ASTANA – At a Nov. 6 meeting of the Senate (the upper chamber of parliament) chaired by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the chamber ratified an agreement between Kazakhstan and China on the management and operation of the joint combined Dostyk Water Systems on the Khorgos River.
Kazakhstan and China will create a joint service responsible for operating the hydraulic power system on the Khorgos, a provision of the agreement ratified by the parliament.
“The main purpose of the agreement is to regulate joint management and operation of the [Dostyk] hydraulic power system on the Khorgos River and assure the equitable distribution of the river’s water,” Kazakh Minister of Agriculture Assylzhan Mamytbekov said.
The hydraulic power system is considered common property of the two countries, in which both hold equal shares. The border is the line of joint control extending along the axis of construction; it includes a dam with inlet and outlet channels.
The responsible authorities of the participating states have developed and approved operation and management rules for the shared Dostyk system, which establishes procedures for joint management and regulates the activities of personnel.
“Management of the water regime and intake from the river is carried out via a single-line mode by an automated programme, i.e. accounting of water intake and activity by Chinese personnel is controlled by visual and telemetry controllers on Kazakhstan’s side, and vice versa. According to the agreement, Kazakhstan will contribute 15 staff members to plant operations,” Mamytbekov added.
According to the minister and in accordance with the agreement on Dostyk, the system is the joint property of the two countries, with both hold equal share in the facility. The main purpose of the hydraulic power system is a guaranteed water intake and the equal division of the water resources of the Khorgos at a ratio of 50 to 50, accurate accounting of water withdrawal and a water supply for more than 16,000 hectares of irrigated land.
In 2014, 50 million tenge (US$276,365) from the national budget was allocated for Kazakhstan’s responsibilities regarding the water system.