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Major conclusions and recommendations

1. The only possible way for the Central Asian countries to survive under growing water shortage is to follow a principle of cooperation by sharing water equitably and wisely through implementation of IWRM in the region.

2. First-priority lines in water and energy cooperation among the Central Asian states are information exchange between the countries and information openness as a means to improve trust between the riparian countries.

3. Economic relations in transboundary water should be based on an understanding of common responsibility of the countries for management, protection, and use of shared water and on establishment of a financial mechanism, which would promote fulfillment of international water law’s regulations.

4. Enhance joint activities of sectoral agencies in and between the Central Asian countries for the development of integrated methods of water management, giving more attention to environmental aspects of transboundary river basin management.

5. One should note insufficient measures for rehabilitation and development of a network of the national Hydrometeorological services, and lack of regional cooperation, especially regarding stable forecast basis.

6. Though water management by BWO is improved regularly, river water quality issues are left beyond BWO’s control. This may lead to further deterioration of national water sector’s parameters. In this context, it is necessary to facilitate improvement of hydrometrical observations in major transboundary stations, enhance pollution monitoring in water sources by determining share of each country and pollution structure. Moreover, this information should be made accessible for all countries in the region.

7. The participants appreciated a set of models developed by SIC ICWC as a tool for forecasting and choosing optimal scenario of the Aral Sea basin development in favor of socio-economic stability, food and water security in Central Asia.

8. It is necessary to stir up activities in attracting donor support for enhancement of ICWC Training Center and its branches as a tool for strengthened regional cooperation and implementation of IWRM in the region in order to improve water and land productivities.

9. It is advisable to publish the above presentations in a collection of workshop reports.

Scientific contribution

The main scientific contribution to the workshop “Socio-Economic Stability and Water Productivity: Food and Water Security in Central Asia” was presentation to the participants of SIC’s analytical approaches and their discussion during reports of SIC’s leading personnel on a set of Aral Sea basin management models (ASBMM). This set of models was developed to address future priority tasks related to water, energy and land resources management in Syrdarya and Amudarya basins at the regional and national levels. The set of models targets professionals from water sector, agriculture, environmental and governmental organizations dealing with long-term planning and development scenario preparation. Using the set of models, proposed solution options and projects can be estimated in terms of their harmonization with available water, land and other natural resources; impact of these proposals on social, environmental, and economic conditions in the countries can be determined and compared with indicators of sustainable development.

For transboundary water projects, the models allow for estimating impact of measures undertaken in any country on water availability and environment in neighboring countries, and then can serve as a tool for harmonization of mutually acceptable decisions.

ASBMM is a set of models aimed at solving annual planning and long-term development tasks. It includes:

  • hydrological model of basin;
  • national planning models;
  • socio-economic model of the region;
  • planning zone models.

The main geographical basis of this set is a combination of hydrological model of basins, with inter-linked and command planning zone models.

The hydrological model of basin consists of:

  • basin morphological structure;
  • hydrological model of annual planning;
  • hydrological model of long-term planning;
  • multi-year regulation models.

The national planning model determines the general increase in national population and water demand for domestic needs, industry, thermal power, etc. in basin dimension. If possible, the model distributes those demands between planning zones. Often a part of planning zone does not belong to given transboundary water basin but should receive water from the latter and, therefore, should be presented directly in national balance. The model also sets targets and fund limits for reconstruction, unit costs or cropping pattern changes among planning zones, as well as possible investments for these targets.

Socio-economic model is a set of social and economic indicators of development in a country, in the region as a whole and its aggregated parts (planning zones) coupled with the hydrological model. The model forecasts a number of socio-economic development indicators, such as population, GNP, GNP per capita, sectoral shares in GNP, especially that of agriculture, crop and food production, food and calorie demands, their meeting, energy demand and supply. The model considers various options of national development, country priorities, investment opportunities, foreign and internal.

Planning zone model is the main model, which reflects all interdependencies: water - technology - environment - agricultural production, including water infrastructure elements, such as water-supply, hydropower, and especially irrigation and drainage systems. The model is coupled with the socio-economic and hydrological models and is their coupling at lower level.

Besides technical parameters, planning zones are characterized by socio-economic indicators:


  • quantity of population, rural and urban;
  • population growth rates, percentage to previous year;
  • ratio of able-bodied citizens and their employment by activity category;


  • per capita income in rural and urban areas;
  • rates of growth and income in given zone over elapsed time;
  • potential of industrial production and its growth (or decrease) rates;
  • actual volume of industrial production;
  • agricultural production and food provision kcal/person/year, including by foodstuff;
  • services volume, person/year;
  • drinking water consumption, l/day/person;
  • coverage with water-supply systems, percentage;
  • coverage with water-disposal systems, percentage;
  • quantity of water-related diseased;
  • energy supply per person, kWh/year;

All those indicators more or lass affect water sector development in planning zone and are destabilizing factors of development in given zone.

In order to solve the planning zone task, it should be presented in form of GIS layers reflecting all combinations of characteristics:

  • irrigation zone consisting of a number (or an object) of irrigation systems with concrete inlet and outlet points;
  • zone of local water recharge;
  • zone of transboundary water recharge;
  • zone of mixed water, with indication of distribution of their irrigation modules;
  • zones of discharge, with calculation of water consumption and drainage modules for these zones;
  • crop zone;
  • distribution of irrigated areas between representative individual irrigation areas;
  • natural differences (soil, hydrology, climate, etc.).

Specificity of given approach is a need to get optimal regime for each planning zone through the above process of partitioning and further aggregation and inclusion into the iterative process of interaction with a river or aquifer or with their combination.

The main tasks of each planning zone analysis in terms of water management are:

  • meeting population’s demand and planning zone economic sectors’ demand at present and in the future, based on available local and imported, within the limit, water resources;
  • ensuring good environmental conditions in planning zone, i.e. preventing erosion, salinization growth and water-logging, as well as conserving and developing natural system;
  • in case of water shortage, elaborating recommendations for minimization of damage from this shortage through corresponding optimal distribution of water between irrigation zones or systems, probably, with the use of additional sources, such as collector-drainage water and for selection of appropriate cropping patterns.

Optimization of planning zone both in terms of long-term development and annual meeting of water demand is made on the basis of agricultural (irrigated agriculture) production function, which considers effect of three major productivity factors, such as water availability in critical period, salinization, and total costs of crop growing.

The models are run in simulation and optimization regimes. Main optimization blocks are in GAMS. The General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS) is a modern computer technology for construction of complex systems. It was developed in USA to solve optimization problems of linear and non-linear programming and approbated for water-related tasks in Nile, Hindus, Yellow river, etc.