Rethinking Water in Central Asia: the costs of inaction and benefits of water cooperation

Big Almaty Lake in the mountains of Zaili Alatay, Kazakhstan, Central Asia

The collapse of the political, social and economic system in Central Asia in the early 1990s has resulted in intensive competition for water resources in and between Central Asian countries. Despite numerous efforts by international partners to strengthen regional cooperation and dialogue, cooperation has remained very limited. 

This project for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) aims to support Swiss diplomacy in strengthening regional political commitment to water cooperation. Based on an analysis of the reasons for non-cooperation and lessons learned, it examines the risks and costs of inaction in terms of transboundary water cooperation, and the potential benefits of such cooperation.

Together with the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC), adelphi is producing a reference document on the costs of inaction and benefits of water cooperation. To this end, the consortium is conducting consultations with national, regional and international experts and policy-makers and organizes a regional risk assessment workshop. Subsequently, the partners will disseminate the results, targeting relevant decision-makers within and beyond the water sector in Central Asia.

Publications of this project