ОФ «САМР Алатоо» и Служба водных ресурсов Кыргызстана обсудили проблемы управления водой

The PF "CAMP Alatoo" and the Water Resources Service of Kyrgyzstan discussed water management issues.

12 August 2023

The state of water resources and consumer access to them has become a particularly acute issue for agricultural producers and farmers this summer. Representatives of "CAMP Alatoo" and the Water Resources Service (WRS) at the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic met in the city of Cholpon-Ata to discuss the causes of the irrigation water deficit and measures to address the crisis.

According to Almazbek Sokeev, the director of the WRS, overcoming current issues in the water sector requires reforms, including the adoption of the "Water Code" and changes to the water distribution system. He stated, "Annually, the country receives 47-50 billion cubic meters of water, but we observe a reduction in resources due to decreased precipitation, particularly noticeable this year. Kyrgyzstan uses 10-12 billion cubic meters for its own needs, with the remaining water flowing to neighboring countries. To use this volume efficiently, it is necessary to improve irrigation networks and construct new reservoirs."

Water conservation, modern irrigation methods, and water metering devices tracking water flow from the source to the farmer are being implemented for the rational and fair distribution of resources. Currently, over 200 domestically produced sensors are installed in various regions of the country. "CAMP Alatoo" is also developing an information system, enabling specialists to calculate water use plans and volumes supplied to farmers. Murat Zhumashev, project coordinator at "CAMP Alatoo," explained, "Our development is based on the experience of Uzbekistan. In water distribution, we propose using data on irrigation norms for various agricultural crops, the length of irrigation canals to determine technical losses. The advantage of the system lies in the ability to establish an electronic queue for irrigation among users, as well as in planning crops considering their water consumption." He added that the introduction of an electronic queue will help reduce conflicts between consumers and water distribution authorities. The WRS suggested testing the ready information system in Water User Associations that employ digital technologies.

The meeting also addressed the issue of training qualified personnel for water management. As discussed during a previous forum involving universities organized by "CAMP Alatoo," Jyldyzkan Sadabaeva, the chief specialist of the Water User Association (WUA) Support and Development Department, stated that recent graduates are reluctant to work in their field due to low salaries. Budgetary education in water management specialties also fails to attract applicants. "In 2018, 40 people enrolled in relevant faculties at three universities. This year, 30 graduates received diplomas. This is a good result. If universities consistently prepare such a number of young specialists, the water management sector will be adequately staffed," reported Jyldyzkan Sadabaeva.

In conclusion, participants noted the mutual understanding between the government body and the non-governmental organization regarding the need to address water sector issues and their readiness for cooperation.

The event was organized as part of the project "Adaptation and Strengthening Approaches to Water Resources Management Based on Communities in the Kyrgyz Republic," implemented with the support of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS/IP) and Management and Engineering Technologies International (METI)

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