Central Asian Nations to Allocate Water Resources to Kazakhstan

ASTANA – The Turkistan and Kyzylorda Regions will receive 11.1 cubic kilometers of water by April 1, according to an agreement reached between Kazakh Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Nurzhan Nurzhigitov and Central Asian countries at the 85th meeting of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) on Nov. 2 in Tashkent, reported the ministry’s press service.

Shardara reservoir. Photo credit: Khabar 24.

It is anticipated that 11.1 cubic kilometers of water will flow into the Shardara reservoir, whereas the Dostyk interstate canal will intake 487 million cubic meters of water. This will ensure a necessary water supply for the next growing season in both regions.

Moreover, 1.6 billion cubic meters will be directed towards replenishing the Aral Sea.

During the meeting, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan signed a protocol on the forecast mode of operation of the cascade of reservoirs in the basins of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers.

The parties also specified limits on water withdrawal for the non-growing season of 2023-2024.

ICWC members instructed the Syrdarya Basin Water Organization to monitor the operation of the reservoir cascade and immediately notify Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in case of any deviations from the forecast.

“We will be able to ensure the reasonable use and saving of water resources in Central Asia only through joint efforts,” Nurzhigitov concluded.

The ICWC is the only interstate body established and authorized by the Heads of State of Central Asia to make binding decisions on current and emerging issues related to interstate water allocation and use. The 86th meeting will take place in Kazakhstan early next year.

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