Kerben (Aksy District, Kyrgyzstan). On September 14 - 15 CAREC held the first joint session of Small Basin Councils of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan parts of the Padysh-Ata River. The event was organized within the framework of Smart Waters project, which is implemented by CAREC with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
A warm meeting of the Uzbek delegation was organized by the local administration of the Aksy District; the akim (head of the administration) of the district, Masalbek Myrzamamitov, noted the importance of such joint meetings for the purposes of bringing together people of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and for making joint decisions by SBC for the benefit of the river basin.
Furtherly, colleagues form Uzbekistan got acquainted with the specialists of the district water management department of the Aksy district. " This is the first meeting of experts held over the past 20 – 30 years, which is very important for future cooperation, development of basin plans and their high-quality implementation," said the head of the department Abdymalik Apsamatov.
The meeting has demonstrated that most of the representatives of the Small Basin Councils of the Kyrgyz and Uzbek parts of the Padysha-Ata River (Padyshaata) already know each other as colleagues for many years. Abduvahob Botirov, manager of the Yangi-Kurgan hydrodistrict, has told: "We are working closely with colleagues from the Aksy District Water Management Department, we meet at the border at the beginning of the irrigation season and discuss the forthcoming works, we also assist in cleaning the transboundary channel."
Both sides have exchanged with analyzes of the current situation at the basin of the Padysha-Ata River, as well as the results of the work done in the development of basin plans. SBC Deputy Chairman, Smayylbek Ibraimov, added: "CAREC specialists and experts have conducted a number of basin-planning trainings, which greatly improved the level of preparedness of local specialists in basin planning".
A number of issues related to the further development of the basin, such as the development of ecological tourism, the promotion of water accounting systems, the development of horticulture and crop production were also mentioned at the session. Particular interest was paid to the possibility of holding the event called “Day of the Padysha-Ata River”. The participants discussed the possibilities of organizing a volleyball tournament, national competitions, cultural events involving local administrations, representatives of international organizations, aksakals and water management veterans. After the discussion, the parties decided to organize the "Day of the Padysh-Ata River" in April or May, 2019.
The joint session was preceded by a training course on "The use of water-measuring instruments - weirs and electronic measuring instruments". - Vitaliy Shablovsky, the specialist of the Irrigation Institute of Kyrgyzstan, was the trainer of this course.
The participants received theoretical bases on the application of different water accounting instruments (Thomson weir, Chippoleti, Satarkulov and SANIIRI flumes). The training was accompanied by a field visit in order to demonstrate the installation and use of the Chippoleti weirs with the Shablovsky electronic water accounting tool.
The participants have noted: "We are the specialists of the Water Users Association (hereinafter referred as WUA), and we know the principle of operation of the Thomson, Satarkulov and Chippoletti weirs, however, due to the lack or shortage of such tools, we do not apply them in water accounting. The water accounting systems between the WUA and the district water management department is carried out at permanent hydro posts, but we need to use such tools in order to perform water accounting with water users and to increase their trust and improve reporting. " Particular interest among the participants was caused by the electronic water accounting tool Shablovsky. The software of this device allows you to set the automatic data collection and analysis, as well as to transfer the information to the computer.
In conclusion to the session, the participants noted the relevance of the training and expressed the need for such trainings in Uzbekistan. The next joint meeting of SBC members of the Padysh-Ata River was decided to be held on the territory of Uzbekistan in the summer of 2019.
Smart Waters project is implemented by CAREC with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development USAID during the period 2015-2020. The overall objective of the project is to enhance regional cooperation on shared water resources. Specifically, Smart Waters addresses the knowledge dis-lock in the region in water sector, builds working relations among water managers and specialists, and demonstrates the potential of the basin management approach and cooperation with the academia.