• KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 4

Is Afghanistan Ready for Dialogue with Central Asia on Water Issues?

Against the backdrop of the silence of Central Asian countries, as well as their lack of a coordinated position on the construction of the Qosh Tepa Canal in northern Afghanistan, the Taliban are moving forward with the project with growing confidence and without regard to their neighbors. Last October, at the ceremony to mark the launch of the second phase of the canal’s construction, Afghan Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi called Qosh Tepa, “one of the most significant development projects in Afghanistan,” while its realization should remove all doubts about the capabilities of the new Afghan authorities, he added. There is no point in discussing the economic rationale for the canal; like other practical measures taken by the Taliban in the water and energy sphere, for Afghanistan, where 90% of the population is employed in agriculture, the provision of irrigation water is undoubtedly an important task. According to the UN, over the past four decades, desertification has affected more than 75% of the total land area in the northern, western, and southern regions of the country, reducing the vegetation of pasture land, accelerating land degradation, and impacting crop production. However, this socio-environmental problem affects the interests of all the peoples of Central Asia, which geographically includes the entire north of Afghanistan. It arose as an objective need for development, and solving it requires the combined efforts of all countries in the region, which is already on the verge of a serious water crisis that threatens not only economic development, but also the lives of millions of people. In general, the Taliban have emphasized their openness in matters of trans-boundary water management, but, so far, these are only statements. They are more motivated by political issues around their international recognition. That is why it is important for them to participate in global events, such as UN climate change conferences, but they have yet to take part in any climate talks. Hopefully, Afghan representatives will be invited to the COP29 Global Impact Conference in Baku this November, especially since one of the key topics of this forum will be a “just energy transition.” It would be interesting to hear what the Taliban have to offer. Though the authorities in Kabul have had some success in water regulation with Iran, the same cannot be said about Central Asia. This clearly owes to the fact that the five Central Asian republics have not taken a unified position on trans-boundary waters with Afghanistan. And their southern neighbor has taken advantage of this – to date, Kabul has not held any full-fledged official consultations with any Central Asian country on the Qosh Tepa Canal. However, just as bilateral formats will not yield results (unlike in Iran's case), the Taliban leadership will not be able to resolve water issues easily with the Central Asian countries. Afghanistan is not a party to the Central Asian Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Joint Management on the Utilization and Protection of Water Resources from Interstate Sources. It was...

Central Asian Countries Set 2024 Quotas for Amu Darya, Syr Darya River Water Usage

Last week in Kazakhstan, delegates came together for the 87th meeting of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) of Central Asia, where they discussed the potential and limitations of regional water reservoirs ahead of the 2023-2024 agricultural growing season. According to the ICWC, some of the more pressing questions focused on confirming limits of water usage for the 2024 growing season for the Syr Darya and Amu Darya river basins and the prognosis for water release from the reservoirs in those basins. There's still no information on how much water will be sent to the Aral Sea basin. In accordance with the quota, the draw on water from the Amu Darya watershed will be 56 billion cubic meters for the year, with about 40 billion cubic meters to be used in the April-to-October growing season. As stated in the ICWC agreement, Uzbekistan will receive 16 billion cubic meters, Turkmenistan 15.5 billion cubic meters, and Tajikistan will get 6.9 billion cubic meters. The Syr Darya's water use quota for this year's growing season is around 11.9 billion cubic meters, with 8.8 billion cubic meters going to Uzbekistan, 1.9 billion cubic meters for Tajikistan, 920 million cubic meters for Kazakhstan, and 270 million cubic meters for Kyrgyzstan. According to the ICWC, the totals for irrigated lands by Central Asian country are 4.3 million hectares in Uzbekistan, 2.5 million hectares in Kazakhstan, 1.9 million hectares in Turkmenistan, 1 million hectares in Kyrgyzstan, and 680,000 in Tajikistan.

Kyrgyzstan’s Toktogul Reservoir May Hit “Dead” Level; Blackouts Possible

Kyrgyzstan's Energy Ministry has said it will limit electricity consumption "by force" as water in the country's main reservoir becomes increasingly scarce. In addition, major overhauls of the country's main energy facilities are planned for this year, which will also affect power output and consumption. According to official data, the volume of water in the Toktogul Reservoir currently stands at 7.7 billion cubic meters, versus a normal level of 17.3 billion cubic meters. If the water volume decreases by another two billion cubic meters, the Toktogul Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) will cease to produce power. "This is a deteriorating indicator. Because of high consumption, the system automation of load limitation is working. This year, due to [demand] imbalance, it is working in the evening peak hours. Therefore, in some areas there may be blackouts. The norm for March is 54 million kilowatt-hours per day, but we are already exceeding this mark. If this rate continues, there is a threat that we will reach the level of "dead water" in the Toktogul Reservoir," said Deputy Energy Minister Talaibek Baigaziyev. The Toktogul HPP cascade includes two hydroelectric power plants: the 1,200 megawatt (MW) Toktogul HPP and the 800MW Kurpsay HPP. Toktogul HPP is the largest plant in Kyrgyzstan, generating 40% of the country's electricity. Starting from March 5th, one of the units of the Toktogul HPP and one units of the Uch-Korgon HPP, located on the Naryn River, will be sent for repair and refurbishment. The Uch-Korgon HPP was commissioned in 1962, and has not had an equipment update since then. According to the Ministry of Energy, the equipment and hydraulic structures of this station are thoroughly outdated and in poor condition. "In such a situation, Kyrgyzstan's energy system will face a power shortage of 290 MW," the Energy Ministry said. Kyrgyzstan is being assisted in repairing the hydropower plants by the Asian Development Bank, which has allocated more than $157 million in loans and grants. It's expected that both hydroelectric units will be repaired by the end of 2024. Just last month an accident occurred at the main thermal power plant of Bishkek, which is also one of the most powerful generating facilities in the country. While the breakdown was remedied reasonably quickly, generation of electricity at the combined heat-power plant (CHPP) was severely curtailed. The authorities have scheduled a major overhaul of the Bishkek CHPP for May-June this year. Regarding the work, engineers released a statement urging consumers to "be careful with electricity and not to turn on several energy-intensive appliances at the same time, especially during peak hours from 06:00 to 09:00 in the morning, as well as from 18:00 to 21:00 in the evening." Due to extremely cold weather and the accident at the CHPP, many people are using more electricity to heat their homes, resulting in increased consumption to 70 million kilowatt-hours per day from a previous level of 54 million.

Afghan Canal Will Divert Water from Uzbekistan

Afghanistan has begun construction of the second phase of the Qosh Tepa Canal, which will divert water from the Amu Darya River and may have an adverse effect on agriculture in downstream Uzbekistan. The Taliban announced that construction work on the second phase, which stretches from Dawlat Abad District of Balkh Province to Andkhoi District of Faryab Province, began on February 20th, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported, adding that the 198-km first phase of the canal is now complete and construction of the 177-km second phase will take 12 months. The canal is expected to convert 550,000 hectares of desert into farmland in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban-led government of Afghanistan has made the Qosh Tepa Canal a priority project and its construction started in early 2022. However, neighboring Uzbekistan, the main downstream country in the Amu Darya basin, has expressed concerns that the canal will have an adverse effect on its agriculture. In September 2023, Uzbekistan’s President Mirziyoyev stated that the canal could “radically change the water regime and balance in Central Asia.” Speaking at a meeting of the Council of Heads of the Founder States of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, Mirziyoyev warned that a “new participant in the water use process has appeared in our region.” Mirziyoyev proposed the formation of a joint working group to study all aspects of the Qosh Tepa Canal and its impact on the water regime of the Amu Darya River with the involvement of research institutes of the Central Asian countries. A Eurasian Development Bank’s (EDB) study, “Efficient Irrigation and Water Conservation in Central Asia,” released in November 2023, emphasized the need to mitigate the anticipated decrease in the flow of the Amu Darya River from Afghanistan. EDB analysts forecast that by 2028, the combined effects of climate change, low-water periods and the commissioning of Qosh Tepa Canal in Afghanistan will result in acute water shortages in Central Asia, estimated to be between 5 and 12 km3. With the launch of the canal provisionally set for 2028, its expected water intake from the Amu Darya will be up to 10 cubic kilometers. A reduction in the Amu Darya flow will have an impact on the entire Aral Sea basin. As a result, from 2028, Central Asia will face a chronic water shortage, Evgeny Vinokurov, chief economist of the EDB warned.