The Most Important Resource

“ Water! You have no taste, no colour, no odour; you can not be defined ,and are relished while ever mysterious. You are not only necessity of life, but rather you are life in itself. You fill us with gratification that exceeds the delight of our five senses. You return us our forces and virtues that that we have given up hoping for. Your charity again opens dried up springs of heart”. These immortal words by Antoine de Saint-Exupery are devoted to the most important resource of the Earth – water.
    To attract the attention of the world community to the water problem, the UNO Conference on Environment and Development (in Rio de Janeiro, 1992) adopted resolution on annual celebration of the World Day of Water Resources on 22 March. By formed tradition, the organizations involved in protection, consumption and distribution of water resources join in the marathon  of the events timed for this date. The press-conference held by the State Committee for Nature Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan jointly with the International Public Fund ‘Ekosan’ and the British Council became one of the first events dated for the World day of Water Resources.
    Senators and deputies of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, representatives of several ministries, departments, the Public Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan, specialists of research institutes of the Academy of Science of the Republic of Uzbekistan and representatives of mass media took part in this press-conference.
    M.Kh. Mamanazarov and I.N. Khushvaktov, employees of the State Committee for Nature Protection in their reports adduced interesting data in facts and figures on use of water resources and implemented works.
    Annual consumption of water resources in Uzbekistan makes up 80% of current need. Therefore, special attention is attached to the sustainable management of water resources, protection of water from pollution and depletion, improvement of water objects state. The institutional and legislative base of water resources management system is being strengthened, monitoring and information system is being improved. Active work on rehabilitation of ecological situation in the Aral Sea region is being carried out.
    In view of deepening of economic reforms in agriculture and water resources, changes and additions have been brought in the Low of the Republic of Uzbekistan ‘On Water and Water Use’, that is the main act regulating water relations in the Republic.
    Since 2002 the State Committee for Nature Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan has carried out a number of works on definition of water protected zones and riverside belts of eight rivers (Kashkadarya, Zaravshan, Chirchik, Surkhandarya, Narin, Karadarya, Amudarya,and Sirdarya).
    The works on taking out of potential ecologically dangerous objects from water protected zones on the rivers of Aral Sea basin are continued. So far 140 of them have been taken out from water protected zoness of six rivers (Kashkadarya, Zaravshan, Chirchik, Surkhandarya, Narin and Karadarya). 34 objects have been taking out from the water protected zone of the Sirdarya river. Works on taking out of 21 objects from the water protected zone of the Amudarya river are envisaged to be launch since 2010. 32 measures on ecological improvement of the Chirchik river have been implemented.
    The ecological problems concerned with the water resources are the most difficult in Central Asia. Sub-regional cooperation of the Central Asians countries in the field of water resources exists for over ten years. However, this cooperation focuses on the problems of water distribution but not on its quality. Bad quality of water (pollution of stream flows) is inadmissible for the users living in up-streams of rivers but it especially exposes to danger of illness those who live in down-streams of rivers and stream flowers. Access to clean drinking water is sanitary and ecological problem for the most part of the regional population. Ineffective use of water resources is another considerable problem, especially in conditions of water resources deficiency.
    T.A. Sultanov, the Head of the Representatives Office of the Regional Ecological Center of Central Asia in Uzbekistan presented to the participants of the press-conference a number implemented measures and their results within the framework of the project ‘Inter-sectoral Water Cooperation on Transboundary Stream Flows of the Central Asian Countries’.
    This project is the Central Asian initiative on the sustainable development (CAI) and approved by the governments of the Central Asian countries. CAI aims at resolution of important ecological problems in Central Asia and assistance to sustainable development of the region’s countries by means of development of inter-sectoral cooperation (cooperation of state governments, local authorities, private sector, non-governmental organizations and representatives of civil society). Agreed upon approach to water resources management is declared as one of the key directions of the CAI’s activity.
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