Water-energy-food – an important project for the whole Central Asia

Water-energy-food – an important project for the whole Central Asia

The first consultative meeting of the project’s second phase of the Regional Environmental Center “Central Asian dialogue on promoting intersectional financing based on the “water-energy-food” relationship” was held in Ashgabat on Wednesday, September 16.

As part of the project’s first phase, which is being implemented with the European Union’s financial support, a portfolio of Investment Nexus Projects (interrelated actions) with their recognition by the Central Asian countries, was prepared from December 2016 to December 2019.

As a result of the project’s first phase, the Nexus approach was successfully integrated into Central Asia: three pilot projects were implemented in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; ten analytical papers on the topic were developed and published. One of the main results of the project’s first phase was the recognition by Central Asian countries of the need for a multisectoral approach in the management of WEF (water-energy-food) resources.

Developed by specialists from Turkmenistan, project on the effective use of Sardob, which is an ancient hydro technical architectural structure, namely a pool buried in the ground and covered with a stone vault for collecting, storing and consuming fresh potable water, was recognized as the first successful project case and is currently being implemented in five regions of the world.

The Sardob project clearly demonstrated the relationship between energy, water and food. In previous centuries, the accumulated water in these structures, being traditional for the lifestyle of Turkmens is lifted from the sump tanks using alternative energy sources and supplied to the needs of agriculture (for example, for livestock watering).

Besides, the project served as a discussion platform and promoted regional dialogue between Central Asian countries on water and energy issues.

The success of the project’s first phase was the basis for identifying ten cross-border and national sites, proposed by national authorities for further work in the second phase of the Nexus Project, 2020-2023.

For the successful implementation of the phase approved in June of the current year, it is planned to attract research centers and experts to conduct analytical and methodological activities.

The goal of this part of the project is a comprehensive analysis of problems and development of more cost and environmentally efficient ways to solve them.

The Duebuyun reservoir, located on the border of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, is also included in the list of ten cross-border objects proposed for further work under the project. The water of the lake is used for irrigation of fields in the territory of the neighboring state. Within the framework of the project, Turkmen specialists intend to apply new approaches to more efficient use of the reservoir. First of all, it is planned to clean the lake waters.

The second regional meeting on the Central Asian “water-energy-food” dialogue will be held online in October.