50% of the glaciers of the Tien Shan can disappear by 2050


Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan noted the decade of the work of the first in Central Asia program on the uniform use and conservation of the water balance of transboundary rivers.

About the "water wars" of Central Asia already written and said a lot in the past twenty years . The use of glaciers and transboundary rivers by the countries of the region became especially topical when the world community began to talk about the fact that the Earth is threatened with the gradual disappearance of fresh water in glaciers and the threat of drought. According to environmentalists, 50% of the glaciers of the Tien Shan may disappear by 2050, which will undoubtedly lead to conflicts between the countries that are at the source of transboundary rivers and those to whom water comes "in the second turn". The legislative base that would regulate the obligations of each country in this area, and could be recognized by the international community, is not in Central Asia.

However, ten years ago, in 2007, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan were the first in the region to create their own monitoring system for the flow and use of transboundary water resources - the Chu and Talas rivers. Its functions include water allocation, preservation of the water balance of transboundary rivers and water resources, as factors affecting the development of the economy, production and, as a consequence, the preservation of a stable ecological, economic and political situation in both countries.

By the tenth anniversary of the project at the conference titled "Ecology of the Tien Shan as the main factor of the quality of transboundary rivers of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan" in Bishkek organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Kyrgyzstan, the results of its work were discussed and discussed the prospects for further cooperation between the two countries in the field of cooperation along the transboundary rivers . For 10 years of work, the experts of the commission managed to assess the quality of water in different periods for pollution and impurities, as well as deal with the issues of shared participation of the parties in the operation of water management facilities of interstate use in the basins of these rivers. The specialists developed a mathematical model for the distribution of water resources on the Kirov border reservoir of the Talas River, and also partially on the upper part of the Chu River basin. In addition, a 19-point transboundary diagnostic analysis was conducted to identify problems in the use of transboundary waters, including water quality, water quantity, and ecosystem degradation. Forecasts are not very comforting. The Tien-Shan glaciers are melting: only recently their number has decreased by more than a quarter. According to experts' estimates, it is not very long to use clean glacial water: after 50-100 years, the Chu River will reduce its water flow by 25%, Talas - by 40%. If we do not take preventive measures, the process can go even faster, and then a new generation of Kyrgyzstanis and Kazakhstanis will face the problem of water shortage. Now both countries are preparing to implement a strategic plan of action for the near future. There will be issues of maintaining the water content of rivers, the system for assessing the natural capital of countries, the criteria for damage to them and risk assessments with predicting the consequences of increasing or decreasing water resources, and introducing new technologies for water conservation, both in the ordinary lives of Kyrgyz and Kazakhstanis and in agriculture. Some of the measures for the rational and careful use of water can be financed by the Global Environment Facility if the heads of both Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan approve the strategic action plan.