As a result of the number of discussions and consultations with stakeholders including developing member countries (DMC), the ADB's Water Operation Plan (WOP) (2011-2020) has been formulated. Following the regional technical assistance (RETA) to formulate road maps in transport, energy, and urban sectors infrastructure in CWA launched in January 2011, and on the occasion of the launch of the approved WOP, this proposed RETA is to assist Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan that are facing water stress and highly prioritize sectors directly linked to water resources management in their national strategies by: (i) formulating water resources sector strategies; and (ii) identifying prioritized water resources sector investments, and associated policy and institutional reforms to operationalize the strategies, both of which will suit ADB's WOP and direction of the implementation of water resources sector investments. The development of water resources sector strategy for other CWA countries will follow at a later stage using similar methodologies, subject to additional financing.
Note: Water resources sector encompasses the following sub-sectors: (i) integrated water resources management (IWRM), including climate change adaptation and mitigation; (ii) irrigation, drainage and flood protection; (iii) water-based natural resource management; and (iv) irrigated land-based natural resource management (sustainable land management and conservation agriculture activity areas). The formulation of country road maps in urban water and sanitation sectors are covered under the ongoing RETA: Preparation of Sector Road Maps for the CWA.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Despite large investment needs, several countries in the Central and West Asia (CWA) do not have plans of prioritized investment and associated policy and institutional reforms linked to clear strategies to address priority water resources sector challenges which include water use efficiency, water productivity, and the agricultural productivity of water. These are particularly important in those countries facing increasing water stress in Central Asia for sustainable and efficient water resources management. Due to these absences, development partners have also been facing difficulties in: (i) agreeing with governments on strategic directions; (ii) identifying governments' prioritized investment and reform needs; and (iii) financing investments due to uncertainties of governments' commitments on long-term water resources sector priority.
Besides, weak identification process of qualified water resources sector investments by governments, when they request ADB's financing, has resulted in designing ineffective investment projects with less sustainability in some cases, mainly due to the lack of screening mechanism to assess the quality of investments. The irrigation and drainage sector synthesis report, prepared by Independent Evaluation Department in December 2009, also highlighted in key lessons that the selection of the projects after thorough diligence, preparing a conceptual framework, and implementing the design continue to be major considerations in the success and sustainability of the projects.
Over allocation of water is exemplified by the continued shrink of the Aral Sea that is dependent on the water flow from Amu Darya and Syr Darya; and the seasonal disconnection and reduced river flow of Amu Darya to the Aral Sea results in the almost disappearance of its southern part. This is deteriorating the ecosystem, societies, and economies dependent on the water resources in the Aral Sea and downstream of Amu Darya and Syr Darya.
Current economic growth, population increase, and unsustainable water management, especially in irrigation have been stressing water resources and environment in the CWA and the current shift of the industrial structure from agriculture to non-agricultural sectors in these areas is requiring better and rational water resources management. Current climate change and food security issues in these areas further make these areas difficult to address better and rational water management, and may accelerate the depth of seriousness of current water stress situation.