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No. 8 (305) May 2017


The International Conference of the EECCA NWO "Challenges of River Basin Management in the context of Climate Change" was held in premises of the Russian Research Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Land Reclamation (VNIIGiM) on 18-19 May 2017 in Moscow. The Conference brought together researchers and experts from many countries, inlcuding Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, France, Switzerland, and Austria.

The focus areas of the Conference will include:

  • transboundary river basin cooperation,
  • sustainable water management and adoption of information-communication technologies (ICT) at basin level,
  • adaptation of water management to climate change and anthropogenic impact,
  • water-food production-hydropower-environment nexus,
  • SMART-water,
  • water supply and sanitation,
  • river basin reclamation issues.

Opening speech by EECCA NWO President Prof. D.V.Kozlov.

Welcoming adresses:

  • V.A. Zhukov, Director, Land Reclamation Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Russian Federation
  • A.A.Filtchakova, Head, Moscow-Oksk Basin Water Administration
  • Prof. V.A. Dukhovniy, Executive Secretary of EECCA NWO
  • B. Libert, Regional Advisor for Environment, UNECE
  • JF Donzier, Permanent Technical Secretary INBO
  • EECCA NWO Executive Secretary Prof. V.A.Dukhovniy - Report on EECCA NWO activity in 2016 - first quarter 2017
  • B.M. Kizyaev, Chief Research Officer, VNIIGiM
  • N.A. Sukhoy, Chairman of the Board, Union of Water and Land Reclamation Experts
  • T.M.Belyakova (CIS Executive Committee) Regarding the Concept on cooperation of CIS member states on land reclamation and integrated use of interstate water bodies and the First Priority Measure Plan for its implementation

Key speakers

JF Donzier (INBO, France) Presentation of INBO activities with focus on adaptation to climate change

V.A. Dukhovny (Secretariat EECCA NWO/SIC ICWC) The future: water saving and cooperation

T. Efimova (OECD) and M. Sutter (UBA, Austria) Presentation of EUWI+East project supporting implementation of WFD

SESSION 1: National Strategy for adaptation to CC, River basin management plans, transboundary basins

Key speakers

B. Libert (UNECE) UNECE projects on adaptation of transboundary basins to climate change

P. Polad-Zade (JSC Vodstroy, Russia) Tasks of efficient water use in the face of global challenges

Presentation of relevant case studies by country representatives

M.G. Morozov (RosNIIVH, Russia) Water strategy as a tool of water resources management

G. Tilyavova (BWO Amudarya) Transboundary cooperation in the Amudarya River Basin

A.R. Uktamov (BWO Syrdarya) Transboundary cooperation in the Syrdarya River Basin

SESSION 2: Practical measures for adaptation to CC in basins in line with the concept of water-food-hydropower-environment nexus

Key speakers

JF Donzier (INBO) European directives and adaptation to climate change

B. Libert (UNECE) UNECE nexus assessments in transboundary basins

Presentation of relevant case studies by country representatives

G.V. Stulina (SIC ICWC) Usage of the positive effects of climate change in the basin in modeling crop water requirements

N.N. Balgabayev (KazNIIVH, Kazakhstan) Efficient water management in Kazakhstan

Ya.E. Pulatov (Institute of water problems, hydropower engineering and ecology of Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan) Water resources and irrigated agriculture in the context of climate change in Tajikistan

V.A. Omelianenko (National Information Agency “Nature”, Russia) Russia’s river basins in climate change context

R.M. Ñorobov (Eco-TIRAS, Moldova) Lessons learnt from the assessment of river basin vulnerability to climate change and elaboration of common adaptation strategy by the example of Dnestr basin

SESSION 3: Supporting the development of operational Basin Organisations and efficient networking

Key speakers

P. Henry de Villeneuve (OIEau, France) Steps for developing Basin Organisations

Y. Videnina (OIEau) Stakeholders and public participation in line with WFD requirements

Presentation of relevant case studies by country representatives

D.V. Kozlov (Russian State Agrarian University) Current issues of water management and engineering in Russia

A. Inosemtseva (CAREC, Kazakhstan) CAREC activity on water resources management: progress and prospects

A.L.Buber (VNIIGiM named by A.Kostyakov, Russia) Development of strategic and operation plans for Volgian-Kamsk reservoir management in the context of climate change

SESSION 4: monitoring for sustainable water management and implementation of data flow management and information-communication technologies (ICT) at basin level

Key speakers

JF Donzier (INBO) Importance of organisation and management of water related data

M. Sutter (UBA, Austria) Example of WFD compliant monitoring

Presentation of relevant case studies by country representatives

M.Yu. Kalinin (Association of river guardians “Eco-Krones”, Belarus) Belarus towns’ influence on surface water in transboundary river basins of the Baltic Sea

J. Mukhatov (Shu-Talas Basin Commission Basin Inspection for Water Use Regulation and Protection, Kazakstan) Water resource management in Shu-Talas River Basin in the context of climate change

A. Karlykhanov (Aralo-Syrdarya Basin Inspection for Water Use Regulation and Protection, Kazakstan) Transboundary cooperation in the Syrdarya River Basin

B.O. Askaraliev (Kyrgyz National Agrarian University ) Sustainable management of water in irrigation systems of the Sokoluk River Basin, Shu depression in Kyrgyzstan

SESSION 5: Role of economic analysis and financial mechanisms for sustainable basin planning

Key speakers

T. Efimova (OECD) Use of economic analysis and deployment of economic instruments

P. Henry de Villeneuve (OIEau) Financing the Program of Measures included in RBMPs

Presentation of relevant case studies by country representatives

A.Row (KazNAU, Kazakhstan) Effects of climate and anthropogenic load on flow quality in the river basins of rice-growing areas in the South Kazahkstan

Finally, the Conference adopted the resolution.


The participants of the International Conference “Challenges of River Basin Management in the context of Climate Change” gathered in Moscow on 18-19 May 2017 within the framework of the Network of Water-Management Organizations from Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia (EECCA),

having discussed urgent issues in the following focus areas:

  • National strategies for adaptation to climate change, river basin management plans, transboundary basins;
  • Practical measures for adaptation to CC in basins including in line with the concept of water-food-hydropower-environment nexus;
  • Supporting the development of operational Basin Organisations and efficient networking;
  • Monitoring for sustainable water management and implementation of data flow management using , information-communication technologies (ICT) at basin, national and transboundary levels to develop operational Water Information Systems (WIS) for decision making;
  • Role of economic analysis and financial mechanisms for sustainable basin planning;
  • Land reclamation issues in river basins; protection and restauration of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems.
  • Control of water demands and strengthening efficient uses of water.

have agreed that:

  • The challenges related to climate change and its consequences (floods, droughts, aquatic ecosystem destruction, etc.) become more acute for the water sector. In this context, the Paris Pact on water and adaptation to climate change in the basins of rivers, lakes and aquifers, promoted by INBO and UNECE at UNFCCC COP21 in December 2015, offers practical measures through:
    • enhanced work for capacity building and knowledge generation among the staff of water-management organizations and the general public;
    • adaptation of the water sector to climate change, mainly at river basin level;
    • strengthened governance;
    • adequate financing.
  • Of particular note is the role the UNECE Water Convention and its task-force on water and climate play in the development of adaptation strategy for transboundary river basins by preparing guidelines, implementing projects, and exchanging experience.
  • There is a considerable value and potential of engaging economic development sectors into a dialogue about management and use of resources. In this respect the efforts by UNECE in developing dialogues and assessments on water-food-hydropower-environment nexus in transboundary basins thus facilitating cooperation among concerned parties in various sectors were highlighted.
  • Particular measures for adaptation to climate change include the following:
    • the need for better application of long-term flow forecasts and the long-term planning of multi-year regulation on the basis of more accurate forecasts and IWRM.
    • In line with IWRM, it is necessary to enhance participatory governance and involve energy, Inland transport, agriculture, tourism fishery, hydrometeorological, and environmental organizations in the activities of basin organizations.
    • Moreover, it is necessary facilitate the creation and strengthening of basin councils or committees and to develop a network of basin councils representing the interests of all water using and water supply sectors that would be able to assume coordination and supervision over management;
    • the river basin water management to be sustainable requires that the long-term strategic tools be implemented on the basis of prospective assessment for 15-20 years and a set of measures be developed to overcome potential demographic and climate challenges;
    • water conservation is the most powerful adaptation mechanism. The tools that could be used include:
      • selection of appropriate crop patterns;
      • full use of irrigation area;
      • revision of hydromodule zoning and irrigation regimes;
      • reduction of productivity losses by using programming methodology;
      • reduction of salinized areas and, consequently, leaching requirements;
      • selection of appropriate irrigation techniques, including drip irrigation;
      • IWRM as a whole;
      • improvement of water accounting;
      • use of treated wastewater and saline water;
      • agricultural extension services;
      • production of less water intensive crops.
      • Implementation of all kind of Natural Water Retention Measure.

While underlining the importance of professional unity, information exchange and best practices dissemination maintained within EECCA NWO, the participants stressed the Network’s achievements in 2016-2017 including:

  • organization of the conference of “Cultural and Educational Issues related to Water Management in the EECCA Countries” in Almaty on the 9th of February 2016 and the round-table for discussion of the ways to improve activities of the Network (February 10, 2016);
  • events dedicated to 50 years since initiation of the ambitious program “Large-scale reclamation of land for higher and sustainable yields of grain and other crops” (Moscow, June 2016);
  • XIV International scientific-practical symposium “Clean water of Russia – 2017” (Yekaterinburg, April, 2017);
  • issue of Network’s information collections and scientific publications, including the collection of scientific papers “Cultural and educational issues related to water management in the EECCA countries”;
  • further development of the Central Asian knowledge portal - CAWater-Info ( - as part of the system of uniform tools for implementation of IWRM that are adapted to specific conditions of water management in river basins with different water stresses in arid and semi-arid zones of EECCA countries.

The participants agreed on the necessity to strengthen activities on:

  • Increasing availability of water information;
  • exchange of information on best practices and effective technologies for rational water use and decreased water pollution and exhaustion;
  • development of (regional and national) knowledge hubs with the task to assist water users at different levels of water hierarchy;
  • involvement of basin organizations in the Network’s activity;
  • training workshops and study tours to learn best practices and exchange experience and knowledge on water management.

They expressed a strong interest in the European Union Water Initiative plus for the Eastern Partnership in 6 EECCA Countries and wished to be informed of the results of this project.

In the context of the above mentioned, the participants deemed it necessary to deepen joint activities of the Network by:

- keeping submitting on a regular basis information on national events in the area of water management and information on new publications, software, methodologies and training materials in order to raise awareness among water professionals and encourage water sector development in EECCA;
- enhancing cooperation with national focal points of international networks and organizations, such as Global Water Partnership (GWP), International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), Europe-INBO and CEENBO and others.

The participants proposed to organize the next Network’s conference in 2018 on the theme “Land reclamation in the EECCA countries in XXI: problems and solutions” and discuss the following:

  • new approaches and technology for reclamation of land, more effective use of water, and prevention of soil salinization;
  • prospects of irrigated agriculture development through innovations;
  • application of up-to-date information technologies for monitoring and assessment of irrigated land.

The participants expressed high interest in the participation of representatives of EECCA basin organizations and national authorities in next international events such as Europe-INBO international conferences in Dublin (Ireland) in September 2017 and in Sevilla (Spain) in October 2018 and in the 8th World Water Forum in March 2018 in Brasilia (Brazil) and asked for financial support in traveling from organizers and donors.

The participants thanked the Government of Russia, UNECE and the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO) for assistance provided to the Network, including in organization of this Conference, and seek for the continuance of financial support to core activities of the Network.

The participants also appreciated very much the assistance rendered by the A.N.Kostyakov Russian Research Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Land Reclamation in preparation and organization of the Conference.