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PROBLEMS OF SHARING TRANSBOUNDARY WATER RESOURCES IN CENTRAL ASIA

PROBLEMS OF SHARING TRANSBOUNDARY WATER RESOURCES IN CENTRAL ASIA

Resul YALÇIN1  Assylay IMAGAMBETOVA2

Abstract 

The main water resources in Central Asia (CA) are the two major transboundary rivers of Syr Darya and Amu Darya. Efficient and sustainable management of water resources in CA remains highly important for economic, political and environmental cooperation between the Central Asian Republics (CARs). The territorial distribution status of shared waters from these rivers and increasing demand for water in both upstream and downstream countries lead to competition between water uses for hydropower generation and for irrigation contribute to serious consequences for the economies of CARs. The essence of the problems in sharing transboundary waters in CA is that the goals for water use in the region predominantly differ from one country to another. This contradiction is rooted in conflicting national interests of CARs’ water consumption priorities. The key barriers hindering the espousal of effective measures aimed at integrated water management and energy compound in the region are political flaws in approaches among the republics to resolve water problems. This paper attempts to look at the issues of joint management of transboundary water resources by CA countries. It examines the contentious issues among the stakeholders and analyzes the existing legal cooperation and institutional structures that manage transboundary water related issues.

Keywords: Central Asia, Water resources, Water management, Transboundary rivers

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