Managing water better in Central Asia
Climate-sensitive water resources management in Central Asia
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency
2023 to 2027
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, ETH Zurich, Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) in Koblenz, Scientific Information Centre of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (SIC ICWC), Central Asia Environment Centre (CAREC)
Products and expertise
Climate, environment, natural resource management
Climate change is intensifying the geopolitical, socio-economic and environmental tensions around water, energy and land use in Central Asia. This arid region is already suffering glacier shrinkage and desertification, along with extreme events such as flooding and droughts. Since the majority of water resources are transboundary and are dwindling as a result of climate change and human activity, good cross-border cooperation based on trust is of immense importance. The report published in 2022 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expects climate change to have a massive impact on food security – for example in the form of harvest failures or rising food prices.
Regional cooperation on water resources management in Central Asia has been consolidated. A climate-sensitive, integrated approach to water resources management is also being taken.
The project has organised a dialogue between representatives of national and regional organisations in the Amu Darya and Syr Darya river basins. The aim is to share information and experience and expand knowledge about climate-sensitive, integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), planning, international water law and water diplomacy. The project is developing a training concept and teaching resources on practice-oriented IWRM for water managers in the responsible organisations. It also offers training courses.
In addition to this, the project provides support for efforts to better monitor water quality – along the lines of the European Union’s Water Framework Directive. This involves analysing methods that the countries can use to monitor their groundwater. The project also supports a regional exchange of ideas and collaboration with the activities of other donors with the aim of standardising measuring methods. At the same time, an intergovernmental working group is focusing on improving systems for measuring and monitoring water resources on the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers. It is working with other donors to analyse, select and install measuring points on irrigation channels that are regionally managed.
Last update: September 2023