Central Asia: Promotion of Interstate Water Management Cooperation on Transboundary Chu and Talas Rivers

Project completed

Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have set up Interstate Commission for joint management of water resources in the basins of Chu river and of Talas river. However, a serious challenge for integrated water resources management remains to establish a data management system for which capacities are increasingly depleting. The proposed project will establish a monitoring system for both basins by upgrading the monitoring infrastructure generating real time data and capacities in both basins, thus supporting the Interstate Commission in decision making based on solid analysis and data.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Central Asia
Agriculture & food security
Water diplomacy and security
Water resources conservation
Agricultural water resources
01.03.2013 - 31.12.2016
CHF  950’000

To regulate the joint use of water management infrastructure, the Kazakh and Kyrgyz Governments signed an Agreement on the Use of Water Management Facilities of Interstate Status on the Rivers Chu and Talas and established the Interstate Commission in 2006. The Interstate Commission sets an operating mode for the facilities, estimates the costs required for their reliable operation and maintenance as well as the contribution of each party to cover operation costs (Kazakhstan provides up to 30 % of costs annually). This collaborative framework is so far unique in Central Asia, otherwise characterized by a severe competition for water resources between upstream and downstream counties. Phase 1 focused on Chu river basin only and installed a monitoring system on key infrastructure in that basin. The external evaluation recommended to extend and expand the support to both basins and both countries


The overall goal of the project is to help the Interstate Commission making decisions based on solid data and analysis by strengthening data management capacities and infrastructure. In a long term perspective, the goal is that the provided equipment and the data it generates will be used for joint analysis, evaluation and decision making.

Target groups
  • Interstate Commission on Transboundary Rivers Chui/Talas
  • Kyrgyz Department of the Water Resources Management and Melioration
  • Committee for Water Resources in the Ministry of Environment Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Medium-term outcomes

Provision of access for the Interstate Commission to reliable and timely data on water availability and flows in the basins of Chu and Talas rivers.


Results from previous phases:  

  • Higher precision of water level measurements and regulation of waterworks (measurement errors reduced from 10% down to 5%)
  • Better data support due to ongoing computer based collection, storage and processing of measured values of water levels and consumption
  • Higher responsiveness in detection and rectification of defects in equipment at waterworks management systems that result in lower probability of emergency situations

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Foreign state institution
  • Central State of South East
  • Swiss Private Sector
  • Interstate Commission on Transboundary Rivers Chui/Talas, Kyrgyz Department for Water Resources and Melioration (DWRM), Subcontractor Vodoavtomatika, a State enterprise, as a Design and Technology Institute “Water Automation and Metrology”, mandated by the Kyrgyz DWRM

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    950’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    916’064
Project phases

Phase 2 01.03.2013 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)