Water is a common property and through its various uses, such as drinking, sanitation and irrigation, water is critical for life. Against the backdrop of climate change and increased water stress, ensuring the most efficient use of the resource is a must.
Countrywide, Switzerland has focused its support on integrated water resource management encompassing water from the source to the service provision to a water user both for drinking water and water for irrigation.
This implies introduction of basin approach, water information system for all the sources and water use permitting system. In particular, the Swiss Cooperation worked on increasing efficiency of irrigation water services and on supporting the 486 irrigation water user associations. Also, the Swiss cooperation has been supporting the Kyrgyz authorities in rehabilitating and extending urban water supply systems in the main cities of the country, thus contributing to providing safe drinking water to about 2 million citizens, thus considerably improving their quality of life.
Switzerland will continue to engage in the policy dialogue at local and national level to support reforms in the water sector and to build capacities of water companies to ensure the provision of quality services to all citizens.
Regional cooperation is key in Central Asia to address water resource management and to overcome diverging interests between upstream (Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan) and downstream countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan). Switzerland makes efforts to promote regional dialogue with a view of creating shared benefits between all Central Asian countries thus contributing to peaceful coexistence and stability in the region. In the context of a Swiss-funded project, a transboundary commission has been supported to manage the water resources in the basin of the river Chui and river Talas which flow from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan.