Water scarcity is a global issue

Water scarcity is a global issue, but affects Central Asia particularly severely.

In this region, global climate change is combining with chronic over-exploitation of available reserves to devastating effect. Yet water in Central Asia is not only scarce, it is also distributed and utilized unevenly.

Scarce resources, inappropriate management and disparate interests – all these factors cause water distribution in Central Asia to harbour a major potential for conflict. Effective water management, in contrast, is a source of stability and security and is thus the key to sustainable development.

Transboundary cooperation on River Basin level will create opportunity of growth for effective water management and eventually for save water ecosystems in the Region.

On 1 April 2008, the German Federal Foreign Office announced the launch of a water initiative for Central Asia (the ‘Berlin Process’) at the Berlin water conference ‘Water Unites’. The initiative is an offer by the German Federal Government to the countries of Central Asia to support them in water management and to make water a subject of intensified transboundary cooperation.

The most extensive element of the Berlin Process is the Transboundary Water Management in Central Asia Programme, which Deutsche Gesellschaft for Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ – German Technical Cooperation) is carrying out on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office.