TASHKENT – Uzbek national experts, representatives of ministries and regional administrations were trained and learned from the European Union (EU) experience on water quality management as part of the EU’s tailor-made support to Central Asia (CA) on environmental project preparation. The training is organised by the EU-funded project WECOOP andaims to assist Uzbekistan in improving its water quality management capabilities.
The quality of water both in surface and ground water bodies, in particular in the downstream regions remains the matter of concern in the Republic of Uzbekistan. Collector drain waters diverted from irrigated lands are the main sources of pollution. These waters contain large amounts of toxic salts and contaminated with residues of chemicals and fertilizers. Insufficiently treated municipal sewage and heavily polluted industrial discharges made a significant contribution to the pollution of surface water sources used for drinking water supply. Perennial pollution has rendered a significant part of groundwater basins, particularly in the Fergana Valley, Bukhara region and Karakalpakstan, unsuitable for drinking water supply.
The EU member states are obliged and intensively implement measures to prevent pollution of water sources. The set of EU Directives (Water Framework Directive, Drinking Water Directive, Urban Waste Water Directive, Bathing Water Directive, and several others related to them) stipulate binding quality targets for drinking water and protecting human health from adverse effects of any contamination of water intended for human consumption, as well as protecting the environment from the adverse effects of urban waste water discharges and discharges from certain industrial sectors. The Directives have laid down the critical quality standards at the EU level. The following principles are set out in the Directives: planning, regulation (obligations of the Member States and the Commission), monitoring, information and reporting. The Directives also require providing regular information to consumers and reporting to the European Commission.
Since October 2018, more than 200 national experts, representatives of NGOs and local private companies have already participated in 12 capacity building workshops in Almaty, Ashgabat, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Nur-Sultan and Tashkent and 1 study tour to Vienna, all organised by WECOOP with the financial support of the EU.
Photo: Steve Johnson