Danger averted

Published: Tuesday 15 March 2005

Two crucial components of Kazakhstan's water woes were resolved recently. Following a bilateral agreement, neighbouring Kyrgyzstan agreed to reduce water outflow from its Toktogul reservoir from 740 cubic meters a second (m 3 /s) to 650 m 3 /s, media reports said. This will reduce the possibility of overflow from Kazakhstan's Shardara Reservoir, which is dangerously full at present.

Kazakhstan was also successful in arriving at a temporary water-diversion agreement with Uzbekistan. The latter agreed to accept 1.8 billion m 3 of water from Shardara Reservoir into its Arnasai Basin during a 50-day period. The government of South Kazakhstan Province, where the reservoir is located, will also divert 75 m 3 /s water to the Kyzylkum Canal.

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