Great Kyrgyz bard Dzhenidzhok in his philosophical work "The flowing water" sang the endless life-giving properties of water.
White smooth pebbles
Anyone who touches,
Anyone who wash its,
The secret of eternal life
Owns the water,
Eighteen thousand worlds
New life tirelessly
Is taken by water,
Spray up to the sky
Happiness and life in the valleys
Beating from stone fountain
You are born constantly,
The roots of juniper on the way
It is hard to move over you,
Everybody and freely
Is healed by the water
Everywhere I meet you,
For those who stirs you,
You do not nurse grievances
Good, Forgiving -
New flow is flying!
Obstacles in its path
Is not knowing the water,
Through any barrier
Anywhere in the valleys
Reaching the water,
And the shepherds and farmers
When the friends proclaimed fifteen-year-old Manas as a Khan, the event is described in this way:
You're fresh dense grass
Be our witness!
You, infinite blue,
Be our witness!
You, life-giving water of rivers,
Be our witness!
The beast, the bird, and the man,
Be our witness!
A fighter gives oath to Manas:
"Our strength, our hearts
You, Manas, be the lord! "
In ancient times, the Kyrgyz treated water as a shrine. It is no accident that God gave the Naryn River to Kyrgyz people. A patron of Water - Sulaiman came from the words suu - water, ylay - clay, mun - a real, thus taking into account the emergence of the mythical first man from a mixture of water and clay. Therefore, it is forbidden to pollute the water. And they even said, "You can not become the head of the people, you should become the head of water". The water – is the source of life: "When there is a lot of water, there will be a lot of grain", "If the water ends, the life also ends" – it is said in the proverb.
The water – is the basis of health and human dignity. "Everything grows thanks to the water" - says Qur'an. Christians can not imagine a christening without water.
"Kyrgyzstan - is the water tower of Central Asia", - said the director of the Swiss Cooperation Office, Walter Fyust.
Kyrgyzstan - is truly a "water power". Unfortunately, at the same time, water is one of the most overlooked aspects of our daily lives. In some time, water of Kyrgyzstan will be at a premium, and the only question is who will be the first to understand it. We can and should make the country self-sufficient and prosperous without damage to its sovereignty. We are now actively searching for a meaningful model of development. In such a situation it is important to be able to send natural potential in the right direction. In international politics we see that the winner is not the one who has a lot of weapons. Often the winner is the one who is able to properly attach conditions. The one, who will own the water, will also control the situation. Kyrgyzstan, as one of the world reservoirs of drinking water, may become the country which is attractive for investments, and it is very interesting in geopolitics. More than 40% of water sources in Central Asia (CA) are originated in Kyrgyzstan. Our republic has gold and other minerals, but the water – is the greatest asset of the country. As it is known, the total area of Kyrgyzstan is more than 198 thousand km², 85% of which is the powerful mountain ranges, where the stock of numerous rivers and streams is formed. In general there are over 35 thousand of streams of different lengths; there are 1582 rivers with a length from 10 to 100 km, 27 rivers with a length from 100 to 200 km and three rivers (Chui, Naryn, and Talas) with a length of 200 km. The country has more than 5237 glaciers; this is a great opportunity to provide the population with drinking water. Former German Ambassador in Kyrgyzstan, V. Grewlich, said about the possibilities of Kyrgyzstan with enthusiasm "Water will become even more valuable, because the water resources in Central Asia and Xinjiang are short-lived. I foresee a time, when there will be a pipeline from the Tien Shan and the Pamirs (mountains) to the places, where water resources are scarce".
In terms of availability of local river runoff per person per year, Kyrgyzstan is in many times greater than other states in the region and the only country in Central Asia, where water resources are almost fully formed on its own territory, and this is its hydrological feature and benefits, and it is one of its main assets.
The total stock of water sources, which is formed on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, is on average about 51 billion m³ per year. The state should use it for peaceful development. This must be the greatest chance of Kyrgyzstan as a "water power". The Republic uses only about 20% of its amount, and 80% of the runoff is consumed by the neighboring states - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. This issue was raised by an outstanding statesman and political figure Turdakun Usubaliyev. On his initiative was adopted a Decree of the APR of Jogorku Kenesh "On the interstate water use by Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan of Water Resources of Kyrgyzstan" and they adopted an appeal to the parliaments of these republics. Unfortunately, this decision was not carried out completely and treatment was not heard.
On the territory of Kyrgyzstan the runoff of rivers is formed, and its water is not used – it is so called cross-border rivers. For example, Sary-Jaz is the most preferred for use for energy purposes in our country, because at the 80s of last century, there was developed a project of its hydroelectric operation and diversion of water into a basin of Lake Issyk-Kul in order to stabilize its level and to irrigate additional areas. Hopefully, the Republic will return to this project as the economy develops.
Currently only 10% of the hydropower potential of Kyrgyzstan is used. There is a huge opportunity for their development in the future. Electricity, generated by water, is 10 times cheaper than electricity produced by thermal power plants.
Glaciers are the accumulators of fresh water, and they are a source of supply of the rivers. Because of global warming, glaciers in the last 50 years fell by a third. From 1965 to 1974 there were 7628 glaciers, which occupied about 4.1% of the Republic. According to the latest information, the number of glaciers dropped to 5237. According to the report of the UN Program about the Development, Foundation for Water Resources Management, in Central Asia in the 20th century glaciers in Tajikistan were an average 20-30% declined, and in Afghanistan they were 50-70% reduced, but in general the glaciers of the Pamir-Altai from 1957 to 2000 lost over 25% of the reserves of ice and this process is evolving.
One of the arguments in support for these predictions is the undeniable fact of the continued degradation of mountain glaciations: only for the period from 1956 to 1990 ice resources of Kazakhstan and neighboring Central Asian countries declined in more than a third and continue to decline at an average intensity of about 0.6-0.8% of volume of ice. When you save the trends identified in the future, according to glaciologists, mountain glaciations in Kazakhstan will virtually disappear by the end of this century. Desertification process is typical for 70% of Kazakhstan.
In Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan the process of melting glaciers is very intensive, which could reduce the river flow in the next decade. Now they are reduced in three times more intense than in the middle of last century. According to the assessment of Uzbekistan, an extremely low reduction of water resources on the rivers of Amu Darya and Syr Darya could reach 25-40%. In contrast, the population growth, especially in neighboring Uzbekistan, where it is an average 3-3.5% a year, demand for water is increasing. Today, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan consume more than 90% of imported water.
The tendency of the reduction of the size of the glacier Batkak Kara (northern slope of Terskey Ala-Too) in the period from 1957 to 1998 the surface dropped on 18 meters, or 36%. The thickness of the ice of Kyrgyz range for the period from 1972 to 1993 decreased on 8 meters, and the Alai Range (Abramov glacier) - on 16 meters.
The glaciers of Kyrgyzstan can be saved. Now the world is increasingly developing and using technologies to save the glaciers. They are covered with a special material, and the ice begins to melt much slower, at the same time retaining all of its properties. These techniques operate in Japan, Europe and the USA. I think that Kyrgyzstan as a regional producer of water and energy resources needs to study the possibility of using this technology. 5237 glaciers of Kyrgyzstan contain 412 billion m³ of water. This is invaluable asset for future generations.
As for the fields of mineral water, we have tremendous opportunities. On the territory of Kyrgyzstan there are more than 250 natural manifestations of a wide variety of mineral waters in the Osh, Jalal-Abad, Batken, Issyk-Kul regions and in Bishkek, and aslo in Alamudun, Moscow and Jayil regions. According to some scientists, the Issyk-Kul resort area has no equal on the Eurasian continent by stocks and diversity of hydro resources. General and projected water and mineral resources of the country are about 22 thousand m³ per day. Almost all sources have prospects for industrial development. Kyrgyz natural water can be represented in the global market in the broadest possible range - Artesian, lake, mineralized, therapeutic, etc. For example, the mineral water "seltzer" in Chater-Kul is considered to be unique in the world.
Currently the level of water use is behind the possibilities of water resources and country's needs. Familiarity of known fields of mineral water is only 10-15%. Preliminary studies indicate that on the Kyrgyz market the share of counterfeit bottled water exceeds 60%. Medical-table water, which is important in maintaining health, and in treating a range of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, genitourinary, metabolic diseases, are pushed off the shelves by a simple drinking water. In many cases, at the labels of many bottled water was deliberately distorted the true data about the origin, composition and properties of water, so the information on the labels do not meet the requirements of the Law of Kyrgyzstan "On Protection of Consumer Rights" and "On Trademarks, Service Marks and Appellations of Origin", and violates the commitments made by Kyrgyzstan when joining the WTO.
One of the problems of our country is the more rational use of hydro resources of the Kyrgyz land. We should encouraged the activities of entrepreneurs, investors, local governments, ministries, departments and enterprises, aimed at expanding of the development of medicinal mineral waters through recreation of centers, dispensaries, local health care facilities to improve public health, to organize their cultural experience.
The use of hydro resources in the legal terms there is a clear provision for that in the Law "On Subsoil", "On Natural healing resources, medical and recreational areas and resorts", but the lack of secondary regulations do not allow to use these resources and the government has no clear plans for the practical implementation.
There is an urgent need to establish and promote the country brand of Kyrgyzstan's drinking water. We must be actively engaged in the best professional promotion of drinking and mineral water of Kyrgyzstan. Such costs are just beyond the power of individual firms.
Kyrgyz bottled water could be supplied to the markets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East - India, China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, UAE, and Israel. We could take a rightful place in the global water market, and strive to make maximum use of our competitive advantages. To do this, Kyrgyzstan should develop a national water strategy of the country. Such a strategy was adopted in Russia until 2020. In the Middle East the water market is controlled by the government - we also need the active support of the state.
According to Baum, author of many publications on water issues in the CIS, the market of drinking bottled water is able to show 100% growth annually for several more years. The market of bottled drinking and mineral water is currently one of the fastest growing consumer markets: the growth in the last four years is kept at 20%, while volumes in terms of money in 2004 in the CIS countries amounted 730 million dollars.
Individual decisions can not change the current situation. Especially the taken actions are "scattered" in various departments - from the Energy Ministry to the Ministry of Health and Social Development, the Committee on Water Resources.
What problems and how to solve the problem that must be included in future in a project Water Strategy 2020.
The first. Paradoxically that our country has almost 40% of the fresh water of Central Asia, but clean drinking water is not always available to our citizens. The problem of the availability of clean drinking water has many aspects. At this time, the Parliament of the country is considering the draft of the law "On safety of drinking water", which regulates the principles, responsibilities, procedures and organizational measures for ensuring safety of drinking water.
To ensure people with an access to clean water, you need to fix it in national law and make this issue the one of high priority.
The unresolved problem of water and sanitation should be seen as a failure of fulfillment of one of its main responsibilities. The recognition of water rights must be followed by concrete steps, backed up by financial and material resources and focused primarily on the needy populations.
The program "Taza Suu" is just one step on the way to increase the quality of life. But this step is absolutely necessary. At this time, in order to improve drinking water quality, and water supply services, in Bishkek they started reconstruction in the amount of 11.8 million euro, which is funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. At present, the percentage of depreciation of equipment of Bishkek pipeline is 70%.
The second. There is a problem of wastewater treatment. Of course, it is necessary for all enterprises to be involved in water management, at least to ensure compliance of all relevant regulations. It is necessary to solve problems, primarily associated with cleaning and delivery of public tap water. Even just passing on used networks, it often comes to consumers in the state, which is not suitable for drinking.
This situation appeared not today, and it has a lot of reasons, formed over decades. It is worn utility grids, and water pollution by enterprises, built in Soviet times, and much more.
The third. We need to think about strategies for water management that would allow us to use it more effectively and to distribute fairly. This involves building partnerships not only with governments but also with social groups, individuals and enterprises. Water management at the regional level may be one of the points of conflict management. We should pay attention to training, workers of water management and international water law. For us to manage water resources adequately means to manage the country's future.
The fourth. Water and environment in exchange of debt. Water as a basis for the strategies on environmental protection in vulnerable conditions of mountain ecosystems (reforestation, eco-tourism). In international practice there is actively promoted the practice where countries with huge external debts, if they increase funding for the environment, including clean water, outside donors in many cases forget about their debts. What our government should do.
The fifth. Create a "brand" of Kyrgyz environmental clean water and promote it to the international market. We must have a program for development of industry of sales of drinking water.
The sixth. Water as a basis for elite agriculture (developed irrigation).
The seventh. The development of mineral waters. We need separate work on fish stocking of lakes and for attracting tourists to our lakes.
The eighth. Water as a basis for producing electricity. Water - is an essential energy resource.
The ninth. Water as a factor of geopolitics. We have a lot of unresolved border issues with neighboring countries. But they all consume water of Kyrgyzstan. In this case, our political leadership can contribute to its water resources.
Proper construction and maintenance of our national water policy, the search for solutions of water management - is one of the most important and crucial task today if we want to ensure the country's development.