THE 70th REGULAR MEETING OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR WATER COORDINATION IN CENTRAL ASIA
On April 11-12, the 70th regular meeting of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) in Central Asia was held in Tashkent.
The following ICWC members took part in this meeting: Mr. Y.N.Nysanbayev (Republic of Kazakhstan), Mr. S.N.Rakhimzoda (Republic of Tajikistan), and Mr. G.Baydjanov (Turkmenistan). The Meeting was chaired by Mr. Sh.R.Khamraev, ICWC member from the Republic of Uzbekistan. The heads of executives bodies (BWO Amudarya, BWO Syrdarya, SIC ICWC, ICWC Secretariat) and invitees participated in the meeting as well.
The agenda included the following items:
- The results of the non-growing season 2016-2017 in the Syrdarya and Amudarya River basins;
- Consideration and approval of water withdrawal limits and operation regimes of the reservoir cascade for the next growing season 2017 in the Syrdarya and Amudarya River basins;
- Preparation to the 25th anniversary of ICWC;
- Progress on the “Implementation Plan on strengthening ICWC activities in key directions”;
- Agenda and venue of the next 71st ICWC Meeting.
ICWC members took note of information by BWO Amudarya and BWO Syrdarya on the results of the non-growing season 2016-2017.
On the second item of the agenda, the ICWC members approved the forecast water withdrawal limits by country and the forecast operation regime of the reservoir cascade for the growing season 2017 in the Amudarya River basin. The forecast water limits and operation regime of reservoirs for the Syrdarya River basin will be refined and approved on a routine basis. Furthermore, BWO Amudarya and BWO Syrdarya were instructed to control, on a routine basis, water allocation among the countries with the participation of representatives of the respective countries.
On the third item of the agenda, the participants considered and approved the “Program of Commemorative Activities for the 25th Anniversary of ICWC”. The concluding anniversary conference of ICWC is to be held in Tashkent in November 2017.
On the fourth item, ICWC members approved an action plan of working groups, which is an integral part of the “Implementation Plan on strengthening ICWC activities in key directions”. In the course of 2017, meetings of the working groups will be organized in different parts of the region to address such issues as water conservation, integrated water resource management and adaptation to climate change, more accurate water accounting, and capacity building in regional and national organizations.
The parties will agree on the time and venue of the next 71st ICWC Meeting in due course.
Before the beginning of the Meeting, the ICWC members took part in the inauguration ceremony and plenary session of the International Scientific-Practical Conference “Challenges and prospects of effective water management against the backdrop of globalization”, which was held at the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Land Reclamation. The Conference was timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of ICWC.
In their addresses, the water leaders from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan highlighted the key role of transboundary water cooperation in ensuring water, food, energy, and environmental sustainability in the region. The speakers emphasized also importance of the International Fund for the Aral Sea Saving (IFAS) for facilitating of water cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and in line with international law. In his presentation, SIC ICWC Director and ICWC Honorary Member Prof. V.A.Dukhovniy, focused on the two key areas for the region to survive under the growing water shortage. Those are water conservation and enhanced cooperation among region’s countries.
The participants also discussed the issues related to efficient water and land use, including in the water-stressed and transboundary territories. Particular attention was paid to adoption of the up-to-date water saving technologies and to breeding of new generation of water managers.