World Water Day in Central Asia: Сooperation of universities

Publication date: 14 May 2024

World Water Day, celebrated on March 22 every year, is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness of the importance of clean water and sustainable water management. It was established by the UN General Assembly in 1992 and was first celebrated in 1993.

World Water Day provides an opportunity to discuss issues related to access to clean water, as well as to emphasize the importance of cooperation at the international level to solve these problems. It aims to draw attention to issues of water conservation, sanitation, hygiene and water efficiency.

This year, World Water Day has become a unifying factor between universities in Central Asian countries. Based on the relationships established within the framework of the Network of Academic Societies (NAS) meetings, universities organized joint events, invited representatives of other universities as guests or partners.

Since the theme of the World Water Day in 2024 was “Water for Peace”, on March 6-7 in Dushanbe the Tajik Agrarian University named after Sh.Shotemur (TAU) with the support of the USAID Central Asia’s Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity hosted an international scientific and practical conference on "Sustainable water resources management as the basis for solving the strategic goal of food security in a changing climate." The conference was organized by the Faculty of Hydro-reclamation of TAU.

This conference has become a platform for several Central Asian universities: National Research University “Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers”, Kyrgyz National Agrarian University named after K.I. Scriabin, the Kazakh National Agrarian Research University. During the event reports on agriculture, food security, rational water use, etc. were presented. Following the results of the conference, a collection of scientific articles was published.


“In-depth study of the issues of sustainable management of water resources and food security in Central Asia is possible only through cooperation and mutual dialogue. This conference, organized in honor of the World Water Day, helped us to share experiences with our colleagues from other universities and draw mutually beneficial conclusions," said Shavkat Pulatov, NAS member, Head of the Department of Land Reclamation, Recultivation and Protection of Land, Faculty of Hydro–Reclamation, Tajik Agrarian University named after Sh.Shotemur.

Another major event took place on March 14 in Tashkent, at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy (UWED). The round table on “Climate change and the role of media and education in shaping a sustainable future" was organized by UMED and the Public Foundation for Support and Development of National Mass Media. It was attended by UWED teachers and students, representatives of national media, international organizations and environmental activists. In addition, the event was open to other universities. Thus, the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan also joined the event.

The main goal of the round table was to attract the attention of young people to environmental problems existing in this area, present future risks, as well as measures to counter the environmental crisis. In addition to the effects of climate change, the round table discussed the results of the UN Climate Change Conference, which was held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023. The participants of the event shared their vision of the existing problems and ways to combat and adapt to climate change in Uzbekistan and the region.


"This round table has become a platform not only for media and eco-journalists, but also for us, the universities of Central Asia. It is very important to talk openly about the existing environmental issues of the region in a dialogue format, as this helps to find mutually beneficial solutions together. We are always open to cooperation with universities in our region," said Suriya Turayeva, NAS member, Associate Professor majoring in «Environmental Protection and rational use of natural resources», University of World Economy and Diplomacy.


In addition to high-level scientific conferences, university venues hosted events with the participation of students from various universities. Thus, on March 11, the USAID Central Asia’s Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity, together with the Kyrgyz National Agrarian University named after K.I. Scriabin, held a national event celebrating Water Resources Day. For two days, teams of leading Kyrgyz universities – Kyrgyz National Agrarian University named after K.I. Scriabin (KNAU), Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University named after B. N. Yeltsin (KRSU), Kyrgyz State Technical University I. Razzakov (KSTU), the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) competed in an innovative interactive game – the Climate Fresk, played the Nexus Game and staged costume scenes. As a result of the competition, the KSTU team became the winner, KRSU took the second place, KNAU took the third place, and AUCA took the fourth. The students also visited the Sokuluk district, got acquainted with the hydraulic structures of the Sokuluk River and the Sokuluk reservoir and held a clean-up of the coastal zone of the reservoir.


Also on March 18, in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University named after B.N. Yeltsin (KRSU) hosted the competition "Water for Peace – 2024" with the participation of students and teachers of the following universities: KRSU, Khujand State University named after B.Gafurov (KSU), Ural State Forest Engineering University (USFEU), National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek and Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU). Thus, students of these universities competed in a quiz on the topic "Water resources", which showed the high level of training of each team.


During the competition, students also participated in the photo contest “Water in our lives”. And KRSU students demonstrated a film on “Determining the quality of water from various sources of water supply for the population”. As a result of the competition, the first place was taken by KazNU students, the second – by KSU, the third – by USFEU, and the fourth place – by KRSU.


"Today's event showed how talented and smart our future young specialists can be. Such events help to support the exchange of experience and knowledge between universities in the region. Students from different countries share their vision and serve as an example to each other," said Galina Frolova, NAS member, Head of the Department of Water Resources and Engineering, Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University named after B. N. Yeltsin.

It should be noted that all the events were supported by active NAS members, who involved their colleagues from other universities. It is thanks to their efforts that the NAS has great weight and influence in the field of education in the region. After all, only active actions, the desire for cooperation and dialogue can help our universities to interact closely and share experiences.

Thus, within the framework of World Water Day, the NAS, supported by the USAID Central Asia’s Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity and the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia, once again proved its usefulness in developing cooperation between universities in the region. The NAS meetings, held every six months, have become a platform for networking at universities in Central Asia. 

#WorldWaterDay #USAID #NAS #CAREC

Additional information: Ludmila Kiktenko, Environmental Management Program Manager, CAREC,

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