The first Basin Council in Turkmenistan

Publication date: 26 July 2018
The first Basin Council in Turkmenistan

MARY (Turkmenistan). On July 14 the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) in cooperation with the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (EC IFAS) have organized the first meeting of the Small Basin Council for the Murgab River. The meeting was conducted within the CAREC-USAID project, Smart Waters. This basin council is the first water management body in Turkmenistan, established on the basis of the hydrographic (basin) principle.

The Murgab river flows through the territory of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. It is the second largest river in Turkmenistan with an average annual runoff of about 1 billion m3 per year, which is 6.5% of total water consumption in the country. The total length of the river is 978 km, of which 530 km flows through the territory of Turkmenistan. The source of the river is in Afghanistan. Water is mainly used for irrigation. The population of the Turkmen part of the basin is 126 thousand people.

Despite the fact that the river is cross-border, the Smart Waters project works on it only at the national level in Turkmenistan.This meeting was the first in Turkmenistan to implement the forth component of the Smart Waters project, which implies the introduction of basin planning principles on small watersheds in Central Asia.

The basis for the implementation of this component in Turkmenistan is the Water Code of the country, a new version of which came into force in 2016. For the first time the principles of integrated water resources management, including basin management, were outlined there.

This meeting gathered more than 40 participants, including representatives of the Mejlis (Parliament) of the country, representatives of relevant ministries and agencies, EC IFAS and local stakeholders. The participants heard the basic information about the project, its components and forthcoming work in the basin. During the meeting, working schedule and the composition of the Small Basin Council (SBC) of the were determined. As agreed by the parties, it included 26 organizations. The head of the Department for the Improvement and Introduction of Modern Methods of Agriculture of the Mary Velayat (district) administration was appointed as the chairman of the council.

Participants noted the need for the establishment of such a council, the relevance of the issues discussed, as well as the need to exchange views. The next meeting of the council is scheduled for October 2018.

Smart Waters project is implemented by CAREC with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development USAID during the period 2015-2020. Overall objective of the project is to enhance regional cooperation on shared water resources. Specifically, Smart Waters addresses the knowledge dis-lock in the region in water sector, builds working relations among water managers and specialists, and demonstrates the potential of the basin management approach and cooperation with the academia.


  Back to the list