REGULAR 79th MEETING OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR WATER COORDINATION
The 79th meeting of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan was held by video conferencing on the 24th of November 2020.
ICWC members from Kazakhstan (Ye.N. Nysanbayev), Tajikistan (D.Sh. Shoimzoda) and Uzbekistan (V. M. Akhmadjonov, by proxy) participated in the meeting chaired by G.N. Baydjanov, ICWC member from Turkmenistan. ICWC executive bodies in the face of their heads took part in the meeting as well: BWO Amu Darya (M.Ya. Makhramov), BWO Syr Darya (O.A. Kholkhujaev), SIC ICWC (V.A. Dukhovniy), Secretariat (U.A. Nazarov), and IFAS Executive Committee (S.N. Rakhimzoda).
The agenda of the meeting included the following items:
1. Results of the use of water withdrawal limits and the operation regimes of reservoirs in the Syr Darya River and the Amu Darya River basins for the growing season 2020.
2. Approval of the country water withdrawal limits and forecast operation regimes of the reservoir cascades in the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya River basins over the non-growing season 2020-2021.
3. Progress on implementation of the proposals and initiatives voiced at the Summit of the Heads of IFAS founder-states in Turkmenbashi.
4. Agenda and venue of the next regular 80th meeting of ICWC.
The meeting was opened by the Chairman of the Turkmenistan State Committee of Water Management Mr. Baydjanov. ICWC members approved the agenda and welcomed Ye.N. Nysanbayev and D.Sh. Shoimzoda appointed as ICWC members and S.N. Rakhimzoda as the Chairman of EC IFAS.
On the first item, BWO Amu Darya and BWO Syr Darya reported on the fulfilment of water withdrawal limits and the operation regimes of reservoir cascades in the Syr Darya River and the Amu Darya River basins over the growing season 2020.
In the course of discussion, the ICWC members noted the complex hydrological situation during the growing season. They underlined huge efforts made by both BWOs and all the countries for coordinated work during the low-water period. Particularly complex situation was observed in the Syr Darya River basin, the Fergana Valley. A trilateral protocol between Kazakh, Tajik and Uzbek water agencies and a bilateral protocol between Tajik and Uzbek water agencies were concluded for quick solution of issues faced and coordination of actions to increase available water supply.
On the second item, BWO Amu Darya and BWO Syr Darya put their proposals on water withdrawal limits and operation regimes of reservoir cascades in the Syr Darya River and the Amu Darya River basins over the non-growing season 2020-2021.
On the third item, Prof. V. Dukhovniy reported on the work done by SIC ICWC in the course of implementation of the proposals and initiatives voiced at the Summit of the Heads of IFAS founder-states in Turkmenbashi.
The Chairman of IFAS Executive Committee S.N. Rakhimzoda said that the office of EC IFAS in Tajikistan started functioning. Representatives of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan have been assigned. One of major tasks is to reintegrate Kyrgyzstan back into IFAS, also by reforming the Fund. He expressed the hope that the working group on the legal and institutional improvement of IFAS would be reactivated and activity on consultation and approval of ASBP-4 would be resumed. Another key priority of EC IFAS in Tajikistan is engaging Afghanistan in activities of IFAS.
The next meeting of ICWC is to be held in Tajikistan in April 2021; the date will be negotiated in due course.
The minutes of the meeting will be approved by the Parties by voting.