A screening process to monitor the condition of Kazakh dams will start in 2015 after the Ministry of Agriculture receives applicable declarations from the owners. The decision was made after dams in Kyzylagash and Kokpekti were washed out this year. According to Vice Chairman of the Committee for Water Recourses of the Ministry of Agriculture Bolat Bekniyaz, this happend because owners have not allocated funds for dam reconstruction.
“We are talking about all of the water development facilities that need to be reconstructed at this moment. We will also establish an accredited revision organisation to check on the real condition of the dams so that we can estimate their current status and develop needed measures,” explained Bekniyaz.
It was added that dams in state ownership should go through regular checkups supervised by the Committee for Water Recourses of the Ministry of Agriculture, which has regional offices throughout Kazakhstan.
There are about 400 water development facilities in the country and among them 200 are large dams. According to the agriculture ministry most of them are controlled by the state and they have never been washed out or severly damaged. These dams have their own exploration and custodial service. Most of the dams were constructed about 40-50 years ago and that is why there was a need for a total reconstruction that was completed on most of them during past years.
There are also plans to bring in a new computer-based dam condition tracking system and emergency population warning system. These systems are expected to be introduced in 2016.
In accordance with the press service of the agriculture ministry, 49 percent of all water development facilities in Kazakhstan are in communal property, 39 percent are in private ownership and the rest are supervised by the state. Most of the private owners have leased the dams for fish farming or tourism development.