Strengthening transboundary river basin management

Component 2. Strengthening transboundary river basin management

This component focuses especially on the smaller rivers, which are particularly suited to applying the basic principles of river basin management. Measures include drawing up inventories and management plans, making proposals in the field of dam safety and the environmental impacts of dams, and supporting the establishment of monitoring systems and data exchange. GIZ is working in close consultation with the European Commission, which is highly active in this field.

Growing demand for water in all sectors of all Central Asian states as well as increasing uncertainty about future water availability in the course of climate change make water resources management in Central Asia a challenge. This situation is even more complex in transboundary river basins, where inter-sector needs are linked with national interests of neighboring countries. Therefore the application of water resources planning and IWRM principles in the context of river basins are the most crucial elements for sustainable water management. Development and implementation of basin plans enable national water management organizations to cope with increasing demand from different economic sectors and population growth in the context of increasing uncertainty of water resources availability. Therefore modern water management should be based on a wide range of present day data and information systems such as geographical information systems, mobile communication and data bases. All these technologies support better decision making in the water sector.

There have been various attempts by international organizations to develop such systems for Central Asia. However they failed because the data management systems which had been developed were imposed on water management organizations without considering their needs and ideas. Taking former experiences into account the TWMCA programme has three interlinked components to strengthen water management capacities: (i) Technical support to partner WMOs to create data management instruments, (ii) train and create human capacity to operate data management tools and (iii) encourage WMOs to apply Data management tools for short and long term decision making on water management.

From the beginning, these data base management tools are designed in terms of its structure, content, interface and format in close consultations and cooperation with partner WMOs. The Data Base Management tools, developed during the project consist of two interrelated instruments: i) A Data Base System with tabular information and ii) GIS based land use maps.

Furthermore the WMOs were supported with the following concrete measures:

  1. Improving databases on land use, especially regarding irrigation, soil and water resources, and hydraulic infrastructure inventory.
  2. Equipping WMOs with computer terminals for using ArcGIS software and database management
  3. Training local staff in using GIS, satellite imageries and remote sensing tools for comprehensive river basin analyses and planning
  4. Providing support to the development of comprehensive river basin analyses and plans