Problems of Syrdarya river basin management

Serdar Eyeberenov, Baijing Cao, Fengting Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Prior to independence, Central Asian countries were closely interconnected through the regional management incorporating water, energy, and food sectors. This approach, supported by the central government of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), functioned effectively - meeting the needs of both upstream and downstream countries. However, after independence, Central Asian countries started prioritizing their own economic development policies without due account to regional concerns such as joint use of water resources, leading to instability. In this study, the case of Syrdarya basin was investigated to show how such strategies create tension in the region, since primary focus is given to national interests, without consideration for regional problems. To address this issue, an integrated approach to incorporating water, energy, and agriculture is needed. It is suggested that a single sector approach on water alone does not lead to stability, and a multi-sectoral approach is necessary to ensure sustainable development. Countries sharing benefits from the river have to be responsible for costs of operation and maintenance of the water facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-225
Number of pages5
JournalFrontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering in China
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We would like to acknowledge financial support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) office in Asia and the Pacific.


  • Agriculture
  • Central Asia
  • Energy
  • Syrdarya basin
  • Water


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