, parties came to agreement that representatives of water management, energy sector, environmental and economy organizations, and financial agencies, as well as of Ministries of Foreign Affairs could be included to the national work groups. The ICWC members have informed that the national work groups were formed by each of countries within the RETA 6163 project, and that the ADB will be informed about changes in the structure of the national work groups including their managers if there were such cases, taking into account the mentioned statute.
Participants have discussed the formation of the Coordination Committee which would help to come to agreement about the general project measures and their time-frames, would coordinate the national work groups activity as well would be authorized to make decisions on the basis of consensus. Participants agreed that managers of all the national work groups will be included into the Coordination Committee. Along with that the opinion was expressed that each country will present own proposals about including the representatives of EC IFAS, SIC ICWC, BWO "Amudarya", BWO "Syrdarya", CDC "Energy" into the Coordination Committee.
Participants discussed the technical secretariat location and structure, as well the financial issues of the project measures. The secretariat structure will include 1 local specialist of water resources and 1 project manager who will be responsible for obtaining reports of the national work groups for further consideration by the Coordination Committee as well for collecting and submitting all financial documents to ADB for writing-off funds used.
The Kazakh party noted that the technical secretariat location is not important and they are ready to approve any suggestion. The Kyrgyz party and Tajik party suggested to place the secretariat in Bishkek, but Turkmen party and Uzbek party have suggested Tashkent as the secretariat location. Because parties didn't come in agreement on this matter it was suggested to leave decision at the discretion of the ADB. All countries have to accept the ADB decision. Regarding the mechanism of financing Mr. Abdukayumov R. reported that after approval of the structure of the national work groups by countries, the ADB will send the letter-agreement on financing to all participants for signing and appointing the responsible person for writing-off funds. Financing the national work groups will be on the basis of that letter-agreement.
The SIC ICWC noted that large expenses are provided for the international consultant works within the project but previous experience showed that contribution of international consultant to the RETA 6163 project was minimal. Mr. Abdukayumov R. noted that approval of international consultants, their work duration and work plan will be coordinated by all of the project participant countries. Mr. Abdukayumov R. appealed participants to represent themselves as a candidate on the existing vacancies of international consultant.
The SIC ICWC also noted the need to allocate certain funds for improvement of the automation systems in the Amudarya River Basin that will contribute to more qualitative data exchange on the water resources volumes among the countries situated in the basin. Mr. Abdukayumov R. reported that according to the ADB policy the part of funds for equipment in the technical support grants shouldn't exceed 10% of the total project costs. Nevertheless he suggested to investigate the Amudarya River Basin needs in the automation systems in detail, and to consider the possibility of automating one or two of the specified water bodies during the project implementing by the saved project money.
Regarding measures on support of Joint Chu-Talas River Commission Mr. Abdukayumov R. reported those measures will be implemented on the same scheme: the ADB will finance the current expenses of the Commission Secretariat and three specialists from each of parties. Mr. Abdukayumov R. made a request to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in order they submit the Curriculum Vitae on 3 applicants of each of parties to the ADB for vacancies of attorney on water economy, specialist on waterworks exploitation and maintenance, and specialist on water resources management.
Participants agreed that it is needed to prepare proposals on the work plan for the national work groups for the period from October 2008 until April 2009 including measures for finalizing the agreement on use of the water and energy resources of the Syrdarya River Basin as well as measures for the Amudarya River Basin. Regarding measures for the Amudarya River Basin the parties agreed to present their proposals on possibility to attract representatives of Afghanistan to discussing the water management problems. These proposals will be submitted for consideration by the Coordination Committee which will make a final decision about the work plan.