IWRM-Fergana Project in Central Asia – Excerpts from the external evaluation mission’s final report commissioned by SDC

The “Proposed Framework for Transition to Integrated and Participatory Water Resources Management in the Ferghana Valley” prepared by IWMI and partners was adopted on May 16, 2003 by the ministries in charge of water resources management in the three participating countries (Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan).

This was a major achievement with far reaching consequences for the future management of the water sector in the region. An immediate result was the establishment of three new Canal Management Organizations (CMOs) for the Khujabaqirgan Canal in Tajikistan, the Aravan-Akbura Canal in Kyrgyzstan, and the South Fergana Canal in Uzbekistan. Creation of these CMOs, based on a partial restructuring of concerned district water management organizations, is a new management concept for these countries, initiated by the Project by recognizing the management of water resources along hydrographic (basin) boundaries instead of administrative boundaries. In Uzbekistan, the development was even institutionalized through Decree 320 of July 21, 2003 of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Another immediate result was the establishment of Canal Water Committees (CWCs) for each of the three pilot canals – another important water management innovation introduced in the region by the Project. The direct link between participation and equitable water distribution needs to be confirmed by further observation.

Source: Integrated Water Resources Management Project in the Ferghana Valley: External Review of Phase II and Recommendations for Phase III. Prepared by PA Government Services, Washington DC, January 2005.