Ashgabat – Turkmenistan – The National Workshop on the Robust Decision Support (RDS) Process for the Amu Darya River Basin took place at the Archabil Hotel on August 29-30, 2023.
The workshop is a part of the USAID Regional Water and Environment Project (WAVE), implemented in Turkmenistan by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) with the assistance of the Center of the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). It convened representatives of the Turkmenistan relevant ministries and departments, the WAVE and CAREC team, and regional experts.
One of the goals of WAVE is to promote the RDS at the level of management of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers basins among stakeholders and to strengthen regional capacity for managing transboundary water resources.
The objective of the RDS process is to build capacity and involve all stakeholders in the basin management of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers at all stages, including setting goals, formulating problems, considering potential options for political and engineering measures and investments in river basin infrastructure, as well as choosing socially determined – economic scenarios that will be of most interest to the countries of the region. It will contribute to an intersectoral understanding of rational decisions to improve the region’s water, energy, food and environmental security. The RDS process is accompanied by the development of two integrated models, the Water Evaluation and Planning system (WEAP) and the Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP), which help to analyze and visualize the impact of decisions taken in the form of potential scenarios.
The decision support process for the Amu Darya River Basin was launched in November 2022 and is a continuation of the Decision Support Process (RDS) in the Syr Darya River Basin and the development of an integrated water and energy model for the basin, implemented by the USAID Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity (WAVE) in cooperation with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) during 2021-2022. For the Amu Darya River basin, the RDS process will last for 18 months and include national and regional consultations with the main partners of the Project (government agencies for water, energy resources, agriculture, environmental protection, economy, etc.), the process of developing an integrated water and energy model taking into account the interests and proposals from national partners and the preparation of analytical notes on the results obtained.
At the National Workshop on the RDS Process, the participants got acquainted in practice with the results of modelling water, energy, food and ecosystem security of the Amu Darya River basin under six scenarios and a number of climate change forecasts. Regional experts conducted practical exercises on working with WEAP / LEAP and NEMO / MACRO modelling tools and analysis of software for working with these tools.
Using an integrated water and energy model, workshop participants explored how individual choices in water and energy management can affect other sectors of the economy, discussed variations in the use of modelling tools in Turkmenistan, and assessed potential future scenarios and their outcomes against current policies, goals and objectives.
Irana Bagirova – CAREC Project Office Coordinator in Turkmenistan, firstname.lastname@example.org