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About 500 hydraulic structures to be reconstructed under Water Management Program — Magzum Mirzagaliyev

Tuesday, 28 January 2020, 10:14:50

At the Government session chaired by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, the Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Magzum Mirzagaliyev presented the Concept of the State Program for Water Resources Management in Kazakhstan for 2020-2030.

In accordance with the instruction of the First President – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev given at the meeting of the Security Council, and the order of the President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev given at the extended Government session on Jan. 24, 2020, the Concept of the State Program for Water Resources Management for 2020-2030 was developed.

According to Mirzagaliyev, the country's annual surface water resource is just over 100 km3, of which more than 46 km3 of Kazakhstan’s water fund is formed outside the country. Explored groundwater reserves are 15 km3 / year.

50 km3 out of 100 km3 is necessary to maintain the ecological balance. About 24 km3 is used in the economy, in particular, about 16 km3 — in agriculture, about 7 km3 — in industry, and 1 km3 — for household needs,” the minister informed.

According to the Institute of World Resources, the countries of the Central Asian region belong to a high level of water stress, while the Republic of Kazakhstan belongs to a medium-high level.

The main problems of water supply can be divided into three blocks:

1. For the country's population:

  • Availability of quality drinking water;
  • Insufficiency of irrigation water during the growing season, especially in the southern regions;

2. For the environment:

  • Poor-quality environment (Aral, Balkhash, Ural);
  • Dependence of the environmental situation on the water policy of neighboring states (Central Asia, China, Russia);
  • Depletion of water bodies as a result of wasteful use of water resources.

3. For the country's economy:

  • Deterioration of water infrastructure;
  • Insufficient protection against flood waters and low water;
  • Low volumes of recycled water (recirculation for purification) in industry.

The deterioration of the water channels has reached up to 80%, of which more than 18 thousand km are in need of repair.

The outdated infrastructure and the huge losses associated with it, the lack of quality water, a weak tariff setting mechanism, the lack of qualified personnel, and water allocation issues with neighboring countries are the most acute problems of the current state of the water industry. To solve the above problems, it is imperative to develop a state program for water resources management in Kazakhstan for 2020-2030. There are relevant instructions from Elbasy and the Head of State on this issue,” Mirzagaliyev noted.

The aim of the draft program is to guarantee the provision of water resources for the sustainable development of the country, and to conserve and restore the water bodies to a state that provides environmentally friendly conditions for the population and the economy.

To date, seven specific target indicators have been predefined:

  • The goal of the program is to maintain water balance at 100 kmᶟ by 2030 by increasing additional surface water resources: building new reservoirs by 5-7 kmᶟ, water saving up to 5 kmᶟ, groundwater use up to 15 kmᶟ
  • Reduction in water consumption per unit of GDP from $91.2 to $73 mᶟ / thousand
  • Construction of 26 new hydraulic structures
  • Reconstruction of 182 republican, 300 municipal hydraulic structures
  • Construction of new irrigation systems to increase irrigated land from 1.7 to 3 million hectares; the extension of the length of the lined main and distribution channels from 3,423 to 19,000 km
  • Improvement of material and technical equipment of basin inspections to 100% security
  • Increase in forest cover of catchment areas from 1 to 200 thousand ha

In conclusion, Mirzagaliyev emphasized that the Concept was developed and discussed with the participation of scientists, the public, and water management specialists.

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