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Round table to discuss the regional water policy

A Roundtable on Improvement of Shared Water Resources Management in Central Asia took place on 30 March to 2 April 2006 in Ashkhabad city.

Leaders and representatives of the national working groups (NWGs) and all representatives of the regional working group (RWG) (except for “Energy” Center) took part in the roundtable to discuss the regional water policy under the ADB RETA 6163 "Improvement of Shared Water Resources Management in Central Asia”.

The Tajik Government confirmed a NWG consisting of 9 members under the leadership of Deputy Minister of Land Reclamation and Water Resources of Tajikistan I. Eshmirzoyev. The Tajik NWG presented a country report on analysis of the efficiency of the agreements in force from the perspective of Tajik interests. Thus, all the NWGs presented their reports, but did not certify their approval by all the NWG members in protocols. The RWG members were charged to generalize their reports.

The NWGs of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan presented reports on inventory of activities carried out by each country for interstate cooperation. The report of the Kazakh NWG can be taken as a prototype, adding a scope of activities being done in water sector as a contribution of the countries to the IFAS.

The report of the Kyrgyz Republic on inventory included all costs incurred by the Water department for southern provinces. It was suggested to exclude operational costs for maintenance of the main and inter-farm network of irrigation systems from them.

Amendments were introduced into the draft Agreement on Formation and Functioning of National, Basin and Regional Databases on Integrated Water Resources Use and Protection in the Aral Sea Basin”, based on remarks of the Tajik NWG. There were no other remarks. At the ICWC meting, it was decided to send this draft to the EC IFAS for agreeing with the Governments of the founder states.

The draft Agreement on Water and Power Resources Use in the Syrdarya River Basin was discussed wit account of remarks from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The parties did not reach a consensus under some articles of the draft Agreement. It is expected to hold in Tashkent in April-May 2006 a meeting of representatives from the NWGs of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to link water and energy balances, in which two representatives from each country (representatives of water and energy sectors) will take part.

BWO “Amudarya” prepared a report on problems in the Amudarya river basin, to which the Turkmen NWG made remarks. The NWGs of the Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will prepare their remarks, and the RWG will generalize them by 1 May 2006.

The version presented by the Tajik NWG was taken as a basis for the first version of the draft Agreement on Water and Power Resources Use in the Amudarya River Basin. The text revised based on the results of discussions will be sent to NWG and RWG members up to 10 April 2006.

In accordance with the discussion at the ICWC meeting, it was decided to exclude the term ‘transboundary’ concerning waters, rivers, basins, water resources, bodies, sources from all the draft Agreements, replacing it by term ‘interstate’.

The prepared glossary text should be taken into account. To complete its preparation, it is necessary to ask the NWGs of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to submit their remarks to the revised version up to 1 May 2006. The agreed version will be used as a reference knowledge base. The preparation of terms for specific draft interstate agreements will be carried out in a working order. The developed terminology to the Agreement on Water and Power Resources Use in the Syrdarya River Basin was transmitted to all the NWGs. The NWGs wil submit their remarks and suggestions by 15 May 2006.

Based on the decision of the ICWC, the CMC ICWC should be included in the RWG membership as an observer.

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