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Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Discuss Water Sharing In Chu And Talas River Basins

TARAZ, Kazakhstan

Delegates from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan discussed water sharing in the Chu and Talas River Basins at a June 27 conference in Taraz which was dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the first protocol on water sharing of the Talas River between the nations.

A joint Kazahkstan-Kyrgyzstan Talas Basin Department of Water Resources, and Chu-Talas water commission aim to strengthen cross-border cooperation between the countries.

The Talas Basin Department of Water Resources distributes irrigation water along the river basin in proportion to the volume of water received, according to the water content of the rivers. There are more than 100,000 hectares of irrigated land in the region. The length of the canals is more than 500 kilometers.

A separate session at the conference was devoted to the management of the Kurkereusu River, which flows from  Kyrgyzstan into Kazakhstan.

The main problem of the Kurkureusu River Basin is water deficit during irrigation season. An integrated assessment has revealed the gaps in water resources management in the river basin, including low share of use of water saving technologies in irrigation, erosion of water channels, lack of modern automated water measurement, imperfection of water management financing and low development of agricultural cooperatives.

In order to facilitate dialogue among stakeholders, in 2017, small basin councils (SBC) were established on the Kazakh and Kyrgyz parts of the Kurkureusu River within a project facilitated by the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia (CAREC), and the US Agency for International Aid (USAID). These councils include farmers, members of countryside and regional administrations, veterans, teachers, media representatives, NGOs, and ecologists.

"The goal of the CAREC and USAID project is to provide a platform for dialogue. The project will last 2 years more, during this time we can establish a good dialogue. Today, at the conference, the parties have already agreed to hold a joint dinner and openly discuss common issues, find some solutions," said Meder Seytkasymov, the director of the CAREC office in Kyrgyzstan.