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Monday, 24 August 2009
Water Supply and Sanitation in the Countries of Central Asia and Southern Caucasus (Regional Review).

ImageThis review has been developed within the framework of activities of the Global Water Partnership of the Central Asian Region (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan) and the Southern Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia) in accordance with the Goal 1 of the Regional Strategy for the period of 2009-2013: Promote water as a key part of sustainable national development.

In all of the eight countries the water supply and sanitation systems used to be actively built and developed. Despite of certain differences in the scope of construction, operation and development of those systems, in general they were providing the population of those countries with sufficiently good quality potable water by disposing and adequately treating the waste waters. All aspects of the activities of the water management authorities (technical, financial, managerial, etc.) used to be governed by the State, that set the tariffs, subsidized the WSS sector, financed its development, etc. During the post-Soviet era, in the period of significant economic difficulties and in the beginning of the market economy formation, the existing governance structures and mechanisms of the WSS bodies had proved to be inefficient. Low level of the payment collection rate and insufficient state subsidies in the majority of countries had caused a drastic drop of the repair and maintenance works, which in its turn had caused increase of the wear-and-tear rate of the water supply and sanitation systems and the failure of some of their sections.

Recently, as far as the economies are stabilizing, the potable water supply to the population and disposal and treatment of waste waters is gradually becoming a priority trend in the national sustainable development programs over the region. At that, reforming of the WSS systems is being done differently in different countries.

Objective of the present review is to conduct an expertise of the need in rehabilitation of WSS systems on the basis of current situation analysis, in order to provide people with quality and accessible potable water and sanitation.

It should be noted that within the last few years all of those countries have conducted a similar analysis of the potable water and sanitation problems in the region with assistance of a number of international organizations (OECD, WB, ADB and others). Present review is based on information, which was published in various sources, as well as in the expertise and assessment reports of the experts involved. Some assumptions from this review may not coincide with the official positions of the governmental authorities.

The Summary Conclusion of the available reviews is rather pessimistic: even though the sub-regions of Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus are rich in water resources in general, there could be observed a high wear-and-tear rate of national water supply and sanitation systems, inefficient water use, low operation level, undeveloped economic tools and ineffective governance the countries do not provide sustainable WSS services for their populations.

Global Water Partnership intends to make an additional contribution to the analysis of the problems and to propose to the countries of the region a modern approach in implementation of the IWRM principles and tools to ensure supply of the quality potable water for people, and disposal and treatment of the waste waters. In particular, it can be recommended an obligatory participation of the WSS sector operators in those activities through local government authorities within the organizational system of IWRM (public bodies that coordinate all stakeholders of the water management and use vertically – by levels of governance hierarchy, and horizontally – by the economy sectors).

The Review can be download from http://www.cawater-info.net/library/gwp_e.htm
Last Updated ( Monday, 24 August 2009 )
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