Kazakhstan to Reduce Dependence on Water from Neighboring Countries

Issues of modernizing water infrastructure and improving the water resources management system were discussed at a meeting of the Water Council of Kazakhstan chaired by Prime Minister, Alikhan Smailov, A post on the PM’s official website states.

Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Nurzhan Nurzhigitov reported that Kazakhstan has 102.3 km3 of water, 54% of which is formed within the country, and the remaining 46% coming from neighboring countries. The annual consumption by economic sectors is about 25 km3 of water, of which 65% is used for agriculture, and 25% for industrial needs.

To ensure the country’s water security and solve the problem of shortages, a draft Comprehensive Plan for the Development of Water Resources for 2024-2030 has been developed. It provides for a number of urgent measures for the construction and reconstruction of reservoirs, and the reconstruction of hydraulic structures and irrigation systems. Implementation of the plan will increase available water resources by 3.7 cubic kilometers, and the area of irrigated land to 2.2 million hectares, as well as reduce annual losses of irrigation water by 3 cubic kilometers.

In 2024-2026, it is planned to begin construction of 20 new reservoirs with a volume of 2.4 cubic kilometers in nine regions. This will increase the area of irrigated land by 250,000 hectares and reduce Kazakhstan’s dependence on neighboring countries for its water supply by an average of 25%.

“We must annually introduce water-saving technologies on 150,000 hectares of irrigated lands. Now, implementation is carried out on 40-50,000 hectares per year. At the same time, in the southern regions where there is the greatest water shortage, the volume of implementation is the smallest,” said Smailov.

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Times of Central Asia