In modern conditions issues related to joint use of water resources has not only the determinative economic and ecological value, but acquires serious political importance. It has been destined by the role of water resources in the economics of Central Asian countries.
The main issue of the region in water sector is that there is no balance between hydropower industry, irrigation agriculture and ecology. Due to the demand in additional deployment of water resources that has been arisen because of population growth and economics industrialization of Central Asian countries, load on ecological component is being increased and created double interpretation in explanation of mentioned issue from the position of countries located upstream and downstream.
In the modern stage, from our point of view, it is necessary to form a new legal base and effective mechanism of cooperation in the water resources sector. This requires new approaches to issues related to water apportioning and water use as well as strict correspondence of interstate agreements in water sector and projects in hydrotechnical facilities construction in transboundary watercourses of Central Asia to norms of international law.
Negotiating and legal base of cooperation of Central Asian countries in the area of rational use of transboundary rivers’ water energy resources was established in February 1992 with the adoption of framework between Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan on water resources use of interstate sources.
In 1998, an agreement on water energy resources use of Syr Darya river basin has been signed between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, to which Tajikistan joined later.
In January 21 2000, the Governments of Republic of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic signed an agreement on interstate water facility use in Chu-Talas Rivers. Within the scope of this document, experts of these countries treat issues related to development and realization of joint actions in an uninterruptible and safe exploitation of interstate water facilities in rivers Chu and Talas with the purpose of water supply to agrarians and ecosystems of contiguous territories of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Water potential use of mentioned rivers is regulated by the standing commission that holds a sitting not less than twice a year.
Kazakhstan’s network with member-countries of International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea and its organizations such as Interstate Commission for Water Coordination and Interstate Sustainable Development Commission is dynamically being developed.
International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea is the instrument of collective impact on ecological and socioeconomic situation in Aral Sea basin. During 20 years within the frame of three Programs of assistance to Aral Sea basin countries, several billions of US dollars were invested in realization of numerous projects. These projects are mechanisms establishing of joint water resources management, recovery of territories that have been affected by ecological disasters, provision with clean potable water and public health improvement, and reduction of poverty rate in Aral Sea basin.
At a time of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (2008-2013), the Program of assistance to Aral Sea basin countries-3, which consists of 44 projects on socioeconomic, ecological and humanitarian orientation, was developed and confirmed.
This kind of Program for the first time was prepared in close coordination with international donor and international organizations such as UNECE, EU, GIZ, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, USAID, UNRCCA, Swiss agency on development and cooperation and others.
The first phase realization of a project Watercourse regulation of Syr Darya River and north part conservation of Aral Sea by the government of Republic of Kazakhstan in cooperation with the World Bank has significantly improved the socioeconomic and ecological situation in Kazakhstani part of Aral Sea region. The further development of the region is anticipated during the second phase of the project within the 2015-2019.
In 2008, International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea has been granted the status of observer under the UN General Assembly, which is the evidence that the problem of Aral Sea has the global scale.
Kazakhstan is convinced that the solution of existing problems of the region in the water energy sector is possible only in close cooperation with all of the Central Asian countries and in an agreement of main principles of guaranteed use, protection and division of interstate water resources, within which countries of the region have general conception and constructive intention.