Uzbekistan : Climate-Smart Water Management Improvement Project

Sovereign Project | 54272-001

The project aims to improve water security, reduce climate vulnerability, and increase access to safe and reliable water supply in Uzbekistan by improving the operational efficiency of its water supply and sanitation (WSS) utilities. It will achieve this by: (i) modernizing water management systems based on smart information technology (IT) solutions to improve asset management and sustainability of services delivery; and (ii) strengthening institutional capacity, including the role of women in service delivery, to enable better decision-making and enhance water management and efficiency of energy use to mitigate climate change through improved data quality and system processes.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Petrone, Massimo
    Sectors Group
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
    Uzbekistan
  • Sector
    • Water and other urban infrastructure and services
Project Name
Climate-Smart Water Management Improvement Project
Project Number
54272-001
Country / Economy
  • Uzbekistan
Project Status
Proposed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance
  • Loan
  • Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan: Climate-Smart Water Management Improvement Project
Source Amount
Concessional ordinary capital resources lending US$ 125.00 million
TA: Facilitating Climate-Smart Water Management Improvements
Source Amount
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 400,000.00
Operational Priorities
  • OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
  • OP3: Tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability
  • OP4: Making cities more livable
  • OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
Sector / Subsector
  • Water and other urban infrastructure and services / Urban policy, institutional and capacity development - Urban water supply

Gender
Effective gender mainstreaming
Description
The project aims to improve water security, reduce climate vulnerability, and increase access to safe and reliable water supply in Uzbekistan by improving the operational efficiency of its water supply and sanitation (WSS) utilities. It will achieve this by: (i) modernizing water management systems based on smart information technology (IT) solutions to improve asset management and sustainability of services delivery; and (ii) strengthening institutional capacity, including the role of women in service delivery, to enable better decision-making and enhance water management and efficiency of energy use to mitigate climate change through improved data quality and system processes.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Climate change risk and water scarcity.

Uzbekistan faces serious challenges from climate change impacts, such as rising temperatures, droughts, changes in river flow and precipitation patterns, and glacier melt. These impacts affect the availability and quality of water resources, which are mostly dependent on cross-border flows from neighboring countries. Uzbekistan also has high water demand due to its population and economic growth, which increases the risk of water shortages and conflicts. Water scarcity threatens the health and food security of the country, especially for the poor and vulnerable groups. To address these challenges, Uzbekistan needs to improve its water management and monitoring systems and promote water- and energy-efficient technologies.

Aging water infrastructure and inadequate monitoring systems for climate resilience.

The country's water supply and sanitation (WSS) infrastructure, inherited from the Soviet era, has deteriorated over the years, causing service disruptions, water losses and pollution risks. The regional water utilities (suvtaminots) lack adequate monitoring and metering systems to measure and control water production, consumption and wastage. This leads to energy inefficiencies, greenhouse gas emissions and water scarcity. The suvtaminots also do not have asset management systems to map, value and maintain their facilities and assets. Therefore, there is a critical need to transition the suvtaminots to a smart water utility framework incorporating a geographic information system-based management system together with bulk flow metering, to provide real-time data through hardware and software interfaces to achieve an immediate impact in efficiency and cost savings.

Inadequate water supply services and constrained water management.

The Uzsuvtaminot (UJSC) is the national entity that manages municipal WSS assets through 17 regional utilities (suvtaminots). These utilities face many challenges in providing quality water services to the population. Only 65.1% of the people have access to centralized water sources, and many of them rely on street standpipes or unsafe alternatives. Water supply continuity and metering vary widely across regions, affecting service quality and tariff collection. The utilities lack IT infrastructure and digital solutions to collect, analyze, and report data effectively. Suvtaminots face challenges related to limited information technology (IT) infrastructure and digital solutions, including internet connectivity constraints, hardware availability, and IT systems. While they do collate, analyze, and report technical, financial, and other information in compliance with existing requirements, most of this information is collected manually and stored in rudimentary databases. This reduces their ability to conduct detailed data analysis and diagnostics and determine accurate key operational performance indicators. This is impacting their ability o to (i) efficiently manage and monitor water production, (ii) analyze hydraulic systems performance, including NRW; (iii) remotely monitor water supply infrastructure, including pumps, valves, and treatment facilities; (iii) promptly detect leaks or and system failures; (iv) monitor water quality, and (v) plan for infrastructure maintenance. The lack of IT systems also inhibits the streamlining of customer service processes, including billing, metering, and complaints management.

Capacity constraints to manage the water utilities and poor financial management.

The suvtaminots face challenges in managing their operations and finances effectively. They have systemic weaknesses and limitations in their institutions and capacities. The main issues are: (i) low capacity and skills in institutional and management aspects; (ii) inadequate staff for controlling and monitoring the water supply systems; (iii) insufficient expertise on contractual, tariff and regulatory matters, and performance management using key performance indicators; (iv) limited capacity to prepare and implement strategic action plans for future investments; and (v) lack of experience with proactive operation and maintenance practices (such as leak detection equipment, IT software, digital applications, etc.). Moreover, the sector has weak financial management capacity due to (i) the low knowledge and skills of the UJSC group's accounting staff on financial accounting international financial reporting standards (IFRS), (ii) the lack of a consistent and integrated accounting and billing system approach within the group, and (iii) a poor debt management and foreign exchange risk system, among others.

Impact

Environment, health, and living conditions of the population enhanced.

Outcome

Digital transformation for increased operation efficiency and climate resilience of UJSC and suvtaminots

Outputs

Nationwide bulk metering program and asset inventory of water and wastewater infrastructure expanded.

Output 1 will support the UJSC and suvtaminots to complete a countrywide bulk metering and telemetry system program by installing about 4,800 bulk flow meters, 2,850 telemetry systems and sensors, and other related parts in suvtaminots across the country. The system will use smart flow meters and sensors on (i) transmission mains with diameters from D-32 mm to D-1,400 mm; (ii) water treatment plants; (iii) stand-alone wells (iv) wellfields; and (vi) pumping distribution centers. Output 1 will also build a countrywide database and asset inventory for the UJSC and the suvtaminots, using field surveys and onsite geographic mapping of all the existing water supply and wastewater infrastructure of the suvtaminots - which is estimated to include about 92,000 km of pipelines and related infrastructure, and the georeferencing of about four million customer based sex-disaggregated connection geolocations and a national heights grid.

Climate-smart water management system, data management centers, and customer centers operationalized.

Output 2 will support the implementation and operation of a set of IT-based climate-smart systems for managing utilities. It will include (i) data management centers in the UJSC headquarters and each of the 17 suvtaminots, which will have office and IT-based equipment and accessories, the smart water management IT solutions and software packages; (ii) GIS software that will be used by the UJSC and all suvtaminots data centers for all WSS systems, to show the location of all network assets; (iii) tactical water network management system (TWNMS) software that will collect and update data into a 'digital twin' of the water distribution networks, providing advanced analytics and climate modeling; and (iv) asset management system (AMS) software that will help create, populate, and maintain water supply asset registers and valuations, and drive capital maintenance planning and O&M scheduling. The systems integrator (SI) will provide and integrate the above systems and operational support, which will design, develop, and manage the systems components, ensuring that all are compatible, synchronized, and fully integrated. Output 2 will also support the improvement of customer centers in each suvtaminots by providing a new financial management software (FMS) system for billing systems, customer management, and the preparation of financial statements in accordance with international standards.

UJSC and suvtaminots' management capacity improved.

Output 3 will help operationalize the IT system with the Siystem Integrator's assistance and strengthen the UJSC and suvtaminots' ability to manage water resources in a climate-smart fashion. The SI will: (i) assist in smart systems operation and maintenance and help set up processes and procedures for the IT systems; (ii) develop investment strategies and plans for each suvtaminot; (ii) establish change management partnerships between UJSC and each suvtaminot; and (iii) train data management centers staff, with a focus on women. Output 3 will also enhance financial management capacity by (i) creating effective financial risk management functions within the UJSC and its 17 suvtaminots, (ii) revising accounting policies and procedures for the integration of the billing system and AMS with the financial management system and training on the revised procedures, (iii) supporting the transition to IFRS and the audit of financial statements, and (iv) providing practical capacity building.

Geographical Location
Nation-wide

Safeguard Categories

Environment
C
Involuntary Resettlement
C
Indigenous Peoples
C

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
Environment (category C). Project impacts are expected to be limited in magnitude, of short duration, and highly dispersed between the suvtaminots. Only one component of the project includes limited physical works, incorporating the installation of bulk meters, isolation valves, telemetry systems, and related equipment and materials in eleven suvtaminots nationwide. . Environmental impacts arising from these limited physical works will include (i) the temporary generation of dust, noise and vibration during excavation and construction works, (ii) limited solid waste generation, (iii) almost negligible drainage impacts due to the small size and covering of excavations, (iv) minor vehicular movements, (v) limited on-site machinery due to the chambers being excavated manually or utilizing small excavators, and (vi) appropriate health and safety provisions. For this category C project and to provide additional environmental protection, it is recommended that an environmental code of practice (ECP) be incorporated into all procurement and contract documentation for contractor compliance throughout construction.
Involuntary Resettlement
Involuntary resettlement (category C). As outlined above, the project's physical works include small subsurface excavations to install metering, telemetry, and other equipment, and form small concrete foundations. Given the minor nature of these construction works, their almost negligible land requirements, their locations mostly within suvtaminot facilities or on public lands, the ability to adjust some meter locations along pipelines to avoid impacts, and the construction methods to be adopted, involuntary land acquisition and resettlement impacts are not anticipated for this component or any other project component.
Indigenous Peoples
The country does not have indigenous people communities as defined in ADB's SPS (2009).

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation

During Project Design
During Project Implementation

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services

Advanced recruitment of the Project Management and Construction Supervision Consultant under the loan, will

start in March 2024 (advertisement for submission of Expressions of Interest posted on 30 January 2024) to meet the project readiness requirements agreed with the government.

Procurement
Project readiness initiatives include advanced procurement of the CSWMP-DB-01: Design, Supply, and Installation of Bulk Metering and Telemetry Systems, Package 1 (expected Instructions for Bidders posting in March 2024)

Contact

Responsible ADB Officer
Petrone, Massimo
Responsible ADB Department
Sectors Group
Responsible ADB Division
Water and Urban Development Sector Office (SG-WUD)
Executing Agencies
Uzsuvtaminot Joint Stock Company

Timetable

Concept Clearance
25 Apr 2023
Fact Finding
15 May 2023 to 24 May 2023
MRM
10 Aug 2023
Approval
-
Last Review Mission
-
Last PDS Update
01 Mar 2024

Funding

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

Title Document Type Document Date
Climate-Smart Water Management Improvement Project: Initial Poverty and Social Analysis Initial Poverty and Social Analysis Apr 2023

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.


Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.


Related Publications

None currently available.


The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.

Tenders

Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
54272-UZB: Climate-Smart Water Management Improvement Project [Corrigendum 1] Invitation for Bids Active
Project No. 54272-UZB: Climate-Smart Water Management Improvement Project [CSWMP-DB-01] Invitation for Bids Active
54272-UZB Climate-Smart Water Management Improvement Project Advance Notice Active
Project Management Consultant Firm - Consulting Closed

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found

Procurement Plan

None currently available.