September 16, 2014
Life Is Where Waters Flow
Water has always been a vital issue in Uzbekistan. Domestic agriculture simply could not exist without irrigation owing to the climatic peculiarities. Thus it is natural that the Uzbek people have always carefully treated the priceless natural resource, taking all possible efforts for its efficient consumption.

Over the years of independence Uzbekistan has carried out a scaled modernization of water supply networks, built new and reconstructed the existing water pipe-lines with saving technologies in the focus. Most importantly, the provision of quality drinking water has been the key objective. In some twenty-three years, 119 towns and 9,060 villages were covered with centralized water supply. Year by year the scale of this work is expanding. Uzbekistan has been actively partnered by international financial institutions and donor countries, which do not just invest funds, but share advanced technologies and experience.

In 2008, Uzbekistan developed a special program on improving the drinking water supply in the regions jointly with international financial institutions and donor countries, which envisaged drawing more than $700 million. It was a serious step to improve water supply in rural areas.

It is not just about numbers and figures - each project is backed by people who are uninterruptedly supplied with water in remote areas of the country. For example, more than 160 kilometers of water pipes were reconstructed; four water storages and two water towers were built in some districts of Navoi region in 2010 with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank. As a result, residents of over 50 villages were supplied with drinking water.

A project on reconstruction of several hydraulic structures, water distribution facilities and pipelines in Jizzakh Region is another successful example of cooperation. Worth $32.3 million, the initiative is carried out in collaboration with a consortium of South Korean companies GS Neotek and Singdon. The project envisages the reconstruction of Kuytosh hydro facility with the capacity of 20 thousand cubic meters of water per day, 15 water distribution objects, 92.5 kilometers of water supply networks, as well as repair and renovation of ten vertical wells. These measures should improve the drinking water supply in desert districts, and ensure the smooth and stable operation of water networks. There are thousands of like examples across the country.

However, many experts say that under current conditions the work needs to be accelerated and integrated, using unconventional solutions and innovative technologies. With that in mind, in late 2012, the Uzbek government approved the measures on further integrated development and upgrade of water supply and sanitation systems in 2013-2015. Its target specifications envisage bringing the level of provision of the centralized water supply up to 100% in all cities of the country, and up to 85-90% in rural areas by 2020.

The program is based in the further streamlining of the legislative framework in water and sanitation sector. Technical requirements and regulations on using public water supply and sewerage systems were developed. These documents clearly regulate the relations between consumers and suppliers, making them maximally transparent.

Modern technologies are assigned a special part. Domestic experts developed a specialized automated consumer registration system, as well as individual customer databases and billing systems for each utility service of single standard. This measure has incorporated the whole system, enhanced its effectiveness and promptness, and reduced production costs. In addition, Tashkent was selected a platform for piloting a unique project on the introduction of a single automated system of registration of consumers of water supply and sanitation services. In case of positive outcome it is planned to extend the experience to other major cities of the country.

The installation of modern water meters on intakes and pipeline distribution junctions, as well as individual water meters in the housing stock and communal meters at the entry to apartment buildings has become the second pillar of ongoing transformations. Generally, by 2015 the program envisages implementation of about 40 projects worth more than 4.3 trillion soums. Water supply and sewerage networks will be improved in 1,635 settlements across the country through building and reconstruction of more than 4,180 km of water supply networks.

(Currency rates of CB from 16.09.2014 1$= 2359.56 soums) It is worth noting that remote and sparsely populated villages, which are unreachable for water supply networks from technical and financial point of view, are supplied with water by means of special water delivery equipment. This year, Asaka Bank has purchased more than 480 units of such equipment from domestic manufacturers: 76 Isuzu water trucks, 307 TTZ-80.10 trailer tractors, and 100 tanks. The machinery will be leased by water supply organizations for a period of seven years. Its total cost exceeds 32.8 billion soums. Its efficiency will be enhanced through the GPS remote control system.

There is another ongoing landmark project in Tashkent. The Danish company of Grundfos, the globally known manufacturer of pumping equipment, will supply the Tashkent public utilities with 239 kits of process pumping equipment worth more than 3.4 million euros. The new hardware will be installed on the water supply plants and booster pumping stations, which is expected to provide significant annual energy savings. In addition, the project should improve the reception of sewage, make water supply to the population more effective, enhance water supply and sanitation safety, and reduce water loss.

Introduction of water-saving irrigation technologies in agricultural production is underway with a priority to drip irrigation systems, when water is directed directly to the roots of plants in small portions and regulated by special dispensers.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)


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