EURASIANET: Kazakhstan prioritizing water management measures in 2024

Country: Kazakhstan
EURASIANET: Kazakhstan prioritizing water management measures in 2024
20 February 2024

Water resource management has emerged as a significant regional policy issue in Kazakhstan, with the government taking proactive steps to address concerns and promote cooperation with neighboring countries. The Ministry for Water Resources and Irrigation is advocating for a contractual framework with China and Uzbekistan to regulate the usage of transboundary rivers, reflecting a growing governmental concern in this area.

A resource-management blueprint covering the years 2024-2030 is currently under negotiation, aiming to establish a system for joint management of river traffic and water flows between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, while also fixing water allocation volumes for agricultural and other purposes between China and Kazakhstan. Water Resources Minister Nurzhan Nurzhigitov has emphasized the importance of promoting interstate cooperation on transboundary rivers as a top governmental priority.

In addition to collaboration with Tashkent and Beijing, Kazakhstan plans to leverage its chairmanship of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) to advocate for a sustainable system of sharing water resources. President Kasym-Jomart Tokayev highlighted IFAS's pivotal role in addressing transboundary water resource challenges during the most recent IFAS summit, underscoring the organization's significance in ensuring security, stability, and sustainable development in Central Asia.

Kazakh officials aim to encourage closer engagement with IFAS, particularly from Kyrgyzstan, while also monitoring developments in Afghanistan, where the construction of a canal by the Taliban government could potentially disrupt the fragile water balance in Central Asia.

Since its establishment in late 2023, Kazakhstan's Ministry for Water Resources has implemented measures to promote the rational use of water resources within the country. These efforts include bringing irrigation systems and hydraulic structures up to standard, as well as facilitating the automation and digitalization of water supply processes. Minister Nurzhigitov emphasized the need for real-time monitoring of water usage and the development of more efficient groundwater utilization systems to address existing challenges in water management.

Overall, Kazakhstan's proactive approach to water resource management underscores the government's commitment to addressing regional water challenges and promoting sustainable development in the country and across Central Asia.

Please find the original version of the article below:
Kazakhstan prioritizing water management measures in 2024 | Eurasianet

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