WATER AND ENERGY COOPERATION IN THE AMUDARYA RIVER BASIN
Turkmenistan places a high priority on water and energy issues in its state policy and diplomacy, while closely cooperating with neighboring countries and international organizations on energy security and sustainable water resources management. A telling example is our country’s participation in the EU-funded Central Asia Dialogue Project: Fostering Water, Energy and Food Security and Multi-Sector Investment (WEF Nexus), implemented by the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia (CAREC). It is part of the Global Nexus Dialogues Program carried out in five regions of the world and funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
As part of Phase II of the Nexus Regional Dialogues Program Central Asia (2020-2023), a small-scale demonstration project is being implemented at the Tuyamuyun Hydroelectric Complex in partnership with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan via the Technical Working Group. The Group is composed of authorized representatives of sectoral ministries and agencies of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and the Tuyamuyun Hydroelectric Complex.
The project aims to find technical solutions and investment opportunities to address the issue of intensive siltation of the channel reservoir at the Tuyamuyun Hydroelectric Complex, which is of great importance to the downstream countries. The Complex supplies drinking water and electricity to the nearby areas in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Through seasonal regulation of the water volume in the Amudarya River, it provides essential water resources to agricultural farms for growing wheat, cotton, melons, watermelons, and other crops, as well as to fish farms.
Specialists believe that the demonstration project will contribute to strengthening and enhancing the transboundary water cooperation between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Innovative solutions for removing and utilization of the bottom sediment are expected to decrease the cost for the two countries’ agricultural sectors and secure better livelihoods for the local population.
As the CAREC’s official website informs, the project (started in February 2021, due for completion in December 2022) is being implemented at the Tuyamuyun Hydroelectric Complex, which is a transboundary facility, with the political assistance of the Ministry of Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the State Committee for Water Management of Turkmenistan and the technical assistance of the Central Asia Water Solutions Innovative Lab project, carried out as part of the Central Asia Water and Energy Program (CAWEP). The Program is a partnership between the World Bank, the European Union, Switzerland (through SECO) and the United Kingdom (through DFID) aimed to strengthen the enabling environment to promote energy and water security at regional level and in the beneficiary countries.
The Working Group held its second online meeting in July to discuss the implementation progress of the demonstration project at the Tuyamuyun Hydroelectric Complex during the second quarter. The Group considered draft plans for the integrated assessment of the facility and nearby areas (Dashoguz velayat, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Karakalpakstan, and Khorezm region, Uzbekistan), climate change vulnerability and risk assessment, and siltation surveys in the run of the river reservoir at the Tuyamuyun Hydroelectric Complex, prepared by international and national experts. The Working Group members presented their proposals and recommendations, and approved a work plan until the end of 2021.