Tajikistan expected to increase the volume of irrigation water being diverted to Kazakhstan

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Tajik Prime Minister Qohir Rasoulzoda and his Kazakh counterpart Askar Mamin had phone talks on July 24 to discuss cooperation.

According to the Tajik MFA information department, the telephone conversation took place at the initiative of the Kazakh side.

Rasoulzoda and Mamin reportedly discussed economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation between Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.

A special attention was given to the progress of implementation of agreements reached between the two countries during an official visit of the Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to Tajikistan on May 19-20 this year.

“Taking into account the severe drought observed in the region in the outgoing year, the Tajik side, based on the principles of mutual support, friendship and good neighborliness, has made a decision to divert additional volume of irrigation water from Bahri Tojik reservoir to Kazakhstan at the rate of 50 cubic meters of water per second,” says the Tajik MFA information department.

Recall, Tajikistan in early June this year agreed to divert 315 million cubic meters of water from its Bahri Tojik reservoir, which powers the Qairoqqum hydropower plant in the northern Sughd province, to Kazakhstan, and thereby, supplying its neighbor to the north with crucial irrigation water in the hot months of summer.

The deal was reportedly reached after a meeting in Dushanbe between Tajik Minister of Energy and Water Resources Daler Juma and Kazakhstan’s Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Minister Magzum Mirzagaliyev.

Kazakhstan, in turn, is expected to provide Tajikistan with material and technical support in the event of negative consequences from the depletion of the Bahri Tojik reservoir

The water is expected to be delivered to Kazakhstan’s Turkestan and Kyzylorda regions via Kyrgyzstan from June to August.

According to the latest data, water resources of the transboundary rivers of Amy Darya and Syr Darya are distributed among the countries of the region as follows: Syr Darya flow: Uzbekistan – 50.5 percent; Kazakhstan – 42 percent; Tajikistan – 7.0 percent; and Kyrgyzstan – 0.5 percent; Amu Darya flow: Uzbekistan – 42.2 percent; Turkmenistan – 42.3 percent; Tajikistan – 15.2 percent; and Kyrgyzstan – 0.3 percent.

According to data from the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan, the country actually uses only 17-20 percent of water resources that are formed in its territory.

Tajikistan consumes insignificant amounts of water resources for agricultural purposes, because 93 percent of Tajikistan is mountainous.

Tajikistan needs water mainly for generation of electric power. Hydropower plants’ reservoirs store water in spring-supper period in order to use it for generation of electricity during autumn-winter period.

These accumulations of water are made exclusively at the expense of the water withdrawal quota, which is annually determined by the Central Asian Interstate Commission for Water Coordination.

Source: Asia-Plus