Kazakhstan to create Department for interaction with Russia and China on water resources

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Kazakhstan will establish separate divisions responsible for water relations with Russia and China, as well as with Central Asian countries, under the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, TASS reports.

"Two new divisions will be created under the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation. One of them will deal with relations with Central Asian countries, while the other will focus on interaction with China and Russia," the Kazakh ministry's statement said.

"80% of the irrigated lands are located in the southern regions of Kazakhstan. Therefore, cooperation with Central Asian countries needs to be elevated to a new level. Such a division of responsibilities will help strengthen relations with our foreign partners and focus on solving specific tasks," said the Minister of the Ministry, Nurzhan Nurzhigitov.

Earlier, Kazakhstan's Ministry of Ecology, Geology, and Natural Resources acknowledged that, given that seven out of eight of Kazakhstan's water basins are transboundary, Kazakhstan is "significantly" dependent on the water policies of China, Russia, as well as Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The Minister of Ecology, Magzum Mirzagaliyev, noted that since 2015, Kazakhstan has been engaged in "very complex negotiations" with China regarding an agreement on the division of transboundary river water resources.

In early November, the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Development Bank, Nikolay Podguzov, stated that Central Asian countries would face a water deficit of 5-12 cubic kilometers in five years, along with an increased demand for electricity.

CentralasianLIGHT.org

November 7, 2023