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Water Management In East: Is It Management Of River Basin Or Of Irrigation System?

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Yusup Rysbekov (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)


Keyword(s): Sub-theme 8: Revisiting water paradigms,
AbstractIt would seem that the answer to the question in title of Abstract is obvious: river basin (RB) and irrigation system (IS) inside of RB are considered as uniform natural complex. European Water Directive (2000) specifies directly this circumstance and recommends consider RB as unit of planning, and Basin principle (BP) is a basic of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). At the same time, in East, including Central-Asian states (CASs), BP has different contents for RB and IS, and it has developed historically. In East a management of irrigation systems has centuries-old history and is closely connected to first states' formation (2.0-5.5 thousand years). Water-land relations occupied special place in legal systems of states, which development was based on the "East way", at which irrigation was a basis of economy, and irrigation structure were a state property. Presence among the theories of ancient states' formation the "irrigation" ("hydraulic") theory specifies an importance of water factor in this context. Its author (Karl A. Wittfogel), believed that first despotic form of the states were caused by necessity of construction for arid regions large irrigation structures and their operation, and it was impossible without the rigid centralized authority. Confirmation to this is present in the first written legal acts of the Ancient World (the Ur-Nammu Code, 2050 B.C.; the Bilalama Code, 1925 B.C., the Harmmurabi Code, 1700 B.C.; etc). Historical data show that in Central Asia the institute of "aryk-aksakals" existed, which were selected by public and were responsible for irrigation of certain territory adhered to the concrete small river ("aryk"). Aryk-aksakals' institutes successfully function more than one thousand years and have stopped activity with an establishment of the Soviet authority in Central Asia. Thus, in East a water management was considered as management of artificial irrigation system and river's part, on which there were engineering structures for water withdrawal, and this picture was saved about today practically without changes. In Central-Asian States (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) a national water legislation has rules about basin principle of WRM. In Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan the Basin Water Administrations (BWA) are created. In particular, in Uzbekistan, according to the President's Decree # PD-3226 (March 24, 2003) and Decision of Ministers' Cabinet # 320 (July 21, 2003), a new organizational structure of WRM was created, which includes 10 Basin Administration of Irrigation Systems (BAIS) and one Administration for systems of main canals of the Fergana Valley with Incorporated Dispatching Centre (ASMC FD IDC). Reorganization of national WRM was made with the purposes of transition from administrative-territorial to the basin principle of management by irrigation systems. In arid zone practically all WRM systems are directed on management of IS, instead of RB. In conditions, when the basic accent is made on management of IS, it is represented expedient to develop the theory of the integrated management of irrigation systems on the basis of key principles of IWRM, in view of basic distinctions between RB and IS, namely: - Area and borders of RB are constant, they can vary depending on water availability and volume; - Human activity worsens environmental of RB, and IS can not exist without human intervention; - RB is a source for river flow's filling, as IS territory serves for water dissipation; - Classical river comes to end by reservoir (sea, lake, wetland), classical IS comes to end by blind mouth that is one of reasons of IS instability. -RB management should begin from "small water" (inflows), IS management begins from "large water" (water withdrawal from river or other source); Some other.
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