Uzbekistan seeking compromise on water disputes
Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Oct. 26
By Diana Aliyeva – Trend:
The Jamestown Foundation, the global research and analysis website, has published an article on water disputes in Central Asia, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry reported.
The article includes an analysis of the current situation on transboundary water sharing in Central Asia and Uzbekistan’s initiatives to resolve water disputes in the region.
“As Uzbekistan continues to actively pursue better relations with its neighbors, discussions over water usage are moving to the top of the agenda,” the article said.
As a result, an agreement has been reached between Tashkent and Bishkek on the joint construction and use of the Kambat-Ata 1 hydropower station with a capacity of 1,960 megawatts and cost of $3 billion on the Naryn River, according to the article.
“Energy firms in both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have already taken steps to draw up initial plans for financing the [construction] project, which heretofore had been the major issue bogging down progress on constructing the dam,” said the article. “Bishkek had found and later lost investors in the Kambat-Ata 1 project on two previous occasions.”
“The project was vehemently opposed by Uzbekistan under its previous president, Islam Karimov, for fear the dam would block large amounts of water upriver and deprive Uzbekistan’s downstream agricultural lands from securing sufficient volumes of irrigation water,” the article noted. “Therefore, Uzbekistan’s recent consent to large hydropower projects in Kyrgyzstan represents a truly monumental concession on the part of Tashkent.”