Developing transboundary water policy, and accelerating national cooperation between the governments of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.


The project goal is to support and harmonize the transboundary water policy development by implementing capacity development initiatives.

As part of this goal, the project supports the existing efforts of the governments of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to settle cooperation priorities through different initiatives at national and transboundary levels.

The project provides an enabling environment for a cooperation agreement between governments and transboundary river basin commissions to implement regional initiatives on the sustainable use of transboundary water resources.

Limited knowledge and understanding of the situation, inefficient use of water resources, lack of cooperation between national and regional/local organizations, inconsistent frameworks and investment shortfalls present major challenges when it comes to good water governance in these regions.

In addition, there are many actors involved in water resources management and administration – and the responsible institutions in both countries, especially in Kyrgyzstan, have been weakened by repeated reforms of the administrative structures.

The project is a logical follow-up and significant strengthening of completed and current projects implemented in the 1997 Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, and the 2000 Agreement on the use of water facilities for inter-governmental use for the Chu and Talas Rivers.

  • Steps have been taken to strengthen the interaction of stakeholders involved in the processes in the two countries. However, continued work and external support are needed to ensure further cooperation between authorities.

The strategy to advance transboundary water cooperation will facilitate the protection of water ecosystems, water quality improvement, and the joint use of water resources.

Further planned actions include:

  • Analysis of the root causes for each problem and identification of specific practices, sources, locations, and human activity leading to environmental degradation and other threats.
  • Providing a platform to facilitate good cooperation and understanding between the two countries sharing the water resources in the Chu and Talas river basin water commissions.
  • Improving sustainable use of the basin’s water resources, proper water quality management and the protection of ecosystems.
  • Involving local stakeholders ready to minimize the negative consequences for economic sectors and the environment in the basin.


GoAL WaterS activities have already seen promising outcomes during the first few months, such as the endorsement of a strategic Action Plan by the Governments of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and the strengthening of water resource capacity monitoring in the basin area.

In addition, an exchange platform for regional water partnership is already in place as well as a geoportal for regional monitoring and evaluation of the Aral Sea bed  between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

Other achievements include training and business plans for farmers, publications on efficient water and land use, media initiatives, and a new set of curricula,  including agro-incentive mechanisms in the water management sector, for the twelve Extension Centres.


Lotten Hubendick

Programme Officer, water governance