The Ministry of Ecology has strengthened cooperation in water diplomacy

The Ministry of Ecology has strengthened cooperation in water diplomacy

In the past year the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan strengthened cooperation with neighboring countries in the field of water resources in order to solve water shortage problems. In particular, certain work was done with leaderships of such states as Uzbekistan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. As a result, the actual water withdrawal in 2020 for the country amounted to 13.3 km3, World of NAN reports, citing the press service of the agency.

Vice-Minister Serik Kozhaniyazov voiced the results of 2020 at an extended meeting of the collegium of the Ministry of Ecology.

According to the Vice-Minister, meetings of joint commissions on water issues with the above mentioned countries were held regularly during the year. As a result of such negotiations a certain agreement was reached and problems of water resources deficit were solved.

"For example, in order to solve the acute shortage of irrigation water, during the peak of the growing season during the negotiations with the Kyrgyz side agreements were reached on the exchange of electricity. As a result, an additional 330 million m3 of irrigation water was discharged from the Toktogul reservoir. Also according to the similar scheme, an additional water release from the BakhriTochik reservoir in the volume of 300 million m3 was provided from the territory of Tajikistan", - the reporter noted.

In his speech, S. Kozhaniyazov said that within the framework of cooperation with the Russian Federation in October 2020, a Roadmap for cooperation and research in the basins of the major rivers Zhaiyk and Ertis was signed.

"According to the results, the parties will develop recommendations and proposals to improve the hydrological flow of transboundary rivers, first of all the basin of the river Zhaiyk," Serik Kozhaniyazov stressed.

He also underlined that cooperation with the Republic of Uzbekistan plays a key role in the issues of cooperation on the Syrdarya River Basin. Last year, there were 11 meetings of the working group on deepening cooperation in all directions of water relations between the countries, where, besides the planned issues, the issues related to the breach of the dam of the Sardoba reservoir were considered.

In addition, the Deputy Minister of Ecology reported that the actual water withdrawal in 2020 for the republic was 13.3 km3.

"It should be noted that 97% of water withdrawal from the whole republican volume falls on four southern regions - Almaty, Zhambyl, Turkestan and Kyzylorda regions. Despite difficulties, the plan of irrigation water supply was fulfilled," the Vice-Minister added.

Last year, according to Kozhaniyazov, 813 km of 11,000 km of main and interfarm canals in poor condition were repaired. This allowed reducing losses during transportation by 166 million m3. Rehabilitated infrastructure of irrigation systems allowed to put 53.5 thousand hectares into operation.

Vice Minister also informed about implementation of the first pilot project on digitalization of main canal K-19, which revealed overuse of irrigation water up to 45% of irrigation mode.

As vice-minister reported, this year work in the sphere of water diplomacy will be continued. The plans also include taking a set of measures to ensure sufficient water for the upcoming growing season, digitalization of main main canals, implementation of projects in the field of rural water supply, improvement of legislation and development plans in the water sector.

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