Water management and strengthening transboundary river basin administrations in Central Asia and capacity building in river basin planning for water management organizations and joint river basin structures

January 2012 – January 2014
Funding sources
European Union. Co-financing: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany
€ 205 000
Thematic area
Water management
  • German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ)
  • Committee for Water Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Aral-Syrdarya Basin Inspection
  • Aral-Syrdarya Basin Council

The Aral-Syrdarya is part of the Aral sea basin and is therefore particularly affected by the process of desiccation occurring there. Despite the best efforts of the Kazakhstani government and international donors, it is doubtful that environmental problems of the Aral sea basin can be reversed. One of the most pressing problems is the lack of appropriate monitoring and management of irrigation systems and water resources. The respective institutions often lack the capacity to carry out comprehensive basin assessments, meaning no proper basin planning takes place to manage different water use levels and timeframes. Consequently, a more systematic approach to water management is required for this situation to improve. To that end, Kazakhstan’s has been the first country in Central Asia to prepare the National Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Water Efficiency Plan.

The Kazakh Aral-Syrdarya basin stretches across the Kyzylorda and the South Kazakhstan oblasts (administrative districts). It occupies an area of about 345,000 square km and is home to about 2.6 mln people (17% of the total population of the Republic of Kazakhstan). The main river of the basin is Syrdarya, which is formed outside Kazakhstan in the Ferghana Valley by confluence of the Naryn and Karadarya rivers.

The project was part of “Water Management and Basin Organizations in Central Asia Programme” (WMBOCA) which supports five CA states to set up effective institutions for joint management of water resources.

In order for these institutions to effectively fulfill their mandates, assistance is being provided to develop long-term basin plans, which then serve as the basis for introducing IWRM principles.

In Kazakhstan the programme helps the Aral-Syrdarya basin inspection and the Aral-Syrdarya Basin Council in developing and implementing a comprehensive basin plan to promote IWRM at river basin level. Starting from 2012, activities of the programme are co-funded by the European Union in the framework of “Water Management and Basin Organizations in Central Asia Programme” (WMBOCA), which is a part of the Regional Environment Programme for Central Asia (EURECA).

Providing support to the Aral-Syrdarya Basin Inspection and the Aral-Syrdarya Basin Council in the development, implementation and implementation of a complete river basin plan to promote IWRM at the river basin level.

4 sessions of the Aral-Syrdarya basin council conducted, with following issues have been discussed:

  • Biological stations in Kyzylorda and Shymkent cities

  • Identification of water protection areas and lines

  • IWRM basin plan

  • The technical state of the reservoir

  • Ameliorative condition of irrigated lands

  • Thermal and mineral ground waters in the South Kazakhstan oblast

  • Developing of the daily hydrological bulletin of the basin

  • Technical condition of the Shardarinsk reservoir, etc.

2 small basin councils (SBC) created within the Aral-Syrdarya basin (the Aralsk SBC in Kyzylorda oblast and Ugam-Keless SBC in the South Kazakhstan oblast. Each SBC has organized 4 sessions, during which they developed Basin Council Statute and elected Council members. Work completed:

  • Transboundary allocation of water in the main canals of the region

  • Headwork construction in the Aksai canal

  • Access of small regions’ population to drinking water


Project manager – Ekaterina Strikeleva

E-mail: estrikeleva@carececo.org

Tel.: +7 727 265 43 33 (ext. 275)