Regional Integrated Water Management
From the 18th to the 19th of April, UNDP, its national partners and delegations from throughout Central Asia took part in the ‘Integrated Water Resources Management in Central Asia’ seminar held at the ‘Shodlik Palace’ hotel in Tashkent. Organised by the International Fund for Saving Aral Sea, the event was an important opportunity for representatives of the region’s nations to come together to discuss the need for the regional management of scarce water resources.
In his opening speech, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Stefan Priesner highlighted the need for the further promotion of integrated water resources management in a regional context, a focus in which sister agency UNRCCA is particularly active. He highlighted the need for regional cooperation in the management of water resources as of paramount importance regional sustainable development.
Mr. Priesner highlighted that Uzbekistan and other countries face demographic and climate changes which increase stress on water resources. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources, is being implemented in Uzbekistan as a means for efficient, equitable and sustainable management of water resources.
An example of the implementation of IWRM practices has been the UNDP-supported formulation of Uzbekistan’s first Water Code, which introduces a major legal change from the traditional supply-based paradigm to a demand-driven one, with water conservation as an over-arching objective. Such a code has been approved by all line ministries, and is currently under the consideration of the Cabinet of Ministers.
The second day of the joint event featured a meeting of the Inter-state Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC), with the participation of all countries of the region.