Transboundary water management in CA (Phase 2)

Funding Agency Gov of Germany

Implementing Agency GIZ, UNECE

Budget: €4,735,000.00

Country: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Start Year: 2012

End Year: 2014

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Description: 2 components: Component 1. Fostering Regional Institutional Cooperation The economies of the five Central Asian states rely heavily on the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers, as well as other transboundary river basins, to meet their water needs. Because of this, their economies are interdependent. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, the countries at the lower reaches of these two rivers, require considerable volumes of water to irrigate their agricultural lands. Meanwhile, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which lie further upstream, have scarcely any raw materials for generating power and are therefore seeking to make more intensive use of hydropower. Although there are already institutions in Central Asia that regulate matters of water distribution, such as the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) or the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS), their work is hampered by their weak position in the political system. No universally recognised and implemented guidelines are in place for the water sector. The German Federal Foreign Office (AA) has commissioned the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to help enable the relevant institutions in the region to create sustainable regional water management structures, which take account of issues relating to water use, energy and the climate. These activities were being implemented in close cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Within this first component GIZ continued to support the Central Asian institutions responsible for managing water distribution such as the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) or the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS). The programme aimed to strengthen their institutional capacity and continuity, as well foster cooperation with other regional institutions such as the Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development (ICSD). GIZ also focused at larger transboundary river basins by up-scaling successful practices gained in smaller river basins during Phase II of the Berlin Process. Central Asia is a region with scarce water resources, many of which cut across national borders. Countries in the region use these resources intensively, in particular for hydroelectric power generation and irrigation, and conflicts of interest are arising in how these waters are used and shared. The programme coordinated closely with other major donors and implementing agencies: Swiss Development Cooperation, World Bank, USAID, UNDP, ADB, EU, OECD, OSCE and others. In the context of implementation of the activities in the framework of the EU actions “Water Management and Basin Organisations in Central Asia”, the GIZ Transboundary Water Management in Central Asia Programme also actively participated and contributed to the National Policy Dialogues of the European Water Initiative. Component 2. Strengthening transboundary river basin management This component focused especially on the smaller rivers, which are particularly suited to applying the basic principles of river basin management. Measures included drawing up inventories and management plans, making proposals in the field of dam safety and the environmental impacts of dams, and supporting the establishment of monitoring systems and data exchange. GIZ workedin close consultation with the European Commission, which is highly active in this field. Growing demand for water in all sectors of all Central Asian states as well as increasing uncertainty about future water availability in the course of climate change make water resources management in Central Asia a challenge. This situation is even more complex in transboundary river basins, where inter-sector needs are linked with national interests of neighboring countries. Therefore the application of water resources planning and IWRM principles in the context of river basins are the most crucial elements for sustainable water management. Development and implementation of basin plans enable national water management organizations to cope with increasing demand from different economic sectors and population growth in the context of increasing uncertainty of water resources availability. Therefore modern water management should be based on a wide range of present day data and information systems such as geographical information systems, mobile communication and data bases. All these technologies support better decision making in the water sector. There have been various attempts by international organizations to develop such systems for Central Asia. However they failed because the data management systems which had been developed were imposed on water management organizations without considering their needs and ideas. Taking former experiences into account the TWMCA programme had three interlinked components to strengthen water management capacities: (i) Technical support to partner WMOs to create data management instruments, (ii) train and create human capacity to operate data management tools and (iii) encourage WMOs to apply Data management tools for short and long term decision making on water management. From the beginning, these data base management tools were designed in terms of its structure, content, interface and format in close consultations and cooperation with partner WMOs. The Data Base Management tools, developed during the project consist of two interrelated instruments: i) A Data Base System with tabular information and ii) GIS based land use maps. Furthermore the WMOs were supported with the following concrete measures: Improving databases on land use, especially regarding irrigation, soil and water resources, and hydraulic infrastructure inventory. Equipping WMOs with computer terminals for using ArcGIS software and database management Training local staff in using GIS, satellite imageries and remote sensing tools for comprehensive river basin analyses and planning Providing support to the development of comprehensive river basin analyses and plans.

Sector: Water

Beneficiaries: Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (Giz) Gmbh. Regional and national water management decision-makers as well as other institutions involved in the water sector in the 5 CAS; the population, with particular focus on the selected project areas.