Is Post-Soviet water management transformation successful in Kyrgyz Republic? Mapping of perceived problems by water experts

Daler Baitursunov

Research paper


The water management issue in the Kyrgyz Republic has been an unresolved problem for many years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union due to its complex set of issues. The regional cooperation initiatives over the Naryn-Syr Darya river catchment is yet a debate for many domestic and international experts on how to find a win-win solution for all the transboundary states, such as the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan. Some of the problems that the riparian states may have are power asymmetries in negotiation and decision-making processes, inequitable use of benefit-sharing mechanisms over the water resources, and non-consideration of multi-year hydraulic fluctuations in the water distribution and allocation scheme. The study aims to analyze the present situation on the water resource management of the Kyrgyz Republic. Sehring’s model of perceived problems is used to analyze water expert viewpoints and determine how decisions taken in the past may adversely affect the current institutional arrangements development in the water sector in the Kyrgyz Republic. The study concludes that in the current context of water management in the Kyrgyz Republic, a coordinated action of a strong single agency (National Water Administration) is needed to design long-term planning and address the existing challenges in the water sector.

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Naryn-Syr Darya River, Post-Soviet transformation, Water Code of the Kyrgyz Republic, water governance, water management

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