Local Water Management in Tajikistan: Legal Framework

Firdavs Kabilov

Scientific Article


Water management plays an important role in the economy of Central Asian states. With the transition into the post-Soviet era, the States implemented several phases of agricultural reforms. The establishment of Water User Associations (WUAs) in Tajikistan started in the 1990s following the implementation of the first phase of Land Reforms in 1998-2000. Main purposes of creating such WUAs, often initiated and supported by international donors, are to operate, maintain and use on-farm irrigation system with the purpose of on-time, adequate and reliable water supply to its water users. No reforms take place in a vacuum. An effective legislative framework is needed to support new initiatives and institutional settings. While being a separate legal entity, a WUA has certain obligations both provided in law and in the contracts they sign. These obligations then are transformed into liabilities, when non-performance or mal-performance occur. Therefore, it is important to know what the law says about the chain of water management and the relationships involved, where WUA stands as an intermediate institution between State water organizations and farmers, the ultimate water users. This paper will look into these legal settings and endeavours to explain the complex nature of local water management in Tajikistan from the perspective of the law.

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contract, Tajikistan, water law, water management, wua

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