On October 18-19, 2018 – a two-day seminar on International Water Law for water specialists was held in Astana, Kazakhstan. The training was aimed to improve the qualifications and professional skills of officials and specialists in the field of transboundary water resources management. The event was organized within Smart Waters project which is being implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia with the support of USAID.
The event brought together representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Energy and basin inspections carrying out activities in the field of water resources protection and management. There also were professors and students of Eurasian National University name after L.N. Gumilev. The event was also attended by the representative of the Water Resources Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Medet Zhadigeruly, and Director of USAID Kazakhstan country office, Mr. Ryan Weddle.
The seminar was led by Mr. Sergei Vinogradov, Professor of the University of Dundee (United Kingdom), an internationally recognized expert on international water law.
“There are 8 river basins in Kazakhstan, 7 of which are transboundary. Therefore, it is very important to conduct such trainings, especially on international water law”, said Mrs. Gulmira Imasheva, head of the Shu-Talas Basin Inspections on regulation, use and protection of water resource of the Water Resources Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The theme of global water conventions and their application in the Aral Sea basin was discussed at the seminar. Participants also discussed issues of procedural obligations and information exchange mechanisms in the field of protection and use of transboundary watercourses. In addition, the program of the seminar reflected issues related to the operation of water facilities on transboundary watercourses.
“As a future water expert, I want to thank CAREC and Mr. Vinogradov for useful seminar and for the opportunity to study more precisely water law and conventions. I am sure that received knowledge will help me conduct more detailed research in this area”, said Ms. Sandugash Abisheva, a student at the Eurasian National University of L.N.Gumilev.
The seminar is a part of Component IV - Basin Planning, which helps to introduce long-term planning in Central Asia and Afghanistan on the river basin level. In addition, with the support of Smart Waters, MIKE 11 software was purchased for specialists of the water sector of Kazakhstan in October 2017. This equipment is designed to predict river flow.
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. 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.