Strengthening National Water Resources Management Capacity
- This component focuses on enhancing the capacity for integrated water resource management and river basin management, in line with the Water Code, by expanding the amount and quality of information available to decision makers at national, basin, and system levels, and improving basin-level planning and management in all 5 national basins, based on the principles outlined in the 2005 Water Code. The Water Code calls for transforming the current DWRLI into the SWA and shifting water resource planning and management from administrative to hydrologic basin boundaries. In 2006 the Government, in an executive order, transferred the powers and responsibilities given to the SWA in the Water Code to the DWRLI; this component seeks to assist the DWRLI to implement this role and realize key elements of the Water Code.
- Under WMIP a roadmap for implementation of the Water Code was prepared in December 2012 and approved by the meeting of the NWC held on 28th February 2013. The Roadmap sets out the long and intermediate-term (5 years) targets for implementation of the Water Code, with seven key components comprising:
- restructuring the water sector;
- managing water resources by basin;
- water permitting and contracting; (iv) funding for WRM;
- MOM of I&D systems;
- establishing a WIS;
- water resources and environmental protection.
- This component will finance acquisition of computers and computer network equipment; TA to support organizational reform, digital information system development and basin planning; and staff training and capacity building and consists of the following 3 sub-components: (a) linking all DWRLI offices with a digital network, (b) installing a national WIS, and (c) enhancing basin water resource planning and management.
Sub-component 1.1 Linking all DWRLI offices with a digital information network (US$ 0.6 million)
- This sub-component will complete the technological backbone for a digital information network linking all offices of the DWRLI, including HO, OVKs, and RVKs. It will utilize servers and computers procured under WMIP and OIP-2, supplemented by new purchases of personal computers and related equipment under this project, particularly for the RVKs.
- Under WMIP, wired networks have been installed in the HO and the 7 OVK. The NWRMP-1 will install simple wireless networks in all RVKs, which will be linked to OVK and the HO via secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) This will allow data and communication to flow electronically among all of these units, thereby eliminating the current time-consuming practice of faxing data between these management units. Basic and advanced applications utilizing the network will be developed under this and other project components.
Sub-component 1.2. Establishing a digital Water Information System (US$ 0.9 million)
- The WIS will be set up as a distributed database application, with text-based data and geo-referenced thematic map layers stored on different servers and linked together through the network system at SWA HO and a website hosted by the SWA to make data/information/maps available to all user groups. The website will incorporate different levels of secure access to different kinds of information. An inter-agency group will be established to coordinate the development of this distributed database. Initially, information on the website will come from the SWA HO servers. In future, data stored on servers at Hydromet, the Hydrogeology Department and other agencies can be linked into the website via a portal application. The primary advantage of the portal application is that the agencies will be able to retain full control over data that are stored locally on their servers. The WIS will consist of a number of relational databases, including the National Water Cadaster, irrigation system passports, WUA information and water delivery data, and a water resources geospatial database for thematic map layers. Automated flow data from the SDC irrigation automation project in the Chui Basin will also be posted on the WIS. As other organizations are brought into the system, the WIS will incorporate additional information on river discharges and discharge forecasts, weather, groundwater availability, and groundwater table elevations. Documents, such as basin management plans and maps, will also be posted.
- Computer training. Once the network system is in place, local firms will provide training in basic computer operations, including word processing, spreadsheet use and email communications, and basic computer maintenance to new users in OVK, RVKs and elsewhere, as needed. Ample local capacity exists to provide such training. Training for more advanced topics and applications such as DBMS, GPS, GIS, LAN administration and VPN communication will be provided by PIU IT staff, local firms, and/or STA specialists. Then, special training sessions will be developed under Components 1 and 2 of the NWRMP-1 for collecting and analyzing data on water supply and demand, for documenting characteristics of water resource structures and irrigation systems and facilities, and for managing irrigation water at system level.
- Assessing information needs of potential WIS users. Water information needs and usage vary widely among potential user groups, both within and outside the DWRLI. These include senior government officials, senior managers in the DWRLI, BWC members, Oblvodkhoz and RVK staff, WUA board members and mirabs, donor agencies, and interested members of the public. A survey, conducted by the WRM division of the DWRLI and supported by consultants, will ascertain these various information needs.
- Sharing flow data collected by RVKs. Flow data currently collected by the RVKs will be entered in the WIS by RVKs via VPN connection and then consolidated at the Basin and national levels. The flow data will be available throughout the network system to authorized users.
- Developing or updating data sharing agreements. Existing data sharing agreements with the State Agencies on Hydrometeorology and on Hydrogeology, the Environmental Agency, and other organizations will be reviewed and, if necessary, updated to facilitate inclusion of information held by them in the WIS. This activity will be coordinated with the Bank-funded regional project on Hydromet strengthening which includes Kyrgyzstan Hydromet. It is expected that data from the Hydromet will be incorporated in Phase 1, with data from other agencies being included in Phase 2.
- Building the State Water Cadaster Database Application. The State Water Cadaster, which includes information on quantity and quality of the nation’s surface and ground waters and the status, condition, and location of large water infrastructure, will be a part of the WIS. The Cadaster, currently maintained in MS-Excel worksheets by DWRLI Information and Analytical Sector will be updated and converted to a database application before linking to the WIS. The last annual water cadaster report was published by the GoK in 1996.
Sub-component 1.3. Enhancing basin water resource planning and management (US$ 1.2 million)
- This sub-component will establish hydrologic boundaries for the nation’s river basin management units (BMUs) and create a set of multi-sectoral consultative councils in each. It will also support creation of small technical SUs for river basin planning and management in each BMU and at the HO through staff reassignments. These units will support the BWC formed in each BMU to guide basin planning and development. It will develop and propose to the Government a simple permitting system for water withdrawals to replace the one that was abolished in October 2012 and a system for charging and collecting water resource use fees to support water resource management.
- Strengthening the Water Resource Analysis and Planning unit in the DWRLI. The structure of the WRM division of the DWRLI will be reviewed and to evolve in an enhanced WRAP unit to process, analyze, and store water resource information and support the basin planning exercises of the five BWCs. The capacity of this unit to conduct analysis in three main areas will be enhanced: (i) international water resources; (ii) water information; and (iii) basin planning. The NWRMP-1 will help strengthen this unit with software and training on GIS use, basin modelling, and database development. A basin hydrologic model will be developed with support from project consultants and applied in the 5 BMUs.
- Establishing BMU boundaries and basin mapping. A set of proposed boundaries for five national BMUs were considered during a meeting of the NWC and approved. These BMUs will become the basis for planning and managing water resources in the country. The NWRMP-1 will use GIS software to prepare digital maps of BMU waterways and water facilities, using existing paper maps and satellite imagery, supplemented with GPS-based data collection.
- Establishing BWAs. Water resource management units will be established in five Oblast offices to coordinate and support water resources planning and management in each BMU. BWAs will report on water flows and other data on the basis of BMU boundaries, rather than administrative ones as at present.
- Preparing preliminary basin management plans. BWCs comprising representatives of all water-related sector organizations within the basin will be formed under the guidance of the BWA in each BMU to prepare and implement preliminary basin management plans. The BWCs will be supported in this by the BWAs and the WRAP. Once formed, the BWA will act as the secretariat to its corresponding BWC. Due to the size of the 5 main basins, that following the initial identification of water stressed sub-basins or basins using the WIS, sub-basin or basin WCs could be established to look at local issues and measures to address water scarcity, water conflict or pollution issues. One (sub-) basin will be identified as a pilot to develop a methodology for determining appropriate environmental flows, in order to assist the GoK with implementing the environmental flow provisions of the Water Code.
- Developing water permitting systems. Legislation signed into law in October 2012 deleted water permitting authority from the Water Code as a part of a sweeping simplification of the national permitting system. This change has seriously compromised the ability of the DWRLI to manage the nation’s water resources and has made both surface and ground water essentially open-access resources. The NWRMP-1 will assist the WRM division in the DWRLI in designing a simplified water permitting system for major water users and drafting an amendment to the Water Code to authorize it. The DWRLI will then be in a position to propose the amendment to the NWC and government.
- Implementing a wastewater permitting system. The Water Code calls for a permitting system for wastewater discharges to be the responsibility of the State Environmental Protection Body. The NWRMP-1 will work with this body and with the WRM division in the DWRLI to develop a procedure for implementing a wastewater permitting system and an associated fee system which could be implemented under Phase 1 or Phase 2, depending on progress.
- Designing and implementing a water resource fee system. Managing water resources entails significant costs for resource assessment, monitoring, recordkeeping, and permitting activities. Resource users should cover these costs through payment of water resource use fees. The NWRMP-1 will design a fee system for water resource use which will include a study of users’ ability to pay, and an assessment of the estimated costs of operating water resource information and water permitting systems.
- Secretariat of National Policy Dialogue and National Water Council. TA will be provided to the DWRLI staff appointed to perform the duties of the secretariats of the NPD and the NWC. The project will support with organizations of meetings, agendas, preparation of presentations and briefing materials, and relevant minutes of meetings and resolutions.
- Sector Expenditure Review. In order to build the framework to address financing of the water resources activities as required under the Water Code, the project will finance a sector expenditure review and will assist with providing recommendations for financing of critical water management activities, through budgetary and extra-budgetary means, like a permit and registration system for water users.
- Training in international water law and negotiations. Three-quarters of the surface water originating in the Kyrgyz Republic is earmarked for downstream riparian countries in bilateral agreements. This is a regular topic of discussion and debate in international fora. Training for Kyrgyz Republic discussants and negotiators will strengthen their ability to prepare for and participate effectively in these interactions. Negotiators will be provided with negotiation files on key water resources issues.
- Study Tours. Two study tours will be carried out for selected DWRLI staffs on the topics of (i) water data systems and basin management and (ii) irrigation system O&M. These study tours will be valuable opportunities for learning and knowledge-sharing to improve WRM capacity of DWRLI