Kazakhstan may face water shortage by 2030

Water shortage in Kazakhstan may exceed 23 cubic kilometers per year by 2030. The level of the resource losses in the country remained unfavorable for the last two decades. Representative of the Kazakh Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Dosbol Bekmagambetov reported on the situation in the sphere at a briefing. According to him, the reconstruction project of 120 channels of national significance is currently under development. It is aimed at reducing the cost of irrigation water in the country by 800 million cubic meters. In addition, it is planned to launch nine new reservoirs to provide additional capacity until 2025. They will locate in Akmola, Almaty, Zhambyl, West Kazakhstan, Kyzylorda and Turkistan regions. In general, these measures will reduce water dependence on neighboring countries, as well as the threat of floods for 70 areas of the country. The speaker also reported on the situation with the transboundary Zhaiyk River and the possibility of including it in the list of water bodies of special national importance.

“Currently, the list includes five water bodies: the Caspian Sea, the Yessil River, Balkhash and Zaissan lakes and Alakol lakes system. To include the Zhaiyk River in the list, an appropriate scientific substantiation is required. We are currently working on the given issue as part of the program of Kazakh-Russian cooperation to preserve the ecosystem of the transboundary Zhaiyk River for 2021-2024, which was planned previously. The list will be supplemented based on the work outcome. I want to note that this year the water management situation on the Zhaiyk River is better comparing to the previous year,” Bekmagambetov said.