On February 23, 2024, the Minister of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Minister of Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan opened two gauging stations along the transboundary Big Fergana Canal and North Fergana Canal. This was made possible through Blue Peace Central Asia initiative of the Government of Switzerland.


Transboundary water management in Central Asia is a high priority for Switzerland. The availability of water resources in Central Asia is critical to the well-being and economic growth of the approximately 75 million people who call the region home. The majority of these water resources are shared by two or more countries. Switzerland started the Blue Peace Central Asia initiative in 2017 in response to the consequent, pressing need for a transboundary approach to managing the region’s water resources.


Implemented by Helvetas, the project facilitated a dialogue between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, resulting in a bilateral framework for the joint rehabilitation and operation of transboundary hydroposts “Patar” and “Sarvak, the maintenance of equipment and the exchange and use of the generated data between the countries.


This pioneering transboundary water management project has received highest priority from both Governments:


“Automation of accounting and transmission to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in real time of data on water flows at the Patar and Sarvat gauging stations will ensure more efficient management of water resources on transboundary canals, will increase trust between the parties by ensuring the receipt of prompt and reliable information.” – noted Daler Juma, Minister of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan.


“We live under one sky, under one God, drinking water from two great rivers Syrdarya and Amudarya, we have a common ancient history, culture and traditions, we can solve our common problems together. water is not for strife, but water for life and prosperity.” said Anvar Yakubi, deputy chairman of the Sughd region, Tajikistan.


Also, the Minister of Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan highlighted: “Because of our achieved success, our countries have great potential for further development and strengthening joint benefit for transboundary water resources management.”


For Switzerland, the inauguration of the stations marks an important step forward in regional collaboration. “This unique event demonstrates the political will and close transboundary cooperation of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. With the second phase of the Blue Peace initiative that will start in September this year, we would like to bring forth very good opportunities to scale up similar activities in other areas, with all of Tajikistan’s neighbors.”- highlighted Salome Steib, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan.


“With increasing need and decreasing water availability, the transboundary cooperation is more important than ever”- added Rahel Bösch, Head of the Cooperation and the Swiss Regional Water Hub at the Embassy of Switzerland in Uzbekistan. These joint gauging stations are key – as “we cannot manage what we do not measure”.


Switzerland has been providing support to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for their water reform processes with an Integrated Water Resources Management approach for almost twenty years at a national level. Additionally, Blue Peace Central Asia helps in building trust and setting a standard for regional cooperation to guarantee water security for the entire population of Central Asia.



More information about the Blue Peace Central Asia

The Blue Peace Central Asia Initiative was launched in 2017 and aims to support Central Asia countries in establishing a system of shared benefits for water resources allocation (sanitation and drinking water, irrigation, energy, and environment) that accommodates the interests of upstream and downstream countries equitably and sustainably. More information can be found under www.bluepeace-centralasia.ch


Details about the the Project

The North and Big Fergana Canals receive water from the upper part of the Syr Darya River and deliver the water by gravity to irrigate agricultural land, first in Uzbekistan and then in Tajikistan. In the absence of reliable water measurement systems, it remains difficult to manage transboundary water resources and monitor compliance with water withdrawal limits. Like many other rivers, the Syr Darya basin lacks such properly functioning automated management system. Prior to Switzerland’s support, water flow was measured by outdated hydroposts that were located on both sides of the borders along the canals. Data collected was unreliable and stations on each side of the border frequently showed different measurement results.


In the frame of the Blue Peace Central Asia initiative, Switzerland supported Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in their efforts to rehabilitate the joint transboundary gauging stations “Patar” and “Sarvak” and to establish the operational management framework. The inauguration of the hydroposts took place in the frame of the sixth meeting of the Tajik-Uzbek Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Use of Transboundary Rivers of Central Asia during which the two countries also signed a protocol committing to automate the recording and transmission of water discharge data from the two stations in real-time to both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.


The joint monitoring at the two gauging stations is carried out in accordance with the decision of the seventh meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Tajikistan dated September 29, 2020 and the subsequent decision of the fourth meeting of the Tajik-Uzbek Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Use of Transboundary Rivers of Central Asia dated May 31, 2021.


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