Kazakhstan, China Agree on Some Articles of Transboundary Water Management 

ASTANA — The Kazakh Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation marked a significant achievement in its negotiations with China on Dec. 21 concerning a water distribution agreement, the ministry’s press service reported. 

Photo credit:CC0/Public Domain NASA

Both parties have successfully reached a consensus on key articles, marking a crucial step in broader negotiations to address the management of water resources across more than 20 rivers, including significant transboundary rivers—Yertys, Ili, and Yemel. 

One notable example of the cooperative efforts between Kazakhstan and China is the management of the Khorgos River. Both countries share the Khorgos River, and a joint hydraulic facility has been constructed along the river to facilitate efficient water distribution. 

This facility operates with full automation, featuring locks designed to ensure an equal water flow on both sides of the border. Adjustments to water flow made by one party are mirrored automatically on the other side. This innovative approach has not only fostered cooperation but also provided a blueprint for similar initiatives.

Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Nurzhan Nurzhigitov highlighted the success of this collaborative model. 

“Kazakhstan and China have a common Khorgos River, and the joint hydraulic facility along its course is a testament to our shared commitment to effective water management. The 100% automated system ensures that water flows are maintained equitably, fostering mutual benefit,” he said. 

In addition to the Khorgos River, Nurzhigitov announced agreements on the reconstruction of the Sumbe River based on a similar model and plans for a joint facility on the Ulken Ulasty River in the East Kazakhstan Region.

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