Contemporary Water Policy of Kyrgyzstan
The policy of Kyrgyzstan in water-energy resources management was formed after breakup of the Soviet Union when new independent states appeared. The Central Asian countries used the principle of assigning quotas on water resources which was widely practiced in the Soviet period. However, soon it has become clear that this approach is not in the interests of Kyrgyzstan. The country that practically had no hydrocarbon and quality coal resources could satisfy its energy needs only by hydropower plants on transboundary rivers. However, as soon as the countries of this region became independent, their interests turned out to be at variance. Kyrgyzstan as well as Tajikistan locates in the upper reaches of transboundary rivers and is interested in accumulation of water in reservoirs in summer for their further use in winter for power generation. On the contrary, the downstream countries, such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, possessing extensive agricultural areas, are interested in getting water resources in summer. The directly opposing goals of the Central Asian countries provoked conflicts among them.
Having faced the difficulties in addressing the water-energy issues in the multilateral format, Kyrgyzstan consistently pursues the policy targeted to full control of water resources formed in its territory. It adopted the laws aimed at formation of the market-based relations with neighboring states in respect of water resources of cross-country waterways.
At the same time, Kyrgyzstan follows the course of construction of large water-energy facilities which should enhance its opportunities for addressing the energy security issues. However, these plans of Kyrgyzstan are criticized by other Central Asian countries that see in such policy a threat to their interests, first of all, for agriculture and solution of social and economic problems.
KeywordsAgriculture Central Asia Irrigation Navigation Water resources
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