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Conference of EECCA water-management organizations “Community of water professionals - a framework for interstate water cooperation” PDF Print E-mail
Written by Iskander Beglov   
Friday, 18 October 2013
The Conference was held at VNIIGiM named by A.N.Kostyakov (Moscow) on the 8th of November 2013. 

The main aims of the Conference were: 

 Political will of improvement and its implementation in practice
 Implementation of IWRM 
 Water conservation - achievements over the five years 
 Public participation in water management 
 Improvement of water supply 
 Food-water-energy nexus and solution of related problems 
 Discussion of water sector problems in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (together with representatives from Central Europe (Romania and France)). 

The Conference was organized by OAO “Vodstroy”, the Russian Union of Water and Land Reclamation Professionals, VNIIGiM named by A.N.Kostyakov (Moscow) and the Scientific-Information Center of ICWC (NWO EECCA Secretariat, Tashkent).  This event was supported by GWP CACENA and UNECE (through the RF grant). 
The participants were welcomed by: 

 P.A.Polad-Zade, EECCA Network President  
 N.A.Sukhoy, Chairman of Conference Organizing Committee, President of the Russian Union of Water and Land Reclamation Professionals  
 M.V.Seliverstova, Head of Federal Agency “Rosvodresursy” 
 F. Pintus - on behalf of J.-F. Donzier, INBO Executive Secretary. 

The following reports were delivered: 

Issues in Land Reclamation and Water Management in EECCA Countries and Challenges Facing Water Community - Acad. P.A.Polad-Zade, President of EECCA Network 

About Scientific Support of the Programs for Land Reclamation and Water-Management System Development in the Russian Federation - Dr. Prof. B.M.Kizyaev, Director, VNIIGiM

The Current State and Prospects of Water Resources Management in Ukraine - Dr. V.A. Stashuk, Chairman, State Water Resources Agency, Ukraine, corresponding member of the National Academy of Sciences

Federal Target Program (FTP) “Plans for Agricultural Land Reclamation in Russia for 2014-2020” - D.P.Putyatin, Acting Director, Department of Land Reclamation, Ministry of Agriculture, Russian Federation

Challenges in the Development of Transboundary Water Cooperation in the ECE Region - B. Libert, Regional Advisor for Environment, UNECE

Enhancement of Transboundary Cooperation: about EC IFAS Activities over 2009-2012 - Prof. S.R.Ibatullin, Vice-Chair, Implementation Committee of the UNECE Water Convention 

About Program for Development of Water Knowledge Bases in EECCA - Prof. Dr. D.V.Kozlov, Chancellor, Moscow State University of Environmental Engineering

About Program of Global Water Partnership for Caucasus and Central Asia for 2014-2016 - Dr. V.I.Sokolov, Regional Coordinator, GWP CACENA, Deputy Director of the Scientific-Information Center of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination. 

The Current  State and Prospects of IWRM in Turkmenistan - G.Nurmukhammedova, Expert, Analytical Agency “Ynanch-Vepa”, Turkmenistan 

Cooperation among Water Research Institutions in Russia and EECCA Countries - Prof. Dr. N.B. Prokhorova, Director, Russian Water Research Institute 

Water Management in the Republic of Uzbekistan: Current State and Plans for the Future - B.K.Ruziboev, Deputy Head, Central Water Resources Administration, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Republic of Uzbekistan

About Water Management in the Republic of Kazakhstan - B.K.Bekniyaz, Acting Chairman, Committee for Water Resources, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Republic of Kazakhstan 

Water Management in Romania - E. Cserwid, National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management, Romania 

BWO Amudarya about Water Security Issues in the Amudarya River Basin -A.M. Nazariy, Chief Engineer, BWO Amudarya, Uzbekistan 

Promoting Small Transboundary Basin Cooperation in Central Asia - L. Kiktenko, Expert, CAREC, Kazakhstan 

Irrigation and Drainage in Changing World – Prof. Acad. P.I.Kovalenko, Institute of Water Problems and Land Reclamation, National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine  

Final Resolutions of INBO World General Assembly and Tasks of EECCA Network - Prof. V.A.Dukhovny, Executive Secretary of EECCA Network, Director of the Scientific-Information Center of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination in Central Asia (read by V.I.Sokolov)  

* * * * 

The major system-wide problems of water development in RUSSIA include: 

 unsatisfactory conditions of drinking and household water supply system 
 reduction of agricultural areas and poor condition of irrigated and drained land 
 wasteful use of water 
 reduced water quality 
 poor state of hydraulic infrastructure 
 increased damage to property from negative water impact of natural and anthropogenic origin 
 low efficiency of water management in agro-industry 
 shortage of qualified staff. 

The strategic objectives of water sector development are seen as follows: 

 guaranteed supply of rural population with drinking water of good quality 
 development of rural water supply 
 rehabilitation and development of irrigation and drainage 
 prohibition of polluted wastewater discharge into water bodies 
 development and application of innovation technologies and technical facilities 
 ensuring of hydraulic structure security 
 provision with labor resources 

The following mechanisms should be used for implementation of water strategy in agro-industry: 

 improvement of legal, regulatory and methodological bases and state regulation methods 
 achievement of effective management system 
 development of human capacity 
 research and development and data support 
 federal and regional target programs for innovation development. 

The Federal Target Program (FTP) “Plans for Agricultural Land Reclamation in Russia for 2014-2020”, which received 75.3 billion roubles from the federal budget, sets the following objectives: 

 Improve productivity and sustainability of agricultural production and of soil fertility through comprehensive land reclamation under global and regional climate changes and natural anomalies. 
 Increase production capacity of reclaimed land and better use natural resources.  

To achieve the above objectives and ensure effective implementation of the Program, an integrated approach will be used. All Program measures are grouped into three projects: 

1. “Rehabilitation and improvement of operation of irrigation and drainage systems and separate hydraulic structures under the Russian Federation’s state ownership”; 
2. “Development of irrigation and drainage systems and separate hydraulic structures under the Russian Federation’s state ownership, municipal property and agricultural enterprises’ property”; 
3. “Prevention of agricultural land abandonment through afforestation, phyto-reclamation and land clearing.” 

The following results are expected from the Federal Target Program: 

 Annual quantity of agricultural production – 5 160 700 tons of feed units 
 Guaranteed crop yields, irrespective of natural conditions, through putting of 840 960 ha of reclaimed land into operation 
 Reserved existing job places and created new 92 890 ones 
 Reduced vulnerability of population and land to floods and other negative water impacts (potential prevented damage of 66 100 000 000 roubles from negative water impact) 
 The share of state ownership decreased from 58.4 % to 40 % of the total amount of irrigation and drainage systems and separate hydraulic structures 
 Quantity of ownerless irrigation and drainage systems and separate hydraulic structures decreased from 34.7 % to 0. 

The basic objectives of the UKRAINIAN State Water Resources Agency are: 

 supplying Ukrainian population and economic sectors with water, implementing inter-basin transfers and ensuring efficient water use; 
 implementing integrated water resources management on basin basis and adapting the national water legislation to standards of the European Union; 
 promoting land reclamation and improving environmental status of irrigated and drainage land; 
 providing, in the first place, centralized water supply to rural settlements that use water brought from afar; 
 protecting rural settlements and agricultural land from harmful water impact and ensuring comprehensive flood protection in Dniester, Prut, and Siret basins, as well as in the Tisa River basin in Zakarpats'ka province; 
 improving environmental conditions in the Dnieper River basin; 
 maintaining international cooperation on transboundary water use, protection and restoration. 

The Government adopted the State Target Program for water development and environmental improvement in the Dnieper River basin until 2021. Along with Basin councils, the interdepartmental commissions were established in major river basins to set operating regimes of reservoirs and water systems. 

The Ukrainian Government pays increased attention to the water sector. For example, the President’s Decree No. 351/2013 of 27 June 2013 made amendments to By-laws of the Ukrainian State Water Resources Agency. The next decree by the Ukraine Cabinet of Ministers No. 662-p of 28 August 2013 established territorial bodies of the Agency. 

Finally, it was noted that drip irrigation area extended from 5 500 ha to 76 000 ha since 2002. 

Being the most densely populated country with the largest irrigated area in the region, UZBEKISTAN is very vulnerable country in terms of water availability. Therefore, Uzbekistan takes all necessary measures to achieve efficient use of limited water resources. Strict water limitation was introduced, application of water-conservation technologies is encouraged, and the legal framework is updated regularly. Over the last years, drip irrigation was adopted on more than 10 000 ha, with an annual increase by 5 000 ha. As a whole, water conservation technologies were applied on about 100 000 ha. As a result of agricultural diversification, the area of water-intensive crops, such as cotton, were reduced from 2 Mha to 1.2 Mha and that of rice decreased from 180 000 ha to 40 000 ha. 

In the last decade, more than $500 M from state budget and $1.2 billions of foreign investments were spent for rehabilitation and reconstruction of irrigation and drainage infrastructure. 

As a result, despite population growth and economic development, water withdrawals have decreased from 64 to 51 billion m3 a year or by 21%. Since 1992, 328 billion m3 of saved water has been delivered towards the Aral Sea, and a share of this water was used for 380 000 ha in the Amudarya River delta and recharged local water bodies, thus reviving flora and fauna.   

For 2013-2017, the Government plans to allocate about $1 billion for more efficient water use and improved conditions of irrigated land.  

TURKMENISTAN every year approves and implements several projects for comprehensive reconstruction of irrigation systems and their modernization. The projects propose various options combining the following measures: 

 optimization of initial irrigation and collector-drainage network layout; 
 increase of unit drainage length; 
 anti-filtration coating; 
 micro-irrigation systems (drip and sprinkling irrigation); 
 construction or rehabilitation of regulating structures; 
 land leveling and leaching; 
 change of institutional framework. 

In order to catch and accumulate small river flows and mudflows, small reservoirs are under construction in mountain area and piedmont (three projects completed and the forth one is ongoing).  

A new Water Code is to be adopted in Turkmenistan in the nearest future.  

The Government of KAZAKHSTAN attaches great importance to the water sector.  This is clear from the establishment - according to the President’s Decree No.677 of 29 October 2013 - of the Ministry for Environment and Water Resources and the finalization of State Program for water management in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2014-2040. The Program is to be adopted soon. 

The common problem for all countries in EECCA and Central Europe is the drastic reduction of irrigated area: 


before 1990






- 46




- 28




- 264




- 953




- 10




- 1660




- 1900




- 286




+ 657

























Czech Republic







- 2672

Source: Kovalenko P.I., Irrigation and Drainage in Changing World. 

Moreover, the Declaration of Fortaleza adopted by the General Assembly of INBO set the following: 

1. Floods, droughts, water-borne diseases, pollution, wastage and destruction of aquatic ecosystems occur in many countries in the world. 
2. Integrated water resources management at the level of river basins is essential worldwide! 
3. This IWRM should be based on integrated information systems, short- and long-term forecasts. 
4. Basin management plans or master plans should be the basis for needed investments and should consider all types of water. 
5. Sustainable financing of water resources management and of the organizations that are in charge of it must be guaranteed through combination of public and private investments, system of tariffs, and the application of the "polluter pays" and "user pays" principles. 
6. Active participation in decision-making of the public and water user associations. 

Finally, the Conference adopted its Resolution.


Moscow, Russia, 8 November 2013 

The participants of the Conference of EECCA water-management organizations “Community of Water Professionals - a Framework for Interstate Water Cooperation” gathered in Moscow on the 8th of November 2013, discussed delivered reports and speeches and noted high significance of maintaining professional unity and information exchange and of best practices dissemination within the Network of water-management organization from EECCA. 

Regular information of the Network’s members about measures taken in their countries to improve management and implement integrated water resources management and dissemination of information about new publications, software products and training materials contribute to broader horizons of water professionals and encourage progress in the water sector within EECCA space.  

Further development of NWO EECCA is seen in strengthening of the Network’s national centers, their equipping and involvement in their activities of more water-management, academic and non-governmental organizations in order to create a kind of public platform, improve water management for better solution of problems and meeting of challenges that the global water community faces, in the light of specific regional features. 

Joint activity of the members regarding transboundary water cooperation is of particular importance. The positive experience of such cooperation on Russian-Ukrainian, Russian-Kazakh, and Russian-Azerbaijani transboundary water bodies may serve an example of efficient water use and water pollution control. 

The participants underlined: 

 as a matter of concern – by 6 Mha reduced irrigated area in EECCA space; 
 decreased quantity and quality and reliability of accounting water quantities and quality; 
 continuing pollution of water, including in transboundary bodies; 
 positive role, as a water development promoter, of Global Water Partnership and UNECE; 
 further enhancement and improvement of cooperation between the NWO EECCA and the GWP for Central Asia and Caucasus; 
 a need for enhanced dialogues and mutual understanding among riparian states. 

In this context, the following is proposed: 

 Intensify exchange of information with the focus on dissemination of knowledge and best practices accumulated in the region. 
 Organize training in major areas contributing to improved water management (IWRM, water use technologies, IS, international water law, water diplomacy) in form of both traditional training courses and e-learning. 
 Develop (regional and national) knowledge hubs for assistance to water users at various hierarchical levels. 

The Conference recommended the NWO EECCA Board to concentrate its efforts on the following: 

 Strengthen institutional and financing bases of NWO EECCA. 
 Organize regular exchange of information on: 
o Status of water resources (quantity and quality); 
o Integrated water management and use; 
o Water use economics; 
o Water restoration and protection; 
o Problems occurring in transboundary water bodies; 
o Development of information systems, including e-databases on water quantity and quality; 
o Hydrological and water-management modeling; 
o Environmental safety of water use; 
o IT in water sector and implementation of SCADA systems; 
o Training, lifelong education, advanced professional training; 
o International water law, its development and application; 
o National water law. 

The Conference considers involvement of the general public and non-governmental self-regulating organizations in solution of water-related problems as top priority. Thus, it seems advisable to make use of Basin councils that comprise all water users in given basin. It is necessary to establish close cooperation with the ICID Working group on irrigation and drainage in the states under socio-economic transformation.  

The Conference recommended exploring a possibility to establish within the Network an Expert Council for independent assessment of anticipated engineering structures, especially those planned in transboundary water bodies. 

The participants thanked GWP CACENA and UNECE for support and assistance provided to the Network, including in organization of this Conference. 

The participants renewed their thanks to the Russian Government for the long standing support of NWO EECCA.  

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 November 2013 )
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