Water Problems of Central Asia

This paper presents a review of the history of the emergence and development of water-related issues in Central Asia, along with a description of the current political, economic, legal, technical and ecological problems related to the use of the water resources in the region. The publication includes the findings of a survey involving the leading experts of the region and reflecting a broad spectrum of views as to the key water problems. The publication targets professionals in the area of water resources management and regional use of water resources, as well as a broad audience of readers interested in the water problems of Central Asia.

In the light of the findings of the survey conducted as part of this study, the paper finds that there is need for modifying the legal framework for water issues at both national and international levels, as well as formulation of economic and legal solutions such as investment’ promotion, consistent development of market based mechanisms of water resources management, planning and implementation of joint business projects. Furthermore, the survey finds that reversal of water management infrastructure degradation, institutional capacity building, low water quality and access, man-caused harmful impacts on water, weak water monitoring systems and outdated information systems and technologies need urgent attention.

The study recommends involving community based organizations in the management of water resources, strengthening professional capacities or introducing the market based incentives for business activity and focusing upon stronger but more democratic administrative and legal regulations of water related issues.

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