22 February 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 04/28/2009, 00.00

    CENTRAL ASIA

    Water as a hot bone of contention for Central Asian nations



    Five-nation forum ends without any agreement. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan want to build hydroelectric plants but this would reduce water flow downstream, essential for the other three countries. In the meantime the Aral Sea, once the world’s fourth largest lake, has now shrunk by 90 per cent.
    Astana (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The annual forum of Central Asian nations (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan e Tajikistan) was held today in the Kazakh capital of Almaty with the contentious issue of water as the main topic of discussion. The fate of the increasingly polluted and disappearing Aral Sea was also on the table.

    Water is a key resource in the otherwise arid Central Asian region, but since the Soviet Union's collapse Central Asian states have failed to find a successful regional approach for its management.

    The three downstream states Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan need large amounts of water to irrigate their cotton and for other agricultural industries.

    Upstream countries Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan hold almost 80 per cent of Central Asia's water resources in their mountains and reservoirs. They complain that they have to pay top prices for energy supplies from their neighbours but are expected to get nothing for the water that flows out of their territory.

    Both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan want to build hydroelectric plants but this could reduce the flow of water downstream.

    Uzbekistan fiercely opposes such projects saying water is a natural product that cannot be denied to anyone.

    In Soviet times a system of exchange enabled the five states to share water and energy resources such as electricity and gas. But the barter scheme is no longer active.

    Russia, which has an interest in regional water resources, was not even invited to the forum.

    Drought and overuse have caused an ecological disaster in the Aral Sea (pictured), which has shrunk by 90 per cent in recent decades.

    What was in 1960 the world’s fourth largest lake now marks the boundary between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and is a shadow of its former self.

    Starved of water as the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers were diverted to feed thirsty crops such as cotton and rice, the sea level has dropped by 20 meters.

    In the late 1980s the Aral split into two parts, with the exposed areas largely covered in salt and toxic substances.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    22/01/2009 TAJIKISTAN – UZBEKISTAN
    Tajikistan to offer Uzbekistan water for energy
    Uzbekistan wants Tajikistan to pay higher prices for its gas and higher transit fees for Turkmen electricity crossing its territory. Tajikistan is examining the possibility of reducing water flow downstream into Uzbekistan.

    30/04/2005 UZBEKISTAN – TAJIKISTAN – TURKMENISTAN
    Cotton in Central Asia: a story of poverty, environmental degradation and labour exploitation


    06/04/2017 20:40:00 CENTRAL ASIA
    Central Asia’s future has many opportunities, but needs cooperation

    The region’s five countries are split over unresolved issues rooted in the Soviet period as well as lingering border disputes. Russia and China exert economic and political influence. New initiatives, including from the EU and the US, can provide an opportunity for regional, even global prominence if they cooperate.



    08/09/2006 CENTRAL ASIA
    Central Asian nations sign nuclear weapons-free zone treaty
    Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan ban the production, acquisition and deployment of nuclear weapons in their territories. Nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is allowed.

    05/04/2007 UZBEKISTAN – KAZAKHSTAN
    EU delegation in Central Asia talking human rights and oil
    Three-day talks between the European Union and Uzbekistan end. They follow similar talks with Central Asian nations held a few days earlier.



    Editor's choices

    BANGLADESH
    Snehonir, the 'house of tenderness' for the disabled (photos)



    Founded 25 years ago by Shanti Rani Sisters and PIME missionaries in Rajshahi, the facility is open to the mentally and physically disabled, deaf, blind, orphans, poor, and abandoned. The guiding principle is to start them in life.


    KOREA
    Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug



    After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®