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Public corporation for land reclamation and water resources of Azerbaijan PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 26 January 2009

At the end of the last century, the water sector of Azerbaijan has undergone reorganization. In 1993, the Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Resources was renamed as the Committee of Land Reclamation and Water Resources at the Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic. In 2004, the State Agency for Land Reclamation and Water Resources was established on the base of the Azerbaijan Ministry of Agriculture, and then in 2006, the Public Corporation for Land Reclamation and Water Resources was established.  

The main functions of the Public Corporation are as follows: supply the national economic sectors with water and ensure control over rational water use; ensure saline water outflow from the fields through collector-drainage systems; operate irrigation and drainage structures that are under responsibility of the Corporation; implement mudflow-control measures; act as a client for state-financed objects of capital construction and design; ensure development of the sector on the basis of modern science and advanced technologies.

Currently, Azerbaijan has a complex water-management system: the extended network of irrigation and drainage canals, the pumping stations redistributing flow, a system of regulation reservoirs.
There are 135 reservoirs, with the total capacity of 21,5 billion m3, 51755 km of irrigation canals, 29640 km of collector-drainage networks, 118 thousand of various hydraulic structures, 931 pumping stations, about 7,5 thousand of sub-artesian wells, 1700 km of flood protection dams, and other support facilities.
The Public Corporation comprises 129 administrations and institutions. There are also 3 repair and engineering works and 1 concrete product plant that repair floating stations, pumps, electric motors, transformers and spare parts and manufacture various metalworks for construction and repair.

The Public Corporation has one design and two research institutes, where 13 doctors of science and more than 80 candidates of science work. The Direction of land reclamation and irrigation objects under construction performs functions of the client of hydraulic structures. 
The Public Corporation for Land Reclamation and Water Resources of Azerbaijan has been representing the Republic in the World Water Council since 1997, in the Global Water Partnership since 2002, and in the International Commission for Irrigation and Drainage since 2006. The Corporation has been collaborating with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Saudi Development Fund, OPEC and other international funding organizations.

Azerbaijan is a land of ancient irrigated agriculture. Archeological research shows that the Azerbaijan’s irrigation system was similar to the most ancient water systems in Egypt, India, and China. The Mill Steppe has traces of a large irrigation canal, construction of which belong to IV-VI centuries. The footprints of ancient irrigation are found on Mughan’ as well, where the traces of numerous irrigation canals are clearly visible yet.
At present, the republic has about 1 million 450 thousand hectares of irrigated land; moreover, 90% of gross agricultural production comes from irrigated agriculture.

The main contractor of hydrotechnical construction is the Government Corporation “Azvodstroy”, which acts on contract basis together with the Committee for Land Reclamation and Water Resources. Until collapse of the Soviet Union, the “Azvodstroy” had drawn annually under the “Azgiprovodkhoz” projects about 300 M$US and had strong production, machinery and equipment.
The main task is to implement water-management measures in order to improve productivity of existing irrigated land and expand production of agricultural products.
At present, the drainage system is available on about 610 thousand ha of irrigated area, of which: subsurface drainage - 326 thousand ha; and, vertical drains - 13 thousand ha.
135 reservoirs with the total capacity of 21,5 billion m3, 51755 km of irrigation canals, 29640 km of collector-drainage network, 118 thousands of various hydraulic structures, 931 pump stations, about 7,5 thousands of subartesian well, 1700 km of check dams protecting from mudflows and floods and other water-management and auxiliary structures are under operation.
The Public Corporation for Land Reclamation and Water Resources of Azerbaijan is the main body responsible for management, use, and protection of water resources, for operation of irrigation and drainage systems, as well as for mudflow and flood protection measures. The Authority of State Control over water use and protection exerts respective control, while the Authority of hydrogeological and land reclamation service monitors groundwater regime on irrigated lands.
Azerbaijan has set reforms in the water sector and established that the structures of national importance (reservoirs, inter-rayon and inter-farm irrigation canals, collectors, large pump stations, waterworks, watering systems, protection dams along the Kura river and the Araz river, observation wells, etc.) are not subject to privatization.
In order to enhance the reforms, Azerbaijan adopted the following laws: “Regarding land reclamation and irrigation” (1996), Water Code (1997), “Regarding water supply and disposal” (1999), “Regarding hydrometeorological activity” (1998), “About nature conservation” (1999), “About environmental safety” (1999), “About municipal water sector” (2001), “About hydraulic structure safety” (2003), as well as the Law of Azerbaijan Republic about changes and supplements (2004) to the law “About land reclamation and irrigation”.
Besides, the Azerbaijan’s President has approved by his decree the programs on environmentally safe socio-economic development of the country, on forest restoration and development, on efficient use of summer and winter pastures, agricultural land and prevention of desertification, on hydrometeorological development, and others in the Azerbaijan Republic.
Since 1997, water charges have been applied in Azerbaijan, an institutional mechanism has been established, and conditions of user’s involvement in allocating irrigation water limits have been determined.
Establishment of WUAs has started since 1996, first with the support of the World Bank. By now, 585 associations covering 760 thousand ha of irrigated area have been established by water users themselves. The World Bank’s project “Irrigation 2” provides for transfer of on-farm irrigation and collector-drainage systems to water user associations as to non-profit organizations for the long-term use and management.
According to the Azerbaijan’s law about changes and supplements (2004) to the law “About land reclamation and irrigation”, it is stipulated to enhance the legal framework of WUA and rename them as Water User Unions (WUU) (at present, 475 WUAs were re-registered as WUU). In OJSC for Land Reclamation and Water Resources and in its local branches the Central and Local WUU support groups were established, respectively.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 October 2010 )
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