In the course of reforms aimed at the efficient and conscious use of land and water resources, on 10 July 2020, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan approved the Concept for the Development of the Water Economy for 2020–2030 (the “Concept”).
The Decree of the President defines the main directions of the Concept, including improving the system of accounting for water resources, the formation, as well as ensuring transparency of the database. Particular attention is paid to the modernization of water facilities, as well as the automation of their management through the implementation of innovative technologies.
In view of the abovementioned, the Ministry of Water Resources is responsible for implementing the main directions of the Concept, as well as ensuring the adoption of measures to eliminate the water shortage by 2030.
In particular, in accordance with the Concept, it is planned to increase the efficiency of irrigation systems from 0.63 to 0.73, reduce the area of irrigated land with low water supply from 560 thousand hectares to 190 thousand hectares, and also reduce saline irrigated land by 226 thousand hectares. Besides, the annual volume of electricity consumption by pumping stations of the Ministry of Water Resources system is to be reduced by 25%.
The Concept also provides new technologies to install Smart Water measuring and control devices at all objects of the irrigation system with the introduction of digital technologies in the water monitoring process. In addition, these technologies will automate the water management process at 100 large water facilities, as well as increase the total land area equipped with water-saving technologies to 2 million hectares.
Moreover, in accordance with the Concept, there has been carried out the work on implementing 50 projects in one facility based on the principles of public-private partnership.
The Decree instructs the Ministry of Water Resources to form within one month a new department for the implementation of the Concept with the involvement of foreign specialists, which will be financed by budgetary and extra-budgetary funds.
It is noted that the funds saved as a result of the implementation of the Concept will be directed to the modernization of water facilities, improvement of the material and technical base, and a phased increase in wages of workers of water management organizations.