A regular meeting of the working groups on discussion of the regional water policy under the ADB RETA “Improved Management of Shared Water Resources in Central Asia” took place in Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan, 8-10 March 2007. The meeting was attended by ICWC members, representatives of the national working groups (NWG) and members of the regional working group (except United Control Center “Energy”).
The participants of the meeting were welcomed by Minister of water Resources of Turkmenistan M. Akmammedov, ICWC members A.D. Ryabtsev, M.Y. Khamidov and S.R. Khamrayev, acting as Chairman of the IFAS Executive Committee S.N. Rakhimov. The speakers noted the importance of activities carried out with the assistance of ADB, and the need for continuing the cooperation under the mentioned project with a view to searching for mutually acceptable solutions for water resources management in the region.
ICWC members informed the participants about changes in the membership of NWGs. The Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Resources of Tajikistan nominated A.M. Zoirov to the Government for approval to act as a new leader of the Tajik NWG. Upon the submission by S.R. Khamrayev, R.Z. Srazhitdinov and R.Kh. Tashev were assigned members of the Uzbek NWG. At this meeting, the interests of the Kazakh NWG were represented by N.K. Kipshabayev and M.K. Bekniyazov by proxy of ICWC member.
At the meeting, ICWC members discussed and approved the results of the completed activities under the project for 2006 and the work program for 2007. At the suggestion of the participants, amendments were inserted into item 5 in the work program: the title was changed to “Revision of channel losses in mid- and downstream of the Amudarya river”. The Tajik NWG also suggested expanding the terminology reference book.
Members of NWGs and RWG will take measures to implement the proposed plan by the end of 2007, taking into account that funding of this project will not be further continued. The participants took into consideration the information of Director SIC ICWC Prof. V.A. Dukhovny on that the ADB will continue financing activities under regional programs at suggestions of ICWC, provided successful implementation of the main outcomes in the work plan for 2007.
For further implementation of activities, subgroups of specialists from the five countries will be established:
- on development of rules for implementation of procedural obligations and making recommendations for improvement of rules for water and energy resources regulation and management in the Syrdarya river basin: one member from each NWG, M.Kh. Khamidov was charged to lead the work;
- on revision of channel losses in the mid- and downstream of the Amudarya river: one member from each NWG, Y.Kh. Khudaybergenov was charged to lead the work;
- on development and agreeing of detail methodical recommendations for recording of basin-wide costs, gathering of data and assessment of actual damage from water use regimes (as suggested by the Tajik NWG, “and energy resources” to be added): one member from each NWG and one representative from each BWO, representative of Tajikistan to be charged to lead the work;
- on revision of the draft Agreement on Strengthening the Organizational Framework for Transboundary Water Resources Management, Protection and Development (as suggested by the Tajik NWG, “water resources of interstate sources” to be written instead of “transboundary water resources”) in the Aral Sea Basin: one representative from each basin state and one representative from each BWO, Prof. V.A. Dukhovny was charged to lead the work;
- on preparation of an inventory of interstate objects: one member from each NWG and one representative from each BWO, D.R. Ziganshina responsible.
NWG members will prepare their vision on implementation of items in the work plan for the current year and submit to the next ICWC meeting for consideration.
The draft Agreement on Water and Energy Resources Use in the Syrdarya River Basin” was discussed in view of remarks of the Kazakh NWG and Tajik NWG. It was noted that items 6.2 and 8.3.-8.4. in this Agreement should be additionally agreed.
Under item 6.2., it was decided to include, in the text of the Agreement, water resources allocation in accordance with a correcting note to the revised scheme of integrated water resources use and protection in the Syrdarya river basin, and give an extract from the scheme of water allocation among the states in Annex. To agree items 8.3-8.4 in the draft Agreement, a meeting of members of NWGs for four countries will be organized in Tashkent in the first ten days of April 2007.
It was decided to continue the work on the draft Agreement on Water and Energy Resources Use in the Amudarya River Basin.