U.S. Ambassador to Visit Pilot Projects Aimed at Improvement of Water Management
CENTRAL ASIA NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
72, Kodyra Maksumova Street, Tashkent 700000 Uzbekistan
Tel: (998 71) 133-7117, 120 60 60
Fax: (998 71) 120-6076
U.S. Ambassador to Visit Pilot Projects Aimed at Improvement of Water Management in Uzbekistan
ANDIJAN, UZBEKISTAN, June 18, 2002 – The U.S. Ambassador John Herbst will attend an official ceremony to mark the opening of a pilot project sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Pakhtaabad Canal area. The USAID-funded Central Asia Natural Resources Management Program (NRMP) worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan (MAWR) and contractor Sigma Enterprises to design and implement the Pakhtaabad Canal pilot project. The project demonstrates improved water management through automated flow control, better monitoring, enhanced data collection, transmission and communication systems, and technical training for canal operators.
The Pakhtaabad Canal serves more than 20,000 hectares of irrigated land and was selected as the site for a NRMP pilot project because of its agricultural significance for the region. This is a high-yield farm area mostly in Andijan Oblast, Uzbekistan with about 1,000 hectares in Djalalabad Rayon, Kyrgyz Republic; both areas depend on local irrigation canals for their water resources. Prior to this pilot project there were large gaps in the canal’s water monitoring system. Using low cost, replicable methods, local operators were provided with the evaluation and monitoring tools and training to establish a highly reliable water monitoring system. Canal operators now have a more complete overview of conditions along the canal and this means improved irrigation, higher crop yields and economic development for the farmers of Andijan Oblast and its environs.
The MAWR assisted with developing an inventory of existing structures on the canal system; providing basic data for software developed by NRMP for monitoring the balance between water demand and supply; financed some of the construction costs associated with this project and, provided office space and security for computers and equipment. In addition, the Ministry has agreed to promote this demonstration model to water managers throughout Central Asia as part of environmental training programs being implemented over the next several years.
Besides the Pakhtaabad Canal, the Ambassador will also visit facilities of another project initiated by NRMP in collaboration with the MAWR. The On-farm Water Management Project is aimed at enhancing water management at the farm level. Excessive irrigation results in soil salinization, water logging and decreased crop yields. NRMP addresses these challenges by developing demonstration models of good on-farm water management practices in pilot areas of the Central Asian states. The project activities include support to Water User Associations, installation of water control and measurement equipment to improve water distribution, installation of groundwater table depth indicators to improve irrigation scheduling and application of water to fields. To ensure sustainability of its initiatives NRMP develops training programs and provides policy advice on improvement of legislation and regulations for Water Users Associations. NRMP hopes that these projects will alleviate the difficulties of transition from kolkhozes to smaller farmer communities and will help preserve natural resources for future generations.
For additional information please contact the NRMP office in Uzbekistan:
72, K. Makhsumova Street, 5th Floor
Tashkent 700000, Uzbekistan
Tel: (998 71) 133-7117
Fax: (998 71) 120-6076