NATIONAL AND TRANSBOUNDARY WATER USE ISSUES IN THE CONTEXT OF EXPECTED WATER SHORTAGE IN UZBEKISTAN
The Chief Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan organized academic and research workshops for specialists of the water industry of the Republic. The workshops were held in every province of the country from 17 to 30 January. The main subject of the workshops was “National and Transboundary Water Use Issues in the Context of Expected Water Shortage in Uzbekistan”. With the involvement of experts from the Scientific Information Center of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) of Central Asia, the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Melioration, the Research Institute of Irrigation and Water Problems, the attendees were delivered reports on the following topics:
- General issues of water resources management in Uzbekistan and on-going land reclamation activities
- Transboundary water resources management problems in Central Asia
- Water-saving technologies of crop irrigation
- Irrigation practices, water use and consumption schedules
MEETING OF THE ICWC REGIONAL WORKING GROUP
With a view to execute a task set at the 62nd ICWC meeting, the regional working group was met in Tashkent in January 5-6, 2014 in order to improve the following five documents:
- Draft Concept for developing information exchange and relationship mechanisms among its participants in Central Asia
- Draft Agreement on formation and operation of national, basin, and regional databases for multipurpose water use and protection in the Aral Sea basin (version 11, March 2006)
- Provisional Regulations on the use of Regional Water and Land Information System for the Aral Sea Basin
- Draft Plan for addressing primary areas for improvement of ICWC activity
- Draft Strategy for the improvement of Central Asian water sector capacity building system.
It was noted during the discussion that all countries in the region were interested in information exchange and it was only essential to set a clear mechanism for its implementation. It was suggested not to confine the information exchange process only to the purposes of operational management, but also take into account an importance of data and information exchange for the accomplishment of ICWC’s mission in terms of long-term development and planning.
Among the key issues discussed were:
- Purpose and scope of information exchange.
- Volume and scope of information exchange, information security.
- Updating the list of terms and definitions (using existing State Standards (GOSTs) and regulations as appropriate).
- Format of the regional system (in the form of a database or metadata base).
- Reaching agreement on formats of data and information to be transmitted to basin and regional databases and terms for their transmission.
- Operators’ rights and obligations, including a possibility of making the ICWC member countries the corporate owners of the basin and regional databases.
- Development of basin databases and ensuring of access to these databases for national water-management organizations.
- Priority development of national databases as the basis for the regional database.
A decision was taken with regard to all the documents considered consisting in that their revised versions should be submitted to the Working Group members for approval.
In conclusion, the participants thanked the Global Water Partnership for Central Asia and Caucasus for its assistance in organization of that event.