Kazakhstan Plans to Build Twenty New Reservoirs to Reduce Volume of Purchased Water

ASTANA – Kazakhstan plans to construct 20 new reservoirs in the coming years to reduce the country’s dependence on water supply from neighboring countries by an average of 25%, said Kazakh Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Nurzhan Nurzhigitov at a Dec. 11 government meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, reported the Prime Minister’s press service.  

Photo credit: Prime Minister’s press service

New reservoirs with a volume of 2.4 cubic kilometers will appear in the country’s nine regions in 2024-2026. This will increase the area of irrigated land by 250,000 hectares and reduce the threat of flooding for 70 rural settlements with a population of 137,000.

According to Nurzhigitov, Kazakhstan has 102.3 cubic kilometers of water, 54% of which is formed on the country’s territory, and the remaining 46% comes from neighboring countries. The annual water consumption in the economy industry reaches nearly 25 cubic kilometers, of which 65% is used for agriculture and 25% for industrial needs.

According to the inventory results, the country has 17,736 rivers and temporary watercourses, 4,024 lakes, 4,540 groundwater deposits, and 13,175 water management structures.

Smailov highlighted that it is necessary to involve domestic companies, including manufacturers of building materials, in implementing the planned measures and to continue developing space monitoring technologies to determine water consumption. He also instructed to ensure the efficient use of water in agriculture.

“We shall annually introduce water-saving technologies on 150,000 hectares of irrigated areas. Now, we cover 40,000-50,000 hectares per year. However, in the southern regions, which face the greatest water shortage, the volume of implementation is the smallest. It is necessary to develop specific mechanisms to stimulate the use of water-saving technologies by the end of the year,” said Smailov.

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