Previous Home Next

No. 6 (243) May 2014


On May 8-9, 2014, in the Training Center of SIC ICWC, with the support of the Berlin-Brunderburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the workshop, where representatives from the Berlin-Brundenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), Freie Universitat Berlin, Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC), Central-Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG), and SIC ICWC participated, was held ïðèíÿëè ó÷àñòèå.

The workshop goal is to summarize the 4-day study trip in the Ferghana Valley, which preceded the workshop, share opinions regarding understanding the existing problems in the water sector in the Ferghana Valley for future cooperation.

Prof. Victor Dukhovny opened the workshop. He introduced the workshop participants the water situation in the Central Asia region and proposed ways to achieve social and economic stability in the Ferghana Valley:

  • Stability of water delivery in annual and multiyear dimensions. Political will to mitigate commercial riparian interests;
  • Growth and diversification of agrarian production and volume of processing – strengthening of “production chain” in the most efficient way;
  • Specific attention to homestead and to development of small handmade production;
  • Replace local governance pressure by the coordinating and supporting role in the rural sector.
  • Access to loans and micro-credits.
  • System of education, training oriented on the real needs and providing financial interests of employers.
  • Financial benefit of each unit of the rural sector depending on its contribution to rayon development.

Christine Bismuth presented to the workshop participants the main tasks of Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG) “Society-Water-Technologies”. The participants recognized about the history of the Berlin-Brundenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

The following facts are evidence of necessity of applying an interdisciplinary approach:

  • There are increasing pressures on the resource water and a globally rising conflict potential.
  • Technical solutions alone have not yet resulted in the desired improvements (e.g. achievement of the water-related Millennium Development Goals).
  • Successful implementation of IWRM schemes is also hard to achieve because of the volatile character of the IWRM definition.
  • Major water engineering projects (MWEPs) in the past have determined our existing choices and created path dependencies.
  • Facing future rising energy needs and agricultural production demands, large scale water projects have returned to the political agenda in many regions.

Bismuth focused on the following goals of the group:

  • Evaluation of existing major water engineering projects (MWEPs) and their implications on the compartments society – water – technology
  • Development of an interdisciplinary evaluation approach which covers social, ecological and techno-logical aspects
  • Identification of research gaps
  • Derivation of concrete options for action for politics, science and international donor organisations

The methodology is as follows:

  • Case studies, which include Southern Jordan basin with a focus on Red Sea Dead Sea conveyance project and irrigation, and Fergana Valley with a focus on irrigation and dams;
  • Development of a thesis catalogue with research questions concerning the issues society – water – technology
  • Organisation of workshops
  • Research visits
  • Expert interviews

Dr. Hans-Georg Frede gave in brief details of the LUCA and CliNCA projects, including tasks and objectives as well as achievements. He also introduced to the participants some data on the Ferghana Valley, in particular, land resources, irrigated lands distribution, water use by sectors, irrigation norms of main crops by hydromodule zons, furrow irrigation method, water management challenges in agriculture, and water quality parameters of Syrdarya River within the Ferghana Valley.

In general, three major interrelated water issues are found at the field level:

  1. water availability and access to water
  2. temporal waterlogging and
  3. drainage discharge

In conclusion, Dr. Frede presented the following policy implications and further research needs:

  • Improvement of water management at the WMO as well as WUA levels
  • Redoubled efforts at mobilizing more data, better information and application of good scientific practices and expert knowledge
  • Increasing public participation in water management
  • Improvement of the water use efficiency at the field level applying various water saving techniques considering water productivity in terms of net profit/m3
  • Review of currently used hydromodule zoning (GMR)
  • Wider use of simple mechanistic models integrating management of irrigation and drainage systems

Dr. Petra Dobner and Dr. Timothy Moss highlighted issues of integrative analytical frameworks in terms of social sciences. They expressed some considerations in this relation for the Ferghana Valley:

  • Focus on Fergana as Large-Scale Water Project (LSWP): coping with long-established LSWP (cf. Red-Sea-Dead-Sea as new LSWP)
  • LSWP as complex social-ecological, socio-technical, political-economic systems: focus on interdependencies of system components
  • Coping with transformation: focus on dynamics of not one, but multiple and continuous transformations (e.g. of agriculture, of irrigation, of geo-political relations, of political economy and role of state, ...)
  • Coping with path dependencies: physical/non-physical; visible/invisible; systemic (e.g. state-crop cotton production, irrigation network, hydrocracies, pricing structures for water, ...)
  • Shaping transformations: points of entry, options and limitations, time scales (e.g. encouraging private/cooperative farming sector, capacity building of WUAs, drip irrigation techniques, water efficiency incentives for farmers, ...)
  • Role of research: raising understanding of above processes, querying assumptions, uncovering inconsistencies, raising alternative options, mapping out potential futures, broadening perspectives, ...
  • Value of multi-disciplinary perspectives: going beyond the technical to include economic, social, political, ecological dimensions and their interdependence.

Prof. Bernd Hansjurgens presented information on economics of water, water prices, etc., in particular:

  • The “Economics of Water” gives decision support how to deal with scarce water resources and how to make “good” decisions
  • Economics can demonstrate the full value of water. This includes a variety of value (not only direct values, but also indirect values and non-use values).
  • Economics can provide important rules for defining cost of water resources and for distributing these costs among water users.

Bolot Moldobekov familiarized the audience with activities of the Central-Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG), which focuses mainly on the following research programs:

  • Study of the Enylchek glacier for defining its balance, morphological, dynamic characteristics, as well as climatic and hydrological conditions
  • Systematic study of water flows in southern Kyrgyzstan, taking into account climate change to assess the intensity of erosion processes and sediment transport in the basin of the Toktogul reservoir

The CAIAG implements such international projects – CAWa and GCO.

Dr. Iskandar Abdullaev presented to the participants the information about water resources management and environment in Central Asia. As the post-2015 agenda, Dr. Abdullaev underlined the importance of ensuring sustainability, meeting a basic level of environmental and social standards; ensuring equitable prosperity and sustainable growth, leaving assets behind for future generations by building social, economic and environmental capital

Dr. Galina Stulina presented to the participants the information regarding changes in landscape and soil of the Aral Sea and Priaralie, and main reasons of these changes.

In conclusion, the participants expressed a great interest to work in the region and gratitude to SIC ICWC for organizing the workshop.